Everyone knows how much fun pools can be. On a hot summer day, families come home to a personal oasis where they can play and friends can gather. Designing a new pool, or refinishing an existing one, no longer means having to settle for an acceptable but visually uninteresting standard.
With a customized concrete pool installation, you’re able to create an aesthetic poo; design unique to you. Your pool’s design and finish can become intentional parts of your home’s aesthetic. After all, a professional finish is necessary for function—but it is also an opportunity for customization.
Here is what you should know about how the finish on a concrete pool functions, as well as the options available for customization.
Why Finish a Pool?
At first, finishing a pool may seem similar to any other step of the concrete pool installation process. The finish is the final layer in making a waterproof shell that will hold in the water while also being comfortable for swimmers to dive in and splash off of.
But as the final piece of the puzzle, the finish is where homeowners can flex their creative muscles and turn their pool into more than a generic bowl filled with water. Do you want your pool to fit in with your house’s modern aesthetic, or do you want to evoke a tropical paradise? The finish has the ability to actually define the character of a pool more than any other component.
Pool Finishes and Texture Options
There are four main options when it comes to finishing a pool. Each option is valuable in its own way, but some may not suit your goals visually, texturally or financially. The method that is best for your needs and your pool is your decision, but a professional can help you make that choice.
The most common finishing technique is using plaster, and this is the material that most people associate with a pool. The color of the inch of mortar that is applied over the surface of the pool is what gives the water that bright, almost tropical blue glow.
The mortar itself can be dyed in a variety of colors, but the classic white works seamlessly with pool mosaics. This, alongside the inexpensive cost of a plaster finish, gives plaster its popularity. However, a plaster finish is not without drawbacks.
Plaster as a finish material requires the most maintenance. Its pores allow algae growth that will require regular attention. Plaster degrades quickly, lasting a decade at most.
Aggregate finishing is slightly more expensive than plaster, but it is more resilient in the areas in which plaster struggles. Pigmented plaster is combined with small beads of glass, river pebbles, stones or ceramic-coated crystals.
Then, it is left either exposed (to keep the natural texture) or polished to create a smoother surface to interact with. Aggregate finishes are less accommodating to algae and more durable against chemical instability in the water. They last twice as long as plaster finishes, so the extra cost provides extra quality.
Glass Mosaic Tiling
Those looking to maximize both long-lasting function and visual creativity can use glass mosaic tiling. The silicate glass, often made from recycled materials, comes in a variety of sizes, colors and levels of opaqueness for whatever aesthetic role the pool needs to fill.
Tiling is the most resilient of the finish materials, and there is no upper limit to how long the finish will last. The only substantial downside is cost.
The fourth and final method of finishing uses paint applied directly to the concrete shell. Painting the finish can be the ultimate opportunity for customization, but paint that is resistant (but not impervious) to water damage in the form of peeling or bubbling is deceptively expensive.
Combined with the cost of labor, especially for complex painted designs, paint is best suited for those with patience, a flexible budget and a clear creative vision.
Get Pool Work Done Right the First Time
Considering pool finishing options requires a careful analysis of costs and benefits. No matter what texture or aesthetic you are looking for in a pool, the most expensive option is failing to get it right the first time. Finishing a pool requires a partner you can trust to understand your vision and execute it perfectly.
Masten Pools is a family-owned pool installation company that can assist in concrete pool installations or large-scale remodeling. With more than 30 years of experience installing pools in Delaware and Maryland, we are ready to collaborate with you to create the oasis you are looking for. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you get started.