Pool Coping

Pool Coping Overview

Pool coping is the deck level edge of the pool typically 12”± back from the pool edge – this can be the same as the deck or of a completely different material and color. Pool coping is the interface between decking and waterline tile.

Pool coping is what can make a pool visually pop. It outlines the pool and can differentiate it from the rest of the deck.

Alternatively, pool coping can be selected to blend the design into one consistent whole where only the water color or tile stands out. This is a design preference, but you should be aware of the impact of your choices.

There are different types of pool decking/pool coping each with its own qualities that may affect your decision.

Cantilever Coping

This is when the deck is a continuous material that extends to the edge of the pool, over-extending by three inches. There will be no break between the deck and the last 12”± which is then considered the coping area. This style gives a more uniform look to the deck and eliminates the need for mastic behind the coping. However, this also does not allow for a contrasting outline of the pool by introducing a coping material.

  • Adding mastic trench to existing cantilever decking – if you have an existing cantilever deck and issues with the deck or popping tiles, we can cut a trench in the deck 12″ back from the edge as a relief joint and fill with mastic. This creates a cushion between the deck and the coping that helps reduce damage during earth movement.

Other Varieties

Coping can be made up of a variety of shapes, sizes, materials, textures and color.

  • Pre-cast Safety Grip – this is pre-casted in molds where the edge curves up to allow for a good grip at edge of pool. Requires a template to be made of the edge of the pool in order to give the manufacturer exact measurements for each pre-cast piece. White is typical but other colors are available.
  • Pre-Cast Custom Made – comes in non-safety grip designs including bull-nose edge, square edge and others. Many colors are available.
  • Flagstone, Quartzite, and other natural stones – natural stones for a more exotic and organic look. Cons may include flaking and cratering (holes) depending on the selected material.. On the other hand, natural makes for a beautiful look and can be sealed to prevent flaking (but will need to be resealed every few years).
  • Cut and Honed coping stones – these give a more sophisticated look, polished but can be very slippery.
  • Pour-in-place coping – we set forms of wood and foam to pour cement coping of various edges. You can practically choose any color you wish. Darker colors are typically more expensive – more dye involved in the cement mix. The only risk to pour-in-place is that the coping is poured, not in a factory controlled setting, but at your pool where weather and other factors may impact curing. Cracks have been known to occur.