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Swimming Pool Renovation Tips

Last summer when we figured out we weren’t going anywhere any time soon, we decided it was finally time for us to tackle the dreaded pool resurfacing and remodel. We had been needing to do for several years, but we dreaded spending the money. I was also afraid of picking the wrong finishes. I mean, if you mess that up, you just have to live with it for about 20 years. You can’t just paint over it. In fact, I had started a couple of times and just couldn’t figure it out.

I’m going to walk you through the process of how I ultimately picked the finishes we used.


After years of putting off the inevitable, finally, we just couldn’t keep it clean. The plaster was down to nothing and it was like it was holding on to mold. It looked terrible. We had no choice.

Swimming Pool Before Pic

Our house was built in the late 80’s. So, the plaster in the pool was probably original to the house. The coping and the tile might have been replaced at some point. The plaster was originally white and when the pool was clean, it made the water blue and very bright in the sunlight. The tile was falling off around the edges and the seams between the coping and the deck were looking pretty gummy.

Swimming Pool Before Pic
Swimming Pool Before Pic

Step1: Find an Inspiration Pool

Once you know you are going to have to renovate your pool, you have to figure out what it’s going to look like when it’s done. You have to decide what look you want to accomplish. The company that did our renovation dropped off catalogs of tile and samples of surface types and colors. It was a little overwhelming. So, I looked at pictures of completed pools in the catalogs and on Pinterest and I picked out the ones I liked. This inspiration pool is at www.nobletile.com.

I knew I was keeping our exposed aggregate deck which reads brown. Also, I have a red brick house and red brick columns in my fence and brown wooden fencing. All of this has a warm tone and I wanted whatever I chose to also have a warm tone. When I found this inspiration pool, it had a warm tone with a pop of white and I really liked the color combination. I thought it would go well with my exposed aggregate deck and I loved the tile when I saw it in person.

Step 2: Choose Your Tile

After you have an inspiration pool, the first actual choice you are going to make is your tile. Plan everything else around your tile. For me, I loved the tile above in the inspiration pool. It had all the colors I need to tie the whole backyard together – brown, blue, white, cream. The tile looks like different cuts of an agate. It has about ten or so different tiles in the collection. I like that the tiles varied.

Swimming pool tile
Swimming pool tile
Swimming pool tile

Step 3: Choose Your Coping

The coping is the stone that sits on top of the pool and goes around the edge of the pool and the hot tub. When you are choosing this material, you have to consider the color, but you also have to consider the shape of your pool. I kept choosing material that couldn’t be easily shaped or cut, and as you can see we have a pretty curvy pool. So, that really left me with the choice of flagstone or flagstone. I knew I didn’t want to go through this renovation and spend a ton of money for a pool that looked the same when it was done. So, I obviously didn’t choose the brown flagstone. I chose the gray flagstone that had a bit of shimmer and varied tones.

Pool Surface
Pool Surface

My biggest concern was how the gray would look against my brown deck. I do love a contrast, so I went for it and the tile ties the deck and the coping together nicely.

Pool Surface

Step 4: Choose Your Pool Surface

There are many things to consider when looking at pool surfaces. One of them is color, but also you have to consider the type of surface you want. Our options were just plain plaster, Stone Scapes, or Quartz Scapes. We didn’t want plain plaster again, so it was down to the Stone Scapes or Quartz Scapes. Quartz Scapes is plaster with small little sand like pebbles, while the Stone Scapes has larger stones mixed in with the plaster. We were told that the latter would last longer.

Water color

The concerns were how it would feel on our feet and whether it would look like our aggregate deck. I can say that it is not uncomfortable on our feet. No one has complained at all. As for how it looks with the deck, it’s great. Since it is blue and the deck is brown, it just doesn’t look the same at all. The water also softens the look of the pebbles.

Stone Scapes Surface

When you think about what color to choose, you should be thinking in terms of water color, not necessarily what color is your sample. By biggest fear is that I would choose a blue surface color and my trees, fence, and house would all cast a green color cast on my pool and it would end up look green. Or, what if I managed to get blue water and it clashed with blue tile. Ahhhh! This was the hardest thing to choose, but in the end I just went with their most popular blue, Cerulean Blue. I had a few friends with that color and I thought it would make the water blue and it did.

Swimming pool after renovation

I resisted my urge to choose a gray color. If I was just choosing color based on the samples, I would have chosen gray all day long. However, I was worried that the water would look green if the house, fence, and trees ended up casting a color on the water. Not that green is a bad thing, there are some beautiful pools that have a greenish water color. I was just trying to do blue.

Pool with hammocks

Consider Safety

At first, I considered a super dark surface color. However, I decided I wanted to look out the window and see the bottom of the pool. I wanted to be able to make sure no one was on the bottom.

My advice to anyone that is resurfacing or renovating their pool is to not get overwhelmed with all of the decisions. Take it piece by piece and start with the tile. Work your way around the tile. It will all come together in the end.

If you liked this post, check out some of my other post about my backyard.

DIY Hammock Posts

Our Fire Pit Area

Easy Flower Bed Ideas

Large Planter Updated

Great Idea for Large Planters

Pin Swimming Pool Renovation Here

Swimming Pool Renovation Pin

Shop My Backyard Here

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