Planning & Design

Swimming pool shapes and sizes

Your backyard upgrade is only a few steps away, and it all begins with selecting the perfect swimming pool design tailored to your needs and desires. The world of swimming pools offers a vast array of shapes and sizes, ready to accommodate any backyard and suit any lifestyle. Ready to dive in? Let’s explore the possibilities and learn how to transform your outdoor space into a personal paradise.
Explore swimming pool shapes and sizes in Australia

Short Summary

  • Understanding pool sizes requires taking various factors into account to find the ideal option that best suits your lifestyle and property.
  • Popular pool shapes and styles range from classic rectangular pools to modern infinity pools, offering a perfect design fit for any backyard.
  • Be aware of the local regulations and permits when building a swimming pool in order to ensure the process runs smoothly.

Understanding pool sizes

When it comes to swimming pools, one size definitely does not fit all. As diverse as the people who enjoy them, pools come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed to suit specific requirements and preferences. From compact plunge pools for relaxation to large pools designed for serious swimmers, there’s an option to fit every backyard and lifestyle.

Before deciding on the perfect pool size, several factors should be taken into account, such as the total outdoor area, budget, and any potential obstacles like trees, sewer mains, or topography of the land. With a wide range of options available, including lap pools, plunge pools, and above-ground pools, you’ll be sure to find the ideal pool to create an oasis that not only complements your property but also enhances your lifestyle.

Plunge pools

For those with limited space or a desire for a cozy retreat, plunge pools are the perfect solution. These small pools, typically measuring 2m-6m in length and 2m-3.5m in width, are designed for relaxation and offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Plunge pools can be easily integrated into small backyards, gardens, or even terraces, providing a refreshing dip without consuming much space.

In Australia, the popularity of plunge pools has exploded in the last 5 years. This is as a result of smaller the block sizes and space restrictions many homeowners face, and, the fact that there several new companies building fantastic precast plunge pools in Australia.

The most popular plunge pool designs are rectangular pools ranging in size from 4-6m long and 3m wide, and circular plunge pools that are 3-3.5m in diameter. One thing to remember with precast plunge pools is that they typically have a consistent depth, in the range of 1.5m deep. On the other hand, if you opt for a custom built plunge pool, you can have a shallow end and a deep end.

So, if you’re looking for a compact and peaceful addition to your backyard, a plunge pool may be just what you need.

Small pools

Small pools provide the perfect balance between space-saving and functionality, making them an excellent choice for urban homes or smaller properties. Typically measuring about 7 metres by 3 metres and a little larger, small pools are a versatile option that can complement various backyard sizes and styles.

Despite their compact size, small pools offer several advantages, such as being easier to maintain and costing less to install. However, a small pool provides less space for swimming laps or entertaining a large group of kids or friends.

A small pool can be built using either concrete or fibreglass, can can come in various shapes, such as plunge pools, rectangular pools, freeform pools, and infinity pools, offering a range of design options to suit your specific needs when considering a new pool.

Medium pools

For homeowners seeking a more spacious swimming area without sacrificing too much backyard space, medium-sized pools are an ideal choice. With standard dimensions of 9 metres by 4 metres, medium pools provide ample swimming space while still offering the flexibility to accommodate additional features such as seating or steps.

If you choose to build a medium sized pool, you can choose between a custom concrete pool or a fibreglass pool. Most fibreglass pool brands offer several shapes and designs in this size range, including pools with plenty of bench seating. Concrete pools in this range allow for beach entries. custom seating and step design, any depth, shapes like L-shape and more.

With a medium pool, you’ll have the perfect balance between swimming area and backyard space, providing endless opportunities for fun, relaxation, and exercise.

Large pools

If you have a spacious backyard and a desire for a truly grand swimming experience, large pools are the way to go. Any pool sized more than approximately 10m x 5m is considered a large pool. There are limited options in fibreglass when it comes to large pools (for example, not many fibreglass pool brands offer pools larger than 12m x 4.5m), so if you have something truly grand in mind, you'll need to build a concrete pool.

With a large pool, you can create a luxurious and relaxing oasis right in your own backyard.

Large concrete pools can be designed in numerous shapes and styles, including rectangular, freeform, infinity, and Roman and Grecian pools. They often feature additional amenities such as waterfalls, slides, and spas, ensuring an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

However, when installing a large pool, it is essential to consider the associated costs, the size of the backyard, and any applicable local regulations or permits.

