Tanning Ledge

Glossary Of Swimming Pool Features

Providing an extensive glossary of swimming pool features to help guide your way to a new swimming pool!

  • Beach Entry: A gently sloping walkway that transitions from your deck into the water, very similar to a real beach. Materials vary but it is usually the same as the decking/coping material, or the same as the interior finish of the pool. A beach entry is great for toddlers, and also makes a great tanning ledge.
  • Bubblers & Water Jets: Like a fountain situated a few inches below the surface of the water and provides a soft, “bubbly” stream of water, typically 6 to 24 inches tall. An excellent feature for very young children to play with.
  • Coping: The material that surrounds the perimeter of your swimming pool and/or spa. On a “Gunite” or concrete pool, the coping is typically about 12 inches wide, and usually made out of brick, paving stones, natural stone, or a precast concrete material.
  • Deck: Refers to the hard surface around the swimming pool. Decks can be built from a variety of materials, including: Wood Broom-finished concrete Stained and/or stamped/patterned concrete Acrylic-finish spray deck Exposed aggregate Bricks or pavers Tiles (stone, ceramic, etc.) Flagstone or other natural stone Your choice of deck material will probably have the single greatest impact on the overall look of your swimming area.
  • Fire Bowl: Made from any number of materials including stone, metal, concrete, ceramic and more, fire bowls create a stunning nighttime effect. The fire bowl is normally filled with crushed glass, lava rock, or some other fireproof material and is great when created to be lit from a remote control.
  • Fire Pit: Added to an area near the pool, it helps take the chill out of the evening air, and creates a wonderful place to congregate and chat after a busy day of work or fun. A fire pit may be wood-fired or plumbed with natural gas or propane.
  • In-Water Tables and Chairs: These features provide a wonderful spot to read, snack, enjoy beverages or play games. If you have a table, it may be removable and perhaps have a fitting that allows the homeowner to add an umbrella. It’s also popular to have chairs so you can serve your guests poolside.
  • LED Lighting: Both in the water and around the pool, LED lights are energy efficient, last significantly longer than incandescent bulbs and add to the ambiance! You can change the colors, use them to feature your water features and provide extra lighting for nighttime swims.
  • Mosaics: A tile mosaic is like a signature and can be very personalized. The sky’s the limit when it comes to deciding on a mosaic and can be anything from a favorite sports team’s logo to a playful creature to an artistic design.
  • Raised spa / hot tub: “Raised” simply means that the level of the spa water is higher than the level of the swimming pool. This natural feature allows water from the spa to cascade or spill over into the swimming pool. Spas (or hot tubs) can also be a stand-alone feature placed away from or near the pool.
  • Tanning Ledge: Also known as a “Baja Bench” or “Shamu Shelf,” a tanning ledge provides a flat, shallow area for adults to relax and tan, and/or for children to play. Typically only about six inches deep, it is generally flat, not sloped and has a defined edge.
  • Umbrella: A removable umbrella (or set of umbrellas) can be a lifesaver on extra hot days, when you want to stay in the water, but you don’t want to spend all day in the hot sun. An umbrella will look especially classy on your tanning ledge.
  • Waterfalls: They can be small or large, fancy or natural-looking, gentle trickles or “Niagara Falls.”


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