8 Solutions On How To Level An Above Ground Pool


On a hot summer day, it is hard to beat the refreshment offered by a cool swimming pool. The cool refreshment, however, is only possible when the swimming pool is properly installed and level. If the pool is not level, you will end up with an unnatural shallow end to the pool. Besides being unsightly, improperly installed pools are unstable. They risk the injury of bystanders and swimmers in the event of a collapse. 

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Taking your time to ensure that your above-ground pool is level guarantees a safe swimming experience. In this article, we will show you how to level an above ground pool.  

How to Level an Above Ground Pool – The General Solution 

Before we show you the different solutions you can use when leveling your above ground pool, we need to ensure that you are familiar with the general leveling procedure: 

  1. Find an ideal spot where you would like to set up the pool. Make sure no utility lines are running below the surface. 
  2. After choosing your spot, use a leveling tool to determine the higher slopes and spots. 
  3. Place markers – such as stakes – to identify the spots. 
  4. Dig out the higher slopes to achieve the same level. Do not add earth and other materials to the lower areas – digging the higher areas is more effective. 
  5. Use the leveling tool to confirm whether the elevated spots are on the same level as the lower spots. 
  6. Using a rake, get rid of debris, branches, and rocks. 
  7. Using a garden hose, wet the earth to make compacting easier. 
  8. Use a hand tamper to make the soil completely compact and firm. 
  9. Place sand or a different base material over the tampered ground. 

If the chosen spot has sod, you will need to clear it first by following the steps below: 

  1. Kill the grass in the spot by covering it with a tarpaulin or plastic sheets. This should be done 2 weeks before the pool installation. 
  2. Wet the ground and remove the sod. You can do this by making use of a sod cutter or a grub hoe. 

Top Solutions on How to Level an Above Ground Pool

1. Sand 

If you are wondering how to level ground for a pool without digging and may be an ideal solution for you. It happens to be the cheapest way to level ground for the pool. Leveling the sand is easier than leveling the ground itself. 

If you intend to use sand for leveling when installing your above ground pool, all you will have to do is pour the sand on your installation spot, spread it evenly, and then compact it. When done correctly, this should give you a level ground. 

Sand, however, does have some above ground pool leveling problems. For starters, its loose particles do allow critters to burrow underneath the pool and make it their habitat. This often damages the pool’s base material. Because sand is loose, it can get washed away or dislodge from where you placed it – this makes it unreliable for leveling purposes. 

Using sand over concrete is not recommended. Since sand moves around easily on concrete surfaces, it can make your pool unstable.

2. Concrete Slab or Pad 

The easiest way to level the ground for your swimming pool is to make use of concrete. With concrete, it is easy to get a smooth and level surface, and its rough texture ensures that the pool stays stationary even when it is being used by a large number of people.  

However, concrete’s rough surface also happens to be a major disadvantage. Later on, the pool may get damaged because of the abrasions which result from being constantly subjected to concrete’s surface – this can lead to pool leaks

This is why another layer is usually placed between the concrete and the swimming pool itself. While sand may be cheap, it is not ideal for use with concrete. This is why you may have to invest in the costlier commercial pads. 

3. Solid Foam 

Aside from being a good protective layer between a concrete surface and the above-ground pool, foam is an ideal solution for anyone wondering how to level ground for a pool without digging. You can place the foam directly over the grass to get a level ground. 

Usually made out of either polyurethane or polystyrene, solid foam features a varying thickness. You can easily cut it into whatever shape you need. The major downside of using this leveling solution is the cost – solid foam is generally not cheap. 

4. Crushed Stone 

A better alternative to sand, crushed stone can also be used to level the ground for an above ground swimming pool. Crushed stone is a much easier material to use when leveling the ground than sand and it reduces the chances of critters burrowing under your pool. 

Stones used for leveling, often limestone, have to be crushed well. If you fail to crush the stones well, you should expect tears in your swimming pool in the future. The tears can increase pool maintenance costs. 

5. Use a Rolling Tamper 

If you are wondering how to level ground for a pool without digging, making use of the rolling tamper may be an ideal option for you. However, keep in mind that the rolling tamper will just minimize the amount of digging needed, it will not eliminate it. Before you can install the Intex or Coleman above ground pool, you will still need to do some digging to clear the sod and grass from your chosen spot. 

The steps below will show you how to level ground for the easy set pool using the rolling tamper: 

  1. Mark the spot where you would like to install your pool with stakes. 
  2. Clear the grass and sod from the area. 
  3. Start rolling the tamper on the ground to level it. 
  4. Put some sand over the ground – a layer of approximately 1 – 2 inches. 
  5. Use the rolling tamper to level the sand layer. 
  6. Install your swimming pool. 

This method makes use of sand. You will need the sand to bring the low-level areas to the same height as the high-level areas. 

6. Using Pavers Under the Above Ground Pool 

Nowadays, pool installers add leveling blocks under the bottom of rail connectors. The installers do this even if they have already managed to get a level and smooth ground for the pool. 

If you are wondering how to level ground for the Intex pool<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> using the leveling blocks, you can do it in 2 ways:

  • Lay down the pool’s bottom rails on the ground to see where the connectors will end up, mark the spots, remove your rails, and place the leveling blocks on the spots before you install the rails properly. 
  • Follow the same process but without removing the rails once you place them on the ground. The installer will have to insert leveling blocks below the connectors. However, this process tends to be more difficult for most installers. 

Pavers or patio blocks are generally used as leveling blocks. They are ideal because of their durability, but some pool installers often opt to make use of makeshift blocks, such as wood that has been pressure treated and concrete blocks. 