Popular pool shapes and styles

Now that we’ve explored the different pool sizes available, it’s time to dive into the popular pool shapes and styles that can further personalize and enhance your backyard oasis. Here are some options to consider.

  • Classic rectangular pools
  • Oval-shaped pools
  • Kidney-shaped pools
  • L-shaped pools
  • Freeform pools with organic and natural-looking shapes
  • Rectangle pools with curved corners

There’s a shape and style to suit every preference and backyard layout.

Whether you’re seeking a timeless and elegant Roman or Grecian pool or a modern and sleek infinity pool, the possibilities are endless. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular pool shapes and styles, including:

  • Rectangular pools
  • Freeform pools
  • Infinity pools
  • Roman/Grecian pools

This will help you find the perfect design to make a splash in your backyard.

Rectangular pools

Rectangular pools are a classic and versatile option that can suit various backyard sizes and styles. With their clean, straight lines and long, unimpeded swimming area, rectangular pools offer increased swimming and playing space compared to other shapes. Historically, the majority of residential swimming pools have been constructed in this traditional rectangular shape.

In addition to the classic rectangular design, there are also L-shaped pools, including the True-L and lazy L varieties. Rectangular pools can easily accommodate a range of features such as seating, steps, or a spa, and their simple design ensures they blend seamlessly with most backyard styles.

Freeform pools

For those seeking a more natural and organic look for their backyard oasis, freeform pools are an excellent choice. Featuring curvilinear shapes, freeform pools blend effortlessly into the surrounding landscape, creating a more relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

The origin of curvilinear-shaped pools dates back to the 1930s, with renowned pool builder Philip Ilsley creating a round-bottomed pool frame filled with concrete via a hose. Some popular freeform designs include the Tuscany pool, which is kidney (or bean) shaped, and the Harvest pool, which features rounded edges that curve in on one width of the soft rectangular shape.

Freeform pools are perfect for those who want their freeform pool to blend harmoniously with the natural environment.

Infinity pools

Infinity pools, also known as zero edge, infinity edge, disappearing edge, or negative edge pools, are designed to give the appearance that the pool is merging with the nearby landscape or the horizon. This captivating visual effect is perfect for properties with a stunning view, as it creates a seamless and immersive swimming experience.

In addition to their striking appearance, infinity pools offer a distinctive swimming experience that makes you feel as if you are part of your natural environment while swimming. When installing an infinity pool, it’s essential to take into account:

  • The surrounding landscape
  • The size of the pool
  • The type of materials used
  • Safety features

Roman and Grecian pools

Inspired by ancient designs, Roman and Grecian pools exude elegance and sophistication. Both pool styles feature arches or curves, adding a touch of refinement to your backyard oasis.

The Roman pool design is characterized by its long and rectangular shape, with steps leading down to the shallow end, a seated area in the deep end, and a safety ledge surrounding the whole pool. Greek pools, on the other hand, display more curves and arches, with curved edges and a shallow end and deep end.

Roman and Grecian pools, including the elegant roman pools, offer a visually appealing aesthetic, making them an excellent addition to any outdoor area. They also require minimal upkeep and can be tailored to suit any space.

Fibreglass vs. concrete pools: size considerations

When it comes to selecting the right material for your pool, understanding the size considerations for both fibreglass and concrete pools is crucial. Each material offers its own set of advantages and drawbacks, as well as varying levels of customization and available sizes.

In this section, we will delve into the differences between fibreglass and concrete pools in terms of size considerations. We will explore the various sizes available for both pool types, as well as the customization options that each material offers, allowing you to make the best decision for your backyard paradise.

Fibreglass pool sizes

Fibreglass pools come in a range of pre-made sizes and shapes, offering quicker installation than concrete pools. Fibreglass pools have a wide range of available shapes and sizes, however the smallest fibreglass pools are in the range of 4.5m long and 3m wide, and the largest are typically 12m long and 4.5m wide.

Because fibreglass pools are manufactured in a factory and shipped to customers homes, it is not possible to get a fibreglass pool wider than approximately 4.5m or longer than 12.5m as any larger and the pool will not fit on the back of a truck. Some fibreglass pool builders are now offering longer lengths, but joining 2 fibreglass pool shells together on-site.

