In the grand scheme of a pool design, many people stop the design process once all the large decisions have been made such as pool size, shape, perimeter style and system equipment. After all, it is just a hole in the ground, containing water in order for people to enjoy leisurely or competitively. This is when the “miniscule” items go unnoticed, skipped or never addressed.
The items selected to highlight, which represent only a small sampling, are focused primarily on the aesthetic approach of the design. The five items of focus will be tile, wing wall elements, skimmer lids, shade structures and depth markers. All of these items are small pieces to the larger puzzle, but with the necessary coordination 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 color, shape, size and patterns of tile are 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) would lend itself to a straight rectilinear format. The actual shape of the individual tile is another consideration, it is offered in octagonal, circle, and rectangular, 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 is simply a functional element to separate areas in the pool that often have different water depths adjacent to each other. 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. 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 virtually make the lid disappear.
In an outdoor pool setting, shade elements/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. The shade elements should pull together the colors of the facility and coordinate by complementing colors of the pool features such as waterslides, vertical spray features, play units, etc.
The last item is the required deck depth markers and warning signs for the pool. The typical installation is 6 inch x 6 inch white field tile with black numerals. Contrary to popular belief the colors, fonts and materials can change. The only factor that is not allowed to be altered is the height of these numerals. The depth marker and warning signs are required to be contrasting in color to the deck surround in order for patrons to quickly recognize and easily read this signage. Options other than standard tiles are etched and stained stone / concrete as well as contrasting spray deck stenciled into the deck finish.