What Is Pool Cove And Do I Need It?
When building any traditional above ground pool a solid prepared foundation is key to it's longevity. Once the ground is level and the pool sides are up you can begin to smooth out the floor and finish the bottom. Part of the pool floor is the cove and the pool's cove is just as important as anything part of the build. Pool cove is simply an area at the edge of the floor where the pool bottom meets the pool wall. This area should be a smooth sloped transition from one to the other instead of the sharp 90° angle where the pool floor meets the pool wall. Pool cove can be made from dirt or sand by throwing it up against the pool wall and smoothing it out creating a berm around the entire inside of the pool.
A very popular alternative to making your own pool cove is to purchase a pool cove kit. The pool cove kits are sold according to pool size and include enough pre-made cove pieces to complete a synthetic berm around the entire inside of your pool. The cove pieces are held in place with an adhesive backing.
Which Is Better?
Earth cove and store bought cove both do the same thing but each have an advantage. The sand or dirt cove is usually free and you can make it as big or small as you want to. It is easy to smooth out and make fairly consistent. The foam kits are consistent in size and shape, are easy to install but do cost money. Another advantage to foam cove is that it doesn't wash away when it rains, splashing or critters begin to dig around your pool. If you're installing your above ground pool on a hard surface like concrete the foam coves and Armor Shield are a must as sand or dirt cove or pool bottoms will wash away from rainfall.
What Does Pool Cove Do?
As I said prior, the cove is very important to the pool liner and should not be overlooked. It's main purpose is to keep the liner from contacting the framework of the pool. The bottom rails have sharp edges and corners that can rip or puncture the pool liner easily. Having a nice cove also takes the pressure off of the liner seams by not forcing them to stretch as far. The cove also ensures that when vacuuming or brushing your pool the tools glide over the area instead of snag or rub a hole in the vinyl.
How Big Should I Make My Cove?
Pre-made pool cove kits can come in a few sizes and prices but they are mostly around 4″ tall by 4″ wide. I would tell most people to build theirs about the same size and you'll be fine. It's ok if yours is a little bigger or smaller so no need to be exact or over think it here. Just eyeball it and smooth it out. Another good idea would be to water it and the entire pool floor down before putting in your floor pad or liner. Doing this will help pack things down and prevent footprints. The water also makes any debris easier to see. Take a few minutes to pick out any twigs, rocks etc, after all this is the floor of your pool and once the water is in you''l have to live with what's under there.