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What is Pool Coping? 5 Eco Outdoor Design Hints & Tips

Updated: Mar 6

Pool coping is the name given to the stone or concrete that surrounds a pool and acts as a protective barrier. Pool coping also adds enormous visual appeal to any outdoor living space, plus it serves an important structural function in preventing water from seeping under the pool wall and eroding the base. It cannot be stressed enough how crucial it is when building a pool to choose the right type of coping for your swimming oasis.


It is important to know that when you add a pool into your backyard, certain costs come with it, such as the material cost and installation. In addition, there are options that you could choose from, and it is important to know what your options are. In this article, we will be going over the different styles of pool coping, from basic to complicated.



aerial view of home with pool in the backyard

Here are 5 Eco Outdoor design hints and tips:


1. Utilize Rainwater


Instead of adding water to your pool through a hose, utilize rainwater. Place a small gutter system along the edge of the house or plant some nearby trees that have extensive root systems near the edge of the new pool area. These rainwater options will allow natural rainwater infiltration to gravity feed into your pool's filtration system, eliminating the use of city tap water to top off your pool. This is an eco-friendly option that will eliminate chemical usage and save on energy costs while saving you time by not having to refill the pool yourself every week during the summer months.


2. Great Design Flexibility


If you're looking for a fabulous way to enhance your home's curb appeal, look no more. There are many wonderful options for pool coping that will not only function as a protective barrier but also add another element of beauty to your outdoor environment.

Options include:


Brick - A timeless addition to any swimming oasis is brick pool coping. It's one of the more expensive options, but it offers great design flexibility, exceptional durability and is relatively easy to install.


Stone – Admittedly, one of the more expensive options, stone coping, can be a worthwhile investment based on its great design flexibility and exceptional durability (some types such as "terra cotta" are less durable than others). Like brick, stone coping comes in many different varieties and designs. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it's also very functional. If you love to entertain outdoors, this is an ideal option for pool coping.


3. Use Natural Stone


Natural stone is the best choice for pool coping, particularly if you want to create a natural look for your outdoor oasis. All around the world, you will find stunning beaches, mountains, and deserts that display rugged spaces with beautiful rugged stone surfaces encircling clear blue pools of water - or even an infinity-style pool.


Natural stone reflects the beauty and essence of nature, and it's a good choice for those who enjoy outdoor living and want to create a pool area that looks natural, not over-processed or manufactured.


The only cautionary advice regarding natural stone is that some types may change color as they age - sometimes drastically! Some people actually prefer this effect, but others don't. You'll want to check around for information on the type of natural stone you might use and see whether people like what your particular type of natural stone does as it ages.


4. Use Eco-Friendly Lighting


One of the most eco-friendly features you can add to your outdoor living space is solar lighting. They will never have a short in them, and they automatically light up at dusk every night. You don't need to wire or install anything - just place them wherever you want a little extra light and let them do their job!


Lighting options abound when it comes to exterior applications. While traditional incandescent lighting is popular, you may want to consider using more eco-friendly options. For instance, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) can last up to ten times longer than incandescent ones and save a considerable number of watts without sacrificing light output.



5. Get Creative with Lawn Care


The very best way to protect the health of your lawn is by using organic methods for both pest control and fertilization. Most garden centers now offer all-organic options, or you can check out companies like The Organic Garden Center who make their own organically based fertilizers & pesticides. You'll save money in the long run (no more replacing your grass due to pesticide damage), and you'll be doing the environment a HUGE favor by not polluting it with harsh chemicals.


Non-toxic paint is available for everything from toys to play equipment to garage cabinets. It's even available in spray form, making it easier than ever before to add that touch of color. Just make sure you get the right type of paint - look for Stuff if you want a durable, colorful finish that will stand up to just about anything you can throw at it! Pick Your Furniture Wisely.


Styles of Pool Coping


Pool coping is accessible in many finishes or profiles to suit a different variety of tastes and needs. The two most popular finishes are rounded or bullnose edge and squared or sharp-edged.


The advantage to the squared styles is that they present an unobstructed view into the water, which can be beneficial for viewing fish, plants, and other items of interest.


Bullnose-edged styles are the most popular, as they provide a safe non-slip surface on top of the pool coping. They also create an almost invisible edge between the water and the coping, which makes for a sleek appearance. A green or brown bullnose finish is very naturalistic in style, though it will require more maintenance to keep it looking good.


As with any exposed aggregate exposed to the elements, pool coping should be sealed every year or two for maximum durability and appearance retention. This can be done by brushing on a clear acrylic sealer or spraying on several coatings designed for exposed aggregate.


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