How Much Sand Base

I have a 12' round pool that is 29" in depth. How much sand would or should I use for a good base? I am considering buying 50lbs bags since I don't have a truck. Thanks for your help!


It would probably take a little less than a ton of sand for a 12' round above ground pool. This would be about 2000 lbs. You might start with 1000lbs and then if you need to go back for more you could.

Some of the Home Depot's here in Arizona carry fairly large gunny sack type backs of masonry sand. I think they fit into a trunk OK. That might be a better option for you than the 50lb bags.

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May 09, 2018
Dj Meng
by: Afiba

Hi good day. I have an Intex Ultra Frame 14ft. Pool. 14ft x 42inches. My backyard is pretty level n has a lawn. I’ve watched numerous videos on YouTube n see that they are using sand underneath the provided tarp. How much sand do I need for my job to be level n firm???

Hi We would clear the area of all vegetation and level the ground. We would then level and pack about 2 tons of sand.

Jun 17, 2019
by: Ali

Is there anyway the sand used for under the pool would have fleas in it?

Hi I have never heard of such a thing.

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Sand Under An Above Ground Pool

by Teri

We have an 18 foot round Intex Easy Set soft-sided above ground pool. It is only about 4 feet deep. We put rice hulls underneath it last year to make the bottom soft. The only problem was that when the rice hulls got wet, they smelled bad.

We would like to use sand and put it both underneath the pool and all around the pool as a border. Is this doable? My husband asked "what if it gets wet". The sand at the beach gets wet all the time.

He thought we would get sand fleas or something. Can you think of any downfalls of having sand underneath and all around our pool? We understand the cats may use it as a potty, but can you think of any other problems?

Hi Teri.

I use sand under the pools on just about all my installs. I recommend it over any other type of base. The problem with sand and soft sided pools is keeping the sand in place, under the pool.

With a steel wall above ground pool the sand is held in place by the sidewall. With a soft sided pool this is not the case. The best results I have seen are when a wood frame is built using 2 x 6 lumber and that area is filled with sand. This frame should be larger than the pool by a couple of feet all the way around.

The frame can be wood or it could be the concrete border blocks used in landscaping. If you make sure this frame is set perfectly level all the way around, you will have a better idea what needs to be done with the ground inside the frame. It should also be level so that you can add just a couple inches of sand, smooth it out, and still be level.

When the pool is full I would definitely cover the sand with something, or it will get used by cats or possibly wash away. Sand makes an ideal base for patio paver blocks and they would help hold the sand in place. You could also lay plastic over the sand and cover that with landscaping rock. There are many different ways to landscape the outside of the pool in a way to cover the sand and hold it in place.

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May 08, 2018
Sand amount
by: Anonymous

How much sand is needed for this 18x52 base. I'm thinking of building it either 20x20 or 24x24 with either 2x6 or 6x6.

Hi I would use between 2 1/2 - 3 tons of sand just inside the pool area, under the liner only. I get the impression you plan to level a large area of sand and then set up the pool on it. I strongly recommend you reconsider this plan. It is extremely difficult to assemble the pool on a bed of sand, that and sand shifts, it does not pack solid. Level the area with dirt or a substance like crushed granite and use the sand just under the liner.

When we install a pool the sand gets put in the middle of the pool, no where near the bottom rails, until the wall is up. Sand getting into the bottom rails makes installing the sidewall nearly impossible.

The other possibility is that you are putting in a soft sided pool. In that case it is fine to fill your entire area with 5 tons of sand, more if needed, and then set your pool up. With a soft side pool I find it very useful to pack the sand and be sure to block under all the supports.

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24 foot x 52 inch Beaded Liner

by Tommy

I am installing a 24foot x 52inch pool and was wondering if base is 2 inches of sand, if it is deeper, will the liner be too tall and not sit right?

Or do I have to have it at 2 inches? Thanks, Tommy.

Hi Tommy.

Two inches is just about the right amount of sand. If you make it deeper you run the risk of having a lot of footprints in the bottom of your pool. Sand does not pack well when it gets to deep.

There is no way of knowing how a beaded liner will fit. You may find our beaded liner installation page helpful.

Beaded Liner Installation

Anytime I see that a beaded liner is going to be too big, which they are frequently, I pull it up and over the wall and put coping on it. This turns the liner into an overlap liner. I have no patients for liners that are too big for the pool and make me look like a bad installer.

After pulling the liner up and over the wall and installing coping over it, I use the bead receivers over top of the coping to hold everything in place.

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May 02, 2018
How much sand for 24 foot round pool
by: Anonymous

I'm installing a 24 foot round pool in my back yard. How many pounds of sand will I need? And how many inches think? Thank you!

You would need about 4 tons, looking for a 2" base plus a cove.

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Sand Base For Oval Above Ground Pool

by Nicole
(Harrisburg, pa, USA)

We are putting up a 15'x 30' pool and we used limestone dust as a solid base but how deep should the sand be?. I was also wondering about the foam boards that I see people talk about. Can we use those? We have an Elephant pad and pool cove molding.

Hi Nicole.

I would do it like the pool being installed on this page.

Diamond Star Installation

A 15' x 30' pool will need about 5 tons of sand. You want a 2" base and then plenty of sand to cover the brace assemblies and build a nice cove.

The pool shown in the photos was bought online and installed by myself. The customer went with the pool pad and the cove. I used them both since he already had them, otherwise I would have done the install without them and been just fine.

The cove can serve a function, it makes it impossible for any kind of cove washout to happen. The pad may prevent growth under the liner.

The problem with using the pad over the sand is foot prints. Once I wet and smooth the sand I hop out of the pool and install the liner from the outside, leaving no footprints. It is impossible to lay the pad over sand and not get footprints, unless that sand is very well packed.

It is difficult to do a foam base on an oval pool because of the pressure plates that cover the brace channels. I would put down the pad and the cove and cover all of it with sand. Water the sand, pack it a little, smooth it to perfection and install the liner over that.

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May 20, 2018
22x52 pool
by: Anonymous

How much sand would I need to get for a 22x52 pool.

Hi About 5 tons.

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