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The interior finish of a pool can transcend its design to a whole new level of style and grace. There are many types of pool finishes to choose from, including plaster, tile, and aggregate finishes, and each type comes in an array of materials, colors, and textures—from classic white plaster, to sparkling iridescent glass tiles, to a kaleidoscopic blend of river pebbles or glass beads.
Whether you’re building a new inground pool or starting a pool renovation project, the pool finish you choose will have a significant impact on your pool’s final design aesthetic. Explore the different pool finish options below to find out which options will best suit your needs and design aspirations.
Pool Finishing Options
Plaster is the oldest and most common pool surface finish. It is a simple mixture of water, Portland cement, and either marble dust or silica sand.
White Pool Plaster
Traditional white plaster (or marcite) gives pools a smooth, classic appearance and remains a popular choice despite the range of pool finishes that have emerged over the years. White plaster is the most inexpensive pool finish option and typically lasts five to seven years before any signs of etching or chipping appear.
Colored Pool Plaster
Plaster can also be mixed with colored pigments or dyes (such as Pebble Fina) to give more dimension and drama to the poolscape. The most popular colored plaster pool finish is medium grey, which gives the pool’s water an enticing blue tint.
Darker Plaster Colors
Darker plaster colors, including deeper shades of grey and black, add depth to the pool and enhance the water’s reflective quality. A dark plaster pool finish is often used to give the appearance of a natural lake or pond. It also creates a stunning effect where the pool acts like a mirror, reflecting the surrounding landscape or architecture.
After your consultation we invite you to browse and select from this Pebble Technology's products.
Colorful aggregates from around the world create 14 European-inspired colors.
Most colors contain small seashell pieces to further enhance the beauty of the pool interior while adding brilliant sparkle to the water.
As with Pebble Tec®, Pebble Sheen® and Bead Crete® pool finishes, only skilled installers licensed by Pebble Technology, Inc. can apply a Pebble Fina® brand pool finish.
A Pebble Fina® pool finish will maintain its smooth texture and inviting appearance much longer than traditional plaster.
Pool Aggregate Finishes
Aggregate pool finishes (such as PebbleTec) are the new generation of plaster pool surfaces. They consist of white or colored plaster mixed with small pieces of quartz, granite, river stones, or glass beads. Aggregates come in two forms: polished and exposed.
Aggregate finishes are becoming more popular and desirable because they provide a luxurious pool surface that is harder and more resistant to chemicals and staining than plaster alone. They also offer an array of beautiful colors and textures and can be custom blended to create a truly one-of-a-kind pool look.
Created with pebbles from around the world that are selected for their color and beauty.
This stain-resistant surface has a natural, non-slip texture that continues to set the industry standard of excellence.
With a Pebble Tec pool finish you receive a dependable, low-maintenance aggregate interior finish.
You are installing the very best - backed by a company renowned for its reputation and customer satisfaction.
As with Pebble Sheen®, Pebble Fina® and Bead Crete® pool finishes, only skilled installers licensed by Pebble Technology, Inc. can apply a Pebble Tec brand pool finish.
A Pebble Tec pool finish offers a unique, flexible design that will perfectly blend with landscaping and water features.
Enduring natural elegance. Experience a spectrum of colors as the sunlight plays on the water throughout the day.
Pool Polished Aggregates
Polished aggregate finishes (such as Pebble Sheen) contain finely crushed colored stones, such as quartz, granite, or marble. After the aggregate finish is hand applied with a trowel to the pool shell, it is polished to bring out the stone’s luster and create a smooth surface. The flecks of colored quartz or granite give the pool finish a decorative sheen and extend the life of the plaster to 12 to 20 years. Polished aggregate finishes have a timeless beauty that works well with classic pool designs.
Available in 16 distinctively brilliant colors, some incorporated with small seashell pieces to add glitter and sparkle to the finish.
Utilizing the same proven technology and experience as Pebble Tec pool finishes, only with smaller pebbles.
As with Pebble Tec®, Pebble Fina® and Bead Crete® pool finishes, only skilled installers licensed by Pebble Technology, Inc. can apply a Pebble Sheen brand pool finish.
Taking swimming pool design to new levels of graceful style and art.
Exposed aggregate finishes contain tiny river pebbles or glass beads. As with polished aggregate finishes, exposed aggregate finishes are hand applied by trained craftsmen. However, once the application is complete (and while the surface is still wet), the finish is power washed with a mixture of water and muriatic acid to remove the top layer of concrete and expose the colored pebbles or glass beads within.
The exposed aggregates in the plaster add traction to the pool surface and come in various sizes and colors, which allows for a range of textures and color combinations.
Pebble finishes have a more rustic look and complement natural surroundings; they are often used for tropical or lagoon-style pool designs.
Glass bead finishes catch the sparkle of the sunlight and give the pool surface a three-dimensional effect. A glass bead finish will add beautiful elegance to any pool design but are best for enhancing the visual effect of contemporary or modern pool environments.
Pool Tile Finishes options
Tile is one of the most durable pool finishes and offers an array of design possibilities. Tiles are often applied to the pool’s waterline, floor, or steps to provide a colorful accent; they can also be used to finish the total interior of a pool. Tile’s glossy appearance makes the most of water’s reflective properties and are adored for the artistic look and upscale glamour they lend to pool designs and other watershapes.
Though tile is the most expensive type of pool finish and takes longer to install than plaster and aggregate finishes, it is the longest lasting pool surface. With proper application and minimal maintenance, tiles should never need to be replaced.
Tile pool finishes include ceramic, porcelain, glass and stone tiles. All pool tiles come in a vast selection of shapes, styles, colors, and sizes, offering virtually endless combinations and designs.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
Ceramic and porcelain tile are the most popular and least expensive tile pool finish. A number of ornate patterns and mosaics—from whimsical fish to flowers to Art Deco graphics to Mediterranean motifs—can be hand painted on ceramic pool tiles for a bold and unique look.
Stone tile, such as granite, marble, slate, and limestone, is popular for finishing natural pool designs because they help blend the pool with the surrounding landscape.
Stone tile will also complement pools or homes with a modern architectural style.
Right: Stone tile finishes are often used to lend a natural look to beach entries and tanning ledges.
Glass tile has been rising in popularity over the past few years thanks to both its resilience and mesmerizing aesthetics.
Glass tile is impervious to moisture and non-porous, so it does not erode or stain. Glass tile also has the ability to manipulate and magnify light, which gives pools a bright, clear shimmer no other tile can produce.
All of the pool finish options above will provide years of performance and dazzling beauty in a well-made and well-maintained pool. Discuss the various pool finish options with your Envy Exteriors pool designer and consider using multiple finishes throughout your pool design for a stunning, multidimensional effect.
Please call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to helping you with any of your outdoor needs. (281) 357-0007