How to Build the Perfect Pool Deck: Coping
When creating decorative concrete or pool decking, it's essential to consider all the steps in the process. We've already discussed some information on the challenges of pool decking. Now, we want to discuss coping.
What Is Pool Coping?
Pool coping, which is the cover or cap that provides safety, aesthetics and strength along the pool's edge, is an important component of the deck-building process. This pool framing can be made of a variety of materials, including precast concrete, cast-in place concrete, aluminum, brick, flagstone, tile or travertine. The proper concrete construction allows the deck to shift without adversely affecting the pool. Pools are made of concrete (gunite), vinyl liners and fiberglass. Concrete contractors use cantilevered Styrofoam forms to construct three of these types.
Tips for Pool Coping
There are some key factors you should consider during this process.
- We recommend using 1-by-6-foot lumber when forming the forms. These are easier to use than tie wires every foot, since the lumber needs just one tie wire every five feet.
- When creating a curved wall, there is no need for lumber, as the radius helps to add strength.
- For pools constructed with gunite or vinyl liners, you can choose water in or water out. For fiberglass pools, you can only select water in. Water in the pool is good for even pressure, but is not ideal for stamped concrete. The concrete contractors for this decorative concrete will find it much harder to manage.
Keeping the Mess Out of the Pool
For pools with water in them, which is common with fiberglass pools, you'll need to devise a way to keep the mess out of the pool and access the vertical face of the coping for finishing. The most effective solution here is to tape bubble wrap on the coping face. The air-filled product doesn't sink and allows you to keep all of the material out of the pool water. Choose a wide product to collect as much of the contaminants as possible.
In terms of making the finishing of the vertical coping face easier, the best option is to pour the coping separately. Pouring the coping like this allows you to make it different colors from the main pool.
For detailed information and tips on how to install pool coping, please see How to Build the Perfect Pool Deck - Coping, written by Deco-Crete's owner, Jason Geiser. Click here to read Part 1 of the "How to Build the Perfect Pool Deck" series.