At some point during the planning process for your swimming pool, you will discuss the concept of pool coping with your contractor. In masonry terms, coping refers to the material used to cap the top of a wall. In swimming pool construction, the term refers to the material placed around the top of the pool where it meets the surrounding patio or deck. You will probably want some type of coping around your pool, for a few good reasons.
Pool coping performs a number of practical functions. It creates a barrier that prevents water from leaking behind the pool wall, which is a common cause of damage to swimming pools. It also helps to ensure that no critical elements of your pool are exposed to the elements in the event of shifts in the surrounding deck (such as from soil contraction or expansion).
Coping also contributes to pool maintenance in a small way. Because it overhangs the surface just slightly, coping can prevent some runoff water from causing damage to the pool, such as staining and calcium deposits.
And when installed on a slight angle, pool coping can direct splashed pool water into drains in the deck. This can prevent pooling water on the deck, which can damage it over time.
For some swimmers, coping can even perform an added safety function. While you should include other safety features in your pool design, it can be helpful to know that weaker swimmers can easily grab onto the coping in the event they feel overexerted. Coping also helps swimmers easily exit the pool if they aren’t near a ladder.
And of course, coping simply makes the pool look nice! It can be constructed from a variety of materials, like concrete, tile, or stone, to create an eye-pleasing edge around your pool. Pool designers actually refer to coping as the “edge treatment”, and can create coping to complement a variety of design schemes.
As you plan your swimming pool project, let’s discuss your options for pool coping. With a wide variety of materials and price points from which to choose, we can create pool coping that is both pleasing to the eye and functional to meet your needs.