Installing a Pool with a Sand Base and Foam Cove

There are many ways to install a swimming pool but it's important to do it correct and use the best available resources like a sand base and foam cove.

Installing a Pool with a Sand Base and Foam Cove

Many do-it-yourselfers installing an above ground swimming pool for the first time have questions regarding how to properly install a base underneath an above ground pool liner.

This article will illustrate the correct way to accomplish this in order to make the installation go smoother and protect the pool liner and pool wall from being damaged.

The information in this article is provided and referenced directly from each swimming pool manufacturer’s installation and safety instruction manual (Wilbar International, Trendium Pool Products and Trevi).

Wilbar International, Trendium Pool Products and Trevi Swimming Pool Installation & Safety Instruction Manuals can be found by clicking on the link for each specific pool model below:

  • Bristol Pool Model
  • Boreal Pool Model
  • Cameo Pool Model
  • Daytona Pool Model
  • Hampton Pool Model
  • Intrepid Pool Model
  • Melenia Pool Model
  • Saltwater 5000 Pool Model
  • Quest Pool Model
  • Saltwater 8000 Pool Model
  • Saltwater LX Pool Model
  • Saltwater Aurora Pool Model
  • Signature RTL Pool Model
  • Tribeca Pool Model

One of the biggest problems that we see is with the height of the base beneath the above ground pool liner. When the sand base is not high enough there is excess strain put on the pool liner and pool wall, and this tremendous weight of the water can easily cause the vinyl pool liner to “blowout” and/or the metal pool wall to be pulled down.

Above ground pool liners are not built to withstand water weight, they are simply made to line the inside of a pool to hold the water. Therefore, when installing a new above ground swimming pool or a new above ground pool liner it is extremely important to make sure that the vinyl pool liner is supported by the proper base. There should be NO AIR SPACE between the vinyl pool liner and the base that it should be resting on.

Avoid Air Pockets During Liner Installation

View the diagram’s below to see how the CORRECT and INCORRECT ways to install your pool liner.

Correct Liner Installation
Incorrect Liner Installation

Installing a Pool with a Sand Base and Foam Cove


Step 1

Using fine sand (free of rocks and debris), lay a 3″ thick bed of sand across the entire inside of the pool (wall-to-wall) this will form your base.

Sand Base Above Ground Pool

Step 2

After installing a 3″ sand base, attach the pool cove (foam) by simply removing the adhesive backing and sticking it to the metal pool wall directly on top of the sand (where the base meets the metal pool wall).

Sand Base and Foam Cove Above Ground Pool

Step 3

This is the completed above ground pool liner installation. The vinyl pool liner should be completely supported by the pool base to avoid any stress or damage to it or the metal pool wall.

Completed Liner Installation

Above Ground Pool Installation Items

The following are links to various sections on our website where you can select pool liner installation items based off your above ground pool size.

Pool Cove (Foam)

Pool Cove is foam that easily peels and sticks to the inside base of the pool wall. The foam pool cove is 3-3/4 inches high and must be installed on top of 3 inches of sand. This will give you a total height of about 7 inches, the recommended height to support the liner and eliminate stress at the seam of the pool liner.

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Pool Cove

Pool Wall Foam

Pool Wall Foam 1/8 inch thick x 48 inches high protects against punctures to your pool liner. Create a smooth wall surface with this closed-cell foam padding that helps prevent rust, corrosion and other wall degradation.

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Pool Wall Foam

Armor Shield Liner Floor Pad

Armor Shield Floor Pad provides an important protective layer between a vinyl swimming pool liner and it’s sand base. Unlike traditional foam padding, Armor Shield is a Polypropylene Geotextile material that prevents cuts and punctures to vinyl liners caused by rocks, roots, grass and even glass!

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Armor Shield Liner Floor Pad

While shopping on our website if you have any questions about any of the products or sizes that you may need please don’t hesitate to contact us via Live Chat or our contact us form.

How Much Sand Will I Need For Pool Installation?

Table header 0Table header 1Amount for Sand Base with
Table header 3Amount for Sand Base with
Pool Size Yards of Sand Tons of Sand Yards of Sand Tons of Sand
12' Round 1.00 1.40 0.75 1.00
15' Round 1.50 2.00 1.001.50
18' Round 2.003.00 1.502.00
21' Round 2.50 3.50 2.002.50
24' Round 3.50 5.00 2.50 3.50
27' Round 4.00 5.503.004.00
30' Round 5.50 7.75 4.005.75
33' Round 7.00 10.00 5.257.50
8' X 12' Oval 0.75 1.00 0.50 0.75
8' X 14' Oval 1.00 1.40 0.751.05
8' X 15' Oval 1.00 1.40 0.751.05
8' X 16' Oval 1.00 1.40 0.751.05
8' X 19' Oval 1.00 1.40 0.751.05
10' X 15' Oval 1.00 1.40 0.751.05
10' X 16' Oval 1.00 1.40 0.751.05
10' X 18' Oval 1.251.75 1.00 1.40
10' X 19' Oval 1.251.75 1.00 1.40
10' X 21' Oval 1.50 2.001.25 1.75
12' X 16' Oval 1.251.75 1.00 1.40
12' X 17' Oval 1.50 2.00 1.00 1.40
12' X 18' Oval 1.50 2.00 1.00 1.40
12' X 20' Oval 1.752.501.25 1.75
12' X 21' Oval 1.752.501.25 1.75
12' X 24' Oval 2.00 3.001.50 2.00
12' X 27' Oval 2.503.502.003.00
14' X 20' Oval 2.00 3.001.502.00
15' X 23' Oval 2.503.501.75 2.50
15' X 24' Oval 2.503.501.75 2.50
15' X 26' Oval 2.75 4.00 2.002.75
15' X 30' Oval 3.50 5.002.50 3.50
16' X 26' Oval 3.50 5.002.503.50
16' X 32' Oval 4.005.503.00 4.00
18' X 33' Oval 4.50 6.503.504.50
18' X 40' Oval 5.50 7.504.5 6.00
21' X 43' Oval 7.00 10.00 5.25 7.50