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5 Options in Pool Finishes

Learn about your options in pool finishes, and each of their pros and cons.

The right swimming pool finish will make all the difference in the aesthetic quality of your pool. A high quality finish will also affect the durability of your pool investment. There are many choices in pool finishes today, and they vary in appearance, durability and budget. Check out these options in swimming pool finishes to determine which one will work the best for your backyard pool.

Pool Tile

Pool tile has been around for a long time, mostly because it offers a customized look in a variety of colors and patterns. The other big advantage to this material is its durability and low maintenance. Aside from regular cleanings and the occasional re-grouting, this material is built to last with relatively little care. If tile is your choice in a pool finish, you will be happy to know that in addition to a rainbow of color choices, you can expand your options even further with a pattern or design. Some pool owners love the look of a random mosaic dotting the sides of the pool. Others enjoy a mosaic filled with dolphins, turtles and tropical fish created with colored tiles.

Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass pools come in prefabricated shapes with steps and platforms built into the surface. These pools are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of pool finishes, but fairly durable, making them a good value. Fiberglass offers a smooth, slip-proof finish that families with children may appreciate. The pools are usually available in a variety of shades of blue and grey for a natural look and feel.

Gunite Finishes

Gunite has become one of the most popular and durable pool finishes today. This concrete mixture is sprayed onto a rebar infrastructure, allowing more flexibility and strength than traditional poured concrete pools. These pools can be platered and or painted to dress up the pool's interior.  The surface can also be coated with a skid proof sealant to protect slipping in the pool. Gunite is a wonderfully durable material.  Often times a plaster material is coated over a roughened concrete and give a permanent strong finish.  Additives can be added into the plaster such as aggregate, colored quartz sand and tile insets. 

Pool Aggregates

Aggregates offer the look of a myriad of pebbles worked into a concrete surface. The appearance of the aggregate varies greatly based on the color of the concrete and the types of pebbles used. One of the most popular reasons for this type of pool finish is the slight texture that makes for a slip-proof surface. It is also a relatively low maintenance pool finish, although a sealant may need to be reapplied periodically to help it retain its appearance. Some aggregates can be rougher to the touch, so it is important to choose your surface carefully to prevent potential scrapes or swimming suit snags.

Choosing the right type of pool finish will have a great impact on what your pool looks like, as well as its ease of maintenance. Your choice of finishes from the above list depends on how much time you want to spend maintaining your pool, how you want the finished product to look and how much money you want to spend.