In addition to the pre-made sizes, fiberglass pools can also be customized with the addition of a spa or wading pool, modifying the shape and purpose of the pool. While fiberglass pools may not offer the same level of customization as concrete pools, they do provide an attractive and long-lasting option for your backyard oasis.

Concrete pool sizes

Concrete pools, on the other hand, can be customized to any size or shape, providing flexibility in design and construction. This makes them an ideal choice for homeowners who want a pool that is truly unique and tailored to their specific needs and backyard layout.

Concrete pools can be constructed in a variety of sizes, ranging from small plunge pools to large lap pools and anything in-between. Their flexibility and durability has made concrete a very popular choice amongst Australian homeowners for decades.

Lap pools: fitness and space-saving solutions

For fitness enthusiasts seeking a space-saving solution, lap pools offer the perfect answer. These long, unimpeded swimming areas are ideal for narrow properties, providing ample space for swimming laps and improving your fitness.

It is possible to get a lap pool in both fibreglass and concrete, however fibreglass lap pools are restricted to around 10-12m in length. If you want a longer lap pool, you'll need to go concrete.

Maximizing your pool area: design tips and tricks

To truly make the most of your backyard oasis, it’s essential to maximize your pool area with clever design tips and tricks. By integrating pool features and implementing creative landscaping ideas, you can create a stunning and functional outdoor space that blends seamlessly with your surrounding environment.

At Poolz, we highly recommend you hire a pool designer to bring your vision to life. Just like you wouldn't build a house without confirming the design first, we don't recommend building a pool without your vision laid out by a designer.

To get you started, here are our design tips and tricks to help you make the most of your pool area, including integrating pool features such as seating, steps, or a spa, and incorporating landscaping and decking ideas to create a harmonious backyard retreat.

Integrating pool features

Integrating features such as seating, steps, or a spa can greatly enhance the functionality and enjoyment of your pool. Some examples of these features include:

  • Tanning ledge
  • Waterfall
  • Spa nook
  • Built-in spa
  • Seating areas

These additions can create a visually appealing and inviting atmosphere, while also providing a relaxing space for socializing and unwinding after a swim or exercise.

By incorporating features that serve multiple purposes, you can not only add visual interest to your pool area, but also create a space that is both functional and enjoyable for the whole family. Consider your specific needs and preferences when integrating pool features to ensure your pool remains a cherished and well-utilised part of your backyard oasis.

Landscaping and decking ideas

Creative landscaping and decking ideas can help blend your pool into the surrounding environment and make the most of your backyard space. Here are some ideas to enhance your pool’s aesthetic appeal.

Incorporate greenery around the decked space.

  • Utilise stylish railings.
  • Combine wood and water.
  • Marry landscaping with the pool area.

By implementing these ideas, you can create a beautiful and inviting pool area that seamlessly integrates with your backyard.

In addition to these landscaping and decking ideas, consider using textured surfaces with low heat retention and adding pops of color to your pool area to create a visually stunning and comfortable space. With a little creativity and careful planning, you can transform your pool area into a captivating and harmonious extension of your home.

Pool size regulations and permits

Before diving headfirst into your pool project, it’s important to understand pool regulations and permits. Local requirements and the process for obtaining necessary approvals vary from state to state and can include restrictions on the location, size, shape, and depth of the pool.

To ensure a smooth pool building process, familiarise yourself with the local regulations and permits required in your area. By understanding and adhering to these requirements, you can avoid potential setbacks and enjoy your dream pool without any legal hassles.


In conclusion, the world of swimming pools offers a wealth of possibilities in terms of shapes, sizes, styles, and materials. From cozy plunge pools for relaxation to expansive lap pools for fitness enthusiasts, there is a pool design out there to suit every backyard, lifestyle, and preference.

Whether you opt for a classic rectangular pool or a more organic and natural-looking freeform pool, the key is to carefully consider your specific needs, space limitations, and local regulations to ensure a successful and enjoyable pool project. With the right planning, design, and inspiration, you can create a backyard oasis that reflects your unique personality and style and offers endless fun, relaxation, and enjoyment for years to come.

Frequently asked questions

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What is the most popular type of pool?
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The split between fibreglass and concrete pools in terms of numbers and popularity is very close - there is no clear winner. In some areas of Australia concrete pools are more popular and in others, fibreglass are more popular.

