During the 1950s and 1960s, a sure sign that a family had “made it” was a swimming pool in the backyard. Spring forward to the 2020s, and this former “badge” of affluence is now worn by a lot more people, many of whom would be considered middle-income families.
The statistics of pool ownership suggest that many people are enjoying a leisurely dip in their home pool. According to the trade group “Pool & Hot Tub Alliance,” there are 10.7 million swimming pools in the United States, and 10.4 million of the pools are residential, while 309,000 are public. In total, that's about one pool for every 31 people in the country! Luxury residential real estate company, Ruby Home, notes, “The average cost of an in-ground pool is $35,000, and swimming pools can boost the value of a home up to 7%.”
What This Means for You—Behind these numbers, are several trends in pool construction and safety. Before the guys with the excavation trucks show up at your home to dig a big hole where the hydrangeas once bloomed, it’s a good idea to see what’s up poolside.
Is a new pool in your future? Get some great ideas on pool coping by clicking here.
Another COVID-Era Trend
As with many other home design trends—expansion of kitchens, creation of home offices, and greater emphasis on outdoor entertainment spaces—the pandemic helped drive more interest in swimming pool construction. According to Huie Deal, Southeast Regional Sales Manager for Marion Ceramics in Atlanta, “Health concerns, and being home 24/7 during COVID, led to an increase in residential pool construction. We have seen the numbers level off recently, but they are not declining.”
Marion Ceramics manufactures brick pool coping products, along with thin brick pavers at its facility in Marion, South Carolina. It sells these to pool installers throughout the United States, and they are available from Acme Brick.
Different Cope for Different Folk
Coping separates the swimming pool shell from the surrounding surface area and helps to protect the pool structure, according to Eco Outdoor USA. “Coping is designed to stop water from getting behind the pool shell, and if coping is installed properly, water that is splashed out should flow away from the pool and down into the nearby drains.”
Marion Ceramics offers homeowners a range of lengths and colors for pool coping. “Our brick pool coping comes in nine different colors and five sizes,” Deal notes. “We have developed this range of options because pool installers have different objectives depending on the part of the country where the pool is being constructed. For example, homeowners (and therefore installers) in Florida prefer a unit that is 8 inches long, and those in other areas like 9-inch units. It just depends on how the installers build the walls of the pools. Of course, the range of color choices is offered for aesthetic reasons.”
One of the many advantages of using brick for pool coping is the range of colors from which homeowners can choose.
“We have noticed that the number of companies manufacturing brick pool coping has decreased over the past few years,” he said. “Not many companies are making a well-made and inexpensive product like we make. We are pleased that a highly respected company like Acme has chosen to carry our product line.”
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
“Hiring a reputable pool installation company is an extremely important consideration,” Deal notes. “In the excitement of getting a new pool, many homeowners don’t ask enough questions of the installation company. They point to the general area of the yard, ask what it costs, and then say, ’Get back to me when we can start swimming laps!’
“With several years in this industry, I have noticed some installers don’t put enough thought into the expansion joints of a pool. With the constant heat from the sun, which can vary dramatically from one part of the country to another, these expansion joints can expand at different rates.
“Most homeowners have no idea what an expansion joint is, much less how much space is required between them. Homeowners should do the research to ask the installer about this. We have developed a comprehensive guide for these expansion joints for both the installer and the homeowner. This can be downloaded here, from the Marion website.
“Another potential problem has to do with the mortar, he said. “Over time, mortar can work its way out of the joints, and this causes problems. Plus, some installers pour concrete all the way to the decking. It’s important to leave an open joint between the tail of the coping and the top of the deck and then apply a sealant to preclude moisture from seeping into this space. Moisture ‘wants’ to go there. The cycle of freeze and thaw, especially in the northern climates, changes the temperature of the water, and without flexibility in this space, damage to the pool can occur.
“Fortunately, brick pool coping can be successfully installed in any type of pool, whether it is gunite, fiberglass, or vinyl-liner.”
What’s New Poolside?
Any family with young children or older relatives who live in or visit the home is concerned about pool safety. This has led to an innovation in pool coping.
“Our ‘Safety-Grip’ coping product has become a very popular addition for any pool,” Deal concluded. “It features a ‘bulb” on the waterside that is easy to grab by swimmers of any age. Since it is made of brick, the colors, length, and durability are consistent with our regular coping, and the grip ensures that safety is enhanced.”
Acme is much more than brick. The durable, colorful, and now safer pool coping from Marion Ceramics is just one of the hundreds of home improvement products. If you’re adding a pool or improving an existing structure, click here for great ideas.