If you’ve decided on putting in a swimming pool or buying a property with a backyard pool then chances are you will have to think about pool coping.
Installing a new swimming pool or renovating an existing one takes time and planning. You’ll also need to think about more than just installing it in the big dirt hole and filling it up with water. There’s the pool water type, fencing, heating and lighting to consider. Then there are the finishes of the pool interior and surrounds to decide upon.
To get the most enjoyment from your pool, you will need to finish the pool off both practically and aesthetically. One essential component of the pool finishes is the pool coping.
What is pool coping?
Pool coping is the term used to identify the material used for the capping or edging that is placed around the swimming pool shell wall or, as someone once said:
Pool coping is the crowning glory of your pool
Coping separates the swimming pool shell from the surrounding surface area and helps to protect the pool structure. Coping is designed to stop water from getting behind the pool shell and, if coping is installed properly, water that is splashed out should flow away from the pool and down into the nearby drains.
Styles of pool coping
Pool coping is available in several finishes or profiles to suit a variety of needs and tastes.
There are generally three styles (or shapes) of pool coping:
- Square Edge
- Rebated Square Edge
- Single Bullnose
During construction, the coping material is laid on the swimming pool beam (the width of concrete around the pool).
If you’re renovating a pool, you’ll need to select specific products that can work with the existing shape. Consider how much room you have to play with and whether you’re meeting up with existing paving.
You should consider how the coping will enhance the look of your swimming pool, whether it can withstand salt or chemicals, and whether it provides a non-slip surface.
Ask the experts
Choosing the right style for your project is vital. The type of coping you select will depend on your personal taste, what suits the aesthetic of your space and the style/material you can afford.
We recommend you discuss your coping options with your pool design professional to get the result and performance that works best for your home’s swimming pool.
Ask your installer the following questions:
1. Are there size limitations due to expansion joints or set down?
2. Is it being laid on glue or a wet bed?
3. Do you need a thinner tile or is there some room to move with thickness?
Leading image: Trusco Project Stone used as pool coping.
Matt Leacy of Landart Landscapes: So the coping is the defining edge around the pool. So you have to think about what material you’re gonna use in that scenario. And there are different edges that you can have on that. You can have bullnose, square, pencil, round edges, a drop down edge, so the piece of stone actually looks really thick, and like you’ve got a slab of stone around the pool.
Dean Herald of Rolling Stone Landscapes: Pool copings come in all kinds of different sizes, materials, different density, but selecting a product that’s fit for purpose is probably one of the most important things for your swimming pool.
Matt Bramwell of Splish Splash Pools: You need to consider all elements. You to consider the inside finish of your pool, the color, the waterline tile. Plus, when considering the right pool coping, understanding the slip rating of the product is very, very important.
Paul Meredith of Eco Outdoor: There are definitely some products that are better than others. This is where you can start really looking down at the stone’s performance, its density, its slip resistance, and also how it’ll react to salt. Pool coping is under a lot of pressure because it gets wet, dry, wet, dry, and it’s expanding and contracting. So it’s really important that you choose a stone that’s gonna perform to your expectations.
Matt Leacy: It’s actually quite a complicated thing once you know how many options there are out there, but all those little decisions will make a huge impact to how your overall space looks. So it’s something that you wanna consider well, and you wanna make sure it integrates with the rest of the landscape.