When undertaking the project of installing a swimming pool many homeowners don’t realize how large the project truly is.
There are a ton of factors that will impact the project, however one of the most frequent questions we get about installing a swimming pool is which sand should be used underneath it.
Before your pool can actually be installed a level surface must be created that will allow for support of the pool shell. This surface is created with sand.
Whether a pool professional or yourself will be installing your swimming pool, you’ll need to be aware of the different types of sand that are available, and which is the right choice for creating a level base for your pool.
We’ve decided to explore the different options that are available to you and which sand you should use for your pool.
The Importance of Sand in Pool Installations
Although many homeowners take the time to determine the actual size, depth, installation and pricing requirements for a swimming pool, many fail to consider the fact that the pools shell will need to have a stable base beneath it. The last thing that you want is for the floor of your swimming pool to be uneven. This creates safety issues and inconsistencies in depth.
Being required to repair these problems in the future can result in the need to excavate, which can quickly become very expensive. It’s important to understand that an extra 2-4″ of depth should be excavated to account for a layer of quality sand. Because of the small particle size, sand will not feature any voids which could cause the material to settle and result in an uneven surface after the shell is set into place.
As such, sand is the most popular option for establishing a solid base for underground swimming pools.
Types of Sand
We’ve broken down some of the various types of sand that are available for purchase, and which you might be considering for use as a level material beneath your underground swimming pool:
Otherwise known as washed clean sand, manufactured sand and utility sand, it quickly becomes evident that concrete sand is most commonly utilized for construction and industrial functions. The sand is an aggregate material that is typically comprised of gneiss, granite, limestone, or traprock, depending on the quarry where it was crushed and screened.
In many instances, this type of sand is utilized for purposes including the development of cement or hot mix asphalt, but it’s also useful for holding paving stones in place, and can make a good solution for establishing a level surface for above-ground swimming pools.
Yellow Mason Sand
Yellow mason sand has long been a popular option for those requiring a smooth, clean sand aggregate for landscaping, construction and recreational projects. This is due to the fact that it features a beautiful sandy coloration, is able to easily drain water and because of its low ration of particle setting.
As a result, yellow mason sand is a top pick for creating Portland cement mixtures, for mason grout and mortar combinations and as a base layer for bricks and paving stones. It is extremely popular for recreational uses such as volleyball courts and beaches and in the development of swimming pools.
We’ve found that many homeowners and contractors prefer to use mason sand for use with swimming pools.
As the name might suggest, white sand is lighter in color than some of the other sand materials. It’s popular for use in recreational applications. As an example, white stone is commonly chosen as an alternative to beach sand, and may also be incorporated in volleyball courts, play sand boxes and in golf course bunkers.
Though less commonly used than yellow mason sand, it’s also possible to find white sand in use as a base material for pavers, or in swimming pools.
Which Type of Sand Is Best?
When it comes to choosing the right type of sand for your pools base, you’ll likely realize that you have many options to choose from. Although everyone has their own opinion about which material is best, it’s most common to employ either mason sand or white sand for the project.
It’s true that concrete sand is an excellent choice for creating a level surface beneath an above-ground pool, but the particle size of the sand may be bigger, resulting in the chance for voids.
If you’re still unsure of which sand you want to use for your swimming pool project we recommend speaking with a local expert, such as Braen Supply.