Have you ever wanted to own a pool, but just aren’t sure if you have the space or time to install it? Adding a pool to your garden is a great way to relax and have fun during the summer months, and thankfully, there are a few different ways that you can install one in your backyard.
Above-ground pools make a great option for anyone who doesn’t have the time, or money to build an in-ground one.
Above-ground pools can range from inflatable models that take a few hours to set up, to more solid builds that are designed to be permanent features. One of the great things about these pools is that they can be installed practically anywhere provided you have enough room.
As such, no matter what type of garden you have, you should be able to install an above-ground pool in it provided you take the necessary precautions.
Those with large patios don’t have to be left out of the pool party, either. While it isn’t strongly recommended by pool installation experts, above-ground pools can be installed on solid stone surfaces.
Naturally, there are measures you will have to take to protect your patio and ensure your pool is safe. In this guide, we will take you through what these measures are and tell you everything you need to know about installing an above-ground pool on pavers.
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The Difficulties Of Installing An Above-Ground Pool On Pavers
Installing an above-ground pool on a patio is perfectly possible, but if there are other options available, it may be worth considering those first.
One of the main concerns when it comes to installing a pool on pavers is safety. Concrete won’t provide much cushioning for the floor of your pool (see also ‘Installation And Benefits Of Foam Pool Cove‘). Once the pool is filled with water, the weight may cause either the floor of the pool, or your patio to be damaged over time.
Having a pool on a completely solid base can also lead to issues of stability. You definitely don’t want your pool to move around at all once it is installed, which is why you will still need to provide it with a proper base
As well as thinking about the stability of your pool, you also need to consider the state of your pavers.
Placing a large body of water on top of a concrete surface may cause it to crack, or for some pavers to shift over time. This is especially true in colder climates where there is more frost heave.
Frost heave is the phenomenon whereby water saturated soil, or other types of terrain, expand at night as the temperature drops. This can already cause a lot of issues for patios, as the expansion of the soil underneath the pavers causes them to become misaligned.
As you can imagine, this is an even bigger problem if there is a large body of water sitting on top of said patio.
Many pool installation experts would consider the above difficulties to be good reasons why you shouldn’t install an above-ground pool on pavers. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, and in the next few sections we will give you some helpful advice for tackling these issues.
Aren’t All Above-Ground Pools Installed On Pavers?
Before we continue, we thought it may be important to clarify that most pool installation videos will tell you that pavers are essential for installing an above-ground pool.
This is absolutely true, and when installing one of these pools on grass, you should use pavers to make sure it is level and adequately supported.
However, this simply involves placing individual pavers underneath the wall supports of the pool. This is done after leveling the ground you have set aside for your installation, and as such is very different from installing directly onto a patio made up of pavers.
Your patio may not already be perfectly leveled, and isn’t as soft or forgiving as soil will be.
So yes, while most above-ground pools will be installed on pavers, they will often only be used tactically for providing support and stability. Installing directly onto a surface made entirely of pavers is a different beast altogether that will require an altered approach.
Is My Patio Suitable For Holding An Above-Ground Pool?
There are a few things you will need to think about before you can install an above-ground pool on your patio. In this section, we will take you through the most important factors to consider when deciding whether to install your pool on pavers.
The most obvious one is to think about space. You need your chosen pool to be big enough to fit entirely on the patio. If the pool overhangs the patio by even a little bit, this will lead to all sorts of problems.
If the area of your patio is smaller than the area of your intended pool, then you will need to buy a smaller model or choose a different area for installation.
Installing an above-ground pool on pavers can be a great way to save space for those with smaller gardens. That said, even if your chosen pool fits on your patio, you need to make sure there is adequate space surrounding it so that people can get in and out of the water.
As well as being the right size, your patio also needs to be flat. Trying to install a pool on any surface that isn’t level will be a complete nightmare.
Before installation, you should walk around your patio and check all of the pavers to make sure none of them are loose. If your patio isn’t level, or has lots of loose pavers, then you will need to install elsewhere.
If you live in a very cold climate, then you should never install a pool on loose pavers due to frost heave. As the temperature drops at night, water in the soil will expand and possibly cause your pavers to move around.
This will greatly increase the chance of one of them puncturing your pool liner.
Do You Want Your Installation To Be Permanent?
The next thing to think about is what type of pool you plan to install. We will talk more about the different types of above-ground pool later on, but for the meantime, just consider whether your pool is a temporary or permanent installation.
Temporary pools may be easier to set up on pavers provided you have a suitable basing material, but there can still be complications. For instance, many temporary pools will be secured to the ground with ropes and stakes.
As such, you may end up having to drive stakes through the pavers of your patio, which won’t be worthwhile for most.
Permanent installations are even more difficult, but when done right, will look more aesthetically pleasing on your patio. However, if you ever want to remove the pool in the future, it will be hard to make your patio look the same as it once did.
Even a non-permanent build will change the look of your pavers if it is left up for an extended period of time. Since the pavers under the pool haven’t been exposed to the sun, they will have a different coloration than those that were left uncovered.
