2023 Pool Finish Guide: What Is the Best Finish for a Pool?

What is the best finish for a pool? Here’s a complete guide to choosing the best pool finish for your home, including the pros and cons of each type of pool finish. A swimming pool can be the focal point of any backyard, providing a place for family and friends to gather, relax and enjoy the outdoors.

However, when it comes to selecting the right finish for your pool, there are several factors to consider, including durability, aesthetics, and cost. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of finishes available and help you determine which one is the best fit for your needs.

Why You Need the Best Finish for Your Pool

Swimming pools are a great addition to any home, providing an oasis of relaxation and entertainment for family and friends. However, maintaining a pool requires regular upkeep and investment to ensure its longevity and safety. One of the most important investments you can make for your pool is choosing the best finish. The finish of your pool not only affects its appearance but also its durability and resistance to wear and tear. Choosing the right finish for your pool can make a significant difference in its overall performance and lifespan.

  • Tile Finish

Tile finish is one of the most popular choices for swimming pool finishes due to its durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal. Tiles are available in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, and can be customized to create intricate patterns and designs. The glaze on the tile surface provides an easy-to-clean surface, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas.

One of the benefits of a tile finish is that it can last for decades with proper care and maintenance. However, it’s also one of the most expensive options available. The cost of installation can be high due to the need for skilled labor, and the price of the tiles themselves can vary widely depending on the quality and design.

  • Plaster Finish

Plaster is another popular finish for swimming pools due to its affordability and versatility. Plaster is a mixture of cement, sand, and water, and can be tinted to create a wide range of colors. It’s also one of the most customizable options available, as it can be smoothed, textured, or even stamped to create a unique look.

One of the downsides of a plaster finish is that it’s not as durable as some of the other options available. Over time, the surface can become stained or chipped and may require resurfacing every few years. Additionally, the surface can become rough and abrasive, which can be uncomfortable for swimmers.

  • Pebble Finish

Pebble finishes have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their durability, texture, and natural appearance. Pebble finishes are made by mixing small stones and pebbles with plaster, creating a surface that’s both smooth and textured. The finish is available in a wide range of colors and can be customized to create a unique look.

One of the benefits of a pebble finish is that it’s one of the most durable options available. The surface is resistant to stains, chipping, and cracking, and can last for decades with proper care and maintenance. Additionally, the texture of the surface provides a non-slip surface, making it a great choice for families with children.


What Are the Most Common Types of Pool Finishes?

The most common pool finishes are plaster, pebble, tile, and aggregate.

What Is Plaster?

Plaster is a smooth and durable finish that is applied to the concrete shell of the pool. It is affordable and can be painted in different colors. However, it is prone to staining and requires regular maintenance.

What Is Pebble Finish?

A Pebble finish is a more durable and slip-resistant option than plaster. It is made up of small pebbles, stones, or glass beads, and comes in a range of colors. It is also more expensive than plaster.

What Is Tile Finish?

Tile finish is a luxurious and customizable option for pool finishes. It comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and can be arranged in intricate patterns. It is also the most expensive option.

What Is Aggregate Finish?

Aggregate finish refers to a type of surface finish that is achieved by exposing the aggregate (small stones, pebbles, or other materials) on a concrete surface. This is typically done by removing the top layer of cement paste using various methods such as sandblasting, acid etching, or grinding, to reveal the underlying aggregate.


When it comes to selecting the best finish for your pool, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each option has its unique benefits and drawbacks, and the right choice will depend on your individual needs, preferences, and budget. However, by considering factors such as durability, aesthetics, and cost, you can make an informed decision that will provide years of enjoyment for you.


  1. Swimming Pool Finishes: Comparing Marcite, Quartz, and Pebble” by River Pools. This article compares the most popular pool finishes – marcasite, quartz, and pebble – and discusses their characteristics, durability, and maintenance. https://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/blog/swimming-pool-finishes-marcite-quartz-pebble
  2. “Pool Plaster: The Ultimate Guide to Cost, Durability, and Types” by Aqua-Tech. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about pool plaster, including the different types, their cost and durability, and the maintenance required for each. https://aqua-tech.ca/pool-plaster-ultimate-guide-cost-durability-types/

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