What To Put Under Inflatable Pool On Concrete? 7 Best Options Revealed

Written By: Jen

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Concrete is one of the most viable platforms to set up your inflatable pool. It’s flat, even, and can support a great deal of weight.

However, while it may seem smooth, some concrete is actually pretty rough and so it could inflict tears and punctures at the bottom of your inflatable pool. Even if these tears are very small to begin with, hardened concrete surfaces can wear away the soft vinyl of your pool over time.

It’s always wise to put soft material under an inflatable pool on concrete to protect the pool’s floor. In this guide, I’ll show you the seven best options.

Recreation and swimming area. Two inflatable pools and sun loungers.

7 Things To Put Under an Inflatable Pool on Concrete

Installing a soft surface on top of the concrete minimizes the chances of your above-ground blow-up pool getting torn or abraded. It also helps to create an even, flatter floor surface for a more quality swimming or paddling experience.

Here are the best materials you can put under an inflatable pool on concrete…

1. Pool Pads

Pool pads are the best choice for putting under an inflatable pool on concrete. There is a wide variety of them to choose from, depending on the shape and the size of your pool.

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One of the major advantages of commercial pool pads (sometimes known as Gorilla pads) is that they are made with extremely tough material. They are impervious to insects, plant growth, and other forms of pests.

They come in all of the popular round and rectangular pool sizes and are super easy to install – you just lay the pad on the floor and place your blow-up pool on top. If you have an irregularly shaped or sized pool, you can easily trim the pad to fit using scissors or a sharp knife.

2. Interlocking Mats

Interlocking tiles are often used as exercise mats or in children’s play areas. They can also be a cheap and simple solution to the quandary of what to put under your inflatable pool on concrete.

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One advantage of putting interlocking foam mats under a pool is that when you put the pool away, you can easily take up the mats and store them without taking up too much space.

If you create an area of pool mats that’s larger than the pool itself, it can also provide a comfortable area to walk on with bare feet.

However, one disadvantage of these mats is that they’re not as durable as commercial pool mats and they can become disconnected from each other.

3. Solid Foam Sheet

Solid foam is one of the most effective insulations on a concrete surface. As it’s made of polystyrene or polyurethane, it’s easy to cut and shape. Solid form comes in a variety of thicknesses to suit personal needs.

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To place under an inflatable pool on concrete, the foam needs to be thick enough to ensure that it will be firm and won’t squash down with the weight of the pool. It’s advisable to use a rigid urethane foam sheet for this purpose instead of soft upholstery foam.

The main downside to this foam is that it’s more expensive than other types of foam. However, it is of excellent quality and offers value for your money.

If your pool is round, it can be challenging and time-consuming to cut the foam to fit. But you can always place a square foam pad beneath a circular pool.

4. Carpet Padding

The traditional felt carpet padding isn’t considered effective to perform as padding for an inflatable pool on concrete. However, the modern closed-cell foam carpet pad has proven itself worthy. The best one for an inflatable pool sitting on concrete is marketed as a ‘memory foam’ carpet or rug pad.

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Like solid foams, carpet padding comes in various thicknesses, so you can choose the thickness that works best for you. This padding is easy to cut and shape in what you deem the most appropriate shape and size.

The best carpet padding for a concrete surface is the one rated for high-traffic areas as they are more durable. Since the carpet is not as thick as solid foam, you may need more than one to achieve the degree of softness you desire.

Also, because carpet pads are actually designed to go under rugs, you won’t find them in the largest sizes and most are rectangular, rather than round.

5. Flooring Underlayment

Underlayment sheets are similar to carpet padding, but instead of being used under rugs, these are commonly used beneath wood or laminate flooring.

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Since foam flooring underlayment sheets are thin, several layers should be used beneath an inflatable pool on concrete to be effective.

They are less expensive than commercial pool pads though, making them one of the cheapest padding options for putting under an inflatable pool on concrete.

6. Sand

Sand is one of the oldest methods of setting up a pool on most ground types, including concrete. It’s an easy and inexpensive method to set up your inflatable pool on concrete.

Unfortunately, using sand as a base comes with its fair share of disadvantages. The worst of these is that you will definitely find sand all over the place. If you have to step in the sand to get to the pool it will stick to your feet and you’ll end up with a gritty layer of it on the pool floor.

Sand may also harbor pests and other small animals that may crawl into the pool, causing panic and discomfort. Pets such as dogs and cats may also use the sand to dispose of their personal litter, which may cause unpleasant smells.

7. Tarpaulin

Another option to place under your pool is a heavy-duty tarpaulin. Tarps come in lots of different strengths and thicknesses, but even with the thickest one, you may find that it’s not quite up to the job required.

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While laying your pool on top of a tarp is indeed better than laying it straight onto concrete, the difference is marginal. It would be much better to choose something thicker and more padded to provide the necessary level of protection for the floor of your pool.

Which Is The Best Padding For An Inflatable Pool on Concrete?

The best padding for an inflatable swimming pool on concrete is a specially made pool pad such as this round pool liner from Jantens. It’s strong and durable enough to prevent punctures and extend the life of your pool, yet it’s still relatively cheap.

If you already have something else at home that you can use such as some carpet padding, flooring underlayment or even a bag of sand, then you can go ahead and use that if you wish. But if you don’t, then it’s best to buy a padded pool mat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to put an inflatable pool on concrete?

Concrete is a great base for an inflatable pool as it is flat and level. However, concrete is a rough surface that will cause an abrasion on the pool’s floor over time. So, it’s best to put a pad or mat between the pool and the concrete

What is the support strength of concrete?

A concrete slab ranges between 4 to 8 inches in thickness. A slab that is 4 inches thick can comfortably withstand a pool that weighs 1,700 kg per square meter. So, it can easily support an 18-foot round pool that’s 4 feet deep.

Can the weight of an inflatable pool cause concrete to crack?

Concrete slabs with a thickness of 4 inches can comfortably support a pool that weighs 1700 kg per square meter without cracking. If the slab’s thickness is less than that, it is possible that it would crack for the same amount of pool weight.

Final Words

While concrete is a good base for an inflatable pool, it can be rough and may cause tears and punctures on the pool. Therefore, it is advisable to install padding in between the pool and the concrete to keep the pool in good condition for longer.

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Jen is your go-to expert on all things inflatable, from pools to tents and beyond. A former hot tub rental company owner, she's experienced the ups and downs of inflatables firsthand. Nowadays, she writes practical guides on maintaining and enjoying inflatables. A mom of young enthusiasts, her family's favorite outing is the inflatable fun park!

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