How to Vermiculite a Pool Bottom


Vermiculite is used to to form the bottoms of vinyl liner swimming pools, according the website of The Schundler Co., a pool contractor. A mix of vermiculite, sand and cement is applied with a trowel to create a smooth bottom that the vinyl liner is placed over. The smooth surface helps prevent damage to the liner and will not decay.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Tamper
  • Water
  • Trowel
  • Excavate any soil necessary for the pool installation. Some above ground pools require an excavation for the deep end, while in-ground pools require complete excavation. Make sure the soil left in the excavation is firmly packed without any protruding stones or tree roots.

  • Pour the dry vermiculite on the soil and level to a thickness of about 2 inches with a rake. Create a uniform layer of the vermiculite across the entire pool bottom. The vermiculite comes in 16-lb. bags with about 4 cubic feet of material.

  • Wet the vermiculite to the point the material is very damp. Use a tamper, or any other heavy, flat-bottomed tool, to tamp the vermiculite pool bottom. Make sure there are no sharp surfaces or uneven surfaces in the pool bottom that can damage the vinyl liner.

Tips & Warnings

  • According to The Schundler Co., the vermiculite pool bottom can be made solid by mixing one 94-lb. bag of Portland cement with every two bags of vermiculite. This material is then troweled into place to create the pool bottom. This is a hard bottom recommended for above-ground pools but is far more labor-intensive than other methods.
  • Vermiculite is not always stocked by the do-it-yourself outlet stores. It remains a staple of pool contractors and greenhouse operations. A homeowner intending to use vermiculite as a substitute for sand in the bottom of a pool may have to turn to specialty stores for supplies, according to the Vermiculite Institute.

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