Installing an Above Ground Pool on Concrete

Installing an Above Ground Pool on Concrete

0 thoughts on “Installing an Above Ground Pool on Concrete

      1. Hey dan I have a sloped yard and I am wanting to install a 12×24 oval pool with a deck around it. I was wondering if It would be better to excavate the area to be level or build a retaining wall in fill it in to make it level?

      1. So is a possible solution to channel out the buttress supports and then recement @ 3 inches lower? In my case I also have plates that sit inside it is a real pain but we have no choice as we need the cement given our yard is on a hill.

        1. I have never heard of that technique. Thanks. I’m going to start suggesting this to my leak inquiries. I’m sure some will try it. I wonder how well it can work.

        2. Another solution:
          First construct a outer frame 2×6-or 8 high (1-2 feet larger in both directions) surrounding the pool base. Set the buttress’ & plates on (bolt them to) the concrete slab, and cover/compact to level with (a lot more) sand. Outside (between the liner & shell & outer frame) fill with pee gravel or decorative/drain-able) rock… also inside the outer frame(before you asemble the pool) can be lined with plastic..& drains to outdoors, a “basin” to catch a leak if the pool is indoors.

      2. Why not set the buttress structures that sit lower first and shim the other structures with roofing composition?
        I’m not a pool installer and will be doing my first install on existing concrete that has slope AND a V channel down the middle of a 15′ x 40′ side patio.

        Any pointers would be appreciated and being a General Contractor and a Concrete Contractor in Ca. maybe I can return the favor with any questions you may have.

        Thanx in advanced,
        David

        1. David, I suppose that would work but I wouldn’t think of doing it as a paid job because it’ll be a pain to get correctly level and the majority of the structure will be floating off the concrete. It may be better (since you are a concrete guy) to cut the existing concrete in the areas where the buttresses sit so you can recess them. This would allow at least half of the pool’s bottom frame to sit on the patio. This I have done once and it was a lot of work.

          Doing the above(recessing the buttresses) is good but you still have the issue of the existing deck being sloped and therefore not level. You could shim half of the pool up on the low side or take the harder option which is to once again get out your concrete saw and cut a channel of concrete out of where the bottom pool track goes.

          I’m sure you can make your mentioned idea work and it be less work than my way. You are the pool owner so it doesn’t have to be correct. Cutting concrete is the way a guy who knows what he is doing and you would be paying would do it though.

  1. Do you put gravel under the concrete slab or is leveling/compacting the ground enough for a base for the slab? Thank you

  2. This may be a strange thing to ask…..
    We have a huge cement slab roof deck, and last year had a 12ft x 30in pool on it and had no problems, but this year the only available pool is 22ft x 4ft.
    This more than doubles the total water weight to 89000lbs roughly. Do you think this could damage the roof or even collapse the roof?
    The roof is 8-10inches thick reinforced concrete with the rebar in 10inch x 3inch boxes, supported on 20inch posts.

    Thanks for any thoughts on this. have a great day….

    1. Are roofs ever made to support that much weight? (Rhetorical question, as MOST are not.)

      If that’s your only option, you should check with a structural engineeer.

    2. I do structural concrete work and you should check with a structural engineer like the other person suggested. I would not risk that amount of weight on it, I doubt it was designed for it and could fail.

  3. Wondering the same question. I have a concrete space where our garage used to be. Do I need to put sand down before putting the pool up also?

    1. I wouldn’t worry much unless the wall’s protective coating was taken off. If so, recoat with something protective. And I still wouldn’t worry much about it.

  4. This article addresses concrete… but what about pavers? We have a large paver patio and would like to set up a 12 x 30 Intex Prism/metal frame OGP. What challenges do you think we will face with pavers? (We plan to have the pool set up for the summer but to take it down for the winter.) Thanks!

    1. I wouldn’t trust pavers because they are individual pieces that can shift/sink/break and the possibility of puncturing your liner great increases.

      1. Hi! Thank you for all your guidance. On a paver patio, what could we put under the pool to accomodate for the gradual 2” slope?

