Concrete is often used to build swimming pools despite the fact that the material is extremely porous. Pools made solely from concrete would leak. To seal the concrete, a non-porous material is applied to make the surface of the pool resistant to moisture.

Whether the pool is new or refurbished, the surface finish makes all the difference. The main options for pool finishes include plaster, aggregate, and tile. Cost is generally the deciding factor when it comes to surfaces. The main contributors to price include the pool size, the region you’re located in, and the material you use. Read on to learn more about the four main pool finishes.

This type of finish has been gaining popularity in the past few decades and is considered by many to be the most desirable pool surface. Aggregate typically consists of river pebbles, stones, ceramic-coated crystals, or glass. All surfaces can be either exposed or polished, resulting in a texture that is smooth or bumpy. Pools with aggregate finishes are typically more durable and chemical-resistant than plaster. Exposed aggregate can last between 15 and 20 years with few issues besides potential fading or discoloration.

A three-quarter-inch layer of dense mortar applied to the interior pool surface makes up plaster finishes. Roughly 200 proprietary blends exist, but they are all cement and sand mixed and troweled. One of the most popular – and oldest – pool finishes, plaster has been in use since the 1960s. While the surface is hard, it feels smooth and looks white. The light color makes the pool water appear more bright, clean, and blue. Plaster does require some maintenance, as it stains and collects algae more than aggregate or tile. Plaster is the cheapest option but has the shortest lifespan at approximately ten years.

Tile is the newest pool surface material that can show off elaborate designs and shiny colors and offers a variety of possibilities for pool owners. Glass pool tiles are silicate and smaller than ceramic or stone. They come in various colors, textures, and shades. Glass tile is the most durable finish option, as it is resistant to chemical corrosion, fading, staining, and discoloration. Moreover, the surface integrity of the tile is maintained indefinitely. Tile is a modern option and look; reflecting the sunlight, it provides a bright alternative.

Lastly, painting the concrete is an option for pool finishes. Though it sounds inexpensive, it can be costly, and the paint can bubble or chip. Also, the paint generally takes about two weeks to cure. However, with pool paint, you can create fabulous underwater murals that are shiny and reflective!

Looking to update the surface of your pool? Contact Pound Pool Plastering for an estimate today!


Pound Pool Plastering services residential and commercial pools in applying a wide variety of pool plaster finishes and complete renovations. We offer Diamond Brite, Sunstone, Hydrazzo, and Marcite – and a great selection of tile choices and coping stones. Owner Dale Pound personally oversees each pool project to ensure the highest quality is delivered. Call or e-mail us for a free estimate.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: