When building a pool, you will often hear about the term “Coping” and wonder what on earth that is. As part of our blog series, we wanted to run you through some of the terms we use when building a pool and hopefully you will be down with the lingo when talking with your pool builder about all things coping!
What is Pool Coping?
Pool coping is the material that surrounds the top edge of your swimming pool and provides a smooth transition from the pool to the deck or patio. It also serves as a cap for the pool's structure (the steel bond beam for those that are technical) and helps protect the pool's edge from damage. Coping can be made of a variety of materials, including natural stone, porcelain tile, concrete, or wood. The right coping material can enhance the overall aesthetic of your pool, create a functional and safe area for swimmers, and provide long-lasting durability.
Why is Pool Coping Important?
Safety: Pool coping provides a safe and slip-resistant surface for swimmers to walk on. Pool coping should have an adequate slip-resistant rating to be safe as a pool coping surround, so be sure to check with the manufacturer. It also helps to prevent accidents by reducing the risk of tripping and slipping on the edge of the pool.
Does pool coping need an overhang?
Typical pool coping usually has a small overhanging from the pool edge. You don’t have to have an overhang on your coping, but there are a couple of functional reasons it can be a good idea. That little lip helps minimise the amount of water splashing out of the pool when the waves start to get a little rough! It also provides young, inexperienced swimmers with a handle they can easily grab onto. You’ll often see kids doing their “monkey grip” on the edge of the coping to move around the pool safely.
Material durability & heat resistance: Pool coping must be durable and resistant to water damage, weathering, and fading. Pool coping is constantly being battered from the sun, wet from water which makes it expand and contract over and over. The coping line is where you’ll spend a lot of time standing, getting in and out of the pool, and in the heat of an Aussie summer, some coping materials can get VERY hot, so we advise our clients to pick a material that doesn’t heat up too much.
Key factors in determining the durability of a coping product are its density and performance in the water type you plan to use for your pool. Saltwater is particularly demanding when it comes to coping durability.