        1. Hi, Lacy: I’m in “Sunny” South FL and have had my 14′ Round pool on an existing concrete patio for 1-year now, however, that 2″ slope issue has been bothering me. Did you receive any suggestions?

        2. The wall of the pool has to be level. The rest of the bottom does not. You could use wood shims under the bottom connector plates on the lower side of the pool to make the bottom track level. Then, if you want to be fancy, you could spray foam under the track to keep in in place if the wood rots later. After the track is level, install the wall and install the foam coving. The pool bottom with be 2″ lower on one side but the pool will be level.

      2. So how do I level the ground on concrete and how do I measure the slope size? Never done this before and I want to put a 12 foot circular pool up. All I need are foam coves and a tough pad? Do I need a sand pit?

  5. Why shouldn’t an oval-shaped pool be put on concrete? Just curious.
    But my main question is, we are going to be removing an outdoor hot tub from our back deck which is sitting on an existing 10×10 concrete slab. We want to replace the hot tub with a 9×18 rectangle above ground pool. Do you have any suggestions on how we should build onto the 10×10 existing slab to make it large enough for our 9×18 pool?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi. If you read the article, it will tell you why. Jus’ Sayin’. And you are asking how to make a 10’x10′ slab large enough for a 9’x18′ pool? Ummm, Add more concrete or pavers to accommodate the pool’s structure? I have no idea why my girlfriend calls me “captain obvious”.

  6. Actually I need to ask a question, we are going to put our pool on concrete, and my son wants to paint a rubber coating on it before putting the pool on it, but I think that we still need to put a pad on it also to protect the liner, will the rubber sealant work without the pad or should we still need to put a pad on it also. Thanks

    1. I have no clue if the rubber paint is good. I do know that sometimes liners don’t react or last well next to petroleum based products. I say get the liner pad and foam cove and forget about the rubber.

  7. My whole backyard is covered in concrete. It appears to be level. Can I put an above-ground pool directly on top of the existing slab or do I need to put some sort of protective barrier down between the slab and the pool?

    1. Thanks for asking, GiGI. I have the same question. My fear is that my concrete backyard isn’t poured thick enough to hold a large pool so I was just going to get a small rubber or soft sided pool that fits 4 or 6 people. I was told a couple times that concrete can’t bear much weight so I’m even worried about this small pool being too heavy. Dan, do you have any suggestions?

      1. How thick is your concrete? Is it cracking because it’s so thin? Regardless, you can put a pool on concrete as long as you have the foam cove and a protective pad, or styrofoam sheeting, or a rug, or something to protect the liner from the concrete surface. If you think about it, most above ground pools set directly on the ground and if installed right, don’t go anywhere. Why would a thin layer of concrete go somewhere when the ground beneath it doesn’t?

      1. We are installing out pool on concrete had the pool place tell me to use a liner guard and happy bottom is the necessary in your opion

  8. Hello my husband bought an above ground swimming pool it came with an green liner to go under the pool he said that since it was on concrete he wouldn’t have to put it down I think it was supposed to go down is he right or am I right not meant for i am right and he is not just a question

    1. My guess is you have an Intex pool or soft sided pool? If so, then he is right. You don’t need to put that extremely thin and cheap tarp down that it comes with.

  9. Hello Dan,

    I am having a galvanized steel framed 15′ x 48″ Intex (model 28235EH) above ground pool installed on top of cement pavers, which were already in place. What should I put in between the pavers and pool to keep both protected? My concern is the water may stain/damage the pavers (if/when I want to remove the pool), and I want the pool liner & frame to last as long as possible. I also do not want the flooring to be uncomfortable when standing inside the pool. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with all of us.
    Stay Cool! Marianne

  10. I have a concrete pad bigger enough for 2 12x24x52. Question Shopping list? With that much concrete is there a problem?
    I need a list of all items for a good brand 12x24x52 and all stuff needed for a good set up.
    I’d like to get a solar cover to keep it warm in Southern Nevada. It gets hot in summers. But, like to use most of the year. Email information jeffc7198@aol.com

    1. No problem with the concrete. Make sure its level enough though. And I have calluses on my hands so you’ll have to get your list from someone who gets paid to sell pools. I only get paid to install them.

