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Pool Coping Guide 101: What Is It And Why Your Pool Needs It

You’re most likely to be thinking about pool copings if you’re about to build a swimming pool in your backyard or buying a home with one. 

Almost all in-ground pools have coping stones around their edges. And to get the most out of your pool, you need to take care of it. You have to maintain not just its overall looks, but its durability and efficiency as well. 

Pool coping is not only a finishing touch which you can grip when it’s time to get out of the water, it’s also a stylish way to help protect and preserve your swimming pool. Thus, it is vital to understand the function of pool copings, and the options available out there to help you choose the perfect pool coping for a border that’s both practical and attractive.

What Is Pool Coping?

In architecture, coping is the protective lip or cap at the top of the wall to complete its look. It also protects it from various elements. Pool design uses it in the same manner.

When building your in-ground swimming pool, it will most likely have some exposed steel on its bond or pool wall’s upper surface. Installing coping will cover this. It can also help lead the water away from your swimming pool and in the floor drain. Besides increasing safety for your entire family around the edges of your pool, these copings also provide an aesthetic appeal that provide a complete look to your backyard.

You may also consider pool copings as a part of a pool landscaping, where you can add a touch of your personality to it. It is available in a wide array of materials, finishes, cuts, and colours, so you’ll be able to find something suitable for the overall design of your outdoor space.

The design of pool coping is usually in a beautiful outward slant. Pool builders usually use composite materials, concrete pavers, and natural stone for it. You also have the option to use wood and metal, but they are at risk of wear and tear since the pool environment is rich in moisture. Furthermore, they are more expensive and require extra maintenance and care.

Importance Of Pool Coping

Aside from directing splashes of water away from the pool and in the floor drains, adding coping can also serve the following significant purposes:

  • It can keep dirt, leaves, grass, and other debris from entering your pool.
  • Coping can provide an accessible and yet attractive cover for an automatic pool cover and other mechanical components.
  • It helps block water from infiltrating the area behind the shell of the pool that may potentially cause damage. 
  • Swimmers can exit and enter from the poolside safely.
  • Reduces the risk of sliding or slipping.

How To Choose The Best Pool Coping Material

  • Price. Choose a material that’s well within the budget you have in mind.
  • Safety. Make sure your coping is slip-resistant, sturdy, useful, and with a safe design. Also, ask your supplier if it absorbs plenty of sun heat.
  • Availability. Consider its maintenance requirements, and make sure that it’s readily available if it needs repair and replacement.
  • Durability. Check if the material is long-lasting and can withstand extreme weather in your region.
  • Style. Opt for a material that will blend naturally with your landscaping, deck, outdoor furniture, and all other design components of your space.

Different Pool Coping Materials

There are four types of materials for pool copings – natural stone, bricks, concrete pavers, and composite materials.

1. Natural Stones

You can bring out the natural beauty of your pool and make it durable with natural stones. You have a lot of choices from limestone and sandstone to granite and travertine. They may cost more than the other materials, but they require little upkeep. These landscape stones can also give your outdoor area a stunning visual appeal. Natural stone pool copings have recently become extremely popular in North America due to their durability and anti-slip nature.

2. Bricks

These pool coping materials are versatile, can withstand chlorinated water, and readily available. Bricks also come in a variety of colours and sizes. You can easily replace them as well when damaged, although you have to caulk and seal them when repairing.

3. Concrete Pavers

Pavers come in various sizes and finishes. You can also replace them gradually if necessary. They are sturdy like bricks and need little upkeep. Moreover, they’re water-resistant and ideal for salt-water swimming pools. Concrete pool copings don’t look as appealing as natural stone pool copings, and sometimes cost similar to natural stones.

4. Composite Materials

Composite materials are quite affordable. They’re also easy to modify, cut, and shape. This coping material is available in curved sections, corners, and straight lengths. You can even have each piece mortared and then sealed to achieve a cohesive look. Additionally, they’re salt and water-resistant, as well as extremely durable as long as you use an excellent sealant when installing them.

