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. Additionally, 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. Moreover, 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 are choosing a pool for the countless ways it adds beauty, practicality, fun, and healthfulness to their lifestyle. Additionally, pools provide a perfect setting for relaxation and social gatherings, making them a popular choice for many households.

Families with children love the time spent in an inground pool, with water features and a beautiful pool surround that finishes the look. Moreover, 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. Additionally, some enjoy hosting poolside gatherings or playing water games with family and friends. Moreover, pools provide a perfect setting for low-impact workouts and water aerobics, enhancing overall fitness and well-being.

  • 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 favorite pastime? Additionally, 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. Therefore, 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. As a result, safety risks are reduced with a larger and 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. In addition, a deeper pool provides a fantastic environment for diving and other water sports. Moreover, it offers more opportunities for recreational activities and creates a stunning visual appeal. Therefore, if you’re looking for a pool that stands out and offers a touch of elegance, opting for a greater depth might be the perfect choice.

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.