I wondered if I could set my inflatable pool up somewhere off the grass for a season to prevent me from fixing the grass every year. What about on a deck, or concrete slab? Here’s what I found out after hours of researching.
The best locations to set up an inflatable pool will have solid, firm, level ground in a large enough area to fit the pool. Avoid putting medium to large inflatable pools on a wooden or raised deck as they are not built to hold the weight. Considered leveling an area in the yard or using a concrete pad.
You could possibly get away with putting smaller inflatable pools on a deck, it depends how many gallons of water they hold. If you have a concrete slab you can use, you’ll want to put something under the pool to protect the liner. Keep reading for more tips and info.
Ideal Inflatable Pool Placement
The ideal location for an inflatable pool is on sturdy, solid, level ground. The most common inflatable pool set up is the yard on grass for smaller inflatable pools, and on a leveled sand filled surface or concrete pad for larger inflatable pools.
- Level Ground
- Sand Filled Area
- Concrete Slab
- Flat Grassy Area
- Free From Roots And Debris
Here’s a video showing the set up and placement of a medium sized inflatable pool. Notice how he tries to find the flattest area to place the pool.
Can I Put An Inflatable Pool On My Deck
Some decks can be designed to hold the weight of an inflatable pool filled with water, but that’s not very common. Most decks are designed to hold 40 to 50 pounds per square foot, and one cubic foot of water weighs about 62 pounds. An average inflatable pool will exceed a typical decks weight limit.
The inflatable pool will not only exceed a typical decks weight limit, but the water splashing from the pool will rot the wood and damage the deck over time. Decks that are lower to the ground pose less risk of injury when collapsing, but can be just as costly to repair.
Smaller inflatable pools that fill up less than a foot of water, may be fine to put on a deck, but there are still risks involved.
Here’s a handy chart of common inflatable pool sizes and how much they weigh when filled.
These numbers were calculated for average sized inflatable swimming pools and the amount of water they can hold. As you can see, most inflatable swimming pools can weigh more than a car when filled with water.
The 4 foot round, or smaller, pools are the only ones I would be comfortable with having on a deck. These are usually the smaller kiddie pools that can be easily taken down after each use.
Can You Put An Inflatable Pool On Concrete
Yes, you can put an inflatable pool on a concrete slab, and is in fact one of the recommended inflatable pool terrains to use. If setting an inflatable pool on a concrete slab, it’s recommended to use a ground cloth to protect the pool liner from wear and damage.
Concrete pads are recommended because they are typically already level without needing any addition work to prepare them. However, if your concrete pad is not completely lever, or has slope in it, you’ll need to fix that first or find somewhere else to set up the pool.
A slope greater than 3 inches from one side of the pool to the other could cause a tilt in the pool, splashing water out, and eventually collapsing the pool.
Patio Set Up
A solid level brick patio is also an acceptable option for setting up an inflatable pool. Usually a patio will be located next to the house, so keep that in mind when it comes time to drain the pool. You don’t want the water draining next to your house. Check out my article How To Drain An Inflatable Pool for the best ways to go about it.
Here’s a quick video of someone setting up their inflatable pool on a backyard patio to show you how easily it can be done.
What To Put Under An Inflatable Pool
Smaller inflatable pools will do fine with just a tarp underneath them, or nothing at all if on flat grass free of debris. But larger inflatable pools, or pools set up on concrete should have a ground cloth or a pool floor liner pad to protect the pool from damage.
I recommend this Armor Shield Pool Floor Liner Pad (link to Amazon) because it comes in every size you can find an inflatable pool in. These types of pool floor liner pads will protect the bottom of your pool from debris in the yard and the abrasive surface of concrete. They’re also nice for padding your feet while swimming in the pool.
For our smaller inflatable pools, we were able to get away with using a large tarp. If the pool is light enough, this can actually be a benefit as well. We like to move the smaller pools around every day or two to keep the grass from dying. Check out my article How To Keep An Inflatable Pool From Killing The Grass to get more info.
Level Ground For An Inflatable Pool
We’ve been fine putting our medium to smaller inflatable pools on slightly sloped areas. But the larger inflatable pools, have collapsed on us, and definitely need to be on completely flat ground. Here’s a quick way to flatten the ground for an inflatable pool.
- Long Box Level (link to Amazon)
- 8 foot long 2×4
- Sand (optional)
I started by shoveling out an area to fit the pool and eyeballing to get it as level as possible. Then using the 2×4 with the box level on it, I made the fine tune leveling changes to the area. Just sit in the middle of the area and rotate the 2×4 around you, making sure the level reads level all the way around.
It was a lot easier to level the area after I filled it with sand, but you can do this with just the dirt and soil already in your yard.
If you don’t want to do this step yourself, you could always hire a local pro from HomeAdvisor Landscaping, you’ll have to see what your local landscapers will do, but I’ve found some good companies on there before.
Here’s quick video to show you the leveling part of these steps in action.
The sand does make the bottom of the pool a bit softer when you’re swimming, but a nice padded pool floor liner would do the same. If you do add sand to help level the area, keep in mind that you won’t be able to grow grass in that area again very easily.