POOL designs by LAND ART Landscape Architecture
some thoughts on
POOL FINISHES

    Pool shells are constructed of gunnite reinforced with steel. The waterproof finishes that covers the gunnite shell should appeal to the homeowner's design, taste and lifestyle, but try to avoid overly trendy colors, because soon they will appear dated. There are countless options of finishes to consider; the array of choices can be overwhelming.

    Your new pool designed by us includes suggested finishes that provide timeless appearances and meet your budgetary guidelines. Usually, your Pool Contractors will present you with a bare minimum of finishes to keep his stock selection and travel time to a minimum. You shouldn't be limited to these few items which he chooses only to be disappointed by their appearance a short time after they are installed. We strongly suggest for the homeowner to participate in the selection proccess; yet another rewarding step to ensure the uniqueness of your pool.

    Keep in mind that when your pool is complete and filled with water, the apparent color is a combination of constantly changing light levels, surface reflection, water quality, and your pool's finish among other factors. In general, a darker finish will be more reflective to light, yet will hold heat longer during the cooler seasons. Darker finishes may show less staining, yet if your water becomes out of balance for extended periods of time, white calcium build-up or hazing on the surface may become visible. Water starved for chemicals will pull calcium from the gunnite walls through the finish and it will effervesce onto your pools finish surface.

    With salt generating sterilization systems, if salt is not added properly or only when required, stagnate piles of salt on the bottom of your pool may cause changes in coloration of pool finishes. Consult your manufacturer's specifications for addition of salt to the system, in general this may require the opening of the bottom main drains, running of your system for 24 hours and adding the salt over top of the drain to provide for immediate mixing into the system.


      DECKING AND COPING

        COOL DECK
          You may be familiar with the pool decking of the 1980's known as "Cool Deck" with its artificial stark white appearance. This product is notoriously prone to chipping and demands repainting on regular basis. Obviously, we do not recommend it. Yes, it is economical, but as always, you get what you pay for.

        CONCRETE UNIT PAVERS
          All concrete pavers are not created equal, some are manufactured with dye which is mixed throughout, some are made with a "face mix" procedure where the dye is only in the top layer of the paver, where it is needed. The creation of concrete pavers is an art, and with all finishes, their installation can be a success or a failure depending on the product used and the contractor who is executing the installation.

        NATURAL STONE
          Cut Natural Stone Materials can be used on pool decks in many creative ways. They also provide a more luxurious finish, offers timeless beauty, and maybe most importantly, lasts the longest of all decking. Additionally, natural stone has recently become cost competitive with other pool decking products.

          Some people fear that natural stone may be too slippery for their pool deck. Currently, natural stone decking materials can be used in their natural state and provide a slip resistant finish, some are altered through mechanical or chemical processes to provide the desired safe surface. Local stone suppliers have many varieties of materials in the finish that you will enjoy for many years to come. An important quality of natural stone is its resistance to fading, as natual stone contains no dyes. The only requirement is that it must be sealed to keep spills from becoming stains.

        FIELDSTONE AND FLAGSTONE MATERIALS
          Fieldstone and Flagstone have an attractive appeal, perfectly suited to Lagoon, Natural, Garden and Oasis style pools. These materials posess all of the same inheirant properties of Cut Natural Stone, yet understandably carry a higher installation cost, only because of their uneven and irregular dimensions.

        POOL COPING
          In all instances we recommend to match or complement the pool coping to the pool decking. This will provide for a cleaner appearance, as the introduction of too many differing materials will clutter the appearance to the eye. Remember that almost all materials have visual appeal when selected as small samples, but can clash severly when seen in larger areas.

      POOL FINISHES AND WATERLINE TILES

        The choices in waterline tile are endless with higher quality and lower quality tile in all price ranges. Some people may choose to finish their pool "california style" and omit the waterline tile and run their pool plaster finish to the underside of their coping. You may choose to carry the waterline tile to the step risers, summer kitchen and planter finishes, pool floor medallions, and other uses around your pool.

        GLASS TILE
          Glass, as everyone knows, always has a unmistakeble look no matter where it is applied. Glass is typically more expensive than other materials, but posseses a beauty no other unmatched. This tile is most often used with contemporary pools and spas, but is adapted to any stlye. In addition to the wide selection of colors, textures and opacity, glass tile is offered with an option of iridescence which provides extra reflectivity. Glass tiles may compliment other pool objects, such as firepots with glass rock.

        PORCELAIN TILE
          Porcelain Stone Waterline tile may be used to provide a splash of color or artificial natural stone look. Be cautious when choosing synthetic stone tile as in our experience, synthetic always looks synthetic, and is escpecially distorted when placed adjacent to natural stone.

        NATURAL STONE
          Natural stone may be used as waterline tile, a great choice to compliment or contrast your deck material, dependaning on the homeowner's taste. One popular choice is slate waterline tile which may be found in readily available sources in cose effective sizes. Natural Stone Mosaic patterns may be used for waterline tile for a more detailed and classical look.

        STONE EMBEDDED
          A stone embedded finish may be chosen as your pool's watertight plaster finish. Products such as Pebble Tech, Pebble Sheen and Pebble Fina offer different textures and include a lifetime warranty of the finish. Be sure that your pool builder files the warranty papers, is a manufacturer approved installer and licensed by the state in order to validate your warranty. Thses finishes prove to be durable yet some tender skinned people such as toddlers may find the stone irritating to the skin when combined with pool water chemicals. Children use a pool by playing on steps, swim-outs and sun-shelves for extended periods of time. This activity may cause tender bottoms and feet to become irriatated. If your pool will include sensitive users, be sure to choose the fine textured Pebble Fina or a similar plaster product.

        QUARTZ AGGREGATE FINISHES
          Quartz aggregate finishes such as Diamond Brite™ Finishes are blends of selected quartz aggregates and fortified White Portland Cement offered with optional dyes. This is ideal for both new or re-finished swimming pools and available in a variety of colors and textures. Diamond Brite finishes are factory blended to provide the pool owner with an extremely durable, attractive and economic pool watertight coating. When applied properly, this finish may appear to have a mottled appearance which occurs during the acid wash process, this may be reduced with proper installation of the product by a licensed installer. If your pool has this mottled finish, which some find appealing in many applications, you may choose to have your pool drained and acid washed to homogenize the finish.
LAND ART LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Licensed Landscape Architect / Florida License No. 0001760