Best Above Ground Pool Pad Reviews in 2021
There are few changes that you can make to your home that are as exciting and as awesome as installing a swimming pool.
A lot of families in the United States, and in the whole world, prefer to own their very own swimming pools in the privacy of their home, instead of having to travel all the way to the local recreation center for a swim. With a swimming pool in your home, you won’t have to look for any other ways of exercising or entertainment.
There are mainly two types of swimming pools: inground swimming pool and an above-ground one. Considering all factors, it is the above-ground swimming pools that are the most cost-effective one, that you can dismantle or move easily, and doesn’t take long to install or construct.
If this is the type of swimming pool you are thinking of adding to your home, you need to know about their most important parts and pieces.
The pool pad for the above-ground swimming pool, or padding, is one of the most important parts of your pool. Before installing an above-ground pool, you need to have all the information you need about these pool pads, which you will find in this review.
Top 8 Best Above Ground Pool Pads
If you have been extensively researching above ground pools, you might have come across the terms “pool pad” or “padding” a few times. This is a very important part of your swimming pool, as your research must have told you.
Pool pads are a kind of extremely thick material that you place below the pool before installation, and it protects and cushions your swimming pool bottom from everything that can be damaging and sharp.
The pool pad are indeed a simple but extremely important part of an above ground swimming pool, and you need to know all the features of one before bringing it home.
Below, you can find 8 of the best pool pads that are available in the market at the moment, and get all the necessary information about choosing the best one for you.
1. Liner Life GP18R Liner Pad
Extremely durable and thick, this liner pad from Liner Life is manufactured from polyester geotextile, and impervious to most kinds of sharp objects. It adds a special layer of cushioning to your pool insides and improves your swimming experience.
You can be absolutely sure of no type of leaks when it comes to liner life GP18R pool pad liners, as the material is strong enough to withstand anything. It will protect the bottom of your pool so that anything on the ground, be it grass, sticks, stones, roots, rocks or anything sharp. Your feet will be safe and cushioned from everything under the pool even when you are standing on the floor, and the pool itself will be safe from puncture or damage.
Pool pads from Liner Life comes in a number of sizes: 12 daim feet, 15 daim feet, 18 daim feet, 21 daim feet, 24 daim feet, 27 daim feet, 28 daim feet and 30 daim feet. All you need to do is to order the right size for your swimming pool, and there won’t be any need to cut or resize the material.
- Extremely thick and sturdy
- Keeps your pool cushioned from anything sharp
- Keeps your pool protected from roots, grass, stones and rocks
- Can be placed over any terrain
- Cushions your feet and your pool liner
- Comes in 8 sizes, from 12 daim feet to 30 daim feet
- Precut and ready to use
- No chance of leaks and punctures
- Will save your pool liner from harm
- Can’t be cut with any sharp objects
2. 24-Foot Round Armor Shield Liner Pad
This 24-foot wide liner pad from GLI is durable and strong, and can withstand everything. With this pool pad below your pool, you won’t have to worry about anything sharp puncturing through your pool liner.
You can place this pool pad on sand or soil, or any other kind of terrain. Whatever is under your pool - stones, roots, rocks, grass or soil, your pool liner is going to be protected from them.
This pool pad is 24-foot in circumference and round, perfect for any above ground swimming pool that is 24-foot or less in size. Your feet will be cushioned from any kind of hurt because of the durable and sturdy geotextile fabric. You can simply place the pool pad on any terrain and place your pool liner on top of it.
This 24-Foot round Liner Pad is completely resistant from mildew and mold, so you won’t have to worry about any kind of damage due to exposure to water or moisture. It can stay submerged in water for days and there won’t be any damage.
- 24-foot wide
- Made from durable geotextile material
- Can be placed on any terrain
- Can protect your pool liner from stones, rocks, roots and glass
- Cannot be cut with glass or any sharp objects
- Won’t be damaged or punctured
- Cushions your feet from harm
- Perfect for any above ground pool of 24-foot or less
- Mildew and mold resistant
- Easy to install under pool liner
This black and thick floor pad is thicker and more durable than the average pool pad. It can protect your pool liner from everything you can usually find in your backyard, i.e. stones, roots, rocks and grass.
Moreover, this floor pad can withstand mildew, mold, oils, salts, alkalis and acids. Whatever is on your ground will stay away from your pool liners, with this protective layer in between.
You can place this pool pad on soil, sand or grass and it will provide a soft cushion to your feet. It is 16-foot round in size and perfect for any pool that is 16-feet in circumference or less. Made from geotextiles, it cannot be easily cut with glass or anything sharp.