What colour options are available for pools?
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Swimming pool interior colour options are vast. Ranging from white through to black, with many shades of blue, grey and green, pools come in loads of colours. Each manufacturer (whether fibreglass or pebble or tiles) has a different range of colour options to choose from. 

The interior colour of your pool impacts both the perceived water colour of your pool and mood of your pool and pool zone.

What are the most popular pool types?
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The most popular pools in Australia are:

  • concrete pools - each one is custom made, giving the homeowner the ability to have exactly what they want in terms of style, colour, size, shape and depth,
  • fibreglass pools - with a wide range of sizes and shapes to pick from, fibreglass pools are generally a faster install option for those looking to swim sooner,
  • plunge pools - for those with limited space, or who only want to relax (instead of swimming), plunge pools are a fantastic option. They can be made from precast concrete, custom concrete or fibreglass.
  • shipping container pools - for properties on a steep slope, shipping container pools offer a wonderful solution. Only needing a stable footing, they can be perched high above the ground to suit a house on a steep slope.
Can a fibreglass pool be resurfaced?
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Yes. If your fibreglass pool surface is discoloured, cracking or looking worse for wear, it is possible to have the entire interior resurfaced with a fresh layer of fibreglass. The cost of this varies based on the size and other factors, but typically costs in the vicinity of $15,000 to $30,000.

What is the smallest pool size?
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Small pools, usually called plunge pools, come in various sizes. It is possible to have a custom plunge pool built to any size you like, however if you are looking for a plunge pool shell (usually manufactured out of fibreglass or precast concrete), the smallest sizes are around 2.5m x 2.5m (round or square) or 3.5m x 2.5m (rectangular). 

How much does a swimming pool cost?
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In Australia, pool costs vary a great deal based on the type of pool and also the location. For example, pools are more expensive in Sydney than they are in Brisbane. As a general guide for a 7m x 3m in-ground swimming pool on a flat site with 5m access, these are the approximate pool costs:

  • concrete pools typically cost between $50,000 to $80,000
  • fibreglass pools typically cost between $45,000 to $70,000

If you’re after a smaller plunge pool, they typically also cost between $45,000 to $60,000 fully installed depending on the type of pool (eg. precast concrete or fibreglass), size and installation requirements.

Other types of pools such as vinyl liner above-ground pools are considerably cheaper at around $5,000 to $15,000 fully installed, however these have a much shorter lifespan.

On top of this you will always have pool fencing and electricals.

And anything you want to put around the pool, like surrounds and landscaping. Plus any additions to the pool, like heating, automation.

Which is best: concrete or fibreglass pools?
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Of course this answer is one of personal preference, however here is our unbiased view on the strengths of each pool type to help you decide what is best for you.

Concrete pools:

  • can be fully customised in design, style, colour, size, shape etc. allowing for unique shapes, sizes and depths
  • the steps, bench and ledge design can be fully tailored to what you want
  • the interior can be fully tiled, pebble or glass bead and can also have waterline tiles
  • can be built anywhere
  • can be constructed to retain on sloping blocks
  • are very durable and long-lasting
  • do not require a crane for installation
  • typically take between 10-16 weeks to install
  • in Australia, concrete pools usually come with a 7 year warranty - that being said, a concrete pool will last much longer than 7 years!

Fibreglass pools:

  • typically take between 2-6 weeks to install, however extensive tiling, decking and surrounding landscaping may push this timeframe out
  • have a set range of styles, colours, shapes, sizes and depths depending on the pool shell brand
  • generally require a crane for installation (except where the truck can park directly adjacent to the installation location and can simply drop the pool into place)
  • most come with a 25 year or similar warranty - however please note that most fibreglass pool warranties require that the homeowner meet very stringent maintenance, testing and documentation requirements for the warranty to remain valid.
Which shape of pool is best?
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The best pool shape for most people is a rectangular or an L-shaped pool. Rectangular pools are great for lap swimming, while L-shaped pools can accommodate both leisure activities and exercise.

Both also provide flexibility in landscaping and have classic appeal that never goes out of style.

The "best" pool though, is the one that suits you, your home and your lifestyle best. 

What is a classic pool shape?
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Classic pool shapes can be found in Greek and Roman pools, which are both formal designs based on ancient pool structures. Grecian pools feature rectangular shapes, while Roman-style swimming pools have an arch or slight curve at one or both ends of a rectangle.

Both styles provide a classic and timeless look to your outdoor space.

