The backyard pool area has become an important living space.

A tanning ledge is an area of your pool that has 12 inches or less of water and is available for in-ground fiberglass pools.


Homeowners are splashing into 2016’s swimming pool season and keeping area pool builders busy by requesting their dream pools with some snazzy features.Thanks to ever-evolving pool designs, new materials and technology, today’s pools are more functional, enjoyable and luxurious than ever before, the contractors say.

“The backyard pool area has become an important living space,” says Marsha Manning, a co-owner of Manning Bros. Pools. “When people are on vacation, they see a lot of resort pools. They like what they see, and they want it.”

Outdoor-loving consumers are upping their pool game with these cool pool design trends.

Tanning ledges

A tanning ledge is an area of your pool that has 12 inches or less of water and is available for in-ground fiberglass pools.

These shallow, broad areas located near the pool’s edge add a different kind of water fun, says John Bullard, sales manager for in-ground pool development at Pensacola Pools. The shallow water allows you to stay cool without having to get submerged, making the shelf perfect for tanning or lounging under umbrellas. 

“Tanning ledges have become extremely popular,” Bullard says. “A tanning ledge definitely makes the pool and gives it a different feel. The area also allows your pets to cool off and your children to play safely.”

Colored LED lighting

Colored LEDs turn night swimming into a light show at the touch of a button, Bullard says. You can create an impressive and fun backdrop for parties and family gatherings, stir the imagination with rainbow-colored waters or create architectural effects with LED lights strategically placed poolside or in landscaping. 

“For the 4th of July, you can make your pool red, white and blue,” Bullard says.

Stay tuned, Bullard says. New technology is about to make the at-home movie screen a great deal more immersive, turning your pool into a screen to watch movies of your choice. “Jaws” anyone?
Plunge, spool and sport

These days, you don’t have to have a big backyard to fit in a pool, Manning and Bullard say. That’s good news as pool space shrinks.

Newer homes tend to be built on smaller lots, and “as backyards get smaller, so are pools,” Bullard says. “Pool builders have to go with the trend.”

Bullard says one popular choice is a “plunge pool “ – a small, shallow pool built for the purpose of lounging, wading and cooling off instead of for swimming and exercising.

The “spool” is another trend, Bullard says. “Spool” is a blend of the words pool and spa. Measuring about 10 to 16 feet long and 6 to 8 feet wide, a spool is much smaller than an in-ground swimming pool, but at least twice the length of the average spa. Unlike a swimming pool, a spool comes equipped with strong jets that create a swirling current against which to swim. This allows you to get a workout in a relatively small amount of space; often swimming in place. 

Another cool pool choice is what Manning calls the “sport pool.”

“A sport pool is one that has two shallow ends, with a deeper section in the center,” she says. “These pools are called sport pools because they are especially well suited to volleyball and other fun pool games.”

To also function as a lap pool, a sport pool can also be built longer than an average pool.

Paver stones

Available in a vast array of shapes and colors — as well as in natural and manufactured materials such as brick, flagstone, travertine, or colored patterned concrete — pavers are being professionally installed to form all sizes and shapes of deck.

Pavers are a durable, attractive alternative to traditional decking choices, Manning says. “As more people look at the pool area as a living space, they are choosing pavers. Stone definitely dresses up the pool.”

Glass tiles

Many pool owners are also passing on traditional pool coping or siding for glass tiles, Bullard says. “As people expand their living area to the outdoors, glass tile is carrying over from kitchens and bathrooms to pools and outdoor grilling areas.”

The shimmering quality of tile can create dazzling colors or enhance the light travel within your pool during the day.

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About sanjuanfiberglasspools

San Juan is the World's Largest and Strongest Fiberglass Pool Manufacturer. San Juan makes over 90 different one piece fiberglass pools in 9 different colors.
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