Article The Purpose (and Power!) of Pool Coping By Probuilt Staff April 19, 2022

When you get a backyard pool, you learn a lot of things: how to clean it, the basics of pool chemistry, all of the equipment you need to maintain it, and more. In essence, you get a crash course in all things pool related from the get-go.

Now here is another new thing for you to learn about: coping. When we mention coping here, we are not talking about dealing with unpleasant emotions or behaviors. Pool coping is an entirely different thing, but it is highly imperative to the structural integrity of the inground pool installation.

What is pool coping?

From an architectural standpoint, coping is the protective cover located at the top of a wall that provides a finished look. It also protects the wall from the elements. In pool design, coping is used similarly.

After an inground pool is installed, the upper part of the pool wall will be exposed. From a safety viewpoint, it’s probably not a good idea to keep it exposed. Aesthetically, it really doesn’t look great, especially since it presents as a bit unfinished. This is where pool coping comes into play. The idea is to cover this exposed area with material to protect and enhance it.

What is the purpose of pool coping?

Pool coping serves a variety of purposes, primarily to direct any water that splashes out of the pool into the drains on the deck. Pool coping also does the following:

  1. Prevents water from falling behind the shell of the pool and damaging the pool itself.
  2. Acts as a barrier for leaves, grass, debris, and dirt from getting into the pool.
  3. Allows people a safe and stable way to enter and exit the pool with minimal risk of slipping.
  4. Provides an attractive yet also practical way to install a pool cover or other mechanical elements as needed.

Pool coping, while necessary, can also give you a means to showcase a bit of your personality and style, as it comes in a variety of materials, colors, cuts, and finishes. In short, pool coping is a practical yet artistic part of the overall backyard pool design.

How do I choose coping for my pool?

When making your selection for the pool coping, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  1. Your budget. You may be “wowed” by some of the many exciting designs and styles, but if it puts a huge dent in your wallet, it probably isn’t the right type of coping for you.
  2. Longevity. Choose coping that will stand up to the test of time and all of the elements to which it will be exposed. Think, too, about the chemicals used in your pool. Will chlorine harm it over time? Also, can it resist salt water?
  3. Safety first. In addition to being sturdy, you definitely want the coping you choose to be slip-resistant.
  4. Style. When making your coping selection, the material, color, and design should work in concert with your patio, landscaping, and overall architectural style of your home and other surroundings.

What are the most popular types of pool coping?

There are many coping choices available, all of which have their distinct advantages:

  1. Concrete pavers. Sturdy and low maintenance, pavers come in a variety of finishes and sizes. Plus, they can be replaced in pieces as needed. There is no need to tear up an entire pool deck if one of the pavers cracks or breaks. Additionally, they hold up well to water and salt!
  2. Natural stone. You can have so much fun with travertine, flagstone, and granite. Natural and durable, these stones are low maintenance and definitely have some eye-catching appeal. However, they will tap into your budget a bit more.
  3. Bricks. Available in many sizes and colors, bricks are readily available and easy to replace. However, they do need to be caulked and sealed when replaced.
  4. Cantilevered concrete. This material provides a dramatic finish to your pool. And, due to its more affordable nature, it tends to be quite popular with backyard pool owners. Because the finished look can be challenging to achieve, though, it is best left to an experienced professional.

As emphasized, pool coping is important from a functionality standpoint, but it can also be a stylish component. It allows you to create a safe and enjoyable backyard swimming pool experience while still adding a bit of your own personal style into the equation. You can learn a bit more about pool coping styles and materials here.

If you have any questions, concerns, or even ideas for pool coping for your backyard pool, let us know. At Probuilt Pool & Patio, we can cope with just about anything! Discover how we can add pool coping and many other enhancements to your backyard pool today!