A Complete Guide to Lap Pools

For families who love to spend quality time together while indulging in leisure activities, owning a swimming pool is no short of a blessing. Very few luxuries in life can match up to having your dream pool installed in your backyard. However, over the years, Australian backyards are reducing substantially in size with the growing population and need for space. It may not be an option for every homeowner to install a full-size swimming pool in their backyard.

What do you do then? Does it mean you can’t realize your dream of splashing in a pool in your own private space? Not at all.

Fortunately for us swimming lovers, lap pools are increasingly becoming popular. They are ideal for homeowners who don’t necessarily have the width of a full-size pool in their backyard. So, what are lap pools? What are the benefits of owning one? In this article, we have rounded up everything you need to know about lap pools.

What Is A Lap Pool?

A lap pool is a type of swimming pool designed and built to use for health and fitness. True to what the name indicates, it is a pool meant for swimming laps. It is the perfect match for households with backyards that have space constraints and can’t accommodate a full-size pool. While traditional pools come in a square or round shape, lap pools are very long and narrow. Their sleek design gives them an edge and takes the worry of a messy backyard off your shoulders. By investing in a lap pool, you can enjoy a swim back and forth without using too much space. Lastly, you can also use lap pools for other fitness activities and water sports.

How Big Are Lap Pools?

Typically, lap pools are narrow, long and rectangular and come in multiple sizes. Olympic-sized lap pools are 50 meters long with individual lanes that are 1.8 meters wide. Of course, these are for professional athletes. For your backyard, you can choose a size ranging from 8 to 12 meters in length and approximately 3.5 meters wide. This width is almost the same as one or more lanes of a swimming pool. If you have some more space, you can increase it to 4.2 meters to swim alongside a partner. The depth is around 1.35 meters which is decent for swimming laps even at a professional level.

What Is the History Behind Lap Pools?

The origin of lap pools goes back to the Romans and the Greeks. They preferred a rectangular, long and narrow swimming pool at their gymnasiums. They used it for water games, athletic training as well as military exercises. Roman emperors even enjoyed lap pools filled with fish. Yes! You read that right.

It was in the 1970s that lap pools made a comeback of a sort when a designer from the US brought it back to fashion. Homeowners quickly realized how lap pools were the answer where space was an issue, but people still wanted a resort-like relaxation within the confines of their homes.

How Can Lap Pools Be Installed?

There is not much difference in the installation process of a lap pool and a traditional full-size pool. Depending on whether you want an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool, the installation process can vary. Plus, it also depends on whether you opt for a concrete pool or a fiberglass lap pool.

When you choose an in-ground pool, it involves excavation of a portion of your backyard as the first step. Once the digging is done, the lap pool of your choice can be installed in the ground and leveled. The pool builders place backfills around the pool and pour concrete (left to be dried) to make the pool compact. Once dry, the tile you have chosen for your lap pool will be laid. Any last-minute plumbing is taken care of once the pool is filled with water and balanced. After it passes the quality test, the pool builders can hand it over to you.

Note: Concrete lap pools take up a long time to install as compared to fiberglass lap pools. Fiberglass lap pools can be installed in about a week. However, unplanned elements such as the time of the year, weather and delayed approvals by the council can lengthen the pool installation time.

How Much Do Lap Pools Cost?

Often homeowners feel that because lap pools are smaller, they might be cheaper. However, that is not the case. Similar to a traditional pool, a lap pool also involves the same installation process and has to abide by industry standards. Plus, lap pools can be tailored to suit your budget and lifestyle, which makes each pool unique. This makes it harder to pin an exact price tag on the lap pool. However, on average, you can expect the costs to be in the range of $40,000 to $65,000. Of course, if you plan to add more features such as heating, lighting, pool covers and more, the cost can go up.

An above-ground fiberglass lap pool is more cost-effective compared to other pool types as it saves excavation costs. These pools are ready-made and can be directly installed. The money you save on installation can be used to add extra features for your pool, so you spend more time in it.  

Can I Customize My Lap Pool?

Here are some ways in which you can tailor your lap pool as per your swimming needs:

Spa Jets

Want to improve your fitness levels? Spa jets can create resistance in your lap pool for a good fitness session. They can even be used to relax after a difficult training lap.


If you want to enjoy swimming at night, good lighting can instantly elevate the look of your pool to the next level.


A heating system works brilliantly well to ease muscle tension or relaxing sore muscles with year-round warm water.

Landscaping and Surrounds

Want the surrounds of your pool to tie harmoniously with the overall look of your home? There is a wide array of landscaping options to enhance your pool surroundings.

Smart Pool Options

With the advancements of smart technology for pools, you can control every component of your lap pool at the touch of a button from your smart device. Want to switch on the heating of your lap pool while you are on your way home after a long day at work? Simply push a button and arrive at home ready to dip into your pool to relax.

Gel Coat Finish

Even though you may not be able to customize the shape of your fiberglass lap pool, you can choose its color. Most reputable companies spoil you for choice when it comes to color selection for lap pools.

Key Takeaways

A lap pool is a wise choice if you want a swimming pool in your backyard but don’t have the space to accommodate a full-sized one. It also helps you improve your health and fitness levels. With the right design elements and pool enhancements, you can enjoy a lap pool like you didn’t think possible.

Get in touch with our friendly team if you are looking to install a pool in your backyard.