You can also get this round armor flood pad in many other sizes and shapes, from 12-feet round to 33-feet round, 10’x15’ oval to 21’x41’ oval. 12’x20’ rectangle to 16’x24 rectangle, etc.
- Thicker and more durable than other similar brands
- Can protect your pool liner from almost everything harmful
- Completely resistant to mold, mildew, acids, alkalis, salts and oils
- Can be used on sand and soil
- Available in rectangular, oval and round shapes
- Available in a number of sizes
- Will cushion and protect your feet from stones, rocks and glass
- Cannot be punctured or cut with sharp objects
4. Gorilla Floor Padding
This is one of the best above ground pool pad available in the market, sturdier than many other brands. The Gorilla Floor Padding from Blue Waves is made from extremely durable materials and are 18-feet in size and round in shape.
They are fit for above ground pools which are 18-feet or smaller in size, and will keep your pool liner protected from stones, rocks, glass, worms, grass or roots.
- 18-feet in size, round in shape
- Shipping dimensions: 48” x 11” x 11”
- Perfect for 18-feet pools or smaller
- Lightweight at 17.99 pounds
- Protects your pool liner from stones, rocks, glass, worms, grass or roots
- Made from durable and sturdy materials
- Popular brand in the market
5. Elephant Guard Armor Shield Padding
The Elephant Guard Armor Shield Padding from Quality Pool Products is one of the strongest and most durable pool pads out there, already pre-cut upon arrival so that you won’t have to cut it into size or shape.
It protects your pool liners from anything dangerous on the ground, i.e. glass, grass, rocks, roots and nut grass. Even with a sharp object, you can’t puncture this pool pad, so your pool liner will be completely safe at all times.
This pool pad will keep your pool bottom safe from anything and everything, from roots, nut grass, rocks, glass, stones and worms. It is 24-feet in size and round, comes pre-cut and perfectly shaped. It’s perfect for a 24-feet round pool or something smaller, and will keep your feet cushioned when you are standing on the bottom.
This Elephant Guard Armor Padding is only to be used on a sand base, after the land has been cleared out of grass and small plants.
- 24-feet in size
- Round in shape
- Pre-cut and ready to use
- Perfect for 24-feet pool or smaller
- One-piece construction
- Only for use on a sand vase
- Protects and cushions your feet
- Protects your pool liner from nut grass, roots, soil and rocks
- Cannot be punctured with sharp objects
6. Blue Wave 12-feet Liner Pad
This is a 12-feet round liner pad for smaller above-ground swimming pools, from Blue Wave - one of the best brands for pool liner pads in the market. You can also get liner pads in a number of shapes and sizes: 12-feet round, 15-feet, 18-feet, 21-feet, 24-feet, 27-feet, 28-feet, 30-feet and 33-feet.
This liner pad will keep your pool and your feet cushioned for anything that’s underneath the pool, from stones to rocks, roots and grass, broken glass or worms. It is thick and durable and can’t be cut with scissors, knives or anything sharp.
The liner pad comes in perfect shapes and pre-cut, so you’ll simply have to buy it and place it on the floor, without having to cut it. It is pre-cut for different sizes of pools, so you can just choose the one that’s the same size or slightly bigger than your pool.
- Comes in different sizes
- Pre-cut and ready to use
- Durable and thick material
- Cushions your feet and pool bottom
- Cannot be cut with any sharp objects
- Prevents any kind of leak on the bottom
7. Rhino Pad 27-Foot Pool Liner Pad
You can get this pool pad from Rhino Pad in three different shapes: rectangle, oval and round, and in more than 20 sizes.
They protect your pool liner and your feet from anything hard and sharp on the ground, below your above-ground swimming pool. These pads are thick, strong and extremely durable, and cannot be punctured or cut with anything sharp from the bottom.
These pool pads from Rhino Pad can save your pool liner from sharp stones and rocks, glass, nut grass, grass, roots and debris. Whatever the terrain like underneath, your pool liner will be completely safe from the land below.
You get them pre-cut and ready-to-use in different sizes and shapes, so you won’t have to cut them into shapes. All you need to do is to buy the size and shape that fits your pool well, and place it on the terrain before installing your pool.
Made from eco-friendly geotextile material, a single sheet of pool pad will last years, almost as long as your pool is going to last. They are mold and mildew resistant, and is lightweight with a thickness of ⅛”.
- Available in different shapes and sizes
- Available from 12-feet to 33-feet
- Protects your pool pad from sharp objects and debris
- Cushions your feet from getting hurt
- Comes pre-cut and ready for using
- Made from eco-friendly geotextiles
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Only ⅛ of an inch thick
- Protects your pool liner from stones, rocks, grass, glass, roots and debris
- Single sheet will last for years
8. Liner Life GP18330V Liner Pad
Available in 4 different sizes, these are oval pool pads from Liner Life, made from eco-friendly polyester geotextile. These liner pads are extremely thick and durable, and will protect your pool liner from sharp objects, stones and rocks, glass, grass or debris underneath.
