The Ultimate Guide on the Types of Pool Finishes

A swimming pool is not a big hole in the ground.

It represents your taste and makes your home decor and surroundings look aesthetic.

And pool finishes play a vital role to determine the natural aesthetic look and the longevity of a swimming pool.

Now you might be wondering how many types of pool finishes are there and why are they so important?

Don’t worry!

In this article, we are going to discuss the types and other related things to give you a clear insight into pool finishes.

Why Do Pool Finishes Need So Much Attention?

Your pool’s surface, which is generally made from gunite or concrete, needs to be protected from water and chemicals seeping into it and from natural wear and tear. Because gunite and concrete are porous in nature. Your chosen finish will help your pool prevent water leakage, determine the lifespan and the look it is going to get.

The swimming pool finish also affects the watercolor of your pool. Due to the application of different finishes, you usually see variations of colors in different pools. The watercolor could be bright blue, light blue, dark blue, light aqua, gray, or beige.

And most importantly, the finish greatly deals with your budget and maintenance. That said, some finishes will cost you a large amount of money to get the longest longevity whereas some require more maintenance to keep the aesthetic looks and expected lifespan.

But remember low-quality pool finish gets broken down over time. As a result, it needs replacement before reaching the usual life expectancy.

Types Of Pool Finishes: Everything You Should Know About

Pool finishes majorly fall into 3 categories. These are:

  • Tile finishes
  • Aggregates finishes
  • Plaster finishes

Let’s start with the most expensive one:

Tile Finishes

Tile finishes are the most expensive and at the same time most durable finishes when compared to other finishes.

Tile finishes offer a wide range of customizations. You can choose a pre-made pattern or can make a customized masterpiece of pool tile.

Tiles come in different sizes ranging from 1 to 6 inches and can cost you up to 10 to 50 dollars per square foot.

This type of finish is hand applied and thus requires long and laborious installation.

But with proper care, tile should never need replacement.

Here are short descriptions of 3 subtypes of tile finishes.

Porcelain or Ceramic Tile: This is the most basic and least expensive tile. Porcelain tends to be more durable compared to ceramic and can provide you a high-quality look. This tile is waterproof and you can texture it for anti grip.

Stone Tile: If you want an all-natural finish that can last you longer at an affordable price then a stone tile finish is the way to go. Stone is capable to keep your water warm by absorbing heat. It can also prevent saltwater to seep into the ground and offer you anti-slip safety.

You can make your choice from a wide range of material options like sandstone, quartz, limestone, and granite.

If you want to get a more customized or abstract look, you shouldn’t consider this option as it will fail to serve the purpose.

Glass Tile: This is the most durable and expensive tile finish. You can easily customize the colors of pool water with glass according to your preference. It is heat and fire-resistant and its non-porous nature has made it one of the top choices among pool owners.

Aggregate Finishes

Aggregate finishes are getting more popular with the passage of time. Durability and visual appeal are the main reasons behind this popularity.

Aggregate pool finishes combine pigmented cement plaster with natural materials like stone, river pebbles, and crystals.

Aggregate finishes are hand applied. So they are time-consuming. They could be power washed to reveal their surfaces or polished to sparkle.

Aggregate finishes can be divided into 4 more subtypes. Let’s focus on them.

Pebble Aggregate: Pebble is an exposed aggregate that uses a cement mixture with other products like dyes and stones to achieve a blue lagoon look. It provides a wide range of texture and color options with an anti-slip surface.

Glass Beads: This is another type of exposed finish. It creates a sparkly look by combining cement with glass beads. This is the top-quality aggregate option and is ideal for modern design.

Quartz Aggregate: Quartz is polished aggregate and is a less expensive pool finish. Quartz stone can take every polishing and doesn’t crumble much. The drawback of this finish is that it doesn’t provide enough variety of the right color to make it look really natural.

Marble Aggregate: Marble is another polished aggregate that you can use both in traditional and contemporary pool design.

As marble has a multicolored appearance, you can make it smoother and change the texture and color of the water after polishing it every time.

Plaster Finishes

The traditional and oldest form of pool finishes is plaster. It is the tried and true and most affordable pool finish when compared to other pool finishes. It generally uses a mixture of white portland cement with crushed marble dust.

It gives your pool a classic and smooth appearance and can last up to 10 years.

The downside of the finish is water chemistry very rapidly starts to break down. Because marble is soft and when the right chemistry goes on, plaster starts exposing all the little sharp pieces of marble. Therefore the surface becomes rough and develops stains.

This makes it the least durable option.

However, if you are on a tight budget and want a classy look of your pool, then go with the finish.

Plaster finishes have 2 subtypes. These are:

Standard Plaster: It helps pool owners who want to ger a classic design look for their pool water. Though it is a cost-effective option, you have to perform extensive maintenance to ensure the expected lifespan.

Colored Plaster: This plaster helps you hide water strain. It can also give your pool water a natural look of a lake.

You May Like: Best Pool Finish For Salt Water Pool

Final Thoughts

Let’s finish the article by putting a short pool finishes comparison.

If you want the least expensive and durable pool finishes that can survive up to 7 to 10 years with a classic and smooth look, then you can go with the plaster finishes.

But if you want to step up your game, then choose the most popular aggregate pool finishes within a smart budget. With proper maintenance, they can last up to 30 years

And tile finishes are the most expensive and luxurious but offer you the highest durability. You should not think about replacing them if you take good care of them.

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