Two of the Fiberglass Pool Industries Heaviest Hitters are about to go head to head to see who has the best Tanning Ledge Technology and why.
Why is this even a relevant topic you may ask? Or, the better question may be why are there only 2 pool manufacturers to choose from? The second part is simple. Other fiberglass pool manufacturers just don't appear to be interested to spend the time or resources to develop, improve or advance the fiberglass pool industry. (In my opinion) The first part has a few more layers to peal back. While tanning ledges are amazing and look great. They have not been easy to install and the finished product left a lot of fiberglass pool owners wanting more and we don't blame them. However early on there were really no other options than to use the industries most widely adopted set of best practices from River Pools and that is called the River Pools Way. While this methodology is great and works really well on the majority of fiberglass pool with integrated tanning ledge installations, there are times when issues can come up. We go over those concerns in more detail in this article. There were enough of those instances to give 2 of the most prominent fiberglass pool manufacturers to come up with solutions. The first on the board was Thursday Pools with the Backfill Eliminator and then River Pools Followed up with the Z Ledge Tanning Ledge Technology. The rest of the fiberglass pool manufacturers are just happy with the status quo and appear to be doing little to help advance and improve fiberglass pools. Anyway, Lets get into the differences and you can decide which one is the winner.
THURSDAY POOLS BACKFILL ELIMANTOR
Since Thursday Pools developed their patented tanning ledge technology first we will let them have first crack at the title. Here is a great video from Thursday Pools that breaks down the Patented Backfill Eliminator.
THE BACKFILL ELIMINATOR PROS/CONS
Its amazing what Thursday Pools has done with the Backfill Eliminator. It appears to be a great alternative to the status quo. The Backfill Eliminator is 99% better than what is offered by other fiberglass pool manufacturers at this time. It also shows Thursdays Pools dedication to constant improvement of everything related to fiberglass pools. While I love the Backfill Eliminator it does have some drawbacks which may affect the pool builder more than the pool owner. The only negative about the Backfill Eliminator is that due to its size and shape it has to be shipped by itself from the manufacturer. Which adds alot to the cost of the pool. By stacking multiple pools per delivery, fiberglass pool builders are able to keep their cost down. When a pool is shipped 1 at a time it adds thousands to the cost of the pool. That is the the only drawback I can see from the Backfill Eliminator.
THE RIVER POOLS Z LEDGE TANNING LEDGE TECHNOLOGY
Since The Z Ledge doesn't have a fancy video(yet) I will break down the Technology for you. The Z Ledge consists of a series of large fiberglass ribs that stiffen the fiberglass pools tanning ledge. This allows the pool to be installed without a slurry mix or concrete block piers. This pool can be installed directly onto a 4" base of 3/4" clean stone. The heavy duty ribs eliminate sagging in the center of the ledge and the hollow feel under your feet. It also improves the efficiency of the installation. This is a great improvement over the systems of the past. This design also allow for the pool to still be stacked for freight allowing for multiple pools to be delivered to dealers at once. Keeping the cost manageable.
MY PROFESSIONAL OPINION
To be clear I am biased as I am a River Pools dealer, however the Z Ledge has one advantage over the Backfill Eliminator and that's it. Just 1. That 1 reason is why I would choose the Z Ledge over the Backfill Eliminator and that is shipping of the pool shells. A Fiberglass Pool with the Backfill Eliminator System has to be shipped by itself in most cases due t the added area consumed by the Backfill Eliminator. This will drive the cost of a pool with this system up by thousands of dollars. A fiberglass pool equipped with the Z Ledge Tanning Ledge Technology System is capable of being stacked with other pools while allowing a builder to experience substantially lower costs for freight in turn saving the pool owner thousands. So not only is the Z Ledge a solid improvement for tanning ledges but it also does it at a lower cost. A win win if you are asking me. Either way both of these Tanning Ledge Technologies are amazing and are better than the traditional offerings by all of the other major fiberglass pool manufacturers. You truly can't go wrong choosing either option.