The Top Swimming Pool Materials (And What You Need To Know About Them)
Written by Owen Farrugia, Director of Sales, Business Management Halmann Vella
Finally Summer has arrived. A time when most of us will start thinking about holidays, beaches and finishing or renovating our pools. Swimming pools in Malta are very common due to the nice climate that we have. Designing a residential pool is not the easiest task. It takes a lot of time, thinking and money. Most probably, this might be your one-time investment and therefore one has to choose the right materials as this is the secret to a good job. The best materials are maintenance-free that ideally would last a lifetime.
The area around your pool is one of the most important parts of your poolscape. Not only is it where everyone gathers, but it also plays a key role in defining your pool’s personality and style. There are a variety of man-made and natural materials that create superior pool decks. However, those made from natural stone are matchless companions to sophisticated pool settings. The following are a few of the more popular natural stone types. Deciding which one to use depends on how you will use your pool as well as your property’s architectural style. The materials listed below can be used for pool decks and for pool copings, whether it’s a skimmer type or an overflow type of pool.
Travertine: Travertine is one of the most popular materials for external use. This material has enjoyed a reputation of being hard-wearing yet beautiful since ancient times. Today, the material is in as much demand as ever. Because travertine typically absorbs water instantly, decks made of it are virtually slip-free and can also handle all types of weather conditions. Ordinarily mined from quarries in Italy, Turkey and Iran, travertine usually comes in ivory light, ivory dark, light brown, gold and red. Rich and luxurious in look and feel, designers will generally choose this material for artistic settings. Travertine can be cut along the vein or across the vein, thus creating some different shadings and textures. Cost: medium to high.
Slate: Slate is a type of flagstone that has been used for centuries. Heavy and durable, slate is easy to install and maintain. Colours range from dark black, to grey, green and rusts. This is not a porous material however being quite dark in colour, it absorbs more heat and won’t be so practical to walk barefoot on. Sometimes this material is used to clad the inner side of the pool. This material gives the pool a very particular look, dark in colour but the result is wonderful. This material mainly comes from quarries in Brazil, the UK and Portugal. Cost: medium to low.
Hardstone: Hardstone is a very durable stone that can be easily used for external areas. This distinctive material is strengthened by nature to survive a number of extreme climates, salt water, pool chemicals and foot traffic, making it ideal for pool decking and coping. Virtually non-slip, coral stone also absorbs only a minimum amount of heat and is easily maintained. One can opt to use our local hardstone which is synonymous with our sister island, Gozo or alternatively opt for stone that comes from Sicily, Lebanon and Syria, just to name a few. Cost: medium
Wood: The introduction of exotic hardwoods such as Ipe is a growing element in modern pools where the look and feel of a wood deck is a natural contrast to man-made industrial materials. Wood is high in maintenance, requiring refinishing on a regular basis to maintain uniformity and colour. Cost: High
Granite: Granite is one of the hardest natural stones, which is why most opt for this stone when looking for a consistent look that can stand the test of time. Granite is made of quartz and comes mainly in dark shades but can be a valuable option if given a flamed surface texture. Granite is a nonporous material and can take heavy foot traffic. Being such a durable material, granite can be cut in large formats for those who want to have as less seams as possible Cost: medium to high
Porcelain Tiles: This material might be the popular and automatic choice for many. Good quality tiles can be totally nonabsorbent, nonslip and very practical. The cost is rather on the low side and being maintenance-free makes them the ideal choice. One can find various textures, colours and formats. Nowadays, one can find some good natural stone/wood replicas. However, the truth is that when you compare these composites to the natural stone/wood you may notice that anything natural is more luxurious. Cost: medium to low.
Internal Pools: The obvious choice for many is to clad the pool in mosaic or tiles. This will definitely give a luxurious finish to any pool and will surely last a lifetime. The only disadvantage might be that the cost is on the high side. Plastering and paint is the other alternative, definitely cheaper but this will surely require a lot of maintenance.
– Always try and choose light coloured materials so they reflect heat and will be more comfortable to walk on with bare feet.
– A pool deck should slope slightly away from the pool for an efficient run-off.
– Make sure to apply good waterproofing in all areas around the pool, especially before installing mosaic or tiles in the pool itself.
– Try and choose maintenance-free materials as it will surely pay off in the long run.
Start looking around, take note of our tips and try and choose the best material for your pool. Remember that a swimming pool not only enhances your leisure time at home, but it also increases the value of your property, so choose wisely.