pool water depth profiles


May 7, 2018
Bowie, MD
I have a 16x32 vinyl-liner in-ground pool. It has that "old-school" depth profile, with a ~3' shallow end, a 3' safety ledge all the way around, and an 8-foot deep hole at the "diving" end. I use quotes because there is no board, and I'm not planning on one. I think the previous owner had a slide most recently.

It is used by two adults and no kids, with none visiting soon, and I wouldn't design a pool around that use -- more for swimming and general recreation. I find the shallow end too shallow for swimming (but do-able), and the deep hole just catches leaves as well as some automatic pool vacuums.

As it is about time for a liner, I am looking at re-profiling the pool. Current thought is to dig the "shallow" end out to 54" (4' water depth), throw the dirt in the deep end, and see what final depth we come up with. We want to do all of this without re-doing the concrete deck, which is in good shape.

There are technical issues (extending walls, hard bottom, coving, etc), which our pool guy is figuring out, but I wanted to first sanity check the depth idea. There is a significant cost in the reprofiling, whereas throwing in another liner for another 10 years is only about a third of the total cost.

Opinions? We plan to heat the pool as well, to start getting some usage in late May and early September, if that makes a difference. What kinds of pool profiles are people building nowadays?




Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2009
When we moved into our house, the pool was already here but needed a new liner. The pool was all deep end, about 6.5 feet deep. We wanted at least part of the pool to where you could stand up in. So we had one-third of the pool made into a shallow end at about 4 feet deep; one-third of the pool is a slope going into the deep end, and the last one-third is deep end. It works well for our pool and I'm really happy we decided to do it. In your situation, if you plan on being there a while, and can swing it, I would redo your water profile. Having only 3 feet of water doesn't sound too enjoyable.


TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
Morris Cnty NJ
Making the shallow end deeper is a challenge, you end up with a cove around the bottom on an angle to hit the depth of flat area. The old way of flat around the edges isnt done anymore. If your not diving I would leave an 8 or 10ft area as is in shallow end depending on what you need for the stairs to work. Then I'd gradually slope to 6ft amd have a small hopper in deep end. That's 75% of the pools I build and a gradual slope lets you stand easily at the depth you like for your height. 6' is enough for cannonballls and jumping by kids.