How to Choose the Best Pool Surface Material

pool surfaces, pool surfacing, pool finish, pool finishes

Picking the Best Pool Surface

With all of the pools in the valley there is no shortage of opinions on “the best” pool surface. In reality, it depends on the type of pool your family needs and can afford, there is no overall winner for all scenarios. It’s important that you take beauty, quality and cost into consideration, as well as how comfortable each surface feels on your bare feet. Some of the most popular pool surfaces are:

  • Plaster
  • Beadcrete
  • Pebble
  • Tile



Plaster is the original pool surface. It’s clean, smooth and will help stretch your pool budget even further. Plaster can be dyed a few different shades, but it’s not what you would call custom. Plaster will last for a while, but it is prone to erosion and cracking and will eventually need to be repaired or re-plastered. Plasters smooth texture is easy on your feet, but if you’re playing pool basketball or volleyball etc. there will be a lot of slipping, it doesn’t provide much traction. Despite the trade off, this is the most common pool surface, if not the most popular.



Beadcrete is a newer option on the pool surface scene and has a variety of colors to choose from. Beadcrete is known for the beautiful light refraction both in the sun, and from the pool light by night. This surface is made up of tiny glass spheres and specifically colored quartz, this combination creates the color and shimmer I mentioned. Because the smooth glass spheres are so small there is little friction on your feet, but more than you would notice with the plaster. This is a great option, and can be done to match your pools color scheme without absorbing your entire budget.



Pebble finishes have become very popular in recent years. The process is much like the beadcrete, but instead of tiny glass spheres and colored quartz they use larger stone pebbles. Small river pebbles of a particular color scheme are used as pool surfacing, because they are “river pebbles” there won’t be any sharp edges to worry about. This particular surface gives your pool a much more natural look and feel. Also, because the pebbles aren’t dyed or chemically treated, you won’t have to worry about anything bleeding into your water from the pool surface. You’ll get great traction with this surface, but might have some discomfort after prolonged exposure.



When it comes to luxury pools, there really isn’t anything that competes with with a custom tile surface. This is the most expensive option, but it takes your pool to another level. Pool tiles are specially glazed and kiln hardened for durability. The tiles are smooth, but the grout provides enough traction to keep you moving without slipping or tearing up your toes. The other options can’t come close to the beauty of a custom tile pattern, much less a mosaic design on the floor of your pool. The colors, shapes and sizes are completely customizable, as opposed to the pre-mixed options offered by plaster, beadcrete and pebble surfaces.

Because you are building your own pool you will be able to save money with any of these options. Which pool surface is your favorite? Which surface has the best look and feel, which will save you the most money now and in the future? How much can you afford to spend on your dream?

Make a statement, make your own rules, Build Your Own Pool and Save Thousands.

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