  11. Have a trick question. I’m looking to make an above ground concrete lap pool. Dimensions are 36′ long 8′ wide and 4′ deep.

    Great article. Now I want to keep this truly ABOVE ground pool but I get that I might need to have a portion of that 4′ height in ground in order for it to settle on level ground. How many inches do I need to excavate? Also do I need to use rebar as a foundation?
    Thanks

  12. I have a garage that is pretty old and the roof is Failing, the inside slab it sits on is level, it is cement block walls and technically it sits on a slope so part of it is underground. i plan on removing the roof of the garage and some of the block down to ground level basically using the remains as a retaining wall……Anyone have any thoughts ?

  13. I am getting a pool that is 18ftx9ftx52 inches. We are placing it on our patio as we have a very small backyard. My concern is the patio is sloped, about 3/4 to 1 inch across 9 feet (the patio is 16 feet wide). I was considering building a frame and leveling it with crushed gravel. Is this the only way to do it? Will the supports of the pool eventually sink into the gravel? Would I need to secure the frame to the patio? The hope is to not have to drill into the concrete.

    1. The easiest way to put the pool where you want it is to build a big sand box with about 4-6 inches deep of sand. Build the pool on that. It won’t move as long as the sandbox doesn’t come apart years from now.

      1. Dan, I have a similar situation to Rob above except trying to install an inexpensive Coleman 18′ round pool on existing 18×18 patio section which has a fair amount of pea gravel floating on surface (not smooth concrete). My biggest concern is the existing slope for drainage: how much slope is considered too much and why?

        I like the sand box idea, both for leveling and smoothing out the rough pea gravel concrete surface…

        1. The pool being off anything more than an inch can give you issues. At one inch off, your eye begins to see the off level. At two inches off, a soft sided pool starts to slowly lose its shape towards the low spot. At three inches off, the pool will lose its shape enough to start spilling over the low side.

          1. I had this problem last year, a rectangular soft sided intex pool. There was always spillover, the pool couldn’t hold its shape. Circular pools on a patio that has minimal sloping seems ideal. So, I’m considering doing the above ground pool thing again. What would be the best solution for creating a level surface on a sloped patio? Thinking plywood and shims. My patio is 10′ deep by 20′ wide. No idea how much of a slope I’m dealing with, but it should be whatever is code in my area.

  14. We had a 16′ x 32′ in ground pool with a deep end that we filled in with sand 20 years ago. It has concrete totally around the pool. My question is. Can I install a 15′ x 30′ pool buttress free on top of the old in ground pool? I need some advice on what I can or should not do. Thank you kindly.

    1. Yes you can but it’s gonna be a tough install. You’ll need to make room for the new pool’s buttress structures which will more then likely run into the old pool structure. This means cutting out just the areas of the old pool that you need the extra room for. Honestly, that sounds like more fun than I would want to have.

  15. My ground settled on one side after leveling, and my Intex pool would ’empty’ when it rained, by about a foot or so. I want to put in a concrete slab to help level the area for the pool this year…is there a tolerance level for leveling the ground before concrete and how thick would be sufficient to hold a 20′ diameter pool 4’deep?

    1. For the cost of the concrete, I would say to see how much it would be to buy a real above ground and install it properly on level ground. If you are set on dealing with an Intex pool though, I don’t think you have to worry about ground tolerances before the concrete. And unless your yard is a swamp or there was a mild earthquake, your earth didn’t settle that much. More than likely, you did a poor job leveling the earth before the install. You are going to have to level the earth really well before pouring the concrete though so maybe after that, you don’t need the concrete after all. Know what I’m saying here? And 2″ thick is probably all you need as the slab will probably crack anyway.

