How to choose the best pool coping for your backyard

Often when we are installing a new pool or renovating a pool, we tend to forget the importance of framing it with the correct materials.

Your pool coping is important for complimenting the style of your pool, keeping your pool and family safe and enhancing your outdoor living space.

There are a number of key factors to consider when deciding on the best pool coping to install in your Melbourne backyard. Our team of qualified landscapers at Creative Image Landscapes have outlined some important considerations below.

Firstly, what is pool coping?

Pool coping is the paving that is placed around the top edge of the swimming pool. The purpose of pool coping is to define the pool edge, by separating the edge of the pool from the concrete paving base.

Pool coping also determines how you achieve your surrounding paving outcomes.

The material, size, cut, height, and layout of your pool coping will dictate your options for the remaining poolside paving, so it is vital that you consult a lisensed landscaper to arrange your poolside coping before you arrange your surrounding poolside paving.

A professional landscaper can provide extensive design advice as well. Your pool coping can be used to as a border around the pool, creating a design statement, or alternatively it can be matched to your desired paving modules to deliver a smooth transition, creating consistency right from the pool edge to the garden edge of your pavers.

The way the pavers are sized, laid, grouted and finished can drastically alter the aesthetic of your whole pool area, so it is best to discuss your options with your landscaper to deliver a solution that matches your style preferences and personality.

Pool material and structure

The style of coping you choose will depend on the type of pool you have.Rebated edge pool coping is often the favoured choice for fibreglass pools, as it neatly hides the join between the fibreglass shell and the paver, giving the perception of a concrete pool.

Engineering requirements also differ between fibreglass and concrete pools due to the difference in the width of the pool beam.

Before arranging your pool coping, it is vital that you ask your pool builder for the width of the pool beam, so you can determine your options for the size and weight of the pool coping.

Coping material

Investing in the right pool coping can really compliment your pool, and completely transform the look your poolside space.

Before deciding on the material for your pool coping, you need to first consider your paving modules. If you want a seamless flow of pavers right up the pool edge, you should select the same material and size for your coping and your pavers.

Alternatively, if you want to use your pool coping to create a distinct border or feature around your pool which contrasts with your paving, you may want to experiment with different materials.

There are two main materials used in pool coping:

  • Natural stone includes bluestone, limestone, travertine, slate and granite. Natural stone coping is extremely durable against general wear and tear, as well as the harsh Melbourne weather conditions. Each one has different texture looks so you have a good range to choose from to achieve your desired outcome.
  • Pre-cast concrete can provide a flawless paver design. Pre-cast concrete is available in a wide range of textures and colours, so finding coping to suit your pool is relatively straightforward. Concrete coping is often the best choice for a pool with curved edges as most high-quality concrete pavers are made to order, so they can be completely customised to suit the curves of your pool.

It is important to note that different stone and concrete materials require various treatments for protection against pool chemicals and salt. For example, some natural stones require more of an extensive treatment which consists of consolidating your stone before sealing, when others just require a sealer after installation to protect it from water damage, excess salt build up and pool chemical damage.

Surrounding natural stone must also be adequately grouted. Be sure that you discuss your desired pool coping material with your local landscaping professional or pool installer, so they can advise on the correct sealant and materials to suit your circumstances and lifestyle requirements. Should you not use proper adhesives, membranes and silicons, the pavers can delaminate and become damaged.

Pool coping size

The size of the paver required for the pool coping will depend on the width of your swimming pool beam. The pool coping size must not exceed the expansion joint (the join between the pool shell and the concrete paving base) or it could potentially crack the paving.

Pool pavers vary in size depending on the material they are made from. Standard granite pavers are generally around 800mm x 400mm.

Limestone and travertine are generally around 600mm x 400mm.

Bluestone is generally available in 800mm x 400mm, 1000mm x 500mm or 350mm x 1000mm.

If you would like something more custom, most high-quality concrete pavers can be made to your required size.

Coping style

There are generally three main styles of pool coping to choose from for your poolscaping:

Square edged coping – As the name suggests, this style of coping is square with flat even surfaces. It’s commonly used in modern, contemporary style pools to give a sleek and minimalistic look.

Bullnose coping – This style of coping has a rounded internal edge (facing in to the pool) and is often used in traditional style pools. The smooth edge makes it easy to climb in and out of the pool, and delivers a soft appearance. Bullnose coping is a common style used for rounded pools due to its curved nature.

Rebated coping – Rebated coping features a small section that extends below the surface level of the paver to fit flush against the side of the pool. This style of coping is a favourite amongst fibreglass pool owners, as it hides the edging of the shell, and can even give the sense that it may be a concrete pool. Rebated coping is most the commonly sought-after style of coping because it delivers the impression that you have nice, thick pavers throughout.

Pool layout

The layout of your pool will also determine the type of pool coping you can use.  If your pool is rectangular, you will require straight edge coping to sit flush against the pool wall. If the pool is curved, the coping must match the shape of the curve.

With all the available options of pool coping, and the importance of getting it right from the start, it can be overwhelming to decide what will be the ultimate choice to help you create your dream outdoor space.

If you require some assistance to plan or install the best coping for your pool in Melbourne, Bayside, Mornington Peninsula or other South East Suburbs, our professional landscapers at Creative Image Landscapes are happy to help. We provide all aspects of your poolscaping, including selection, supply and installation of your paving, coping, sealing, fencing and pool pavilions and we can also advise on drainage plans and pool compliance.

Contact us for more information on how we can take the stress out of planning your pool construction with our high-quality residential landscaping solutions.

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