pool installation process


Because the pools installation is the most important part, every inground pool that is sold by TC Pools is also built by the owners of TC Pools. Why? Because owners make sure everything is right. They tighten every nut and bolt. They measure twice. They're not concerned about time saving shortcuts and how fast they can get the pool installed; they want it done RIGHT. After all, they are the one’s warranting the pool.

Here are a few of the components and general steps taken to install our concrete vinyl liner pool. Because of the uniqueness of our concrete vinyl lined pool the installation generally takes a little longer than a steel or polymer wall inground kit pools. And remember that it’s not paradise until it’s finished! You should expect your backyard to be somewhat messy and "visually unpleasant" during the installation process.

Site Lay Out and Pool Wall Prep

First the pool is laid out according to the site plans. It will then be staked, and paint and string lines will mark the areas to be dug. Then excavating equipment is brought in. The pool is dug to precise measurements and is best left to the professionals. excavate pool
Next a concrete footing reinforced with 1/2" rebar is poured that the pool will be installed on. Here at TC Pools we believe that your pool is only as solid as the foundation it’s built on. We do not build and level our pool on or with rocks, little blocks, or wood shims. Some companies will omit this critical step in order to cut costs. pour concrete footing

The Pool Wall

Here the pool is starting to be formed on our solid concrete footing using TC Pools state-of-the-art aluminum concrete forms. These forms are used to pour the 10”thick continuous concrete wall. Additionally the wall is reinforced with 1/2” rebar. This makes this pool the strongest in the industry. Here in the Minneapolis St. Paul area, it is not only important to have a pool wall impervious to oxidization, corrosion, and rust, but also one that is strong enough to  withstand the rigors of a Minnesota winter. pool concrete forms
After completing the assembly of the pool, the pool is now ready to be poured with concrete. The wall will be poured using a 3000psi concrete mix. The walls, steps, coping, and swimouts of the pool can be poured together to form a one piece pool structure unlike normal steel and polymer wall pool kits that have multiple panels bolted together. pour concrete forms 2
After the wall is poured, TC Pools aluminum forms can be removed revealing a 10” thick smooth concrete pool wall. This is when your pool really begins to take shape. aluminum forms removed


With the steel and polymer wall inground pool kits it is highly recommended to use either 6” concrete piers and/or Z-bracing as a way to preserve the structural integrity of the pool and to help withstand backpressure from the pool water. It is absolutely necessary on a steel or polymer wall pool kits to have a super thick concrete bond beam to help stabilize and give strength to the pool structure to help maintain its integrity. Remember that our wall is poured using 3000psi concrete mix while other companies use a 2500psi mix for their concrete bond beam.

With our 10” thick concrete pool wall built on a concrete footing, this additional bracing is not necessary as it easily withstands soil expansion and helps protect surface concrete. Our wall also provides frost protection as it meets Minnesota’s current code for a frost wall unlike the 42” tall steel or polymer kit pool walls. Here in the Minneapolis St. Paul area this is desirable as we experience deep freeze thaw cycles and ground movement.

Pool Backfill

On a steel wall pool it is recommended (though most pool companies don’t) to backfill with sand or gravel as a way to try and prevent rust, corrosion, and also twisting and warping of panels from soil expansion. On a polymer wall it is highly recommended (though some pool companies don’t) to backfill with sand or gravel to prevent twisting, warping, and possibly splitting of the pool walls from soil expansion.

Because of its sheer strength the pool can be backfilled right away and with any material. Notice that no additional bracing is needed for the 10” thick concrete pool wall. On this particular concrete pool the wall was insulated prior to backfill. backfill pool wall

Pool Coping

TC Pools offers either an aluminum coping/bead retainer or concrete coping that can actually be poured into and become part of the concrete pool wall. By doing so this assures that the coping will never spread from the concrete deck and seamlessly ties everything together.

What this means: The pool wall and coping together form a one piece pool structure. This cannot be achieved with a polymer or steel wall kit pool. TC Pools is the only company that can offer this. There is an extra charge however for the poured concrete coping.

