Installation for a Pool With a Styrofoam Bottom

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(Image: individual swimming pool image by Christophe Fouquin from Fotolia.com)

Styrofoam sheeting is often used as the bottom base below the liner of an aboveground pool. The foam provides a smooth surface for the liner and protects it from sharp rocks that may puncture it. This smooth surface on the pool bottom makes it easier to clean because there are no dips or pockets that collect dirt and other substances.

Preparing the Site

An aboveground pool requires a level surface. Remove all sod from the pool area and any dirt from high spots. Remove rocks or roots protruding from the soil. Filling in low spots with sand or dirt is not recommended because it is impossible to compact the fill enough that it won't settle under the weight of the pool and water.

Builders should check local zoning regulations before starting any construction. In some cases, permits are required. Hire a licensed electrician to do the wiring for the electrical pump.

Installing the Styrofoam Bottom Liner

While commercial pads are available for the bottoms of aboveground pools, some homeowners opt to use Styrofoam sheets. The Styrofoam lowers the cost of protecting the bottom of the pool liner and possibly offers better protection than the pads.

Install the Styrofoam pad after the sides of the aboveground pool are installed. Place four-by-8-foot sheets on the ground and fasten them together with duct tape. If the ground was leveled properly during the site preparation, the sheets should lie level. Installing the full sheets usually proceeds quickly and with few problems.

Cutting the sheets of Styrofoam for to fit the curved walls of the aboveground pool is more of a challenge. Some homeowners cut templates from waste cardboard before cutting the Styrofoam. It is imperative the Styrofoam pieces fit together without gaps in the pool area. You can allow some gaps between the Styrofoam pieces and the pool wall, becayse this area is protected by the pool cove, which rounds the corner at the bottom of the pool wall and prevents damage to the liner.

Finishing the Pool Installation

After installing the Styrofoam pad, the rest of the pool components can be put in according to the directions included with the pool. The liner should rest smoothly on the Styrofoam. If the pad was installed properly, there will be no gaps in the Styrofoam for the pool liner to settle in. This helps prevent sharp bends in the liner that can lead to leaks.

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