Types of Pool Plaster Finishes and the Pros and Cons of Each

Pools are a great addition to any home; they come in many different shapes and sizes. But one thing many pools have in common is using plaster as their final coating. Plaster is a cement-like material used to coat the interior of pools, and it comes in various finishes.

The type of plaster finish you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the overall look you want to achieve for your pool. Today, I will discuss the most popular types of pool plaster finishes so you can make the best decision for your pool.


Main Takeaways

  • There are many different pool plaster finishes like basic, tile, pebble, and quartz.
  • Basic plaster is the cheapest type of pool finish, but it is also the least durable.
  • Tile is more expensive than other pool plaster finishes, but is also more durable.
  • The pool plaster finish you choose will ultimately depend on personal preference. Consider the look you’re going for, the feel you want, and how much maintenance you’re willing to do.

Different Types of Pool Plaster Finishes

Before enjoying your swimming pool, you need to choose the right plaster finish. There are many different pool plaster finishes, each with unique benefits.

Here are the most popular types of pool plaster finishes.

Basic

The basic finish is the most popular type of pool plaster finish. It is a smooth, plaster finish applied to the pool’s interior that is easy to clean and maintain. The basic finish is also the most affordable type of pool plaster finish.

Basic finishes are available in various colors and can last for years with proper care. And while I call it “basic” here, this finish can still look very elegant. It is also one of the smoothest finishes if that is important to you.

Pebble

A pebble finish, also known as an exposed aggregate finish, is a type of pool plaster that uses small stones or pebbles to create a unique and natural look. This finish is popular for its durability and slip-resistant properties. Pebble finishes can be customized with different types and colors of pebbles to create a unique look for your pool.

Pebble finishes can be of any color, but they are most commonly found in earth tones. Roughly ~90% of the swimming pools I’ve installed over the years with a pebble finish contain primarily earth-tone colors. This type of finish is also trendy in public pools for its slip-resistant properties.

Quartz

A quartz finish, also known as an aggregate finish, is created by mixing quartz aggregate, Portland cement, water, and other additives. The quartz aggregate gives the pool a sparkling look.

I am a big fan of quartz finishes because there are so many quartz combinations and color options to make your pool finish one of a kind. Quartz finishes are available in a wide range of colors, so you can choose the one that suits your taste. They’re durable and easy to maintain. A quartz finish can last up to 20 years with proper care and maintenance. Quartz finishes are an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor pools.

Glass Bead

The glass bead finish is a pool plaster mixed with tiny glass beads. It is then troweled onto the pool surface and allowed to dry. After it dries, the beads create a smooth, non-slip surface ideal for swimming pools.

The beads add an extra layer of protection to the plaster and help resist staining. This finish is also very smooth, making it ideal for swimmers who don’t want to feel any grit under their feet. Glass bead finishes are available in various colors. This type of finish is also very easy to clean and maintain.

Marble

A marble finish is created by adding marble aggregate to the pool plaster mix. This finish is smooth and shiny, like traditional plaster, but with some extra pizzazz. Marble finishes are available in many colors, so you can customize your pool’s look. A marble finish will give your pool a high-end and luxurious look.

One downside of a marble finish is that it can be more expensive than other types of pool plaster. Additionally, marble is a softer stone that can be scratched or chipped more easily than other types of aggregate.

Tile

A tile finish is one of the more popular pool plaster finishes. It is very smooth and feels great on your skin. The main reason people like tile is because it comes in a variety of colors and designs. You can make your pool look unique with a tile finish.

The downside to tile is that it can be slippery. Also, if the tiles are not installed properly, they can come loose and fall off. This type of finish is also more expensive than other pool plaster finishes.

There are different types of tiles that you can use to finish your pool. Some of the most popular include ceramic, stone, and glass. So, I’ll go over these in more detail.

Ceramic Tile

A ceramic tile is a great option for a pool plaster finish. It is available in a wide range of colors and designs and is durable. It can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. Ceramic tile is also easy to clean and maintain.

Stone Tile

A stone tile is another excellent option for pool plaster finishes. It is a classic and luxurious look that can make your pool stand out. Stone tile is also very durable, so you won’t have to worry about chipping or cracking over time.

Glass Tile

Glass tile is a great option if you want a unique and modern look for your pool. It comes in various colors and can make your pool pop. Glass tile is also very easy to clean, so you won’t have to spend much time maintaining it.

What Type of Pool Plaster Finish Should I Get?

The pool plaster finish you choose will ultimately depend on personal preference. However, you should consider a few things when making your decision.

Climate

Consider the climate in which you live. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of sun, you may want to choose a finish that’s resistant to fading. Or, if you live somewhere with hard water, you may want to choose a finish that’s resistant to staining.

Pool Usage

Think about how often you use your pool. If you’re the type who likes to entertain guests often or have large pool parties, you’ll want a finish that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. A pebble finish, for example, is more durable than a plaster finish and can last up to 20 years with proper care.

On the other hand, if you only use your pool occasionally, a plaster finish may be a better option since it’s less expensive and easier to repair.

Budget

Like any home improvement project, the cost of refinishing your pool will vary depending on the materials you choose and the size of your pool.

A basic plaster finish may be your best option if you’re working with a limited budget. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to achieve a luxurious, high-end look, you may want to consider a more expensive finish like pebble or quartz.

No matter what your budget is, there’s a pool plaster finish that’s perfect for you. If you’re not sure which type of pool plaster finish is right for you, talk to a professional. They can help you weigh the pros and cons of each type of finish and make a recommendation based on your specific needs.

Whatever type of pool plaster finish you choose, be sure to hire a qualified professional to install it. Applying pool plaster is a delicate process. If done incorrectly, it can lead to various problems, including cracking, chipping, and peeling.

A professional will have the experience and expertise to ensure that your pool plaster is applied correctly and will last for years.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most durable swimming pool finish?

Pebble is the most durable finish for swimming pools. It is a smooth, pebble-like surface that is available in many colors. It is also slip-resistant and can last for decades with proper care. That being said, the durability of your plaster finish depends mainly on the swimming pool builder you choose and their work quality.

What is the cheapest pool finish?

Basic plaster is the cheapest type of pool plaster finish. Basic white or a light-colored finish will also reduce pigment costs. These pools are generally less expensive to repair too.

How does plaster compare to fiberglass and vinyl liner pools?

Plaster is the most expensive type of pool finish, but it is also the most durable if built well. On the other hand, fiberglass and vinyl liner pools are less expensive, but they can also be less durable and customizable.

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