A swimming pool with the words "DEEP END" written on the edge, reflecting sunlight on the water's surface.

In the Deep End of Pool Depth

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It’s a safe bet that if you have an interest in pools then you also cherish that feeling of jumping in. However, there’s also a good chance that you’ve never stopped to really consider the nature of it. There’s a lot more to the depth of backyard pools than just how deep they are. And as you’ll soon see, by tweaking the nature of your pool’s depth you can often vastly improve its quality.

Typical Deep End Depth

One of the first things to consider is what people mean when talking about a deep end. In other words, what qualifies as deep? There’s really no firm definition.

You generally won’t find deep ends that go further than 8 feet. And that’s also the depth needed for the safe use of a diving board.

However, there’s really no set definition and it can be as deep or shallow as you want.

Benefits of Deep-End Pools

The depth, and even the need, for a deep end is largely dependent on how you use your pool. When you’re deciding on your deep end it’s best to start out by considering all of the things people use them for. And while there are a lot of different reasons why people get a pool that features a deep end, these are the most popular.

Traditional shape

When people think of pools they typically have a common vision. Pools exist in a wide variety of creatively made shapes and sizes. But when most people hear the word pool they imagine a rectangular shape whose depth increases the further down its length you go. Some people want a traditional shape simply due to the fact that it can make calculations, such as overall volume, easier. But modern tools like a pool volume calculator make it easy to calculate the volume of pools in a wide variety of shapes. Many people also feel that it’s important to stick with the most universally recognized designs when getting a pool of their own. This might be for the sake of familiarity. But it can also help guests understand the pool’s depth at a glance.

guy swimming underwater with his arms crossed at the back of his neck.
Many pools follow a standard shape of a shallow end and a deep end although not is not easy to tell from outside of the water.

For diving

Diving is one of the more important reasons why someone might want guests to instantly understand the pool’s depth. People should always look before they leap. But it’s best to try to plan around potential accidents to ensure they never happen in the first place. Having an instantly understood deep end helps ensure guests know where they can dive. And it’s even more important if you have a diving board. A proper dive off a board will take people pretty far into the water. You need to make sure that you have a good depth, typically 8 feet, if people are using one.

ariel view of a rectangular swimming pool with diving board
Deep pools are needed for jumping into safely and are imperative if you have a diving board installed.

Necessary if you have a slide

The same principle that makes deep ends important for diving makes them important for slides. Don’t be fooled by the fact that even kids can use a pool slide. As you slide down the ramp you’re building up a lot of momentum. And you need about the same depth for a slide that you do for a diving pool.

backyard pool with a slide
If you plan on having a slide going into your pool it will generally require a deep end so no one touches the bottom but this depends on the size and speed of the slide.

Benefits of Forgoing a Deep End

As you’ve seen, there are a lot of reasons to have a deep end. But there are also some benefits to forgoing them entirely. As with the pros, keep your own personal preferences and needs in mind while looking over the cons.

Can be smaller

One of the reasons why pools are so large is that they tend to provide a continual slope in their depth. Pools with that design need to give you enough space to enjoy the pool no matter what depth you’re at. But many small pools can provide you with a lot of fun while also saving money. And many of them depend on the lack of a deep end.

Faster/More efficient to heat

Deep ends dramatically increase the overall volume of your pool. And the more water, the more expensive and time-consuming it is to heat the pool. Ditching a deep end can dramatically reduce the time, money, and even environmental impact of pool heating. It can also open the door to increased efficiency when using green heating options like solar.

Cheaper to run

You’ve already seen a few of the points which make a pool without a deep end more cost-effective. But you’ll find that this applies to most ongoing pool costs. The lowered volume reduces the cost of most additional pool care concerns. These savings range from the aforementioned heating, to water treatment, to less easily noted benefits like reduced wear and tear on machinery as your pump system has less total volume to process.

Easier to clean the bottom of the pool

If you’ve ever had to laboriously scoop debris from the bottom of a pool then you know how much of a hassle it is in a deeper pool. Anything with weight is a bad match for deep ends. And cleaning the bottom of the deep end isn’t optional. At least unless you decide to forgo having one in the first place.

More play area and room for activities

There’s a lot to love about pools that let you partake in normal recreational activities in the water. For example, a tanning ledge gives you the ability to lay out in the pool. And continual shallower areas let you easily play games like volleyball while in the water.


Deep ends are undeniably fun. But they do add a lot of safety concerns. Diving in particular can be a big safety issue. But just the inherent nature of a deep end’s depth makes it a concern for the safety of both children and pets. If you expect any smaller family members to make use of the pool then you should seriously consider whether you might be protecting them by going without a deep end.

view towards the deep end of a clean swimming pool
Having a deep end adds a huge amount of water to the total volume in the pool which means more to clean, heat and process.

The Depths of Planning and Pools

The thread tying all these elements of pool depth together is your own personal future. You don’t just need to think about how you’d like to use your pool today. As you think over the options make sure that you’re also considering the future. For example, whether you’ll have kids in the pool, pets, etc.

There’s really no perfect pool depth. Instead, you need to find the perfect pool depth for your own individual needs.

This blog is based on information available at the time of publishing and for the purpose of sharing information with the public related to swimming pools and projects that can be financed through Viking Capital. Although we strive to be complete and accurate, it is not information that is verified or maintained. It should not be relied upon for making financial decisions. An investment such as a swimming pool is significant. Viking Capital recommends consulting with a financial professional regarding your financing decisions and with pool professionals regarding pool options. To learn what financing options are available for you today, please apply with Viking Capital and you’ll receive your free loan consultation. Click Here to Apply.

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