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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.
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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:

One of the biggest issues that we see is with the height of the base beneath an 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 tear or bend and damage the pool wall.

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.

Pool Liner Air Space Diagram - Correct
Pool Liner Air Space Diagram - Incorrect

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.

Pool Liner Installation

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).

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.

Pool Liner Installation

Above Ground Pool Installation Items

The following are links to various sections on our website ThePoolFactory.com 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.

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!

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.

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?

Amount for Sand Base with
SAND COVE
Amount for Sand Base with
FOAM COVE
Pool SizeYards of SandTons of SandYards of SandTons of Sand
12' Round1.001.400.751.00
15' Round1.502.001.001.50
18' Round2.003.001.502.00
21' Round2.503.502.002.50
24' Round3.505.002.503.50
27' Round4.005.503.004.00
30' Round5.507.754.005.75
33' Round7.0010.005.257.50
8' X 12' Oval0.751.000.500.75
8' X 14' Oval1.001.400.751.05
8' X 15' Oval1.001.400.751.05
8' X 16' Oval1.001.400.751.05
8' X 19' Oval1.001.400.751.05
10' X 15' Oval1.001.400.751.05
10' X 16' Oval1.001.400.751.05
10' X 18' Oval1.251.751.001.40
10' X 19' Oval1.251.751.001.40
10' X 21' Oval1.502.001.251.75
12' X 16' Oval1.251.751.001.40
12' X 17' Oval1.502.001.001.40
12' X 18' Oval1.502.001.001.40
12' X 20' Oval1.752.501.251.75
12' X 21' Oval1.752.501.251.75
12' X 24' Oval2.003.001.502.00
12' X 27' Oval2.503.502.003.00
14' X 20' Oval2.003.001.52.00
15' X 23' Oval2.503.501.752.50
15' X 24' Oval2.503.501.752.50
15' X 26' Oval2.754.002.002.75
15' X 30' Oval3.505.002.503.50
16' X 26' Oval3.505.002.503.50
16' X 32' Oval4.005.503.004.00
18' X 33' Oval4.506.503.504.50
18' X 40' Oval5.507.504.56.00
21' X 43' Oval7.0010.005.257.50
COMMENTS 4
  • June 26, 2015 at 1:55 PM
    Sheron

    How many tons of sand is required to put under the liner of a 24 foot round pool?

    • June 29, 2015 at 12:49 PM

      Hi Sheron,

      3 1/2 yards or 5 tons of fine mason sand are required for a 24′ round above ground pool. If you are using Foam Pool Cove you can reduce that amount to 2 1/2 yards or 3.5 tons.

  • July 16, 2015 at 11:12 AM
    James Kelly

    How many tons of sand for a 27′ round pool? Do I install a 3″ base over the entire bottom?

    • July 27, 2015 at 12:35 PM

      Hi James,

      For a 27′ round above ground pool you will need 4 yards (5.5 tons) of fine mason sand. If you are using Foam Cove you will need 3 yards or 4.5 tons. A 3″-4″ sand base should be installed across the entire pool bottom from wall to wall. The Foam cove should then be installed on top of the sand base.

      Foam cove is 3 3/4″ high. It should be placed on approximately 3-4 inches of sand (wall to wall, inside of the pool) to give you at total height of about 7″ which is the recommended height to support the pool liner and take the stress off of the liner seam.

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