How Deep Should a Pool Be? 

Pool showing different depths


How deep should a pool be? As pool installers serving St Marys and areas within an approximate 45-minute radius, we install pools with a shallow area of 3-4 feet deep that slopes to a depth of 6 feet or 8 feet if diving is likely. See more ideas for pool depths for lap swimming, casual lounging, or sports games. 
(Above Passion Pool & Pond – Summer 2021 Installation: 14′ x 28′ Lagoon InGround pool with a 3-foot-deep shallow area and an 8-foot deep end.)

How deep should a pool be? When deciding on an inground pool’s depth, tailor it to who will mainly be using it and for its likely activities.

Since 2020, the desire for a backyard pool has increased by almost 100% in our big Ontario cities. That percentage isn’t too far off for our installation areas in Stratford, St. Marys, Baden, Woodstock, and Kitchener regions. With more time spent at home, activity-loving families choose a pool for the countless ways it adds beauty, practicality, fun, and healthfulness to their lifestyle.

Families with children love the time spent in an inground pool, with water features and a beautiful pool surround that finishes the look. There are many reasons that you might choose to have a pool. A pool is perfect for:

  • Swimming laps or training
  • Pool parties
  • Wading
  • Water games and sports
  • Tanning and lounging
  • Diving and diving games
  • Swimming in a natural setting with a Natural Pool
  • Its aesthetic appeal 

Pool activities and typical depths:

Swimming laps: 

Most people use their pool for relaxing, cooling off, and swimming laps. 

  • A 6-foot depth is perfect for swimming laps.
  • Add a shallow lounging area of 2.5 – 3.5 feet on one end.

Relaxing, cooling off, and wading:

Is lounging a favourite pastime? Will there be young people or less able swimmers in your pool? 

  • An area with a less than 4-foot (48”) depth is perfect for adults using a pool to relax.
  • Pool walls are typically 42” and with a water level of approximately 4” lower, the depth becomes a perfect 38” for your shallow end. 
  • A tanning ledge with a depth of about 18” in the shallow area is perfect for adults lounging on luxurious loungers built safely to sit on your pool liner.

Children’s wading area: 

You may want to add a sun or tanning ledge. 

  • Provide a depth of about 18” in the shallow area where you can safely be with your toddlers. 
  • An area less than 3 feet is shallow enough for a morning of play activities and can remain a tanning and lounging area later on.

Sports activities: 

Teenagers especially love to use a pool for sports like pool volleyball, basketball, or badminton. 

  • Sports activities need a long enough area with a 3.5- 4 foot depth.
  • A sports pool may have two shallow ends 3.5 – 4 feet deep and a middle area or 5.5” deep. The middle area is great for deeper water sports like snorkelling or volleyball.

Pool parties and multiple uses:

Pool parties are an excellent extension of your summer BBQs and dinners.

  • A greater shallow area of 38” allows people to stand and talk without the need to tread water, making more usable space in your pool.
  • Two shallow ends, with one more shallow than the other, provide the best usage scenarios.


Diving pools usually require a longer length. Inground swimming pools with diving boards are primarily designed larger and longer to accommodate a safe distance between the diving area and the shallow area. Safety risks are reduced with a larger/longer deep end.

  • 8 feet deep is the minimum (and is quite adequate) for diving, cannonballs, and diving games.

Are many pools built deeper than 8 feet?

We can build pools deeper than 8 feet if you prefer a deeper dive area. For some people, achieving endless depth is a luxurious experience.

Passion Pool & Ponds loves providing the best pool design for you and your family. 

Our professional team has built fibreglass and vinyl inground pools since 2009. We’ve recently added beautiful Ontario-built spas to our roster of installations.