How Thick Should a Concrete Pool Be?

If you’re thinking about adding a pool to your property, congratulations! They can very easily make you the envy of your neighbourhood, and your family and friends will be flocking to your house on those long summer afternoons. If you’re wondering exactly what to expect from the process, then you’ve come to the right place. Pouring a concrete pool isn’t as easy as it seems.

How thick should it be?

To be structurally sound, the concrete on your new pool will need to be at least 15 centimetres thick. Your soil condition may mean that is has to be thicker – this is a judgement call your builder will make.

Generally, the average strength of concrete is between 3500 and 4000 psi, which means it can carry over 1500 kilograms per square inch (psi means pounds per square inch). While it has an incredibly high compressive strength – it’s difficult to crush – it has a low tensile strength, meaning it’s easy to crack. For this reason, your walls will need to be reinforced with steel.

The reason your concrete pool needs to be so strong, is because it’s carrying the pressure of thousands of litres of water. That’s why it’s best to get a team of professionals in to build your pool, rather than attempting to DIY.

What is the process?

Because your concrete pools needs to be so strong, it will take a while to construct from start to finish. Expect a three to four month time frame – that way you know you and your family will be able to enjoy it safely for years to come.

1. Layout: Once the plans and permits for your concrete pool have been approved and obtained, your team will begin taking measurements for the layout of the pool, fencing and pavement – usually with spray paint.

2. Excavation and Plumbing: Your yard will be excavated to the appropriate depth using a digger. This is the stage that plumbing will be added, so that proper circulation and filtration can be maintained.

3. Reinforced Steel Shell: This is when the steel wire that we mentioned earlier is added. It will be placed vertically and horizontally, like a cage for the concrete.

4. Pouring the Concrete: Your walls and floor will be created once the steel is in. A mixture of cement and sand (called gunite) will keep your pool strong for many years to come. You’ll also get the choice to add decorative waterline tiles at this stage.

5. Concrete Curing: Even though the concrete can be walked on after 24 hours, it isn’t strong enough to withstand all that water. It will take around 30 days to cure. Your team will instruct you to water it regularly to keep the outer layers cool so that they won’t crack.

6. Installation of Electricals: Filtration equipment, heaters and lighting will all need access to an electrical supply. The underground cabling will already be done, so now it’s time to connect the components and install them in the right locations.

7. Finish the Interior: Now it’s time for the final touches – where you get to decorate it the way you choose. You’ve got three options. Tile the entire shell, render it with glass pebbles or stone, or paint the entire surface. Once this is done, it can be filled with water and your concrete pool is ready for you to use!

Building a new pool isn’t as easy as it seems. We always recommend using an experienced Pool builder so that you can love your pool for years and years. It’s generally the biggest investment that you make in your house, so do your research, and before long you’ll have a brand new concrete pool that the whole family will enjoy.

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