How Deep Should the Sand Be on an Aboveground Pool?

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An aboveground pool's floor is padded by sand underneath it.

Aboveground swimming pools offer a way to own a nice swimming pool without breaking the bank. Installing an aboveground swimming pool is also a less intimidating task than installing an in-ground pool. Of course, properly installing an aboveground swimming pool still requires some work, including digging a shallow hole to accommodate the pool's floor. Once the hole for an aboveground pool's floor is dug, it's typically padded with a layer of sand before the pool is installed.


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Sand Depth

Sand is the recommended base material upon which an aboveground pool should sit. Sand is used under an aboveground pool to protect the pool's vinyl liner from rocks and objects that could tear the liner. Also, sand under an aboveground pool acts as cushioning for its floor, making it more comfortable for feet. The standard depth of sand that should be used under an aboveground pool's floor is 2 inches.


Other Padding

In many cases, aboveground pool owners will also install some sort of felt-like or rubberized padding over an aboveground pool's sand base. Additional padding above the sand used will help to further protect an aboveground pool's liner floor from possible rips and tears. At the time of publication, the price for padding for a typical 18 foot round aboveground pool is about $80. Always check the instructions that came with the aboveground pool before installing any sort of additional padding, though.


Type and Volume

Use masonry sand as the base material for an aboveground swimming pool. Ensure that any sand you use is free of debris such as twigs, rocks or anything else that might puncture, rip or tear a pool's vinyl liner. An average 18-foot round aboveground swimming pool requires about 3 tons or 2.5 cubic yards of sand to provide a 2-inch base. The cost for a cubic yard of masonry sand varies, but $48 is about average.



Order the sand for your pool's base by the yard, not by weight. Sand can retain moisture and if you buy it by the ton and it's damp, you won't be buying enough sand for your aboveground pool's base. Add the sand for an aboveground pool's base at the pool's center and spread it outward from there. Lastly, smooth out the sand you've laid down to serve as your pool floor's padding before placing the pool's liner over it.


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