When it comes to an inground pool, a concrete pool with a plaster surface is typically the most durable and easiest to customize. In addition to selecting a unique shape and style for your pool, you can also choose from several different types of plaster to give your pool an attractive look. When deciding between the options, consider factors such as cost, color, texture and durability.
White Marble Plaster
White marble is the oldest and most common type of pool plaster. It is also the least expensive, which makes it a good option when trying to keep your pool-construction project on budget. A mixture of white marble dust and white Portland cement, white marble plaster forms a smooth, hard surface for your pool's walls. While it is naturally white, you may tint it in a range of colors to customize the look of your pool. White marble plaster is typically applied over the concrete pool shell with a trowel. It is a waterproof material, so it forms a seal around the entire pool. However, while it is a versatile and budget-friendly option, white marble plaster is extremely porous, so you are more likely to have problems with algae and stains.
Polished Aggregate Plaster
The most decorative type of plaster you can choose for your pool is polished aggregate. While it contains a base of traditional white marble plaster, polished stones and pebbles in a variety of colors are mixed into the plaster. After it is applied to the concrete shell, the polished aggregate plaster is polished again to make the surface an extremely smooth despite the stones and pebbles embedded in the finish. Because of its attractive appearance, a polished aggregate plaster is one of the most expensive options for your pool, so it may not be the best choice if you have a small budget.
Colored quartz plaster is simply white marble plaster with quartz aggregate blended into the mixture. Quartz is an extremely hard, nonporous stone, so adding it to the plaster creates a hard, durable coating for pool walls. It also accepts color well, so quartz plaster is available in a range of colors, including blue, green, red, plum and orange. As a result, it allows for a truly eye-catching look for your pool. Quartz plaster is more costly than traditional white marble plaster, but it lasts much longer so you may find it is worth the investment.
If you prefer a textured surface for your pool walls, pebble plaster may be your best option. Polished pebbles are added to a base of traditional marble plaster. However, unlike polished aggregate plaster, pebble plaster isn't polished, so the pebbled textured remains in the plaster when troweled onto the concrete pool shell. This type of finish is a common choice for free-form pools that have a natural design, since it mimics the look and feel of a riverbed. You can choose from pebbles in a variety of colors to create a custom look. Because of its texture, pebble plaster is the most durable and stain-resistant finish available for your pool. However, swimmers may find that the pebbled texture is rough on their feet, and it can damage automatic pool cleaning equipment. An alternative is "mini" pebble plaster, which uses smaller pebbles for a smoother finish.
- "What Color Is Your Swimming Pool?: A Homeowner's Guide to Trouble-Free Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Maintenance"; Alan E. Sanderfoot; 2003
- Adams Pool Specialties: Pool Plaster and Pebble Finish Material Options
- CR Pool Plastering: Pool Plaster Options
- "Pool & Spa News": In the Mix; AmyJo Brown; February 2004
- Photo Credit Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images