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Building a pool? Here are the pros, cons to different types of surfaces

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When you’re building a swimming pool, one of the important choices you make is what the interior surface should be.

After the basic outline of the pool is carved out in your yard, then workers will probably frame the inside with rebar, install the plumbing lines, and spray the area with gunnite to form the shell of the pool. After that, the pool walls are surfaced.

Here are some of the surface choices you can make, along with some pros and cons:

Plaster, a mix of cement, sand or marble aggregate and water, is probably the cheapest surfacing method and is a popular way to go.  The plaster can be white or dyed in various colors, but this surface can be rough to the touch and needs acid-washing every 10 years to keep it looking like new.

Quartz plaster finishes are satiny smooth, long lasting and less expensive than pebble finishes. Quartz plaster is made something like regular plaster, but the sand has been replaced with crushed quartz stone.

Tiles made of porcelain, ceramic, stone or glass are often used as a finish along the waterline of a plaster pool. They are long-lasting and easier to clean than other finishes. Constant exposure to pool chemicals can cause discoloration. These surfaces can be more costly so very few pools are completely covered in tile.

Aggregate finishes are basically plaster mixed with pebbles. Once this finish is put on the pool surface, builders spray or wipe off the top layer of the finish to reveal the pebbles. Some of these finishes contain glass beads or quartz instead of pebbles. Aggregate is longer lasting than plaster, but the larger the pebbles or beads, the less comfortable the surface is to walk on.

PebbleTec, PebbleSheen and similar products are brand examples of aggregate-style finishes that have been widely used in the past and remain good choices. The company that makes these products has its headquarters in the Phoenix area.

Many of these surfaces will be very long-lasting, so think carefully about your choice before you have it done.

Rosie on the House

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