How to decide on how deep your private home swimming pool should be

How to decide on how deep your private home swimming pool should be

How to decide on how deep your private home swimming pool should be


The bottom of your pool is not something you give your first thoughts to when imagining your dream pool in your home and garden.

But the type of bottom, and the depth of the pool are two essential considerations that will greatly affect the use you’ll obtain from your pool. It affects comfort of use, aspects of safety, overall aesthetics, and your maintenance budget.

The most important factor is to choose the bottom of your pool based on the needs of the users and the activities that will be enjoyed in the pool. Among the most well-known are flat bottoms, progressively sloping bottoms, and composite slope bottoms – some with a diving well.

Ask yourself the right questions

Is the pool for a family pool with young children? Or is it an individual pool to be used for sports purposes? Choose the depth that corresponds to your activities and bathing habits – is it for relaxation, games, diving, sports swimming? What suits you best?

According to industry expert advice:  “There are 5 things to consider for you and your family:

  1. What’s the purpose of the pool?

Do you want a pool for beach balls and games or for swimming laps? Most “fun” pools should have a minimum depth of three feet to accommodate for both adults and children, and a maximum depth of four to five feet, for safety. Swimmers who swim laps seriously should look for a minimum depth of five feet, and a length of 25 meters.

  1. What’s the ideal safe height for adults?

Most people are content with the established depths in a multi-depth pool (e.g. staggered between 3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet, etc.) but keeping your own height and the height of your spouse in mind isn’t a bad idea. Let’s say a 6’2” husband and 4’11” wife want a multi-depth pool. An accommodating safe height for both would be four feet, not five. In this scenario, the limiting factor and determinant for a pool height is the height of the shorter person.

  1. How can I keep my children safe?

Unlike adults, children grow quickly, so there’s really no “optimal” safe height. For young toddlers, a wading pool two feet deep is the best choice. After a few years, your child will graduate into three feet and up depths, so the wading pool area should never be too large.

Some people opt for a separate wading pool for their children, but a better way to incorporate a wading pool into a larger pool meant for serious swimming is to design an L-shaped pool in which the shorter leg is the wading pool and the longer leg is for laps. The wading area instantly doubles as an easy way in and out of the pool. Some customers prefer this setup to a traditional ladder for entrance and exit.

  1. Will there be any diving?

Diving is no small consideration. The diving area of any pool must be at least ten feet deep (more is preferable) — but this small change can greatly affect your overall pool profile and associated expenses. Which brings us to our last factor.

  1. What’s my budget?

It’s tempting to want to splurge on a diving pool, but consider this: deeper pools require more water and more cleaning. Not only are they more expensive upfront, they also require more upkeep. Over a period of several decades, a pool with even a small diving area will add up to thousands of pounds of additional cleaning and water expenses.

We don’t mean to discourage you from adding a diving board to your pool. By all means — if you love diving, the extra cost is well worth it. But, if your budget is tight, realise that you won’t be spending too much of your time in the deeper depths anyway. Most families spend the vast majority of their time in the shallower parts of the pool.”



Types of pools

So there are several types of swimming pools that are available to suit different needs:

  • for swimmers or swimming training;
  • for diving and underwater activities;
  • recreational, suitable for playing and bathing;
  • multifunctional, which simultaneously allows different activities and uses;
  • for rehabilitation, for curative and thermal uses.

And each of these have their own bottom specification preferences to provide the optimum level of practical comfort and use.



Water depth and pool bottom shape types

With regard to water depth shape types, there are several alternatives that can be adopted. Not all of them can be applicable, since a lot depends on the swimming pool perimeter shape.

Generally, we could refer to four shapes of water depth:

  • Flat: same depth at both ends of the swimming pool.
  • Sloped: pool floor gradient starts with a 50 cm depth and progressively continues down to the desired depths
  • Spooned: the bottom is first sloping and then creates a sinking with the shape of a spoon, so as to ensure maximum depth in the diving area
  • U-shaped: the deepest part is at the centre of the pool.



The best bottoms for family use 

This would be for all-round swimming activities, games, people of different swimming capabilities.

  • 20 m flat bottom: an ideal playground for children and relaxation area for parents. Perfectly suited for those who do not know how to swim.
  • Dished bottom from 1.20 to 1.80 m: shallow areas around the edges and deeper well in the centre of the pool. The right choice for people who are afraid of water, children and small people as well as for those who like to dive from the poolside. The easiest bottom for maintenance.
  • Mini-well from 1.20 to 1.80 m: a bathing part with a flat bottom for games and a deeper well for those who dive from the poolside.

Thanks to an optimised volume of water, these three types of bottom offer two advantages: the water heats rapidly and the maintenance budget is reduced.



There are other bottom types that are less well-adapted for family use, such as having a 1.5 m flat bottom throughout, where people under 1.7 m tall have no footing anywhere in the pool (accounting for the extra 10cm allowed for the distance between the surface of the water and the ground level of the pool surround).


“The choice of the bottom and depth of your pool is crucial. The use of your pool will depend on its shape and comfort will depend on its depth.”


Want to know more? Have a chat with our friendly team to find out what depth of pool is best for your home.

Phone: 01484 950279 (UK) and email

Share this post