Pools offer style and class to any home, but only if you take proper care of them. One aspect of pool care is choosing a custom pool surfacing. Three of the more common pool finishes are plaster, aggregate and tile. Learn about each one and discover the pros and cons of each option to help you find the best finish for your pool.


Plaster is the oldest and most common pool finish, and it is cement mixed with marble dust or silica sand. Plaster comes in traditional white or many other colors. While the white plaster gives pools a classic appearance, colored plaster can offer a more dramatic and unique pool.


Pure plaster is the least expensive option for pool surface finishes, making it affordable for just about any budget. Even at this lower cost, you can expect great results, especially if you choose from the wide selection of colors that create a polished and more expensive-looking appearance.


Unfortunately, plaster is quite porous. As a result, it is more susceptible to the damaging effects of pool chemicals. Therefore, it requires more routine maintenance to prevent cracking, chipping and wearing. If you choose a colored plaster, the color fades over time, while white plaster is more prone to stains.   


Aggregate finishes take plaster to the next level by offering additional style, beauty and longevity. The two types of aggregate finishes are polished and exposed. To create a polished aggregate finish, quartz, glass or a similar substances if finely crushed and mixed with the plaster. It is then polished to reveal a breathtaking luster. Exposed aggregate finishes use entire river pebbles or glass beads, which are embedded into the plaster.


Adding aggregates to the pool surface increases its life to 15 to 20 years, and the color deepens and becomes richer over time. Plus, with aggregates, your options seem endless as you choose the color of plaster and what type of aggregate you want. As a result, you get a completely unique pool surface.  


Adding aggregates to your pool's plaster increases the price, depending on the material. The surface may feel unpleasant too. It is designed to be slip-resistant, which can be unpleasant on your feet.  


There are many different types of tile from which you can chose to create a gorgeous pool surface. They come in just about every color and many different materials. Common tile materials include ceramic/porcelain, stone and glass. Ceramic and porcelain tiles can be painted any color to create bold designs that really stand out. Stone tiles are perfect if you want a pool that looks as close as possible to a natural pond. They blend perfectly with the natural landscape of your yard. Lastly, glass tiles offer an unparalleled clear shimmer. Plus, glass tiles are resilient and durable.

Pros: With tiles, the options are limitless. Not only can you choose from different colors and materials, you can create unique designs, so no one else has a pool quite like yours. Tile finishes are the most durable and withstand water and chemicals better than any other material.

Cons: Tile is the most expensive option for finishing your pool with ceramic and porcelain being the most affordable tile. It also takes the longest amount of time to have it installed as each tile must be placed by hand by a professional to create a flawless finish.

Choosing the right pool finish dramatically changes the overall appearance of your pool, so choose wisely. For more information about pool surface finishes, contact a pool contractor in your area. Schedule a consultation to discuss which pool surface fits your needs and budget.