3 Surface Options for Your Inground Swimming Pool

Are you considering installing a swimming pool at home? Maybe you're thinking of renovating an existing pool. There are many factors to consider when building your pool, but the surface material is one of the most important. This guide will help you decide on the best finish.


Plaster is the most common choice for a pool surface and is usually formed from a mix of water and cement, silica sand or marble dust. Plaster (marcite) is low cost and creates a smooth visual finish which is comfortable underfoot. It has a lifespan of between 5 and 7 years, after which point signs of chipping and etching may occur. These defects may make the surface rough enough to cause scuffed feet. Plaster is also prone to staining due to the porous nature of the material. However, staining may be less noticeable if you choose a plaster mixed with coloured pigments. This also gives you the opportunity to create a more dramatic look for your pool.


Swimming pool tiles come in various types, allowing you to create a unique design for your pool. Tiles are the prime choice for those looking for a great appearance and longevity. The most common tiles are ceramic and glass mosaics. Ceramic has been used for centuries and has a proven track record as a swimming pool surface. Glass tiles are a more recent contender but are gaining popularity, and offer an excellent colour choice with pearl and crystal finishes available. They are more expensive than ceramic and not as easy to lay, so fitting is also more costly. Those on a tighter budget can alternate glass with ceramic tiles to keep costs down. Glass tiles are a great choice for the environmentally conscious as they can be made from recycled materials. Furthermore, tiled pools are easier to clean, making them a popular choice for a lower maintenance pool.


Vinyl liners can be a good low-cost option and are quick to install. You can have liners made in any shape, and they now come in a range of colours to suit any pool design. They also offer a smooth surface that feels comfortable underfoot.

A vinyl-lined pool requires proper maintenance and pool chemistry if you want to get a good life out of it. It can be prone to tearing and will eventually wear out and require replacement. Vinyl liners are also subject to stretching. Once this happens, creases and bumps can occur. They are also prone to staining and fading, so they may begin to appear shabby early on in your pool's life. The average lifespan of a vinyl liner is 5–7 years, but this will depend on how well you maintain it.