June 10, 2024

What is the Cheapest Pool Finish?

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Choosing the right finish for your inground pool surfaces can be a tough decision. This article will guide you through various affordable pool finishes, helping you find a solution that matches your budget and preferences.

Comparison of Pool Finishes

When choosing a pool finish, you’ll likely consider options such as plaster and aggregate. Each material offers unique benefits in terms of durability, aesthetics, and maintenance requirements.


Plaster stands as the classic and most budget-friendly pool finish, making it an excellent choice for those looking to save on their pool resurfacing costs. Since its popularity surge in the sixties, plaster has remained the least expensive option among swimming pool finishes comparison.

Its standard white variety not only offers a clean, bright look but also proves to be a reliable and economical option for concrete pools.

Opting for a plaster pool finish guarantees one of the oldest and most value-packed methods to coat your swimming area. This entry-level pool finish brings simplicity back into pool design, allowing homeowners to achieve a durable and attractive look without breaking the bank.

empty swimming pool


Aggregate pool finishes, also known as exposed aggregate pool finishes, offer a budget-friendly option for homeowners seeking an economical yet visually appealing solution. These finishes consist of a blend of various aggregates such as pebbles, glass beads, and quartz mixed with white or colored cement.

The resulting surface not only exudes durability but also provides an aesthetically pleasing textured look that can complement any pool design. While polished pebble pool finishes are priced between more expensive glass and quartz finishes, standard aggregate options are amongst the most cost-effective choices available.

Factors that affect cost

Factors such as installation complexity and desired customization can impact the total expenses associated with pool finishes.

Installation Complexity

  • Pool Shape: Simple geometric shapes like rectangles or squares are easier and less time-consuming to finish compared to pools with curves, freeform designs, multiple levels, or tight corners. Complex shapes require more cutting and fitting of the chosen finish material
  • Existing Pool Condition: Resurfacing a pool in good condition with minimal cracks or repairs needed will be cheaper than resurfacing a pool with extensive damage or deterioration.
  • Drainage and Refill: Draining and refilling the pool is a necessary step for most resurfacing projects. However, if your pool has features like waterfalls, fountains, or custom jets, it may require additional plumbing work to properly drain and refill the pool
  • Accessibility: If your pool is surrounded by landscaping, decks, or other obstacles, removing and reinstalling these elements to access the pool shell for resurfacing can add to the project complexity

Desired Customization

  • Color Options: While standard white plaster is the most affordable choice, colored finishes or custom color blends will typically cost more due to the additional pigments required.
  • Finish Details: Simple pool finishes like basic plaster have a uniform look. However, some pool finishes offer decorative options like borders, coves, or custom mosaics. These features add a unique touch but come at an additional cost due to the extra time and materials involved.
  • Textures: Some finishes, like aggregate or pebble finishes, come in various textures that can affect the cost. Generally, smoother finishes are less expensive than finishes with a rougher, more textured surface.


Standard white plaster is the most affordable pool finish product on the market today.

Plaster is the least expensive option for pool finishes, making it a reliable and economical choice for concrete pools. Polished pebble pool finishes come in a sandstone color and are priced as one of the more affordable options for pool finishes.

If you’re not satisfied with the look and feel of plaster and aggregate and want a luxurious, high quality finish, you should look at aquaBRIGHT from ecoFINISH.

ecoFINISH is a revolutionary pool finish that offers unparalleled durability, aesthetics, and ease of maintenance. This pool coating is applied using a patented process that creates a seamless, long-lasting surface that is resistant to staining, chipping, and fading. While ecoFINISH carries a higher price tag than cheaper, traditional finishes, it’s a fantastic investment for homeowners seeking a luxurious and transformative pool experience that will last a long time.

aquaBRIGHT coating


1. What is the cheapest pool finish available?

The cheapest pool finish you can get is a basic plaster. It’s known for being an entry-level, budget-friendly option that provides a smooth surface for pools.

2. Are there any inexpensive materials for saltwater pools?

Yes, among the types of pool finishes, plaster mixed with quartz proves to be cost-effective for saltwater pools.

3. What are some pocket-friendly options for resurfacing my pool?

For those looking to save money, basic plaster remains the most pocket-friendly option. However, exploring economical pool coatings like quartz or pebble can also offer great value without breaking the bank.