In the grand scheme of a pool design, many people stop the design process once all major decisions (pool size, shape, perimeter style, system equipment, etc.) have been made. After all, it is just a hole in the ground filled with water. However, this is when some of the smaller items can go unnoticed, be skipped or never addressed at all.
We're highlighting some items on the aesthetic side of pool design that often go unnoticed. Tile, wing wall elements, skimmer lids, shade structures and depth markers are all small pieces of a larger puzzle. But with the necessary coordination, they can make a huge impact.
Tile is one of the most resilient pool finishes still used today and can provide a major impact to the design. Pools can incorporate tile in various ways from entire interior finishes to strategically located tile accents. The customization options associated with tile color, shape, size and patterns are almost infinite. The location of the tile within the pool will typically drive the size. For instance, mosaics provide an easier installation on a curvilinear pool wall, but larger format tile such as metric tile (12.5cm x 25cm) lends itself to a straight rectilinear format. The actual shape of the individual tile is another consideration. Tiles can be offered in octagonal, circular, and rectangular shapes just to name a few. Color selection and tile patterns should blend with the facility and coordinate with the overall color palette.
A common element in leisure pools, the wing wall, is often not thought of as an aesthetic element in the pool design. It's seen as simply a functional element to separate areas in the pool that often have different water depths adjacent to each other. But, not only can tile continue up and over the horizontal surface of these walls, they can be dressed up with thickened pre-cast caps to highlight elements of the wing wall.
Another element that stands out in the pool deck is the skimmer lid. The skimmer lid is a necessity of a skimmer pool overflow system, but one that could be blended into the deck finish. The lids are offered with an option of a pan-fillable lid. This allows for a matching deck finish to be placed in the lid pan to make the lid virtually disappear.
In an outdoor pool setting, shade elements and structures add not only shade but a pop of color. They come in all shapes and sizes allowing placement in different areas around, over and sometimes in the pool. Shade elements should complement the colors of other pool features like water slides, vertical spray features, play units, etc., and pull everything together.
Often times, required deck depth markers and warning signs are not given any thought. The typical installation is a 6 inch x 6 inch white field tile with black numerals. Contrary to popular belief, the colors, fonts and materials can all be changed. The only aspect that cannot be altered is the height of the numerals. Any depth markers and warning signs are required to be contrasting in color to the deck they are surrounded in. This is so patrons can quickly recognize and easily read the signage. Options other than the standard tile include etched and stained stone or concrete, as well as a contrasting spray deck stenciled into the deck finish.
While certain aspects of the pool design are seemingly less important than others, when those smaller items are utilized to their fullest potential, they can add a lot to your overall pool designs, especially aesthetically. Check out our E-Book, The Power of Aquatic Design, for more pool design advice and tips!