Coping Options For Vinyl And Fiberglass Inground Pools.
There are three types of coping options that are more common around an in ground pool. You can use an aluminum coping piece, cantilevered concrete edge, or a paver, brick, natural stone option. I have seen wood decking used though that is not a real common option that is used. I have seen all three done on both vinyl liner and fiberglass pools. So lets discuss the three common options.
Aluminum coping is the most commonly used of the three. It has a white powder coated finish. You will see it most on vinyl liner pools as it is a simple and inexpensive way to do coping. The style that is normally used is a bullnose piece. This looks like a letter C. The track is screwed down to the top of the wall, and then the concrete is poured so that it fills in the C and comes to the top edge. This makes for a clean finished look, with the aluminum being the finished face that you see. There are different styles that you can use. A flat incline style is one that we see along with different variations of the bullnose C. You get a slight wave in the C to make it stand out and look a little different. The bullnose C is the most popular though.
Doing a cantilevered edge is more common on fiberglass pools, though we have started doing more of them on vinyl pools. Doing a cantilevered edge just means that the concrete itself will be the face that you see. This option costs more than aluminum coping because of the labor involved. You use a styrofoam form on the inside edge of the pool to pour the concrete into. When the concrete is to the stage when it is being finished, these forms are pulled off and the face, or the edge, is finished. This process is labor intensive and requires a concrete guy that really knows what they are doing. I have seen some bad cantilever jobs because the concrete guys did not have enough experience. You can get different types of forms to put a little wave or curve on the face. You do not have to have it so that it is a flat face.
Pavers, Brick or Natural Stone.
Going this route is going to be the most costly. Besides the cost of whatever material that you choose, this is the most labor intensive option. Doing the pavers, brick or natural stone has become more popular in recent years as people look for options to really set their pool off. If you want something other than concrete for your decking this is where this option comes into play.
So there you have the three most common options for coping around an in ground pool. Aluminum, cantilevered concrete, or a paver, brick, natural stone coping.