Concrete pool coping forms the top edge or outline of your swimming pool. The pool coping is an important part of swimming pool construction as it protects the pool shell and provides a safe, non-slip surface for people entering the pool. While there are many different types of swimming pool coping, poured or precast concrete coping is the way to go if you want to install it yourself.
Poured vs. Precast Concrete Coping
Poured concrete swimming pool coping requires you to use a plastic, commercial mold all along the edge of the swimming pool to form the concrete coping. The cement is then poured on-site and creates a uniform, unbroken finished edge for the swimming pool.
Precast concrete coping is pre-made concrete blocks that are purchased and installed in pieces to suit the style and shape of the swimming pool’s edge. They are the easiest, least expensive swimming pool coping to install.
How Swimming Pool Coping is Installed
Most often when an in-ground swimming pool is constructed, the walls of the swimming pool end below the decking around the pool. When the coping is installed, it brings the swimming pool to the level of the pool deck, creating an even surface around the swimming pool.
To install poured concrete coping, you will need to purchase a commercial mold in the shape of your choosing and set it up around the perimeter of the swimming pool. Then, the concrete is mixed and poured into the mold. You may want to score the concrete every 2 to 3 feet around the swimming pool to reduce the chance of the concrete cracking over time.
To install precast concrete coping, you simply place the precast blocks around the perimeter of the swimming pool and then seal them. Where your pool deck meets your pool coping, create an expansion joint to allow for both surfaces to move without creating excessive pressure on the swimming pool walls or the pool deck, which can cause cracking. This joint will then need to be sealed to prevent water from getting into the joint.
Do-it-Yourself Swimming Pool Coping
Installing swimming pool coping is a big job. If you are skilled at working with cement, pavers and tiling, you can do this job yourself. Purchase the highest quality materials you can for either poured concrete coping or precast concrete coping blocks to insure that you don’t have to replace or repair the swimming pool coping anytime soon.
When choosing coping for your swimming pool, there are many factors to consider. The size and shape of your swimming pool is one of them. The style of your pool and deck is another consideration. If you plan to install swimming pool coping yourself, choose either poured concrete or precast concrete coping to simplify the job with long-lasting results.