It’s hard to beat the refreshing feeling of jumping into a pool in the middle of summer. But, the expenses with building a pool can add up very quickly. Building a pool of your own is one way of bringing that feeling home and getting to enjoy a dip whenever you want, while saving some money in the process.
If you decide to do part of the work in constructing a pool yourself, there are several materials you cannot substitute. Before taking the “plunge”, it’s important to keep in mind that sand is necessary when building an above ground pool. Thankfully, you can factor in how much sand you’ll need and how much it will ultimately cost you, by using a sand calculator.
Why Do I Need Sand for My Pool?
When you think of sand, chances are you’ll probably think of the beach rather than a pool. Using sand to build a pool may seem unusual, but it’s crucial!
This is because sand is used to ensure a stable, even foundation for an above ground pool to rest on. And, sand adds a protective layer between the liner of the pool and the ground. If you were to use a different material other than sand — for instance, dirt — it could have little pieces of rock in it that can end up tearing the pool liner.
You also need sand to build an above ground pool is because the sand used to actually clean it. This kind of sand is called filter sand or silica sand, and it catches debris so that it doesn’t end up in the pool water.
What Type of Sand Should I Use?
For your pool’s base, you want sand that’s very fine and free of any rocks or pebbles. This type of sand is referred to as mason sand, masonry sand, or sometimes mortar sand. While mason sand is the most popular choice, another option is concrete sand.
With filter sand, you should check the manual to see what’s recommended for that specific pool sand filter. The grains of this kind of sand are generally between 0.45 and 0.55 millimeters.
How Much Sand Do I Need for My Pool?
The general rule is that there should be a two to three-inch base of sand under an above ground pool. If you know the dimensions of your pool area, then you can easily figure out how much sand you’ll need for the base using a sand calculator.
On GIGA Calculator’s sand calculator, note whether your pool area is rectangular or circular and write in the dimensions. Then, it’ll compute the volume and weight of the sand you need. You can even figure out how much the sand will cost you using the calculator if you know its price per ton—just add that right in, too.
With these numbers in mind, you’ll be able to better plan and budget for your pool project.
Tips on Laying Sand When Building an Above Ground Pool
Once you know what kind of sand you want to use and how much of it you need, you can begin laying it down for your pool base. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- You can dampen the sand to make it a little easier to lay.
- Keep the sand inside the pool track, rather than underneath it.
- Use the back of a rake or a push broom to spread and smooth the sand.
- Compact the sand with a soil tamper or another tool for compacting soil.
Whether you’re embarking on a DIY pool project, or you’re simply preparing to get an above ground pool installed, don’t forget that sand is a necessary component. Before starting the pool building, make sure to look into how much sand you’ll need for the project with the help of a sand calculator.
Cindy is a freelance writer and editor with previous experience in marketing as well as book publishing. Along with her content writing for a diverse portfolio of clients, Cindy’s work has been featured in Thrillist, The Points Guy, Forbes, and more.