Plaster and your pool: The main types of plaster

While crystal-clear water and great tiling are important aspects of your swimming pool, plaster provides the foundation for your pool’s look. Plaster is the coating over the gunite shell that provides the surface of your pool. The right plaster can give your pool’s surface an attractive look that accents your entire backyard swimming environment, as that finish will make your pool stand out.

So how do you pick the perfect finish for your pool? To help you do that, Ultimate Pools will give you a bit of a crash course on plaster. Today’s article will breakdown the different types of finishes that you can have installed in your pool, while our next article will break down some of the variables that go into selecting and taking care of that plaster.

Enjoy the journey.

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Three main types of plaster

There are three main finishes that are typically installed on Ultimate Pools pools. All of them contain the same base, but the additional ingredients make the aggregate product of each unique. Here are the main three types that we usually deal with.

Regular white: This is actually the base of all the plasters that we deal with, as this white coating comes standard for installation over all gunite shells. This plaster is made from white Portland cement, making it easy to install and color with dye packages and paint. However, this type of plaster is the least durable of the three and make white plaster susceptible to staining and dissolving if your water chemistry is not on point.

“It’s actually made from the same type of material as Rolaids,” said Hervey Rodriguez of Uno Construction. “If you and I can digest it, you can imagine what happens when your muratic acid or chlorine are off.”

Quartz: For an additional fee, you can get quartz injected into your plaster. There are several benefits to this, the main one being the increased sturdiness of your finished surface. Quartz is a harder material which is used in a variety of furnishings such as indoor kitchens, making it more durable to the wear and tear your pool will face.

While a quartz finish will not be susceptible to flaking or being eaten away by the chemicals in your water, it does expose a lot of cement to the water of your pool. That increase the odds of staining, as the calcium components of the cement can cause discolorations on the surface if the water chemistry is off.

Pebble: Unlike the previous two types of plaster, pebble plaster does not involve a high level of exposed cement at the surface. Instead, the surface consists of smooth rock, as there are three main types of pebble finishes — pebble, stone and white ash. These stones make for a smooth, even, softer surface and the rounder the stone, the better the surface feels on your feet. And the lack of exposed cement makes staining less of a concern while containing similar durability to the quartz finish.

The concerns about pebble are the price (it costs a decent amount more than the quartz and white plaster finishes) and the lack of coloration options if that’s a priority. The surface color will be even, but the color options are based on the type of pebble selected. “We aren’t Sherwin Williams,” Rodriguez said.

These aren’t the only plaster finishes that are available, as you can get a glass finish. But the above three finishes are great places to start when looking to fulfill your plastering needs. Stay tuned for the second installment on plaster.


Discover Ultimate Pools

Ultimate Pools has been a leader in pool building and outdoor improvements in Magnolia, The Woodlands and Southeast Texas since 1991, specializing as a pool builder since 1999. From pools, waterfalls, hot tubs, decks, outdoor kitchens and outdoor improvements, Ultimate Pools will provide the highest of quality and customer service to you. Surf our website, send us an email, give us a call at (936) 321-9632, or visit our offices at 5170 FM 1488, Magnolia, TX 77354 today!

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