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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.
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Many first time pool owners are who installing an above ground swimming pool for the first time have questions regarding how to properly install a base underneath a pool liner.

This article will illustrate the correct way install a swimming pool with a sand base and sand covein order to make the installation go smoother and protect the pool liner and pool wall from being damaged.

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 Sand 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

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.

Pool Liner Installation

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

How Much Sand Will I Need For Pool Installation?

 Amount for Sand Base with
Amount for Sand Base with
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.
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
  • May 27, 2015 at 12:57 PM
    Joanna Haeck

    If you buy the foam cove and floor pad with your pool, do you still have to put sand on the bottom? Thanks!

    • May 30, 2015 at 1:22 PM

      Hi Joanna,

      Yes, we recommend a 3-4″ sand base (wall to wall), the liner pad on top of the sand, and the foam cove on top of the pad around the perimeter.

  • June 26, 2015 at 4:47 PM
    Shawn O'Hara


    I have all those components and the wall padding. Will the wall padding go first, then sand, liner pad, foam cove? Where in the sequence does the wall padding fall in?

  • June 13, 2016 at 1:43 PM
    Paul L.

    Is it a good idea to put couple of inches Gravel and then sand for base of pool? I’m installing 15X30 oval pool

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