August 26, 2016

What are the Different Types of Pool Finishes?

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Pool finishes play a crucial role in the overall look, durability, and maintenance of your pool. There are various types of pool finishes to choose from, each with its own advantages and considerations. In this article, we will explore three popular options: plaster, aggregate, and tile. By understanding the features and benefits of each, you can make an informed decision about the right pool finish for your needs.

a free-form in-ground pool featuring a Mediterranean Blue finish.
A stunning Mediterranean Blue aquaBRIGHT finish from ecoFINISH

Plaster Pool Finish

Plaster is the oldest and most common type of pool finish. It provides a smooth and classic appearance to the pool surface. Plaster finishes are popular due to their affordability, ease of installation, and versatility in terms of color options. Pool owners who prioritize pool aesthetics often choose plaster as their finish of choice.

While plaster finishes offer a visually appealing option, it is important to consider their durability as well. Compared to newer finishes, plaster can be more susceptible to cracks and stains over time. However, proper maintenance and regular care can help extend the lifespan and maintain the appearance of a plaster pool finish.

Plaster offers a classic appearance and an affordable option. However, if you prioritize durability and low maintenance, you may consider exploring other pool finishes such as aggregate or tile. Each finish has its own unique characteristics and considering factors like budget, aesthetics, and long-term maintenance can help you make the right choice for your pool.

Aggregate Pool Finish

Aggregate pool finishes are a popular choice for pool owners seeking both durability and aesthetic appeal. These finishes are created by mixing white or colored plaster with small pieces of materials such as granite, quartz, river stones, or glass beads. The result is a stunning surface that adds texture and visual interest to the pool.

There are two main types of aggregate finishes: exposed and polished. Exposed aggregate finishes provide a textured surface where the aggregate material is visible. This type of finish is perfect for those looking to create a more natural and rustic appearance. On the other hand, polished aggregate finishes offer a smoother look, with the aggregate material appearing more subtle. This option provides a sleek and modern design for pool owners who prefer a polished aesthetic.

One of the primary advantages of aggregate pool finishes is their durability. These finishes are known for their resistance to chemicals, stains, and cracks, making them a long-lasting choice for pool resurfacing. Additionally, aggregate finishes have a longer lifespan compared to traditional plaster finishes, reducing the need for frequent maintenance or resurfacing.

Pros and Cons of Aggregate Pool Finishes



Enhanced durability and resistance to chemicals

Potential higher cost compared to plaster finishes

Luxurious and visually appealing

Potential longer installation time

Two variations available: exposed and polished

May require specialized installation techniques

Overall, the choice between an exposed or polished aggregate pool finish will depend on your personal style preferences and the desired look for your pool. While the cost of an aggregate finish may be higher than traditional plaster, the durability and luxurious appearance make it a worthwhile investment.

When considering an aggregate pool finish, it’s essential to consult with professionals who can provide guidance on the specific materials and installation techniques that suit your pool’s needs.

Tile Pool Finish

Tile finishes are a popular choice for pool owners looking to enhance the aesthetics of their pools while ensuring durability. With a wide range of design options, including glass, stone, ceramic, and porcelain tiles, pool owners can create visually stunning pools that reflect their personal style. Whether you prefer a sleek and modern look or a more traditional and rustic feel, there are tile options to suit every taste.

In terms of durability, tile pool finishes are among the best in the industry. They can withstand heavy use, exposure to the elements, and maintain their beauty over time. This makes them an excellent long-term investment for pool owners. In addition, tile finishes offer exceptional resistance to stains, chemicals, and fading, ensuring that your pool looks pristine for years to come.

Advantages of Tile Pool Finishes

There are several advantages to choosing tile pool finishes:

  • Durability: Tile finishes are known for their exceptional durability, making them perfect for high-traffic pools and areas with harsh climates.
  • Customizable: With a wide variety of tile designs, colors, and patterns available, pool owners can create a unique and personalized pool.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Tile finishes are relatively easy to clean and maintain compared to other pool surface materials. Regular brushing and occasional tile cleaning will keep your pool looking its best.
  • Longevity: Tile finishes have a long lifespan and can easily last for decades with proper care and maintenance.

Overall, if you prioritize aesthetics, durability, and have a higher budget, a tile pool finish might be the perfect choice for your pool. Its timeless beauty, versatility, and long-lasting performance make it a popular option among discerning pool owners.

Pool Tile Material



Durable, natural appearance, available in various colors and textures


Affordable, wide range of design options, resistant to chemicals and fading


Extremely durable, low maintenance, resistant to scratches and stains

Choosing the Right Pool Finish

When it comes to selecting a pool finish, there are several important factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want to think about the desired aesthetic appeal of your pool. Do you prefer a smooth and classic look, or are you drawn to the luxurious texture of an aggregate finish? Or perhaps you’re looking to create a visually stunning pool with the endless design possibilities of a tile finish. By understanding your preferences, you can choose a finish that aligns with your vision for your pool.

Pool Finish





Smooth and classic appearance

May be susceptible to cracks and stains over time

Regular maintenance required to prevent issues


Luxurious and textured look

Highly durable and resistant to chemicals

Low maintenance and long lifespan


Versatile design options

Exceptional durability and resistance to elements

Requires more meticulous maintenance and installation

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to consult with professionals when selecting a pool finish. They can provide valuable insight and guidance based on their expertise and experience. Whether you’re considering inground pool finishes or exploring options for pool resurfacing, professionals can help you navigate the selection process and ensure that your chosen finish is installed correctly. By leveraging their knowledge, you can have peace of mind knowing that your pool finish will be both aesthetically pleasing and durable.

At ecoFINISH®, we offer innovative aquatic coatings that protect your pool and make it look beautiful at the same time. They’re smooth, protective, and durable. To learn more about our pool finishes, contact us today.