Pool Bottom

The pool walls are lined with foam to create a protective cushion behind your liner. Pool coping is installed and the bottom is then prepped for pool-krete. line pool walls with foam
TC Pools uses pool-krete for its pool bottoms. It is mixed, poured, and then hand troweled similar to that of concrete. This creates a protective base for the pools vinyl liner to sit on. pour pool krete
trowel pool krete        pool bottom complete
pool krete mixer
TC Pools uses a mixer designed specifically for pool-krete. This insures a consistency while mixing to provide a long lasting bottom that is hard to achieve when using a barrel mixer like some other companies use.

Pool Hopper and Swimming Depths

With steel and polymer wall pool kits hopper walls are a necessary and integral part of the pool. They can be changed somewhat provided the diving envelope is intact if a diving pool or deep-end is desired. Typically hoppers are based on overall pool size.

Not only does TC Pools offer inground pools with the common deep-ends such as the standard hopper, the wedge, and the sport pool, but With TC Pools 10” concrete pool wall we can offer customizable deep-ends such as our exclusive vinyl lined deep-end pool with no hopper walls as an additional option! We call this a FULL deep-end. This cannot be done on the polymer and steel wall kit pools.

standard 8' deep-end with hopper walls TC Pools Full 8' deep-end with no hopper walls

      Standard Hopper Wall On 8' Deep-end                     TC Pools "Full" 8' Deep-end

Kit pool walls are typically only 42” tall allowing for roughly 36” of water or swimming depth in a shallow end. TC Pools offers a 48” wall as a standard, giving you 6” more of swimming depth in the shallow end.

Also note that with our 10"thick concrete pool wall we can customize shallow and deep end depths to the specifications of an individual’s needs because our wall can be poured to any height.

Only TC Pools can offer swimming depths from 6"+ in the shallow end to well over 12' deep in the deepend!

Pool Liner Installation

TC Pools will meticulously install the vinyl liner you have chosen. Special care is taken here to make sure the liner fits properly. fit pool liner
Once TC Pools is satisfied that the liner fits properly, special care is taken to carefully faceplate the steps and all the other fittings to make sure there will be no leaks. special care with pool liner
Once the pool liner has been installed the pool can finally be filled. pool liner complete

Pool Plumbing

Notice on our concrete pool, that all pool fittings, skimmers, and returns are encased in the 10” thick concrete wall which adds to the integrity of the pool and its components. This cannot be done on a polymer or steel wall pool kit. pool plumbing

TC Pools also pressure tests the plumbing to check for leaks. This is all just another part of TC Pools commitment to quality and attention to the minor details. We worry so that you don’t have to.

TC Pools uses a combination of schedule 40 rigid and 100psi flexible piping for the pool. And unlike some companies trying to cut costs, we install separate lines for each outlet complete with its own ball-valve to assure simpler ease of use and maintenance. If a pressure side automatic pool cleaner is desired we will run a dedicated line just for that unlike some companies. pool pump

Pool Deck and Finishing Touches

Once the concrete wall has been backfilled, the pools surrounding deck and landscaping can begin. Here this pool has a wood deck attached to it and the remaining area is formed and ready for concrete placement.

Once the pools deck, whether it is wood, an intricate colored and stamped concrete design, or just a grey broom concrete finish, and landscaping have been addressed, all that’s really left is the finishing touches and many memorable years of swimming!
ready to pour concrete
finish pool deck enjoy the completed pool

When only the very best in strength and quality will do, consider our vinyl lined inground concrete pool. A concrete pool wall is for the homeowner looking for a permanent investment. Because of its durability, concrete pools are the main choice in commercial installations where longevity and quality are a concern. When we say we build quality pools, we mean it!

Contact us today to see how we can fulfill your dream of the ultimate outdoor reality. Whatever your vision for your pool, it can be realized with our concrete wall, vinyl lined inground pool. From raised spas and vanishing edges complete with dramatic waterfalls and boulders, anything you can imagine is possible.

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