Pool Sand Calculator

By HomeAdvisor

Updated August 24, 2022



Pool Dimensions (in ft.)
Sand Depth (in in.)

Above ground pools need a sand base to protect the liner and provide an even foundation. This sand base calculator helps you figure out how much sand you need to create this base. Use the pool volume and a standard depth of 2 inches to estimate the yards of sand needed for your project. With this information, you can budget for materials and complete your project faster.

On This Page

  1. Pool Sand Calculations
    1. Rectangular Pool
    2. Round Pool
  2. Tips
  3. FAQs

Pool Sand Calculations

The formula to calculate pool sand depends on the shape of your pool. Before figuring out how much sand you’ll need, it’s important to decide if you want a round or rectangular pool.

Rectangular Pool

To build a sand base for a rectangular pool, start by taking the following measurements:

  • Width (in feet)
  • Length (in feet)

Fixed variables for the rectangular pool sand calculator formula are:

  • Depth = 2 in. or 0.167 ft.
  • 1 ft. = 0.037 cubic yd.

Use those measurements and the following formula to calculate the amount of sand volume needed. Since sand sells by the yard, you’ll need to convert your result from feet to yards.

Volume = (width x length x depth) x 0.037

For a rectangular pool that’s 18 feet long by 9 feet wide, you’d need at least 1 cubic yard of sand for your base.

Round Pool

For a round pool base, start by calculating the pool’s radius in feet. This is just half the distance from one side of the pool to the other.

With that information, use the following formula to calculate the sand volume in yards:

Volume = (3.14 x r2 x depth) x 0.037

For a round pool with a radius of 5 feet, you’d need at least 0.49 cubic yards of sand for the base.

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Laying down the sand for your pool base is simple if you keep in mind these useful tips and tricks:

  • Dampening your sand makes it easier to lay
  • Use the back of a rake to smooth the sand and spread it evenly
  • Compact the sand for a more even base

As with all home improvement projects, it’s recommended to add an extra 10% to the results of your pool sand base calculator. Rounding is also helpful when purchasing material, since sand comes in half-yard increments.

Once you know how much sand you need, find a rock and sand delivery service in your area to get started with your project. The cost of sand delivery ranges between $320 and $1,110, depending on where you live.

Hiring the best local pool installer helps ensure the success of your project. With the help of a reliable professional, you’ll be dipping your toes in the water before you know it.


Can I install a pool over a concrete slab?

While it is possible to put a pool on a concrete slab, it’s not recommended. This can damage the liner of your pool and creates a rough floor that’s not pleasant. Professional installers use a sand base to create a level surface and ensure that your pool floor is comfortable.

Is there an alternative to pool sand?

Sand is a fine material that creates a smooth bottom for your pool. Other materials, such as dirt, could contain rocks that damage your pool liner.

Are there different types of pool sand?

Pool sand is also known as mason sand. The different types include concrete sand, yellow mason and white sand.

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