What’s The Best Interior for my Pool?

Happy family with inflatable ring relaxing in swimming pool. One of the most common questions raised during the design phase of a new pool is; “what’s the best interior finish for the pool?”  Most of those who ask the questions have their ideas of what they like, but they still have a few questions such as:

How long will they different finishes last?

Which one is the easiest to clean?

How do I tell what color the water will be?

To understand those questions you must first start with how each surfacing product is made.

Forty years ago pool interior finishes were limited to just two; plaster and tile.  Due to its cost, all tile pools are usually reserved for commercial pools and only a few backyard pools.  So, the most common application was hand, trowel, white plaster.

Plaster Pool Finishes

Still one of the most commonly applied pool coating, plaster is made up of white portland cement, white marble dust or sand and a mixture of bonders and fortifiers.  Mixed, batched and finished at the job site, a plaster finish is usually completed in 3 – 4 hours and ready to begin filling with water the same day.

While all applications are susceptible to chemicals and solids found in water, plaster has the least amount of aggregate and will break down or become compromised over time.


Quartz Pool Finishes

In order to prolong the life of plaster, installers began substituting simple silica sand with a quartz and blending it polymers to help its durability.  Additionally, colored quartz and glass can be added to the stone to give it a flair of color and glint.  These added features allow quartz to remain stable and bond better giving it a longer life than it a simple sand based plaster.


Polished Aggregate Finishes

Finding its beginnings down under. Pebble and stone aggregate style finishes have become the one of the most common applications in new pool construction.  The larger aggregate stones allow for a better bond and hold up better, due to their size when compared to sand and quartz. Color dyes, polished glass, abalone shell add diversity and options when considering what color should we choose?

Which leads into the final questions, “what color should I choose and how does it affect the color of pool water?”

There are several factors that affect the color of your pool water.  From the depth of the pool, size, surrounding landscape materials, sun position, your sightline and even the chemistry of the water.  The deeper the water, the more light will refract and bend.  A pool’s color can change with the time of day and the weather as a cloudy day can affect how our eyes perceive the light ray within a pool.  Ultimately, lower horizon blues can be found in lighter, whiter finishes and the deeper blues will tend to be present in darker colors of surfacing material.

The final choice is should consist of a number of factors:

  1. Cost – simple plaster being the least costly to mini-pebble aggregate to beaded glass and all tile being the most expensive.
  2. Durability – simple plaster may offer a 5 -7 year lifespan, quartz in the 7 – 12 years range and a pebble aggregate finish can last upwards of 20 – 25 years.
  3. Maintenance – maintaining the chemistry of your pool, specifically the acid, ph, calcium, and water hardness will play the major role in the life of your pool interior finish.  Review the information provided by your installer and check back here to find more information about pool chemistry and the products available to help you maintain a great looking pool for years to come.

If you have any more questions on the topic, give us a call or contact us and we’d be glad to guide your through all of your questions concerning pool construction and the features/options you have to choose from.

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