What factors should I consider when choosing the size of my pool?
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When choosing the size of your pool, take into account your available space, how you plan to use the pool, who is going to use the pool, your budget, the use of the total outdoor area and any potential obstacles that might limit your choices.

Consider the size of the pool in relation to the size of the yard, the amount of sun exposure, and the amount of maintenance required. Think about the type of pool you want, such as an above-ground or in-ground pool.

What is the best size for a family pool in Australia?
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The most popular family sized swimming pools in Australia are 7m x 3m or 8m x 4m. Of course this is a very general rule and pool sizes vary a lot. 

What is the standard pool size in Australia?
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In Australia, the most common pool sizes range from 6m x 3m to 9m x 5m for inground or above ground pools. Lap pools vary considerably, however are usually in the range of 10-15m long and 2.5-4m wide, whilst plunge pools are mostly 2.5m to 3.5m diameter for round plunge pools, or 4.5-6m long and 2.5-3.5m wide for rectangular plunge pools.

How many types of swimming pools are there?
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There are 5 main pool types in Australia.

They are

  • Vinyl above ground pools
  • Precast plunge pools
  • Shipping container pools
  • Fibreglass pools
  • Concrete pools

The type of pool is dictated by its material and where it was constructed (on or off site). 

Each type has its own advantages, so you can choose the best option for your needs.

What is the difference between a concrete, shotcrete and gunite?
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In short, all are a form of concrete and are quite similar. Concrete is a mix of water, cement, sand and coarse aggregates, normally gravel or stone. The cement binds the sand and aggregate together which hardens to form concrete.

Gunite differs from concrete in two main ways. Firstly, unlike concrete which uses large and small aggregates, gunite only uses small particles. The other difference is in how it is mixed. The concrete for swimming pools typically comes pre-mixed and needs to be applied in one go to avoid weak points, whereas a dry mix of gunite is fired through a howe with the water being added at the point of delivery. Unlike a concrete pool, this means you can stop and start when using gunite without any issues. Due to this difference in technique and the smaller particles, gunite also offers a smoother finish and is less prone to cracking than concrete.

Shotcrete is pretty much the same thing as concrete (it comes ready mixed), but instead of being poured when it is applied, it is fired out of a hose at high speed - hence the name!

What is the best pool shape for a small backyard?
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For small backyards, you the best choices are either a plunge pool (which are typically round, square or rectangular), or a freeform pool. Plunge pools can be prefabricated and installed quickly or custom build. Freeform pools, with curves and irregular shapes, can be tailored to the exact size and shape of the space available, however must be custom build on site. Freeform pools also provide more room for the addition of patio furniture, decks, and landscaping to make it look even more inviting.

Adding these features can create a beautiful and inviting outdoor space that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

What is the best shape pool to get?
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For the best shape pool, opt for a classic rectangular design. It offers a sleek and modern look that provides plenty of space to swim laps or enjoy other water exercises. Sticking with a rectangular shape pool also gives you the most options when it comes to pool types - you now have the option of both concrete and a fibreglass pool. Whereas if you go with a freeform pool or L-shaped pool, or any other shape that is less common, you will be limited to a concrete pool.

What is the cheapest swimming pool to build?
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The cheapest swimming pool to build is an above ground vinyl-liner pool. These pools are affordable and can be great for those with tight budgets who are looking to enjoy more leisure time.

Although they require a liner change approximately every 10 years, these pools offer great value for money.

What is considered a standard pool size in Australia?
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The standard size of a pool is typically 9m x 4m, 8m x 4m, 7m x 3m, or 6m x 3m. The depth is usually around 1.2 -1.8 metres and may feature a deep and shallow end.

What is a classic pool shape?
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Classic pool shapes can be found in Greek and Roman pools, which are both formal designs based on ancient pool structures. Grecian pools feature rectangular shapes, while Roman-style swimming pools have an arch or slight curve at one or both ends of a rectangle.

Both styles provide a classic and timeless look to your outdoor space.

What are the most popular pool shapes in Australia?
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By far the most popular pool shape in Australia right now is the rectangular pool. It is most often 6m x 3m, 7m x 3m or 8m x 4m in size and can have various configurations for steps and other features. In the larger sizes it is common to have a long bench seat down one side and in the smaller sizes, one end is typically a large seat and step combination.

Planning & Design

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