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Tuesday, 20 October 2015 00:56

Hooked On A Feeling

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Hooked On A Feeling

Choosing a pool interior that looks good is a high priority, but what about one that feels good too? Kate Milton investigates different pool interior textures and how they affect your experience when swimming.

During a holiday when I was a kid, my family and I stayed at a hotel that had an amazing pool. It was large and luxurious with a beach-entry and enticing blue water. It was never busy, so I thought I’d hit the jackpot.

To my disappointment, I soon discovered that the rough interior of the pool – presumably selected to stop people from slipping – hurt my feet so badly that I could no longer swim in the water.

In hindsight, while the reason for the lack of swimmers in that particular pool is now apparent, it was a shame that this magnificent pool didn’t get the use it deserved, simply because of its interior.

It may not seem like an important factor in the design and construction phase, but a pool’s interior plays a crucial role in how much enjoyment you’ll get from swimming.


How your pool looks is a big decision, and choosing a finish that will create your desired aesthetic – such as colour and design – is vital. The durability of the finish also needs to be taken into account, and pool owners need to consider how it stands-up against pool chemicals, how often it needs to be replaced and how susceptible it is to sun damage.

An equally important element of a pool’s interior is its texture. If you are simply diving-in and swimming laps, it’s unlikely that you’ll have excessive contact with the pool’s interior.

However, if you plan to use your pool for relaxation, sports or splashing around with the family, your skin will come into contact with the pool’s surface quite often.

If you are unhappy with your choice of interior, changing it can be expensive or, in some circumstances, not possible. If this is the case, you may stop using your pool altogether, inevitably proving your investment to be a waste of money and space.

A pool’s interior texture is heavily reliant on personal preference, as some prefer a little bit of coarseness and grip, while other swimmers choose a smooth finish underfoot. Whatever the case, here we look at the texture of the most popular pool interior options to inform your choice.


Concrete pools are among the most popular of pool styles, as they tend to be the most versatile. However, many people have memories of swimming in their concrete family pool and reaching the end of summer with sore feet.

There are many concrete finish options to tackle this issue, including plaster, polished aggregate, pebbles and tiles – concrete on its own is also an option.

Simply put, concrete pools can be rough, and over time, the surface may wear down and become progressively coarse. This may be why many people cover the concrete base with something more texturally pleasing.


Plaster is another coating option that has been available for a long time, but still remains popular with pool owners and builders. Often mixed with aggregates to change the cement’s properties, plaster is one of the smoother textural options available.

Plaster is much like traditional concrete, but its point of difference lies within its composition. This blend of cement and aggregates works to change the colour, durability, and hardness of the overall finish.

Aggregate options can include marble, quartz, glass beads and granite. They can also be exposed or polished, however, if you are after a silky-smooth feel underfoot, polished finishes may be the best choice for you.


Pebble finishes have come a long way over the years, and are now flexible in design to provide the aesthetic you prefer. There is a range of different pebble sizes available, and the smaller they get, the smoother the texture they provide.

Larger-sized pebbles have a slightly rough feel to provide a slip-resistant surface for swimmers. This can be great for pools with steps or a beach entrance; pebbles are also ideal for families with children, or for those who tend to be accident-prone.

Pebbles come in a variety of colours and are extremely durable, making them a good choice in terms of aesthetics and maintenance.


Tiles are arguably the most classic choice of interior. Smooth by nature, tiles come in ceramic, porcelain, stone or glass options – out of these, glass tends to be the smoothest, while stone is slightly rough in texture.

If you are concerned about this particular finish becoming slippery, tiles can be covered with a non-slip coating. This coating will create certain coarseness to the tile, but only just enough to create grip.

In terms of style, tiles are great for creating mosaics, patterns and specific looks to suit your design theme. They are also one of the most durable finishes on the market.


Vinyl interiors are cost-effective and lowmaintenance thanks to the product’s resistance to algae growth, which results in reduced pool chemical use.

Vinyl pools are within their own structural category, as they do not act as a cover for a concrete pool, but rather are built with the intention of using the vinyl lining. This ultimately ensures that the pool’s finish will be soft and smooth.

However, pool steps and seats are not often covered by vinyl liners, as they can be tricky to completely cover. As a result, pool owners must take into consideration that these specific areas will likely have a different texture to the rest of the pool.


Fibreglass pools are nonporous and contain a gel coating, making them already smooth to the touch. Fibreglass pools tend to be pre-made in a factory, with the pool’s shell being created using a specifically-designed mould.

Fibreglass pools can be chosen in a range of colours, are exceptionally resistant to structural damage and quick to install. Combined with its smooth feel, fibreglass can be the preferred choice for homeowners with a simple and stable outdoor space.

When designing or renovating your pool, make its interior one of your first considerations. Pool owners shouldn’t feel restricted to one finish, as it is possible to use different materials in different areas of the pool. For example, slip-resistant finishes are great on steps and entrances, while smoother options should be used on more recreational areas. What may seem like a minor aesthetic decision could prove to have a very big impact on how you use your pool in the long-run.


Read 127285 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 October 2015 01:03