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How to choose the perfect pool cooping: pros and cons for material and finishes

publicat in: Terrace & Garden // Publicata pe 22.12.2017

Pool coping around swimming pool. If you come across these words for the first time or if you want to make a swimming pool and you do not know where to start, probably the "pool coping around swimming pool" does not tell you much. In this article we will explain the meaning of all the elements that are part of the decoration project for an outdoor swimming pool.  Summer is usually hot, so a swimming pool is one of the most practical solutions from three points of view: it cools, it brings fun and decorates the backyard.

The pool around swimming pool is that border that surrounds the pool, fulfilling the same function of a small fence. This "footbridge" protects the field around the pool so that water cannot reach the ground / grass, but also to avoid the contamination of pool water by the nearby land. So, the purpose is to divide two totally different areas, protecting them from one another and also has a very important aesthetic role.

The pool coping around swimming pool can be made of a wide variety of materials: cast cement, concrete tiles, bricks, natural stone, even wood. Whatever material you choose, you need to make sure that it is waterproof (so that it cannot be destroyed by water) and has good slip-resistance (to minimize the risk of being slippery). Another apparently minor aspect is the way the edge of this pool coping around swimming pool is finished, on the interior. Most people prefer this edge to be rounded on both edges (bullnose). This is easy to explain because otherwise a right-angled edge can hurt / scratch those who will enjoy cool water in the pool.

Warning: if you choose a pool product from our portfolio, PIATRAONLINE can customize the edges of those tiles to suit everyone’s desire: bullnose, beveled, half bullnose.

Before choosing the material to fit your swimming pool, you need to consider the following factors: durability, safety, comfort and appearance. Probably in terms of appearance, the effort is more substantial because the edge of the pool must be aligned with the inside of the pool, with the outdoor environment, including the backyard and the house walls. Equally important, but easier to solve, is the problem of material resistance against agents such as chlorine, acids or salt.

It is easy to solve because these features should be part of the description of each product, whether concrete, natural stone or wood. The comfort on stepping the curb is easy to assume judging by the harsh touch or excess gloss of a material. Therefore, avoid glossy surfaces in wet spaces!

Cast concrete vs. cement pavers. Advantages and disadvantages.

Obviously, cement casting is the most preferred option, despite its disadvantages. This implied the presence of a falsework around the pool where the ballast was poured. The cement border edge can have different shapes and colors. Experts recommend this solution for small swimming pools, because the one-piece edge will create the feeling that the pool is larger than it actually is. Among the disadvantages we can include the costs (mortar mixer, auxiliary equipment, workers with experience in falseworks for swimming pools etc.), considerable trouble in your backyard ... It is not a thing you can do by yourself or helped by a few friends. An important detail: even in this case, the concrete must be waterproof.

Making this curb from pool tiles is the cheapest solution. There are precast concrete blocks that are installed around the pool with the mortar. These blocks can have different shapes, patterns and textures. Unlike cast cement, the advantage of these blocks is that they can be associated, thus having more chromatic options in setting up the yard pool. And these options translate into easier association with the exterior cladding of the house walls or the rest of the backyard objects. And these concrete blocks must be sealed with a special solution having neutral pH.


Both concrete products require careful attention to casting / fixing and subsequent maintenance. The chances of the concrete curbs cracking after a relatively short time are quite high. In addition, in the cast concrete curb, possible cracks may at some point be so large, even after "patching up", that it is necessary to remove the curb and completely re-cast it.

Pool coping around swimming pool made from natural stone
Natural stone products offer the most solutions for setting up an outdoor swimming pool. Personality, durability, diversity, huge capacity to combine with the setting are the reasons why a pool curb can be made of granite, limestone, travertine, slate, marble. If the limestone, Classic and Latte travertine are a perfect match for projects in warm, Mediterranean, rustic, on the other hand we have granite, Silver travertine or marble that work better in styles such as classically-elegant, minimalist or industrial.

If we have a home cladded with natural stone, this pool curb can represent a chromatic combination with the colorful walls or even a natural stone barbecue or a natural stone patio.

Setting up an outdoor swimming pool (but also valid for interior ones!) with natural stones comes with huge benefits. We are talking about durability, slip-resistant features, chromatic variety and versatility, great availability associated with decorative elements and backyard furniture and, last but not least, the ability to easily replace a tiles in rare cases! – if it happens to deteriorate.

Pool coping around swimming pool and the rest of the backyard
As mentioned already, the decoration project of outdoor pools should take into account some "adjustable" aesthetic details (technical ones being mandatory and not covered by this article). First of all, when choosing the color inside the swimming pool, be aware that it will be a large spot of color, filtered by the sun's rays and water. This big color patch can match the colors of the house or not.

Choosing not to match with the rest of the setting is the simplest solution and, consequently, the interior of your swimming pool becomes the chromatic center of the backyard. In order to better value this spot, a better harmony of colors and textures should be achieved. Thus, we can use the same colors for the pool curb and the alley that extends from the pool until the house entrance or leads to the gate (stone paving or tiles, polygonal stone or "Japanese steps"). The house poles or the home base may also have the natural stone color that surrounds the pool.

As you can see, there are many details that we need to consider when designing a swimming pool in the backyard. Although there are many, are also very easy to solve. For any additional information related building a swimming pool, you can contact us by phone +40318.222.333 or by email at export@piatraonline.com.

How to choose the perfect pool cooping: pros and cons for material and finishes
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