Tips for Choosing the Best Swimming Pool Coping

By Dyke Booze, Architectural & Residential Sales, Eastern Shore, Potomac Valley Brick

When building an in-ground pool, swimming pool coping is a must-have. Coping is a material that’s used to separate the pool edge or shell wall from the surrounding surface area. Not only can it transform the visual aesthetic of your pool, but it also helps protect your pool’s interior and boosts its durability by capping the edge or shell wall. One of the best parts about coping is that it’s fully customizable with a wide variety of materials, styles and colors to match your desired look and budget.

Why you need pool coping

Pool coping adds an element of visual interest to a swimming pool, but it also protects the pool wall by directing spilled or splashed water away from the pool itself.

Aesthetically, pool coping can bring together the design of your pool, surrounding landscaping and other outdoor elements. It also makes a pool more useable. Coping is one of the most widely touched parts of the entire pool. People sit on it, hang on it and lean on it while relaxing in the water. It’s important to be sure the material you choose is not only beautiful but also comfortable.

From a functional standpoint, pool coping helps to protect the pool itself by keeping water away from the pool shell and helping you avoid long-term damage. It also reduces leaves, grass and other debris that can blow into your pool causing a mess and clogging your filters. Lastly, coping makes a pool edge less slippery, which is important for getting in and out of the pool safely. Reduced slipperiness is also critical for families with children (or adults!) who like to jump off the edge of the pool into the water.

Selecting the right material

When you start building a swimming pool, choosing your coping material is often one of the first steps in the process. For many homeowners, it’s important to match their pool deck with their coping so you’ll want to be conscious of this when selecting a material. You’ll also want to ensure the material you choose fits your lifestyle, outdoor space and overall budget. Below we’ve listed different types of swimming pool coping available, listed from highest to lowest by price:

  • Porcelain
  • Stone
  • Travertine and marble
  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • Pre-cast

Budget is likely the most important consideration when choosing your pool coping material. While the average cost of building a pool is around $30,000, some homeowners choose to spend $100,000 or more on luxury pools complete with custom lighting, water features, slides and more. For those who want a more high-end look, porcelain and natural stone coping, such as bluestone, are some of the most popular products – and they’re also highly durable. If you’re looking for something a bit more cost-effective yet still sleek and slip-resistant, travertine, marble and brick coping are excellent middle-of-the-road options. Concrete pool coping, either poured or precast, is typically less expensive than other products and is likely the best choice for homeowners on a budget.

It’s also important to consider how much sun or shade your swimming pool gets. While all coping materials reflect and absorb sunlight, some can get very hot when baking in direct sunlight all day, whereas others remain more comfortable. If your pool gets a lot of sun, a travertine or marble pool coping may be your best bet. These materials remain cool to the touch, and both are high-quality and affordable. Light-colored concrete pavers may also be a good choice for keeping your coping cool and comfortable during those hot summer days.

Consult with professionals

While it might be tempting to order your pool coping online, we recommend hiring a professional to help you select the product that’s right for you. The internet won’t give you the best bang for your buck – professionals can often acquire products that are a better fit for your budget and lifestyle. They can also coordinate with other contractors on the job (pool builders, landscapers, masons, etc.) to come up with a cohesive aesthetic for your entire outdoor space. In addition, pool coping products can be customized, mixed and matched. A professional can help you achieve the exact look you want for your pool.

Potomac Valley Brick supplies numerous types of pool coping products from manufacturers such as Nicolock, Elegance by NT Trading and The Belden Brick Company. To discuss your project and learn more about our pool coping options, please contact us today.

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