Today's innovations and technology give you so many options when selecting the design and materials for your new pool. Inground pools are no longer cookie cutter concrete ovals all painted turquoise blue. Homeowners are choosing pool tiles, decking and cleaning systems that match their homes, their entertaining preferences and their personalities.
Your pool tile choices are nearly limitless.
Pool designers and installers are using a variety of materials to line the floors and walls of custom pools. The standard ceramic tiles are being replaced by gorgeous glass tiles in deep blues, greens and other colors to match a home's outdoor decor. The glass tiles are less likely to crack or chip than ceramic tiles.
Mosaics are hot in the upscale pool market because they provide the utmost in personalization. Using tiles of various shapes, colors and sizes, your tile installer can create a masterpiece on the bottom and sides of your pool. Do you desire a fancy dolphin, a Grecian pattern or an abstract arrangement of color to highlight your swimming area? Mosaics are the way to go. The tiles may require periodic sealing depending on the materials used to make them.
Porcelain and metals such as stainless steel are options in tiles. These are long-lasting, nonporous tiles that don't need much maintenance. Porcelain is stronger than ceramic, but if you have rowdy swimmers, be aware that they may break under the right blunt force from exuberant horseplay. Stainless steel and porcelain are slippery, too, so if safety is a factor, choose brick, stone or pebble bottoms for your pool. Again, these will need to be sealed according to manufacturer's recommendations every couple of years.
Pool decking and surrounding landscapes are becoming art forms.
Some pool professionals call the new walking and entertaining areas around pools "hardscaping." This is decking on an entirely new level.
Travertine tile is one of the natural stone products used to line the walkways around pools. It stays cool under the sun's rays and is available in marble-looking grey, pale brown and golden colors that liven up the pool area.
Stamped and colored concrete are good ways to personalize the decking area. You can color concrete in nearly any hue you like, from bright red to deep purple, and stamp designs in the concrete that match the pool motif.
Fireplaces, rock waterfalls and multiple deck levels are adding interest and enjoyment to backyard pool areas as well. The bottom line: If you can dream it, a pool designer will make it a reality.
You have more choices in pool cleaning systems.
Keeping the pool clean can be an expensive chore and does require some decent math and science skills. A qualified pool professional is your best ally when it comes to helping you choose a system and maintain it.
Many pool owners have switched to saltwater pools to reduce the sting and expense of chlorine treatments. Using a salt-chlorine generator to "make" chlorine out of salt, a saltwater pool is using the same water sanitizer but in a milder form. Pool owners who have switched to saltwater systems say the water feels silky and isn't overly salty tasting.
These systems are cheaper to maintain than chlorine-based systems. Some claim they spend about $30 per season on the salt-chlorine systems versus $50 to $60 a month for the old chlorinated systems.
There are other options besides standard chlorine and saltwater sanitizers, like ozone/UV systems, cartridge systems and biaguanide treatments. They each have their pros and cons with expense being a big con. The UV and cartridge systems use a lot of electricity and the biaguanide is expensive.
Your custom pool design specialists have the knowledge and experience to explain the various sanitizing methods. They're skilled in all facets of pool design and operation. And they're ready to help you design a backyard oasis that is uniquely your own.