How To Assemble an Above Ground Pool - Part 3 - Floor Pad & Cove


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This guide is Part 3 of a series on installing a basic steel above ground pool. It shows you how to install the floor Padding and corner coving in your Above Ground Pool. We assume that you have completed Part 2 - erecting the pool wall. These instructions may vary according to your pool model so consult your owner's manual for any variations.

Things You'll Need


Step by Step


Step 1

This guide assumes that you have already purchased a ground padding and coving pieces. You will also need to have purchased sand for a base. We recommend using a durable Gorilla Pad for your ground padding to protect your lining against grass and stones that may work their way up to the surface of the ground. There is no product that will protect against some weeds like nutgrass. These can be avoided by proper treatment of the ground upon which you pool is installed. We also recommend using styrofoam coving in the corner of your pool. You need a 6" wedge in the bottom edge of your pool to distribute the pressure of the water away from the bottom edge. You can build up a 6" wedge of sand but this type of wedge is subject to erosion and animal damage.

Step 2

Lay about 2"-3" of sand at the base of your pool.

Step 3

Unfold the Gorilla Pad and lay it TAG DOWN over the sand. The Gorilla Pad in precut for the size of your pool so will not require trimming. It will be about 6" larger in diameter that the pool so that it will overlap the coving. Spread the Gorilla Pad evenly to minimize the wrinkles.

Step 4

Place your styrofoam coving sections around the bottom edge of the pool. These come with a sticky backing or clips to hold the pieces against the wall. Duct tape the joints where the ends of the coping come together. Also duct tape the entire top seam of the coving.

Step 5

Overlap the Gorilla Pad over the coving.

Step 6

Click to go to Part 4 - Installing an Overlap Pool Liner.


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 Posted: 6/8/2019 

What's the order? ground sand pad liner, or ground pad sand liner?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/19/2019 

Ground, Sand, Pad, then Liner.

 Posted: 6/8/2019 

Do you put the sand down first, or on top of the gorilla pad

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/19/2019 

Put the sand down first.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/24/2017 


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/29/2013 

padding and cove - Here's our link to "ground padding and coving".

Anonymous  Posted: 7/28/2013 

Where do you buy the ground padding and coving pieces?


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/11/2012 

Janet - The Gorilla pad is not foam. It is a much more durable product called geotextile. I've installed these. They are a very dense durable product. Also for a 16' pool you will have to buy the next size up which is an 18' pad and trim it down to 17'. This will give you a 6" overlap to go over the coving.

 Posted: 9/6/2012 

Hi Danny. I'm so thankful I found your guide to installing an above ground pool! It's so thorough and informative. I have a couple of questions. I found the Gorilla Brand cushioning pad but I've done a lot of research before tackling this installation and I found a cushioning pad at Home Depot and at Walmart that is said to make the old foam cushioning pad obsolete. It states it is more durable and more protective than the foam. If I understand correctly the Gorilla Brand pad is that right? We are installing an Intex Ultra Frame 16' round pool with saltwater system. You state the protective padding should be approximately 6" larger in diameter than the diameter of your pool. I know that these pads, the Gorilla and the other one I found, are pre-cut to the size of your pool so does that mean that if you order the pad the same diameter as your pool that when the pad is pre-cut the manufacturer allows for that 6 extra inches so that the pad will overlap the coving. Also neither the Gorilla Brand pad nor the other pad I found are offered in a 16' diameter size. They are offered in a 15' diameter size and then the sizing goes to 18'. I contacted the seller and asked if the 15' round pad will fit properly in the 16' pool and was told it will. I'm having second thoughts about that now especially since I've read in your guide that the pad should be approximately 6" larger than your pool circumference. What should I do? If I go with the 18' pad I'm thinking that's going to be too much difference. Thank you for any advice at all.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/13/2012 

Paul - I checked with the mfg and they set up the following sequence. 1- Install the bottom rails and plates on the ground and pavers. 2- Place 2-4" of sand inside the ring up to but not covering the bottom rail. 3- insert the wall into the bottom rail. 4- Level the sand to the wall over the bottom rail. 5- Put the coving over the sand or make the coving of sand. The coving does not have to attach to the bottom rail. The bottom rail will keep the sand from moving out of place.

 Posted: 8/13/2012 

Julie - Did you ever figure this out? I am about to do the same project. Thanks

 Posted: 6/1/2012 

I don't understand how the foam cove molding is to be installed. We purchased some and it is only 4". Also, where it is notched out in the back 2" to accomodate the wall track, it would seem that it would have to be installed prior to the 2-3" of base sand is installed. However, this will make the cove of the pool be only 2" vs. the recommended 6". If it is installed OVER the 2 - 3" of base, then the notched out back won't fit over the wall tracks or snap into the wall tracks. I'm really confused!