Preparing The Ground For Your New Inground Pool: Sand Or Gravel?

November 11, 2023

Summer will be here before you know it and if you don’t already have a pool, you’re probably giving it some thought. No doubt you have a lot of questions about just what’s involved in having a pool put in on your property. Thankfully, when it comes to affordable pools, there are plenty of options – but it’s true that there is some preparation involved before the swimming pool builders actually get to work.

Obviously, you’re going to have to have a fairly large hole dug in order to accommodate the pool you’re planning to have installed. There’s also electrical work, plumbing work and other work involved in getting things ready for your new pool installation. Homeowners who are considering a pool have one other important thing to think about: should you have the ground prepared using sand or gravel?

There is one very obvious advantage to using sand as the foundation for your pool: the cost. Sand is very inexpensive, but it comes along with an equally obvious disadvantage: it compacts very tightly. Some pool builders may cite this as a good thing, but over time, a sand foundation is much more likely to settle and shift. It seems that no matter how much you saturate sand and compact it before the pool installation, it will still compress eventually, possibly resulting in an unevenly set pool.

Gravel may be a little more costly at first, but it is much less compressible than sand – although, contrary to what you may have heard, it is actually just compressible enough. Once properly laid and tamped down, a gravel foundation will remain remarkably stable without the additional (and possibly uneven) compression you’ll see with a sand foundation, giving your new pool a firm footing for years to come. What this means for you, of course, is many more years of enjoyment and a welcome respite from the summer heat in your very own back yard pool.