Pool Finishes: Comparison of Different Types

Pool Finishes: Comparison of Different Types

Choosing the right finish for your pool is as crucial as deciding the pool’s shape, size, and location. The finish affects the pool’s aesthetics, durability, and maintenance needs. With various types of pool finishes available, it’s important to understand how each can impact your swimming pool’s overall look and feel. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive pool finishes comparison, helping you make an informed decision for your swimming haven. The right finish transforms your pool from a mere basin of water into an integral part of your home’s aesthetic, ensures longevity against the elements, and provides a tactile experience that resonates with luxury and comfort.

The Importance of Pool Finishes

Before diving into the types of pool finishes, let’s understand why the right one is vital. A good pool finish will:

Enhance the pool’s visual appeal: The finish gives your pool its color, texture, and shimmer. It’s the first thing that catches the eye and sets the mood for your swimming experience. Whether you want a vibrant, inviting hue or a sophisticated, tranquil tone, the finish makes it possible.

Ensure durability: High-quality finishes resist fading, staining, and wear. They stand up against the harsh chemicals and weather conditions, ensuring that your pool remains as captivating and robust as the day it was completed.

Affect maintenance: Some finishes are easier to clean and repair than others. A well-chosen finish can mean the difference between frequent, costly repairs and a low-maintenance pool that continues to look great with minimal effort.

Influence the feel: The finish affects the surface feel on your feet and skin. A gentle, smooth finish can make your swimming experience more enjoyable, while a rough texture might not be as comfortable. The finish also impacts safety by providing the right traction to prevent slips.

Types of Pool Finishes

When considering pool finish comparison, looking at the different types available is important. Each has unique characteristics, advantages, and aesthetics, catering to different tastes, budgets, and pool uses.

Plaster Finishes

Plaster is the oldest and most common type of pool finish. It combines cement, water, sand, and marble dust or limestone. Plaster finishes are affordable and can last 5-10 years with proper maintenance. They offer a classic look that many pool owners appreciate.

Advantages: Cost-effective, smooth texture, easily patched. It provides a classic, time-honored look that many find appealing. The simplicity of its composition makes it easy to mix and apply.

Disadvantages: Porous (can harbor algae), prone to staining and marring. The surface may become rough over time, requiring more frequent maintenance. It’s less resistant to chemical imbalances in pool water than other finishes.

Aggregate Finishes

Aggregate finishes are a more luxurious option: plaster mixed with pebbles, glass beads, or quartz. They create a more textured, durable surface in various colors and sizes, providing your pool with a unique and customizable look.

Advantages: Durable, resistant to staining, wide variety of textures and colors. The aggregates add stunning depth and richness to your pool’s appearance and often have a sparkling effect in the sunlight.

Disadvantages: Higher cost, may require more maintenance to prevent roughness. The textured surface, while beautiful, might be uncomfortable for sensitive feet and requires diligent cleaning to maintain its aesthetic appeal.

Tile Finishes

Tiles offer limitless design options and are often used for waterlines, but some choose to tile the entire pool. Ceramic, porcelain, glass, and stone tiles are all popular choices, each bringing a distinct look and feel to your pool.

Advantages: Extremely durable, vast array of designs, easy to clean. Tiles resist chemicals and UV light, maintaining their color and integrity for years. They allow for intricate patterns and customization.

Disadvantages: High cost, labor-intensive installation. The initial investment and the need for professional installation make it a more premium option. Repairing or replacing tiles can also be more complex compared to other finishes.

Fiberglass Finishes

Fiberglass pools are pre-molded and finished with a gel coating. They are quick to install and have a smooth surface, making them a popular choice for those looking for a straightforward, low-maintenance option.

Advantages: Low maintenance, smooth feel, quick installation. The non-porous surface resists algae and stains, making it easy to clean. It also provides a consistent and reliable finish quality.

Disadvantages: Limited shapes and sizes, potential for fading. The prefabricated nature means less customization, and the gel coat may fade or discolor over time, especially in areas with intense sunlight.

Pool Finishes Comparison

Consider cost, durability, maintenance, and aesthetics when comparing swimming pool finishes. Here’s a brief comparison to help you weigh your options:

Plaster: Economical, classic look, requires more chemical maintenance

Aggregate: Durable, luxurious look, higher upfront cost but less maintenance

Title: Highest durability and cost, elegant, easiest to clean

Fiberglass: Quick installation, limited customization, mid-range cost

Choosing the Right Pool Finish

Selecting the right pool finish involves balancing aesthetics, budget, longevity, and maintenance. Here are some tips:

Consider the pool’s use: High-use pools may benefit from more durable finishes like aggregates or tiles.

Think about aesthetics: What color and texture do you prefer? How will it complement your outdoor space?

Budget: Determine your budget for both initial installation and long-term maintenance.

Consult professionals: A reputable pool builder in Fort Lauderdale can provide valuable insights and recommendations.

Enhancing Your Pool with the Right Service

Once you’ve chosen a pool finish, proper installation and maintenance are key to longevity and aesthetics. Consider hiring a pool remodeling service to ensure quality work. Regular professional maintenance will also keep your pool looking its best for years.


Selecting the right pool finish is essential in creating your dream pool. By understanding the different types of pool finishes and considering your personal needs and preferences, you can choose a finish that enhances your pool’s beauty, feel, and longevity. Remember, a well-chosen finish can transform your pool into a stunning oasis that reflects your style and provides endless enjoyment.

For those in the Fort Lauderdale area looking to embark on this journey, consider choosing the right pool builders and services to ensure the best results. With its expertise and commitment to quality, Romance Pools can guide you through the process, from selecting the right finish to the final touches of your perfect pool.