Maximizing Inflatable Pool Durability: What to Use as a Protective Base

Summer’s here and you’re ready to beat the heat with your new inflatable pool. But wait, have you thought about what goes underneath it? The right base can make all the difference in the longevity and safety of your pool.

Choosing the right material isn’t just about comfort, it’s also about protecting your investment. From lawn damage to puncture risks, there’s plenty to consider. In this article, we’ll dive into the best options for what to put under your inflatable pool.

So, before you fill it up and jump in, let’s explore how to set the perfect foundation for your summer fun.

Key Takeaways

  • The base for an inflatable pool is important for ensuring longevity, safety, and minimal lawn damage. It enhances the comfort of your swimming experience and protects the pool from punctures which can extend its lifespan.
  • Neglecting to install a proper base can lead to pool damage due to exposure to sharp objects or rough terrain, and increased maintenance work due to water spillage and frequent refills.
  • Suitable materials for under-pool protection include foam tiles which offer excellent impact absorption, tarpaulins which afford robust and waterproof protection, and carpet remnants which provide a cushioned and protective layer but must be managed to prevent water retention and mold growth.
  • DIY solutions such as using old blankets or sheets, or a combination of garden materials like sand topped with a waterproof tarp, can be cost-effective and provide added protection.
  • Regular cleaning and inspection of the area under the pool are critical to maintaining the base material and preventing damage to the pool.
  • Adjusting the base material seasonally can aid in creating a comfortable swimming environment and extending the lifespan of the pool.

Importance of Choosing the Right Base for Inflatable Pools

Choosing the correct base for your inflatable pool presents several key advantages. These factor into overall pool longevity, safety, and the integral maintenance of your lawn. Let’s delve in to understand the importance of investing in a robust material to place underneath your inflatable pool.

Benefits of Using Protective Ground Covers

Investing in sturdy ground covers provides three main advantages:

  1. Comfort Optimization: Ground covers for inflatable pools, like foam tiles, provide extra cushioning. This feature contributes to a more comfortable swimming experience.
  2. Protection of Investment: High-quality ground covers go a long way in maintaining your pool’s durability by reducing the risk of punctures. Consequently, the lifespan of your pool gets prolonged.
  3. Lawn Maintenance: Lawn damage is often a side effect of setting up a pool. However, an adequate ground cover serves to minimize this damage, maintaining the aesthetics of your backyard.

Let’s examine the other edge of the sword: the risks that one exposes themselves to when neglecting a proper pool foundation.

Risks of Neglecting Proper Pool Foundation

Omitting a robust pool base can lead to two significant challenges:

  1. Pool Damage: Without a proper protective layer, sharp objects or rough terrains can easily puncture your pool. Even debris or small pebbles may lead to leaks over time.
  2. Increased Maintenance: An inadequate or non-existent base increases the maintenance work for the pool. Without a strong base, you may find your pool unbalanced or uneven which results in water spilling out and the pool requiring more frequent refills and cleaning.

Thus, the importance of choosing the right base for your inflatable pool cannot be overstated. With the correct base, you’re not just buying peace of mind; you’re also optimizing comfort and saving on long-term maintenance costs.

Common Materials to Place Under Inflatable Pools

There exist multiple materials often utilized as bases for inflatable pools. As highlighted earlier, a firm and robust pool base contributes significantly to enhancing comfort and lifespan while minimizing maintenance costs. Now, let’s delve into them:

Foam Tiles

Foam tiles offer an effective solution for under-pool protection. Made from ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) or similar materials, they provide excellent impact absorption—ideal for preventing potential damage to your inflatable pool floor. These tiles, often interlocking, create a seamless surface, promoting convenience during installation and removal. Additionally, their water-resistant nature ensures they don’t mold or mildew, guaranteeing a safe and clean environment. For instance, a 1m x 1m EVA foam tile averages around 10mm in thickness, providing a soft and durable base.


Tarpaulins, or tarps as they’re often called, provide another suitable material for use under inflatable pools. Tarps, typically crafted from high-density polyethylene or canvas, afford robust and waterproof protection. They guard the pool against sharp objects and uneven ground that could compromise its integrity. Moreover, tarps offer size versatility; they’re available in various dimensions, allowing selection based on specific pool size requirements. An example would be a 10ft x 12ft heavy-duty tarp, ensuring comprehensive cover.

Carpet Remnants

You might also consider carpet remnants as another affordable and efficient material for under your inflatable pool. Carpet pieces can offer a cushioned and protective layer, safeguarding against potential punctures while also increasing comfort. However, carpets tend to retain water, potentially leading to mold growth. Therefore, proper drying and storage after pool use becomes essential. A typical remnant, like a 12ft x 15ft piece, can effectively cover most common inflatable pool sizes.

DIY Solutions for Inflatable Pool Bases

Harnessing readily available materials around your house, you can enhance the base under your inflatable pool. These DIY methods add an extra layer of protection, ensuring a safer and more comfortable swimming experience.