Natural Stone Pool Coping
Natural Stone Pool Coping
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2019 Latest Trends in Swimming Pool Design

Whether you’re planning to build a new pool or looking to upgrade, having a vision for your personal pool design can be challenging. From uncertainty about trends, colors, and layout to quality materials and pool liners, knowing where to start can feel a little daunting. With options like fresh water pools or salt water pools, picking the right pumps, pool heaters, flag stone, pool copings, or spa copings can pose a challenge for your pool’s construction. Here at STONEarch, we’re shining a light on the latest trends in swimming pool design, and what we can offer to bring your dreams into reality. So let’s get started;

1. Dark Pool Liners with Earthy Coloured Decking

Standing in the number one spot in this coming season’s top pool design trends are dark pool liners. Dark colours for pool walls and liners simulate the serene look of natural bodies of water in your backyard landscape. It gives the illusion of depth and absorbs more of the sun’s heat – a natural source for pool heating providing a comfortable temperature to swim in. Cap off your gorgeous pool deck with STONEarch’s warm and earthy-color natural stones for your pool copings such as Flint, Lavender, Slate Gray or Saga. Use the same earthy tone flagstones to create the maintenance-free and sandy-looking pool deck of your dreams. Using the same colour stone as your pool copings and pool decking creates vastness to the area and gives a welcome theme to the whole project.

2. Sun Shelves

If you haven’t heard of them sun shelves are flat shallow ledges along a pool’s interior side. These are also known as tanning ledges or Baja shelves. Sun shelves are ideal for parents to lounge on while young children play around the pool deck.  You can relax on the ledge itself while partially immersed or set up lounging chairs on the ledge so that only your feet get wet. These shelves look excellent in kidney shaped pools and rectangular pools. Either choice will make your backyard look like a true oasis, adding to the relaxation and comfort that you’re seeking. For a more natural look try STONEarch’ range of natural stone such as Dove, Black, or Fossil or try something more sophisticated and modern like Silver Valley Limestone, New Ebony Granite, Alicante Black Granite or Gray Mix Travertine Stone.

3. Country or Contemporary Style Pool

Country Style Pool or Contemporary Style Pools – both offer a relaxing environment, and when these designs are tied up with landscaping elements that follows theme the overall feel of the design is enhanced tenfold. However, landscaping with clean straight lines along with rectangular pools is becoming trendier as kidney shaped pools become a thing of the past.

Natural stone adds another dimension to the richness of your backyard allowing you to stay in touch with nature. Rock waterfalls, stone fountains, and customized garden ornaments add your signature to your customized outdoor living space. Natural boulders, armor rock, or random flagstone can give a more rustic look and can help you create a country style backyard. Or you can go with straight and clean lines to create a modern or contemporary landscape. Design a pool that reflects your persona and play with these elements to create a pool deck that your family and friends will enjoy.

4. Luxury Finishes

One trend that we expect to gain momentum in 2019 is the use of luxury finishes. People have come to recognize they are by no means limited when it comes to colours, stones, and finishes especially when working with a custom swimming pool. In natural stone there are beautiful finishes such as flame, antique, leather, natural, sandblast and other variety textures. Additionally luxury pools allow for customized stones with stunning cuts, shapes and finishes. Pool Copings can be customized to your pool design theme and the pool deck can be adorned with customized liner shapes that reflect a more contemporary style.

5. Cut Shapes and Simple Lines

Simple square pool shapes are supreme when it comes to modernized pool designs. This sharp cut shape offers a modern spa-like atmosphere and has become a widely popular shape for in-ground pools. This modernized trend incorporates full-width steps and offers opportunity when working with stone walling. It also offers an opportunity when designing long swim-out ledges in pools of a more rectangular shape. Going with a dark colour pool coping along with similar patio stone  – like our selection of Ebony, Saga, or Silver Antique – can really take your pool design to the next level and create the backyard oasis of your dreams.