  16. I have a question. Last summer my 24 foot round above ground pool collapsed. I have just gotten a 27 foot round pool. The old pad of dirt from the old pool is packed hard with a few cracks in it. We were planning to set the new one up ourselves. One of the main friends we have to help wants to just add sand to make up the difference for the bugger pool. My concern is when the added sand to make it for a 27 foot settles that it may cause issues and cause the walls to collapse. Should we dig up all the dirt and start over or is this man correct in just adding the difference to make up for the 27 foot pool? Also his first thoughts were to pour Sakrete to accommodate the 27 foot pool. I didn’t think the weight would hold with Sakrete. But now after reading this thread I’m thinking I may check into this. But if it’s too expensive should we redig the entire old pad and start fresh or pack sand around the old pad to make up the difference. Thank you so much for any help. I’ve been searching all over the Internet until I found you. Please and thank you.

  17. I have a question, we have built the concrete slab to put our pool, but how do we install a pole pool on it. Do we need to use pavers for the braces, and how do we attach the tall poles that came with our pool. Thanks a bunch for your information.

  18. I have a Legacy soft side 18’×52″ pool with a 50mil liner. I was thinking of installing it on an existing slab instead of building a sand box for it. My current slab is 16×18 so I’m going to have to expand it somewhat.
    I have 2 questions.
    1. Do I need a liner between the pool and the slab?
    2. Do I really need to pour a 4″ thick slab?

  19. I wanted your advice , if we put a large oval pool on a level concrete slab, could you possibly put padding, foam under the pool liner to compensate for the difference in the track and the buttresses?

    1. You can for the bottom but I probably wouldn’t use it as shim material under the bottom connector plates(patio blocks). You don’t want anything that might be able to wash away.

  20. What would you suggest to use for leveling the wall (shims) on the sloped side of the concrete, Approximately 1 to 1-1/2″ slope ?
    And then use cove base for the sides and just have a deep end bottom from 0 to 1-1/2″ ?

    1. Something that won’t quickly rust or rot. Pieces of gavanized steel as shims under each bottom connector (on the low side) would work well. And then, yes adjust the foam coving accordingly. Don’t forget a liner guard.

  21. The area we want to install our pool is half concrete and the other half is grass. If we remove the grass..can we put a layer of topsoil over the concrete to level it and then cover with sand?

    1. Yes that’ll be fine. I don’t think you need both sand and top soil though. I’d leave the concrete exposed and then bring the earth side up to match with sand or top soil. You could make the earth side bottom an inch or so higher to allow for the weight of the water to push it down some. Make sure and use foam coving and a liner pad.

  22. We just bought a 15′ x 52″ round steel wall pool from Doheny’s. We plan to put it on a concrete patio that measures 15′ x 20′. There is a slope which a neighbor measured at 4″, but my husband thinks is more like 1.5″ to 2″ according to the water level of a previous more inexpensive pool we had on the site for 6 years . I’ve been researching how to remedy this slope issue. One person suggested using roofing shingles to build up the low end. We do have a pool pad and coving. We don’t mind if one side of the pool is a little deeper, but don’t want to risk damaging the integrity of the pool. Thanks

    1. It’s important to get the wall of the pool level. The pools bottom doesn’t matter much. Four inches is a lot to be off though so definitely use whatever to jack up the wall on the low side of the patio to make it level with the high side. Roofing shingles should be fine as long as you have the foam cove and pad.

  23. Sorry, guess I forgot to ask my question. Do you think roofing shingles can work to level the patio? Will the bottom of the pool be too bumpy?

  24. I have had my 24′ round steel sided pool for a year and a half. At he end of last year about 3 moles moved in under the side of pool causing the weight of the water to cave in the trails. This year this moles came back with a vengeance. I probably have 20 different cave-ins under the pool. I am in MO , on a farm that will never be rid of the moles unless I do the “Cadyshack” thing. I am just looking for some help with my options, if any. Thank you from an old retired GI.

    1. Hi Dave. Just this week, a customer of mine said he stopped moles from going under his pool by burying mothballs about a foot down and all the way around the pool. Give that try.

    1. Pavers are typically more expensive than poured concrete per square foot but I’m not sure what you mean in terms of a pool install. We use single pavers under each upright(for leveling and shape) and it’s rare for someone to make the entire bottom of their pool using pavers or concrete.