Even worms and small animals digging upwards from the soil can’t get into your pool, puncturing it with their sharp teeth. This liner pad cannot be punctured or cut with the help of sharp objects.
These are all pre-cut and ready-to-use liner pads that you simply need to buy based on the size of your pool, and place under your pool. Using one of these pool pads will mean preventing footprints on the sand base under the above-ground swimming pool.
It eliminates any kind of leaks, punctures and holes in your pool liner bottoms and keeps your foot cushioned against getting hurt on the hard surface.
- Made from eco-friendly geotextile material
- Available in four sizes
- Only oval shape
- Prevents “footprints” on the sand
- PRevents any leaks, breaks, punctures and holes
- Pre-cut and ready-to-use
- Cushions your feet from the hard surface
- Fits most above-ground swimming pools perfectly
Things to Consider Before Buying an Above Ground Pool Pad
An above-ground swimming pool definitely needs a pool pad at the bottom before installation; a pool liner pad is one of the most important parts of these pools, and they would save your pool from anything sharp at the bottom, and cushion your feet from harm.
When it comes to features and qualities, all of the pool pads available in the market, more or less, are the same. However, when you are settling on one that fits your budget, there are a few features that need to be present in the brand and product you are choosing.
All kinds of pool pads are made from the same materials - polyester geotextile. This material is eco-friendly and resistant to mold and mildew, which makes it the best material for pools. Geotextile pool pads also happen to be extremely durable and strong, and can keep your pool liner protected from anything sharp and harmful on the ground.
The primary concern of any pool pad is to provide protection to your pool liner. The thicker the material, the more protection it can provide for your pool liner. The best pool pads can save your pool liner from anything sharp and hard, i.e. stones, rocks, ingrowing roots, grass, glass, worms and debris. Whatever hiding or growing under your pool would be separated from the pool liner by your pool pad.
The size of your pool pad should be equal to or slightly larger than the pool itself. Brands that have pre-cut materials for different-sized pools are the most convenient brands. The Liner Life GP18R Liner Pad, for example, comes in 8 sizes and the Blue Wave 12-feet Liner Pad comes in 9 sizes.
On the other hand, the 24-Foot Round Armor Shield Liner Pad only comes in 24-feet circumference,the Gorilla Floor Padding comes in 18-feet circumference and the Elephant Guard Armor Shield Padding comes in 24-feet circumference.
With an above-ground swimming pool, you get only three shapes: rectangle, oval and round. Your pool pad should be the shape of your pool, the same size or slightly bigger than it. The Round Armor Shield Floor Pad gives you different size and shape options, as does the Rhino Pad 27-Foot Pool Liner Pad.
However, models like the Liner Life GP18330V Liner Pad comes in oval shape, the 24-Foot Round Armor Shield Liner Pad and the Gorilla Floor Padding are round.
Almost all the pool pads available in the market are long-lasting and durable. They will last years, probably decades; you won’t need to change or replace it as long as you use your pool. Even when you need to move your above-ground swimming pool or dismantle it, you can use the same pad for the new location.
Other important features to look for in a good pool pad are:
- Pre-cut material. Pool pads are difficult to cut and shape, and it is better that you get one that has been cut to shape.
- Thickness. The more the thickness of the pool pad, the more cushioning it can provide your feet.
Safety. Thicker pool pads cannot be punctured, cut or leaked with scissors, knives or anything sharp. This protects your pool liner from accidents.
Lightweight. Even when thick and sturdy, pool pads are usually lightweight.
Above-ground Pool Pad Ideas: How to Level your Land?
Unless you are installing your above-ground swimming pool on concrete, you have to level your land before the installation process. This is neither a very hard task nor a very easy one; you can level the ground yourself if you have the right tools and the minimum expertise.
Homeowners and residents level their ground for a lot of reasons beside installing a swimming pool, i.e. for gardening, for constructing sheds or patios, for swing sets and vegetable gardens. Even inground swimming pools need you to level the ground before With the right set of tools, you can complete this step yourself.
Here are the steps for leveling your ground before your pool is installed.
1. First of all, mark the area you need to level. This area has to be slightly larger than the pool you are thinking of installing, as the pool pad is always better when bought a size larger than the pool bottom itself.
