When selecting a finish for your new pool or renovating an existing one, durability should be top of mind. A pool is a significant investment; the right pool finish can mean the difference between a pool that maintains its beauty and structural integrity over time and one that requires frequent and costly repairs. Hence, choosing the most durable pool finishes is essential for any pool project.
When considering pool designs, it’s essential to consider the longevity of the materials you choose, especially for the main structure of the pool. A concrete pool offers enduring strength and serves as an excellent foundation for a variety of finishes.
An exposed aggregate finish is an exceptionally robust option that combines the resilience of concrete with the aesthetic appeal of textures and colours embedded in the surface. This type of pool finish adds visual depth to your pool design and provides a non-slip, textured surface that is perfect for pool decks.
For those who prefer a sleeker look, a tile finish can provide a smooth finish that feels luxurious underfoot and is remarkably easy to clean. Whether you go for the textured appeal of an exposed aggregate finish or the seamless elegance of a tile finish, ensuring that the underlying concrete pool is well-constructed is key to a lasting and durable pool design. Let’s explore all your options!
Understanding Types of Pool Finishes
Numerous types of pool finishes are available for pool owners, each with its own benefits and considerations. The longevity of your swimming pool surface is influenced by the material and installation quality. Let’s explore the different options to determine which suits your pool design and lifestyle.
Plaster Pool Finish
Traditional white plaster has been a staple for pool surfaces for decades. It’s a mixture of white cement, white sand, and water, creating a smooth texture. While standard plaster is the least expensive pool finish, it may not be the most durable option.
Innovations have led to coloured quartz and marble aggregate being added to plaster finishes, enhancing their durability and aesthetic appeal.
Aggregate Pool Finishes
Aggregate finish takes the plaster pool to the next level by incorporating materials like pebble finishes, glass beads, or coloured quartz into the mix. Polished aggregate finish yields a smoother surface, while exposed aggregate finishes offer a more textured, natural look. Aggregate finishes are known for their resilience and minimal maintenance requirements.
Tile Pool Finishes
Tile finishes are the epitome of durability and customisation. Ceramic and porcelain tiles have long been popular for their extensive design options and long lifespan. Glass tile finishes add a shimmering, reflective quality to any pool and are available in various colours and sizes.
Tile pool finishes, particularly glass tiles, are resistant to chemical corrosion and staining, making them an excellent choice for pools with heavy use or exposure to saltwater.
A fibreglass pool shell provides a quick and robust solution for pool owners. It’s factory-molded into a single piece so that it can be installed faster than other pool types. Fiberglass is non-porous, which resists algae growth and requires less maintenance. Although colour and pattern options can be more limited, a fibreglass pool is a solid choice for durability.
Stone Tile Finishes
Stone tile finishes offer a natural and upscale look to your pool. Stone tiles like river stones, slate, or travertine can blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. Stone tile is durable but may require sealing to prevent calcium build-up and maintain its appearance.
Ensuring the Long-Term Durability of Your Pool Finish
A combination of factors beyond the initial selection of materials influences the durability and longevity of your pool finish. Here’s an in-depth look at what you should consider to ensure the enduring beauty and integrity of your pool surface:
Water Chemistry Balance
Water chemistry is one of the most critical aspects of pool maintenance that directly impacts the lifespan of your pool finish. Imbalanced pH levels, high calcium hardness, and other chemical imbalances can lead to etching, staining, and the degradation of pool finishes over time. Regular testing and adjustments are essential to maintain the delicate balance required to protect the interior finish and prevent issues such as calcium build-up or discolouration.
Pool Design and Water Dynamics
The design of your swimming pool, including its shape, depth, and the flow dynamics of the water, plays a significant role in how wear and tear are distributed across the pool surface.
For example, areas with rapid water movement may experience quicker degradation, while still-water zones might be prone to algae growth. Designing your pool with these factors in mind and incorporating features like well-placed returns can help ensure even wear and easier maintenance.
Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
Regular cleaning is indispensable to extend the life of your pool finish. This includes skimming and vacuuming to remove debris and brushing the pool surface to prevent algae and other deposits from taking hold. For tile finishes, periodic scrubbing may be necessary to maintain the smooth finish and to avoid grout lines from staining.
Special Care for Different Finishes
Each type of pool finish requires specific maintenance strategies:
Glass Bead Finishes
These finishes are known for their sparkling, jewel-like appearance. They may need to be gently buffed periodically to retain this unique look. This process removes any film or residue that can accumulate on the glass beads and restores their lustrous shine.
Exposed Aggregate Surfaces
An exposed aggregate finish combines the strength of concrete with the aesthetic of natural stone or quartz. To maintain its textured surface and prevent dirt from lodging in the crevices, it should be power washed with care on occasion. This helps in preserving its bumpy texture and preventing it from becoming slippery.
Tile finishes are prized for their vast array of design options and smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces. However, they can be susceptible to grout discolouration or minor scratches in the case of glass tile. Regular, gentle cleaning and prompt repair of any damaged tiles can keep your tile pool looking pristine.
Futureproofing Your Pool
When selecting a pool finish, consider the climate, the pool’s usage, and how each finish will complement your pool design. Here are some futureproofing strategies:
- For heavy use or saltwater pools: Glass tiles or ceramic and porcelain tiles are ideal for their chemical resistance and ease of cleaning.
- For a natural look with less maintenance: Exposed aggregate finishes with small pebbles or river pebbles offer a durable and attractive option.
- For a smooth and classic appearance: Polished aggregate finishes with crushed quartz or marble aggregate can be a good middle ground.
- For those seeking quick installation and minimal maintenance, A fibreglass pool might be the way to go.
Remember that investing in a more durable finish like stone tile finishes or aggregate pool finishes might have a higher initial cost but can lead to savings over time due to their longevity.
Investing in a Durable Pool Finish for Timeless Enjoyment
Selecting a pool finish is a critical decision in the pool design process. Whether you’re drawn to the natural beauty of stone tile finishes, the classic look of plaster pool finishes, or the low-maintenance appeal of fibreglass pools, ensure that you consider the longevity and futureproofing aspect of your choice.
Recall the most durable pool finishes may come with a higher price tag, but the investment is often justified by the reduced need for renovations and the timeless beauty they bring to your pool’s design. With the proper care and consideration, your pool can be a lasting source of enjoyment and relaxation for years to come.
Choosing durable materials and implementing regular care routines will deliver decades of use from your investment. If you need help evaluating your pool’s existing surface or want professional installation of a new finish, please contact The Pool Co.
Our experienced team can inspect your swimming pool, provide recommendations, and expertly handle any pool project from start to finish. Feel free to get in touch so we can assist you in futureproofing your backyard oasis to last.