Who would have thought that there would be cons to having beautiful stone coping on your inground pool, right? Like everything in life there are pros and cons to everything and @ Pool Pros we don't like to hide important factors to consider when purchasing a pool. We are big fans of natural stone coping and have been using it religiously for the passed several years with great success on our fiberglass pool projects. Natural Stone Coping is not for everyone though. So we have put together a list of reasons why you may want natural stone pool coping and some reasons why you may not. Check them out for yourself.
DISADVANTAGES OF NATURAL STONE COPING
Lets dive right into it.
SLIPPERINESS: Generally speaking natural stone coping is pretty smooth and when wet can be slick. While we don't want slippery surfaces near a pool since it is just the border of the pool it really is not a big risk. Most foot traffic is outside the coping. Since coping is just at the edge of the pool where you may be sitting it is not an area where people are typically running. P.S. you should never run near a pool, regardless of what type of surface it has. The smooth finish of natural stone coping allows for you to quickly slip into the pool when sitting on the edge without snagging your swimming suit or scratching the backs of your legs. Something that cant be said with concrete or paver coping. So while the smoothness may be a disadvantage to some it may be an advantage to others.
UNIFORMITY: Generally speaking most natural stone coping color varies from piece to piece. Since the coping is milled from large slabs of natural stone you can expect natural variation in color and look. If you are looking for perfect uniform color throughout your pool coping then Natural Stone may not be a good choice for you.
POROSITY: Some types of travertine and other natural stone copings may not hold up well in colder climates. There are certain travertines that are more porous that allow for water absorption that is not good for freeze that cycles. If that travertine is allowed to absorb water and then freeze it may crack. Which no one wants. So when selecting your natural stone coping be sure to check that your preferred choice is suitable for your climate. @ Pool Pros we use Marmiro Stone Pool Coping and not all of their stone is suitable for our climate in Wisco. We only offer the stone coping that suits our climate. The top 3 choices are the Terra Travertine, Takoma Silver Travertine, BlueStone Travertine and any of Marmiros Marble Copings. Check them out here: https://marmiro.com/coping-treads-collection/
DEGRADING: Like everything in life over time surfaces of anything can and will begin to degrade and pool coping is no different. If your pool is equipped with a salt water system the salty water can slowly eat away at the natural stone coping. It does the same to paver coping and traditional concrete as well. Salt Water is just hands down corrosive. The good news is that if you seal your natural stone coping on a regular basis it will help to minimize the likelihood of the salt water eroding the stone coping. You could also get rid of your salt water system as well. @ Pool Pros we are just not fans of salt water pools and for good reason. For more info on why your pool should not have a salt chlorine generator check out this article: https://www.poolproswi.com/post/why-you-shouldnt-use-a-salt-system-for-your-fiberglass-pool-or-above-ground-pool
COST: Natural Stone Coping is more expensive than other options such as cantilevered concrete. It costs more for a few reasons but the big one is that it just takes more time to create each piec of coping. Natural Stone Coping is milled from large slabs collected from deposits of natural stone. Its first milled into large cubes, then down to slabs, then down to individual pieces of coping and then each is given its own desired finish. Then each coping is bundled and sent out for delivery. So the increased cost for natural stone coping can be a drawback for some pool projects that are subject to budgetary restrictions.
INCLUSIONS: Just like precious stones like diamonds, natural stones can and will likely have inclusions and imperfections throughout the coping. Some may have different streaks of color as well. Coping stones can vary pretty widely in coloration. To me that makes it unique, but to some this may not be their cup of tea.
That's it for the disadvantages, now onto the reasons you may want to consider natural stone coping for your fiberglass pool.
ADVANTAGES OF NATURAL STONE POOL COPING
AESTHETICS: Nothing makes or breaks an in ground pool more than the finished pool deck and or coping. Natural Stone Coping adds a beautiful and elegant nature to a swimming pool.
INSTALLATION: Natural Stone Coping installation is a pretty straight forward process and a 16 x 40 fiberglass pool should be completed in around 8 man hours. Thats a quick way to add something unique to your pool.
TEMPERATURE: Natural Stone Coping is generally cooler to the touch than other types of concrete or paver coping. This makes it ideal for use on an inground pool. No one wants to sit on the edge of a pool on hot concrete or coping and brunt their rear ends.
PREMIUM PRODUCT: Natural Stone is a premium product and will separate your pool from the rest. Natural Stone Coping pairs nicely with waterline tile and River Pools new popular fiberglass pool colors liek Caribbean Sparkle and Afyon Cloud Stone Coping.
SMOOTH TEXTURE: While some may look at natural coping as being too smooth and or slippery, we prefer it. Ultimately coping is where people will be sitting and not walking around the pool and you want that area to be smooth so you can slip right into your pool without snagging your suit, legs or booty on rough concrete or pave coping. Granted I would not use natural stone for an entire pool deck but at the edge of the pool its pretty nice.
UNIFORM PROFILE: With Natural Stone Coping you will have a beautiful uniform profile milled by the manufacturer. The same cannot be said for lower cost cantilevered concrete. With cantilevered concrete you are at the will of the concrete installed, the forms they use and the mix they get from the plant. Alot of variables that may lead to a not so nice inside edge to your pool deck. This is one of the main reasons we @ Pool Pros shifted to using natural stone coping. It gives you a much better and uniform finished edge that looks great.
INCLUSIONS: Natural Stone Coping will to some degree have inclusions and imperfections. IT will have color variations from one coping piece to the next. Generally they will all look similar but if you are looking for a unique and truly natural coping to accentuate your new pool Natural Stone Coping may be just the ticket.
MORAL OF THE STORY
Hopefully this helps give you enough information to make an educated choice if Natural Stone Coping is the best choice for your new pool. Below are more great articles that may help with your coping options. Take a look.