Mark the corner (in case of a rectangular pool) or the whole area (for oval and round pools) with wooden stakes or a thick rope. The area you mark should be equal or better yet, slightly bigger than the pool you want to install. D
2. After you are clear about the space you have to work on, you need to remove the sod from that particular area. Sod refers to the terrain or the part of the land where grass grows on. It’s generally a thin area about 2 inches deep, and you can easily remove the sod with a shovel, a spade or a machine.
A sod is like a carpet on your land, also known as a turf. You can remove it manually or with the help of a machine. Watering your marked area beforehand will make the soil underneath softer, and easier to remove. Using a sod removal machine - known as an edger - can make the job simple, but you can also do it with a shovel or a spade.
3. If you are working on a large piece of land, especially a rectangular one, you can divide it into smaller, more manageable segments. Two inches of sod will be enough to reveal the earth below, and you can use the part removed in another portion of your backyard/garden you want to grow grass in, or make it into fertilizer.
4. After removing the sod, the land will be pretty uneven, especially if you’d used a spade or a shovel for the job. You need to mark out the parts that are uneven, using a carpenter’s level tied to a wooden plank. Check the levelness of the land every 2 to 3 apart, and you can know exactly where the uneven parts are.
5.Dig at the higher spots and use the soil to cover the lower areas. The soil you dig up ought to cover up the other lower parts, easily. You might even come up with some extra soil that you can use for planting somewhere else.
6. If you are working on a large space, you might need to rent a skid-steer loader, which is an equipment precisely for this purpose.
7. Use the carpenter’s level tied to a large plank of wood to check for evenness again. If your work area is still uneven, you might need to do some more digging and levelling.
8. Use a rake to remove any kind of loose stones, rocks or roots from the area. Although a good pool pad can protect your pool liner from any of these sharp objects, it is better to be safe. Using a rake will also help spread the soil more evenly around.
9. Next, you need to use a rolling tamper on your soil. Water the area slowly and evenly with a garden hose, not too strongly as to move the soil around. Run a rolling tamper on the wet soil, and this will help the soil to settle more firmly into place.
10. Finally, spread a layer of dry sand on the area. The sand should make up about 1 inch of depth above the soil. Roll the tamper once more over the dry sand, so that it settles down to about half of the depth it was before. This is actually an optional step, only needed if your pool manual asks for it.
As a last resort, you can also spray some herbicide and/or fungicide on the area you’ve just cleared. This will stop the growth of bacteria on the land since it is going to stay hidden from the sun for a long time.
Similarly, herbicide will stop the growth of root and sprouts on that area that can damage your pool liner. You might have to wait up to a week of leveling the area and spraying the chemicals to start installing your pool.
Frequently Asked Questions
If this is the first time you are installing an above-ground swimming pool, you might have a few questions on your mind, especially about the pool pad which doesn’t come with the pool kits. Here are some of the most common queries about pool liner pads, and their answers, which can, hopefully, be helpful for you.
Q. Do I have to use a liner pad under by above-ground swimming pool?
A. Yes, it is highly recommended. A liner pad will keep your pool safe from whatever is at the bottom. Even if you have completely leveled the soil and removed anything sharp, you can never know what comes out of land.
Worms, insects, small animals with sharp teeth, an ingrown root, forgotten debris - they can all puncture and make a hole in your pool liners. Pool liners are not as strong, thick or as durable as a liner pad. Only by placing a liner pad on the bottom of your pool, you can truly protect your pool.
Q. How can a pool pad help my feet?
A. Above-ground swimming pools aren’t very deep; an adult with an average height can easily stand inside the pools with water only coming to their chest or neck. If there are loose rocks, stones and debris on the ground under your pool, they will surely hurt your feet when you step on them. With a pool pad under the swimming pool, your feet will be cushioned from any kind of harm.
Q. Do I have to use a liner pad under by above-ground swimming pool?
A. You can install an above-ground swimming pool directly in your backyard without clearing or leveling it, but it will drastically reduce the longevity of your pool. Installing a swimming pool requires you to clear the land, dig out the turf, remove all kinds of stones, rocks and debris from it, and then install the pool.
If you skip this step, you’ll have to install your pool on an uneven surface, over sharp objects, stones, rocks and roots, and that can puncture or poke a hole into your pool liner.
Besides, installing an above-ground swimming pool directly without leveling the land means you might step on some sharp objects, roots or even stones when standing on your feet inside the pool.
Pool pads may seem like a very small part of your above-ground swimming pool, but it is one of the most important ones. Without the right pool pad, your pool liner might get damaged beyond repair, and you’ll either have to replace the whole thing or forget the whole idea about having a pool in your backyard.
Therefore, although it may seem unimportant, you need to research well into your facts before settling on a pool pad for your swimming pool, because that’s the thing which is going to save your pool liner from everything sharp and harmful.