There are many options when it comes to choosing an interior finish for your remodeled or new swimming pool. The interior finish can elevate the design to a whole new level of style. Discover tips on choosing an interior pool finish and other relevant information in this decision process.
Choosing a Color
One of the first questions that you should ask yourself when choosing an interior pool finish is what color water do you want to have? There are two primary water color choices, green or blue, but the shade of blue or green will be determined by different factors. The water does look different in full sun than it does under clouds or in the late afternoon or morning hours. If you have trees that shade your pool, then the water does appear darker. The shallow end is going to appear lighter than the deeper water. In order to get blue water, you want a pool finish that has a gray, blue, or white pigment. For green water, you want to pick a darker finish with black, brown, tan, or green pigment. The water color and finish should complement the atmosphere. A cool tone is great if you want a seascape environment and for it to sparkle in the sun. A warmer tone can highlight a beach entry or be similar to an inviting natural stream. A darker tone can give you a more dramatic effect.
Types of Finishes
There are plenty of different finishes to choose from, each with its own pros and cons.
Plaster is one of the most common finishes for a pool surface and is made up of a mixture of cement, water, and either silica sand or maple dust. Traditional white plaster gives your pool a classic and smooth appearance. It’s still a popular choice, even though there are different pool finishes that have appeared over the years. If you have a big pool or are on a tight budget, then white plaster might be the right choice. It’s also one of the cheaper options and lasts between five to seven years before any signs of chipping or etching happen. You are able to mix plaster with colored pigments or dyes to give more drama and dimension to your pool. One of the most popular colors is a medium gray to help give the water a bluer tint. A dark finish can be used to give your pool the appearance of a pond or natural lake.
Plaster does come with some issues. It is porous, just like concrete, so over time, you might notice some flaws. You will start to notice any issues after the first 28 days after the finish is applied. The plaster then begins mixing chemically with the water.
An aggregate pool finish is a newer type of finish. These finishes combine plaster mixed with small pieces of river stones, glass beads, granite, or quartz. There are two types of aggregate finishes: exposed or polished. These finishes are becoming more popular since they give a more luxurious surface and are more resistant to staining and chemicals than just plaster. You can choose from an array of textures or colors or even have a custom blend in order to get a one-of-a-kind look.
Polished aggregate finishes have finely crushed color stones, such as marble, quartz, or granite. After the finish is applied, it’s polished in order to bring out the luster of the stone and create a smooth finish. This can extend the life of the plaster and these finishes work well with a classic pool design. Exposed aggregate finishes have glass beads or river pebbles. Once the application is done then the finish is power washed in order to remove the top layer and expose the glass beads or colored pebbles.
The exposed aggregates add some traction to the pool and allow for a range of color combinations and textures. Using pebbles can complement the natural surroundings and give a more rustic look. It’s a popular choice for lagoon-style or tropical pools. Finishes using glass beads are able to catch the sparkle of the sunlight and it gives the surface a three-dimensional look. A finish with glass beads is a good choice for a contemporary pool design. Those with sensitive feet may not like the rough texture that an aggregate finish gives. It looks aesthetically pleasing but can be rough on the feet, especially if you choose larger pebbles.
Tile is one of the more durable finishes and gives you a lot of design possibilities. Tiles are typically just applied to the floor, steps, or waterline in order to give a colorful accent, but they can also be used as a finish for the whole pool. The glossy appearance of the tiles can help you make the most of the reflective properties of water. It’s also a more artistic look and can be glamorous. Tile is a more expensive pool finish and takes longer to install than aggregate and plaster. However, it is the longest-lasting surface you can choose for your pool. There isn’t a lot of maintenance and as long as there is proper application, you shouldn’t need to replace tiles. You can get tile pool finishes using porcelain, stone, glass, or ceramic. There are a variety of styles, sizes, colors, and shapes to give you almost endless designs and combinations.
Porcelain and ceramic tile are the most popular and some of the least expensive options when it comes to a tile finish. There are a number of mosaics and ornate patterns to choose from. Tiles can be hand-painted for a unique look. Ceramic tiles can be left exposed or glazed. The difference is similar to the difference between polished and exposed aggregate. The look has to do with how the light reflects off the tiles. Unglazed tiles will give a natural look that is great for blending in with surrounding landscapes. Glazed tiles work well at creating a single color. It won’t look as natural but if you like the static image then this is the right choice. Glazing adds some extra waterproof protection. Rest assured that even if you choose unglazed tiles, they are still waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about leakage. Stone tiles can also be a great choice to give you a natural look for the bottom of the pool. Tiles are similar to aggregates with blends of small or regular size pebbles. This type of tile can be rougher than ceramic so you need to consider this if you have sensitive feet, just as you would with different aggregates. You can choose different colors depending on the pebbles. If you want a more customized look then stone tiles may not be the right option. Glass tile will be expensive, but it can be UV-resistant and heat-resistant in order to be a great choice for the pool. You do have to be careful with glass since if it is broken then you have broken glass at the bottom of the pool.
Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Pool Finish
If you are having trouble deciding what finish is right for you then there are some questions you can ask yourself.
If you have already decided on color then keep in mind how the conditions around the pool can influence how the color appears and how that will play into what finish you choose. What texture do you want for the pool finish? Some textures will be smoother, while others will give you the texture of a pebble-bottomed stream. How durable do you need your pool finish to be? Do you plan on being in your current house for a long time? Certain finishes will give you more durability than others.