Using Old Blankets or Sheets

Recycling old blankets or sheets provides an inexpensive yet effective solution. By laying them under the pool, you create a soft barrier that cushions impacts and reduces the likelihood of punctures from sharp objects or rocks. Additionally, blankets absorb excess water and ease the pool setup process by creating a non-slippery condition. However, ensure periodic cleaning and drying of the blankets to prevent mold buildup, which can harm the pool’s material.

Combining Multiple Materials

Mixing garden materials offers another layer of protection for your inflatable pool. A well-structured base can include a lower layer of sand, followed by a layer of old blankets or sheets. Top this off with a tarp for waterproofing and to avoid direct soil contact with the pool. Here’s how:

  1. Preparing the Ground: A level ground surface offers a sturdy base for the pool. Start by clearing the area of any debris.
  2. Adding Sand Layer: A base layer of sand helps in equal distribution of weight and reduces pressure on the bottom of the pool. A thickness of about 1-2 inches is considerable.
  3. Laying Down Blankets or Sheets: Position your old blankets or sheets above the sand layer. They cushion against sharp objects and provide extra comfort.
  4. Covering with Tarp: Using a waterproof tarp minimizes soil contact and potential damage from grass or weeds. Secure it properly to prevent it from moving.

Remember, proper maintenance of these mixed material layers is essential. Take away the tarp and blankets after deflating the pool, clean them, and store them in a dry place for future use. These efficient yet cost-effective approaches definitely improve the longevity of your inflatable pool.

Tips for Maintaining the Area Under Your Pool

Keeping the area under your pool in tip-top shape is crucial for the longevity of your inflatable pool. Let’s explore two key maintenance activities: regular cleaning and inspection, along with seasonal adjustments to the base material.

Regular Cleaning and Inspection

Consistently tidying up and surveying the area beneath your pool ensures its durability. Dirt particles and foreign objects could penetrate the base material, causing not just uncomfortable lumps but potential punctures too. Hence, it’s beneficial to execute a thorough inspection and cleaning of the ground cover before setting up the pool.

During the swimming season, removing the pool to inspect the ground cover isn’t always practical, but you could consider taking a hands-and-knees approach to feel for any abnormalities. Make it a habit to scrutinize the area underneath your pool and clean it consistently. Trusted sources suggest the usage of mild soap and water can clean most ground covers effectively, however, for some materials, special cleaning products might be necessary.

Adjusting the Base Material Seasonally

Seasonal variations directly impact the selection and maintenance of the pool’s base material. During summer, you might find that the base material holds onto its heat, creating a warm and cozy swimming environment. However, when it comes to colder seasons, materials like foam tiles could become hard and uncomfortable.

Thus, adjusting the base material becomes a necessity. Switching between different kinds of base materials and adding layers for insulation could make the spot under your inflatable pool more comfortable. For instance, in colder months, use softer and warmer materials such as old blankets under your pool for added comfort. Conversely, during hotter periods, using breathable, light-toned materials can help keep things cool underfoot.

Remember, matching your ground cover to the season is an effective strategy for an enjoyable and fuss-free inflatable pool experience. Make these amendments and witness the boost in the longevity of your pool. Keep up the good work and enjoy every moment, knowing you’ve done what’s best for your pool.


So, you’ve learned the ropes of setting the perfect base for your inflatable pool. Whether it’s foam tiles, tarpaulins, or a creative DIY solution, the choice is yours. Remember, it’s not just about picking the right material, but also maintaining it. Regular cleaning and inspection are key to keeping your pool in top shape. And don’t forget to adjust your base material according to the season for maximum comfort. By following these tips, you’ll not only extend the life of your inflatable pool but also ensure a delightful swimming experience. Now, it’s time to dive in and enjoy!

To maximize the durability of your inflatable pool, use a protective base such as a ground cloth or interlocking foam tiles. These materials provide a cushioning effect, protecting the pool from sharp objects and uneven surfaces that could cause punctures. Detailed recommendations for choosing the right protective base can be found on Pools Shop.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some suggested base materials for inflatable pools?

Inflatable pool bases can be created from a range of materials such as foam tiles, tarpaulins, carpet remnants, old blankets and sand. The aim is to ensure durability and safety of the structure.

Are there DIY solutions for inflatable pool bases?

Yes, DIY solutions for pool bases can also be made using readily available materials like old blankets and sand. This not only ensures added protection but also saves cost.

How can the area under an inflatable pool be maintained?

The area under the inflatable pool should be cleaned and inspected regularly. This helps prevent punctures and ensures overall comfort for the users.

Do seasonal adjustments affect the choice of base material?

Yes, adapting the base material to the season is essential. Opt for softer materials during colder seasons for comfort, while breathable options are suitable for warmer periods.

How do seasonal adjustments help enhance the longevity of inflatable pools?

Seasonal adjustments, like using softer base materials for cold seasons and breathable materials for warmer periods, help in enhancing the overall longevity of inflatable pools. They also ensure a pleasant swimming experience throughout the year.