  25. We are preparing to install a 28′ Doughboy on a 32′ round concrete pad. Is 4000 psi mix, 5″ thick and #4 rebar and cure n seal overkill or just right? We are working with a great concrete contractor but neither of us really know what types of requirements and thickness is needed. Another concrete contractor who installs pools mentioned using Pool Krete but with this being for an above ground pool, I didn’t know if that was normal/necessary instead of concrete. We have a mole worry and want a quality built but unnecessary expense with the pour. We will be using a liner pad and cove. Thanks in advance!

    1. Yes I think that is overkill but if you do that, you’ll be worry free. It’s rare(at least here in Florida) that people pour a concrete pad for their above ground pool bottom as it’s really expensive. I have seen people pour only 2″ think concrete with no steel mesh and it be fine. In that case, there may be some bigger cracks later on but nothing too bad. Keep in mind that you are doing this only to prevent mole damage. An above ground pool can install directly on the ground and requires no additional bottom support(other than the coving) and it will stay in place. What’s most important when pouring a concrete pad for your pool is that the pad be really, really level as the pool wall will be sitting directly on it.

  26. I’m having a 18′ slab poured for a 18′ Intex round pool. 1st do I need to have the slab exactly 18′ or a few inches bigger? I was told with the legs it’s right at 18′. Also the concrete company recommends a 6″ slab @ 4000psi. The weight of water is 58,222 lbs. I was thinking a 4″ slab @ 3000psi would be sufficient. Is this right? Ps. I live in sw texas.

    1. if the walls are put up first.. that means they are on “ground” and not concrete.. soooo, the concrete gets poured into the pool area and “sets up’ against the walls? so the pool is not really sitting on concrete.. i am concerned about my pool because this is how it was installed…

      1. So that means if you ever want to take down the wall of the pool, you will have to tear up the concrete in order to get the wall & legs out of the concrete! That was done wrong in my opinion.

  27. Can I fill the deep end of an above ground pool with pea gravel, level it with a layer of concrete and finish off with a layer of vermiculite and cement before putting a new one depth liner? (i.e. no deep end) It’s a 32′ x 16′.

  28. Do you have to go a couple of inches in ground for an above ground slab cement for a pool. Or can cement slab be above ground?

  29. Dan, I am recovering a 24′ round pool that had the wall bottom edge crushed upward by frost heaving this winter.
    A concrete base seems like the best measure to prevent this.
    Why not pour a ring, 26′ outer diameter and 23′ inner diameter with 4″ depth? Not a full 26′ disc.
    My math tells me 1 cubic yard of concrete would do it,, dramatically lowering the cost.
    Thoughts?

  30. Looking forward to your response Dan! This is exactly what my husband was thinking trying for our upcoming pool build. Thanks!

  31. I am looking to put up a 15×33 soft sided pool on a recently made paver patio. Is this a possibility? I am concerned the weight of the pool will cause the pavers to sink.

  32. I have a concrete “picture frame with concrete decks on 3 sides and 12″ x 18” tall solid concrete retaining wall,on the far “long” side. We’re going to a 14/15′ x 28/30′ (old 12 x 24) I was going to just concrete the center until I realized the same thing…buttress parts . Can I just leave a channel for the buttress plates and cover them with sand? We are putting padding/coving in also???

  33. Hi Dan,
    I am also considering putting a pool on an existing slab. What about bonding? Still necessary? If so, how would you go about that?

  34. We moved into a house that had an above ground pool that the previous owners let go in a bad way. After we tore everything apart we discovered the pool was on a cement slab. The slab has major cracks through the entire thing. Would you recommend pouring concrete over this to get it level, or rip it out and start fresh with either a new slab or sand?

  35. I have an existing pitched concrete slab was going to build a sandbox to level it off For intex pool 24×12
    Do I have to put something between the concrete and the sand like a tarp for keeping it from escaping
    Is there anything else I have to do or do I

  36. Where can I purchase an above ground 12’x15′ fiberglass pool that i can just unpack and set in place? Pintrest show pictures online but no prices or location

  37. Hi Dan,
    Are you still installing pools these days? Wanting to put an above ground pool in and have no idea what to do or where to start. Would love if you could install our pool. 🙂

  38. Hi, I’m planning to install a 20’ x 48” round Intex pool on a 24’ concrete pad (existing from old silo). What is the best pad/liner to put under the pool, to protect the actual liner and to provide soft feel? Also, I noticed that you recommend the foam coves. Why is that and can we just get any 20’ round foam cove? Thanks!

