Alternatives To Sand Under Pool: And Why They Are Just Great?

Adding an above-ground pool to your backyard is a fantastic and affordable way to amp up your family’s summer.

And, of course, you need to make adequate adjustments to ensure that the pool sits nicely in your backyard.

Ideally, you need to pad the floor that is dug for the pool with sand. Sand protects the vinyl liner on the bottom of the pool from scrapes.

However, there are quite a few alternatives to sand under the pool, which will be discussed in this article.

Substitutes For Sand Under Pool

alternatives to sand under pool

We have discussed the reasons why you should opt for some form of pool liner or protective layer.

While sand is a popular option, you should also consider a few of the other options. Some of these options may even suit your needs better.

Here is a brief overview of some alternatives to sand as a pool liner for an above-ground pool:


If you are wondering what can you put under a pool besides sand, fiberglass can be a great choice. Let me explain why…

Fiberglass is a very durable and versatile material that might just be a perfect alternative to sand. Starting with pros, fiberglass is very strong and durable. Fiberglass, when used with above ground pools, can last up to 25 years.

Fiberglass has a very nice and smooth surface. Many pool owners like this aspect instead of the uneven surface at the bottom of the pool. So, there is no danger of your pool losing water.

Fiberglass is also quite affordable for various sizes of pools. All these plus points make it a very viable choice for those looking to install a pool.

The installation process of fiberglass is also pretty smooth and hassle-free.

Fiberglass can cost between 4000 to 5000 dollars, depending on spec and size. The price may go up if you have a larger pool.


Another great alternate material is vinyl. Vinyl is a very effective material with a lot of uses, being a pool liner being one of them.

The main appeal of vinyl pool liners is that they are quite affordable. Vinyl materials can cost between 1500-2500 dollars, undercutting options like fiberglass.

Vinyl is highly customizable. Vinyl pool liners come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. So you can go very creative and give your pool a high-end look on a budget.

Similar to fiberglass, vinyl is also pretty durable. However, if there are any chemicals in proximity, the vinyl material can be ruined. On average, they last about 15 years, so quite a bit less than fiberglass.


Do you want your pol to have a unique and nicer look? In that case, pebbles are a great material worth considering.

Pools with pebble lining are instantly eye-catching. They look quite a bit nicer than some other options and help to elevate the look of your entire backyard.

In addition, pebbles come in a lot of different designs and colors, giving you ample freedom.

Pebbles are usually very durable as a lining material. This durability and visual appeal do come at a cost, however. Pebble pool lining can cost you upwards of 10000 dollars.

That is a steep price to pay. Aside from that, this material has few flaws.

carpet as substitute for sand under pool

Carpets are an interesting choice when you are looking at pool lining materials. Carpets come in all shapes and sizes, and chances are you have a couple lying around.

The trick is to simply place the carpet under the pool as a lining pad. One advantage is that installation is very simple. On the other hand, cost-effectiveness is hard to overlook, especially if you are on a budget.

One important thing to note is that only thick carpets would work well as a pool liner. Anything thin will not serve the purpose well.

Carpets also have the tendency to move around and feel lumpy.


Are you willing to make a proper investment in your pool setup that will serve you well for many years?

If you are flexible with your budget, stones can be a great alternative as a pool liner.

Stone swimming pools are a great investment. They look pretty great and can elevate how your pool area looks. It is also a highly durable material that can survive various conditions.

Stone swimming pools are resistant to heat and frost; hence they are great no matter what climate you are in. They don’t easily take damage either.

Overall, stone-based pools don’t cause owners a lot of hassle. While the installation process is not very straightforward, after it is done, maintaining the pool is pretty easy.

However, if you want all the advantages of a stone pool, you must be willing to spend a good amount of money. Stone pools start at the 15000 dollar mark and can go up based on size.

Reasons to Have Sand or a Pool Liner Pad

Typically, above-ground pools are placed on land after a flat hole has been dug. However, there can be rocks or small pieces of gravel in the soil.

As we know, above-ground swimming pools are made out of vinyl. While vinyl is a durable material, it does not hold up well to repeated scraping and may take permanent damage.

For this reason, sand is commonly used as a padding material beneath the above-ground pool.

Approximately 2 inches of sand is placed evenly in the area where the pool will sit. The sand provides protection and cushioning to the pool.

While sand is a common material used for padding, there are several other alternate options.

The main purpose of any kind of padding material is to protect the surface of the pool, so you can enjoy your time without worries. Each kind of material does come with its own features and benefits.


Thanks to the ease of owning and maintaining an above-ground outdoor pool, you can quite easily spruce up your backyard. You can enjoy a fun time with your family and more.

We hope this article gives you a clear idea of what alternatives you have to sand as a pool liner for outdoor pools.

Having this knowledge will surely help you make the right choice based on your needs. So splurge on an outdoor pool, and have unlimited fun for years to come!

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