Last Updated: January 3, 2022

How Long Is A Lap Pool? Average Dimensions

Written By: Pool Care Guide

The standard length of a competition size lap pool in the United States is 25 meters (82 feet), while the average length of a home lap pool is 40 feet.

Lap pools are designed for competitive swimming. The length and width of the pool vary depending on the number of lanes required and local competitive swimming standards.

Swimmers and divers use lap pools to develop speed and endurance. For those interested in designing and installing a lap pool, how do you know the appropriate dimensions? More importantly, how much will it cost you to install?

Here, we’ll break down the standard dimensions of a lap pool and how much you can expect to spend on one.

Standard Lap Pool Dimensions 

Lap Pool Dimensions and Costs

Lap Pool DimensionsAverage Costs
35' x 8'$30,000 - $45,000
40' x 8'$35,000 - $50,000
40' x 10'$35,000 - $55,000
45' x 8'$40,000 - $65,000
45' x 10'$60,000 - $65,000
50' x 10'$65,000 - $70,000
75' x 10'$80,000 - $85,000

Lap pools don’t need to follow a regulatory size. The purpose is to create a space long, wide, and deep enough to swim laps and practice competitively. Therefore, you want to ensure you have enough room on your property to fill this uniquely-sized pool.

Length

In the United States, a lap pool is 25 meters in length (82 feet). This is a problem for most homeowners as many backyards won’t allow for a pool of that size. This is why the majority of home owners choose a smaller size of 40 feet.

If you’re planning on building a pool specifically for laps, you should consider starting at 45 feet at a minimum. You can always extend the pool or choose a longer pool based on the size of your property.

Width

The width of your pool depends on how many swimmers will be taking on laps at a time. Anywhere from 8-12 feet (up to four yards) is a good width. This gives you room to practice any stroke without running into the swimmer next to you.

Depth

A lap pool doesn’t need to be as deep as a pool built for diving and cannonballs. You can dig a pool with a minimum depth of 3.5 feet and swim laps comfortably.

The ideal shape for a lap pool is a rectangle, but you can add an extension to create an L or U shape, depending on space and purpose. Some homeowners choose to install pools with multiple functions. 

Material Choices

Lap pool costs can vary based on materials as well as size. The materials you use to build a lap pool may also provide insight into available dimensions. The most common materials used  to construct a lap pool include:

  • Concrete
  • Vinyl 
  • Fiberglass

Both vinyl and fiberglass pools use a premade shell or frame on which the vinyl or fiberglass covers. This isn’t the best option for a lap pool unless they are available in the exact dimensions you want. 

Concrete is the best option for a custom pool because of the unlimited sizing options. You can create a lap pool of any length. 

Average Cost

The cost of your lap pool depends on the depth, length, and width you choose. For an in-ground pool with the minimum dimensions of a lap pool, you can expect to pay anywhere between $40,000 to $60,000. This could be more if the excavation and landscaping process encounters trouble during the construction process. 

Some contractors also charge by the hour, making your lap pool cost more or less based on hours worked. In short, if your lap pool has an easy installation process and everything goes as planned, you can pay as little as $40,000. 

Lap Pool Alternatives: Wave Machines

Consider a wave machine if your yard doesn’t allow for a standard lap pool due to sizing restrictions. Wave machines are installed in pools to create a force in the water that mirrors natural waves. The current pushes back on the swimmer, making it more difficult to swim from one side to the other (even in a shorter-length swimming pool).

A solid wave machine with enough current to positively impact a lap swim costs anywhere from $600 to $3,000. This depends on the size of your pool and the strength of the current you wish to create. 

Using a wave machine allows you to swim the distance you wish to swim without the physical space. The current extends your swimming distance by effort spent in the pool rather than the distance you swim. 

Home Value Increased by Lap Pool Value

The cost of a lap pool can be high, but the value it adds to your home is worthwhile. Whether you’re staying in your current property for the unforeseeable future or you’re planning to sell, a lap pool can increase the value of your home. 

Price evaluations change when considering the value a lap pool adds to your property vs. the cost you’ll pay to install one. This is an excellent investment for those who plan to live in their home and enjoy a lap pool for the next five to ten years but see themselves selling later in life. 

According to HGTV, adding a lap pool to your property can increase the value of your home by up to $32,000. This is quite the amount if you consider it a discount on the initial cost of $40,000 to $60,000. 

Lap Pool FAQs

Dimensions and cost are common questions during lap pool installation, but they aren’t the only questions homeowners have. Here are some of the most frequently asked lap pool questions. 

What Makes a Lap Pool Different From Any Other Pool?

Lap pools are generally designed for one or two people to swim laps from one end of the pool to the other. This means they’re designed longer and thinner than leisure pools. Lap pools can be separated into lanes for multiple swimmers. They provide the distance necessary to practice for competitive swimming or as a form of exercise. 

Are They Harder to Maintain?

Not really. Your lap pool may be longer than the average in-ground pool. So, it may take a bit longer to clean, but it shouldn’t be any more difficult to maintain. If you have a professional pool maintenance company handling pool cleaning, you may be charged slightly more for the additional length. On average, it costs around $100 to $150 a month to maintain a lap pool. This includes chemicals, or salt, and labor. 

Does a Lap Pool Need to be Used Competitively?

Not at all. You can use a lap pool the same as any other inground swimming pool. The only difference is in length. You have a longer portion of the pool to work within a lap pool, but you can use it for leisure activities. 

Do I Need a Special Permit for a Lap Pool?

All swimming pool construction requires a permit. You will need to contact your local government to see what restrictions are enforced in your city or state. Lap pools shouldn’t have harsher permit requirements than any other pool, but you need to apply before building. 

What is the smallest inground pool that people buy?

On average, the smallest pools tend to be 10’ x 20’ (3m x 6.1m), 12’ x 14’ (3.7m x 4.3m), and 12’ x 24’ (3.7m x 7.3m). 

How long is a swimming lap?

There are Lap regulations are different. If you are asking the length of an Olympic lap, their answer is 50 meters. If you are asking for American short-course length, the answer is 25 yards.

How long should a backyard pool be?

If you don’t want to buy a cocktail or endless pool, the backyard square footage shouldn’t be less than 1,200 square feet. If we are talking about a square-shaped back-yard, that is 34.6’ x 34.6’ (10.6m x 10.6m)

Are endless pools worth it?

Endless pools are high-quality machines that will provide a fantastic workout. There are several models, but the top one can create a current strong enough to be the equivalent of a 20-minute mile (51 seconds per 100 yards). If that is what you are looking for in a pool, yes, an endless pool is totally worth it.

Wrapping Up

A lap pool is an excellent investment for those who swim competitively or exercise. The length of the lap pool provides enough space to race or get in a good workout. If you’re thinking about a lap pool, consider:

  • The size of your property
  • Your budget
  • Alternatives to lap pools (wave machines)
  • Local contractor discounts
  • Landscaping obstacles

Compare local contractors to see who can offer the best rate on labor and materials before getting started. 

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