Installing a Pool with a Sand Base and Sand Cove

The correct way to install a swimming pool with a sand base and sand cove in order to protect the pool liner and pool wall from being damaged.

Installing a Pool with a Sand Base and Sand Cove
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Drop element here

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
  • Preference 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 installation of pool liner diagram
Incorrect installation of pool liner diagram

Installing a Pool with a Sand Base and Sand Cove

1

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 for pool liner
2

Step 2

Build a sand cove against the pool wall by creating a 4″ angle of sand (on top of the 3″) sand base giving you a total sand cove height of 7″ inches where the base meets the metal pool wall.

Sand Base and sand cove for pool liner
3

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

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How Much Sand Will I Need For Pool Installation?

Table header 0Table header 1Amount for Sand Base with
SAND COVE
Table header 3Amount for Sand Base with
FOAM COVE
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