All of the above are worth bearing in mind before you try to install an above-ground pool (see also ‘Closing An Above Ground Pool’) on your patio. If any of these concerns are a dealbreaker, then you may want to consider a smaller pool that can be installed elsewhere in your garden.
Necessary Steps For Installing An Above-Ground Pool On Pavers?
To place an above-ground pool (see also ‘How To Level An Above Ground Pool With Water In It‘) on a patio, you will need to add two extra steps to the usual installation process. Firstly, you will need to make sure your patio is level and if necessary re-level it. Then you will need to put down a suitable base layer to protect the liner of your pool from the hard concrete below.
As we said above, you will need to walk around your patio and check all of the individual pavers. If any are wobbly, then you should try to lift them up and pack the area underneath them with sand or gravel.
Making sure that your patio is level is the most important step when installing an above-ground pool on pavers.
Skipping this step will make the whole process much more difficult and could result in severe damage to either your patio or the pool itself. If you can’t make your patio level, then you probably can’t install an above-ground pool on it.
One of the main issues with concrete is that it is too hard to be put in direct contact with your pool liner. Therefore, the biggest difference between installing a pool on a patio and installing on grass is the selection of base material.
Suitable Base Materials
Crushed stone and mason sand are both commonly used as base materials when installing a permanent above-ground pool (see also ‘Swimming Pool Sand – A Beginner’s Introduction‘). They sit between the liner of your pool and the surface it is installed on to provide proper drainage and cushioning.
This reduces the risk of your liner being punctured as well as the chance of the pavers beneath cracking under the weight. For most permanent above-ground pool builds, these base materials will sit within the walls of the pool itself.
Since the base materials can be made up of small crushed rocks, they also need to be covered to protect your pools’ liner. For this purpose, a pool pad is traditionally placed between the base material and the liner.
These are made from geotextiles and provide extra cushioning for your liner as well as protection from punctures.
However, not all above-ground pools (see also ‘Above-Ground Pool Ideas Based You Will LOVE‘) are the same, and for less permanent builds you won’t want to ruin your patio by covering it in sand or gravel. In these instances, a pool pad on its own can suffice.
To add extra durability, you can even use a section of carpet or tarp, provided it is big enough to fit under your pool.
The Different Types Of Above-Ground Pool?
Not all above-ground pools (see also ‘Landscaping Around Your Above Ground Pool’) will have the same design or structure. In this section we will take you through the three different types of above-ground pool as well as how easy or difficult they are to install on pavers.
These are the simplest, non-permanent above-ground pools you can buy. They are in essence a very large paddling pool that only needs to be inflated for instant summer fun. Generally, these pools are also the most delicate, and the liners can be easily punctured if placed on any hard objects.
Even when installed on grass, it is common to place a carpet or other form of base layer under the pool to protect it from small rocks or other pieces of sharp debris. As such, when trying to place an inflatable pool on pavers, you should consider buying at least two layers of padding to place under it.
Provided you have enough cushioning, this is one of the easier types of above-ground pool to install on a patio. However, bear in mind that many inflatable models are secured to the ground with stakes.
If your patio is very big and isn’t bordered by grass, then you may need to drive these stakes through the pavers, or find other objects you can secure the ropes to.
Steel Frame Above-Ground Pools
This is another type of non-permanent installation that involves suspending the liner from a steel frame. The frame is often made from interlocking parts that can be simply clipped together.
Provided your patio has been leveled correctly, then this is another easy installation that you can do by yourself in a few hours. Just make sure that you have a good layer of cushioning between the pavers and the pool liner.
Traditional Above-Ground Pool
This is a permanent pool with walls made from concrete or wood. To build one of these on your patio will require some serious construction work.
As such, it won’t be worthwhile for anyone who only plans to use their pool during summer. Installing a traditional above-ground pool on pavers is possible, but not recommended without the help of a professional.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Putting An Above-Ground Pool On Pavers
Provided you take steps to prepare your patio for installation and make sure it is level, putting your pool on pavers can offer a lot of benefits. For one, it helps to save on space and means that people with comparatively small gardens can still enjoy having a pool.
Also, having the pool raised up off the ground can also help to provide better drainage. This will help to reduce the possibility of rust or corrosion, especially when setting up a steel frame pool.
However, putting a pool on pavers also comes with several drawbacks. For one, the water may cause discoloration, which might spoil the aesthetic of your patio. You may not notice this while the pool is in place, but it will be very apparent once it is removed.
Furthermore, the weight of your pool may cause the center of the patio to sink over time. If this happens, water could build up between your liner and the concrete, which won’t be good for either of them.
Pools set up on pavers can also be more difficult to clean and maintain than those set up on grass, since draining them can be much more difficult.
Setting up an above-ground pool on pavers isn’t the best method, but it is perfectly possible. Doing so can help people with small gardens to have a lot of summer fun, but this is only if the installation is done properly.
Make sure to choose the right base material and check that your patio is properly leveled before attempting to put a pool on it. Provided you do this, you should have no trouble installing your pool without destroying your patio.