  39. I ahve an existing pad. What do I need to put the pool on the slab? A specific pool without the supports, do I need a pad below, etc. You only explaind how to pour concrete.

  40. what is the best way to install an above ground pool on an existing concrete pad with Exposed Aggregate? Should I worry about the aggregate puncturing the liner of the pool? Should I place sand between the liner and the concrete?

  41. So you keep saying that it does not matter if the ground is level as long as the wall is level (within 2″-3″). So why do we keep hearing how important it is to get the ground perfectly level before starting? Where I live the ground is hard clay and very hard to manipulate. So are you saying that as long as I level all of the wall supports (cement blocks) that I can leave the ground itself unlevel by a couple inches?

    On another note, you say the Butress supports are in the way on a oval pool. Why cant you put the Butress on top of the concrete, put cement pads under the round wall supports and then just put in a 2″ layer of sand to bring the pool bottom above the Butress supports?

  42. Question about a round vs oval pool on a concrete slab. We have a 10′ x 17′ slab and plan to install an above ground pool. The two choices are 8′ round or 8′ x 12′ oval. Looking into these two pools it seems that the oval needs some kind of supports installed under the pool to keep the sides from pushing out. are there any ‘flat’ supports that won’t require trenching the concrete? or can we drill into the concrete on both sides and mount things solidly enough? or do we just go with the 8′ round pool. The issue for me is at a pool this small, every little bit of increase in size gives us more usable space. (Oval gives us 50% more area inside the pool). I don’t want to trench the concrete and also don’t want to build a wood frame to raise the whole thing up a few inches so we can put in the support across the pool. Can I make the oval work with a different support system? My daughter would be happy.

  43. Our ground is clay and very hard. Yard slopes a bit. Is it ok to level supports and bottom Rail with pavers then backfill. Planning on ding foam cove anc elephant pad h sh or liner install

  44. We are trying to install a 12’x20’ oval doughboy pool onto a 20’x28’ concrete slab. Yes, I know you don’t recommend this, but I read this blog after the fact. How do you recommend we go about the install? Buildings frame around the frame of the pool and fill with sand? How much sand? Fill sand to the top of the wood frame?

  45. Dan, I am installing my first pool, 21’ round. The instructions recommend using 12x12x2 pavers for each post, my thought is to pour a 3’ wide round sidewalk from concrete and with a 20’ 9” hole in the center. I am a thinking the frame would mount to the the concrete and the center will fill with sand, and I will cove the edges of the sand to make sure the concrete don’t rub the liner. What is your thoughts, would this work?

  46. We have a 24′ round pool we are prepping ground for. Our plan is to dig to level (which we barely had to go down) then lay a layer of concrete filings (1/4″ or smaller), then a layer of 1″ insulation foam (pink stuff) cut in a circle under the liner only. Legs will sit on 2×6 boards that will be leveled with each other all the way around. Does this sound like a good plan? Are the concrete filings a good idea?

  47. I have two questions. First, do you really need a pool cove and if so, why (for an 18′ round above ground pool). More importantly, we are trying to install an Intex 18′ round pool on existing concrete, but the concrete is not precisely level and is a bit uneven in places. In fact, from its highest to its lowest point, we think it’s around nearly a 4-inch difference. We planned to build a frame around the pool, fill it with something like mason, and to level it out that way. My issue is that I don’t have a plan for how to make it so that the wood frame is level enough and makes proper contact with the concrete. In full disclosure, in case it is not apparent from my question, we are not exactly the handiest of folks around. We have looked to hire someone, but this time f year currently there is a very lengthy wait in my area (8+ weeks). Here is a link to something that looks like it might work: http://agppro.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/pool-base-on-concrete.jpg I really appreciate any advice you mat offer us.

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