The blocks help keep the uprights stable. For this reason, you should make sure that the leveling blocks you decide to use when setting up your Intex pool or any other above ground pool are capable of offering ample support. When it comes to offering support, wood and concrete blocks are unreliable – for this reason, these materials are not recommended. 

7. Leveling an Installed Above Ground Pool 

It is generally very difficult, for even the seasoned pool installers, to remedy a badly uneven ground when the pool has already been set up. In most cases, this involves dismantling the pool before the ground can be leveled and made as smooth as possible. When this happens, the above ground pool liners will most likely need replacing.

If the ground’s level is off by less than 3 inches, one can fix the issue without having to dismantle the pool completely. The steps below will show you how to level an above ground pool with water in it by re-arranging the leveling blocks: 

  1. Drain your above ground pool until it is almost empty. You should not try to level the ground while the pool is filled with water. In addition to being difficult, it can result in injury. 
  2. Identify the lower section. 
  3. Find the leveling blocks of the lower section and pull them off first. 
  4. Locate the pool’s bottom connectors and pry the walls to get the pool to a proper level. 
  5. Reinstall the leveling blocks. 
  6. Repeat the process for all lower sections. 
  7. Pack up the dirt underneath all the walls that you raise. 
  8. Refill your pool with water after all the lower sections have matched the level of the higher sections. Now you can grab your swim cap, put on your active swimsuit, and enjoy a swim session. 

A common mistake made by people who are just learning how to level above ground pool already up is trying to work with the higher sides of the pool. It is easier to work with the lower sides of the pool; it requires less work to increase the height than to reduce the height of higher parts.

You might also like: Is It Safe to Swim in The Rain?

8. Ask for Suggestions from Friends 

Different locations require varying solutions when it comes to leveling the ground for an above ground pool. Chances are, there are people in your location who have already installed above ground pools. Asking for suggestions from these people can give you more ideas on how to solve your above ground pool leveling problems. 

Can You Set Up an Above Ground Pool on Unlevel Ground? 

A large number of people try to skip the part of leveling the ground for the pool. Often, these people ask questions like how to set up an above ground pool on unlevel ground. What these property owners do not know is that it is extremely vital to ensure that the above ground pool is level. 

There are numerous reasons why setting up a pool on the unlevel ground is not recommended. These include: 

The Water Level Will be Uneven 

A few inches of unevenness may not matter that much. However, the deeper side tends to become even deeper as time progresses. This compromises swimming safety since the risk of drowning increases, especially for the kids.

Also, if you do plan to install pool skimmers to keep your pool clean, they won’t work effectively if the water level is not even.  

It Affects Pool Walls 

Uneven ground will force the water to be concentrated on the pool’s lower areas. The pool walls that carry the most weight will eventually bend, become twisted, and collapse. In addition to causing damage to your property and pool, this can cause injuries. 

If you think that this can only happen to inflatable pools, you are mistaken. It also applies to above ground pools featuring solid walls. 

Pool Liners Get Damaged 

Pool liners, if laid out properly, follow the ground’s surface where they are placed. If the liner is placed on uneven or unlevel ground, it will feature noticeable wrinkles and folds that can easily get caught or snag on the pool equipment. This can lead to tears on the pool liner itself, resulting in leaks. 

Above Ground Pool Leveling Kit

Now that we are clear on why trying to figure out how to set up above ground pool on the unlevel ground is not recommended, we will go ahead and show you the tools you need for leveling the ground. The above ground pool leveling kit does not feature complicated items – it features items that facilitate the following: 

  • Skimming the ground surface
  • Determining whether the surface is properly level 
  • Marking the pool perimeter 
  • Removing excess soil or earth 

More often than not, you will find the following tools in the above ground pool leveling kit of most pool installers: 

  • Wheelbarrow and shovel for picking up earth and debris
  • Stake or metal rod for indicating the pool’s center
  • Tape measure 
  • Duct tape 
  • Rope or string 
  • Spray paint for marking pool perimeter 
  • Crushed stones – usually limestone – for the pool’s sub-surface 
  • Hand tamper 
  • Leveling tool



Q: Can You Use Sand to Level A Pool?


Yes, you can use sand to level a pool. When using sand, simply lay out a layer of sand of 1 – 2 inches deep across your pool installation spot and then use a tamper to roll over it. This should help you create a move even ground for your pool.

Q: What Do You Put Under an Above Ground Pool?


There are various things you can put under your above-ground pool. These include: 

  • Concrete pads 
  • Sand pad 
  • Commercial pads
  • Solid foam

Q: How Do You Level the Ground for An Intex Pool?


When installing an Intex pool, you will need to find the most level location on your compound. Use a level on a long board to locate the high and low areas on your chosen spot. If the difference between the low and high side is more than 2 inches, remove dirt to make the location more level. You can also use sand to improve the level of your chosen installation spot.

Q: Can I Use A Tarp Under My Pool?


Yes, you can put a tarp under your above ground pool. However, sand is generally a much better option. This is because the tarp will not help with the pool floor smoothness. You can, however, use a little sand on the ground for the final smoothing before installing the tarp.

Q: How Do I Level My Ground for A Pool Without Digging?


To level the ground without digging, you will need to use a combination of sand and crushed limestone. Use the crushed limestone to achieve a 1- to 2-inch levelness and then use sand to even out the ground further.

Globo Surf Overview 

If you would like to use your swimming goggles in your above ground pool for a long time, you have to install the pool on level ground. This article shows you how to level an above ground pool. With the various solutions outlined above, ensuring that the pool is level enough should be possible write paper.

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