In the same way that ecological construction and Passivhaus systems are having a great boom, due to the increase in environmental awareness in the population, the swimming pool sector has been influenced by this trend with the use of noble materials for swimming pools.
What are noble materials in Architecture?
The most widely recognized definition of noble materials is the one that defines them as those materials that present a quality superior to others of their kind. However, this definition is poor and we would add a key factor: noble materials must come from a source that is as natural as possible.
Another aspect that is a hallmark of noble materials is quality. In fact, one of the reasons why customers end up choosing a noble material to cover the pool or its surroundings is its high durability and its renewable origin, even ahead of the fact that they are sustainable materials with lower environmental impact .
Types of noble materials for swimming pools
The main materials of natural origin that are currently used in swimming pools are: stone and wood. Both offer a timelessness and elegance that is very difficult to overcome by other materials such as porcelanic stoneware, liner or even mosaic.
However, we do not recommend using any type of stone or natural wood, since, in the case of swimming pool design, as these materials are in direct contact with water and meteorological phenomena, a bad choice can ruin your project.
Natural stone for swimming pools
Stone is considered one of the highest value, quality and durability materials in the world of construction and architecture. In fact, its use dates back to prehistory and even today there is a belief that natural stone connects us with other space and time.
Applied to pools, natural stone guarantees that your pool or spa project will last over the years, without degrading or suffering alterations. It is, in a way, a long-term guarantee of quality.
Although in recent decades the use of natural stone has been somewhat relegated to the background, either due to the use of cement or the high cost that stone can sometimes have, today there is a return to the origins, to the natural, to the sustainable and the construction of ecological swimming pools. And there is no doubt that this architectural influence has brought back natural stone, in all its splendor.
Now, the question is: “What type of natural stone coverings to choose?” Our recommendation is that you choose stones that are not excessively porous for the exterior of the pool, such as marble or granite. If you opt for other type of natural stone to cover the surroundings of the pool, such as limestone, which is more porous, you only have to remember to apply a water-repellent treatment once the stone is installed. (In the section “Natural stone care” we explain it to you)
Natural wood for pools
There are even more pools whose exteriors and terraces have been clad with wood.
In addition to being one of the most sustainable and renewable materials you can find, wood has a very resistant structure and is a fantastic thermal insulator.
From an aesthetic point of view, wood brings warmth, well-being and elegance. Moreover, its beauty is so timeless that it survives the passage of all kinds of fashions and trends.
If you decide to add a wooden deck to the exterior of your pool, you should know that not all types of wood are suitable for exteriors. We recommend choosing a tropical wood, such as teak, IPE wood, Cumarú or Itauba wood, since they are types of wood that, from their origin, are very resistant to humidity and high temperatures. Despite this, all exterior woods require a specific treatment. (In the section “Wood care” you can find out what it consists of).
How to use noble materials in swimming pools?
Having seen the types of noble materials that you have at your disposal to cover the pool and the terrace around the pool, now you must bear in mind that, in general, these 3 types of combinations are given. Let’s see the examples with images, so that you can be inspired and choose an option that combines well with the style and characteristics of your home:
Pools with wood and natural stone
It involves covering the interior of the pool with natural stone and the exterior with wooden sheets.
The combined use of noble materials in swimming pools has been a trend in recent years. In fact, a very high percentage of new high-end construction homes include this type of finish, since, as we mentioned earlier, sustainable and ecological construction is currently in high demand in the market.
Pools with 1 type of natural stone
In this case, it is decided to choose a single type of natural stone to cover, not only the pool basin, but all the exteriors, making this noble material a whole and becoming, therefore, the star of the project.
You can read more about this trend in this post: Coating of Pools and Terraces in the same material
Pools with 2 types of natural stone
This third option consists of choosing two types of natural stone, generally stones that offer great contrast between them, to cover the interior of the pool in one tone, and the exterior in another.
In this case, we recommend choosing a stone with a non-slip texture for the exteriors.
You will be able to see this combination of noble material both in swimming pools at ground level, and in elevated overflowing pools. In both cases the effect is absolutely stunning.
Other combinations of noble materials for swimming pools
Leaving aside the combinations that only include noble materials, another option is to use a mixture of noble materials with synthetics. An example could be a swimming pool finished with mosaic and a solid wood deck on the exteriors; a swimming pool lined with natural stone and exteriors in porcelain stoneware, or even a swimming pool covered in porcelain stoneware with a wooden-lined terrace.
Our advice is always to be very well advised in terms of the choice of types of materials, characteristics, tones, textures and maintenance so that, in the long run, you do not regret the choice made. In spite of this, in general, we always recommend the combination of noble materials, because their aesthetic effect will always be much higher, both in quality and beauty.
Care of noble materials for swimming pools
One of the great advantages of noble materials for swimming pools is that, given their resistance and durability, their maintenance is minimal. If, despite this, you are one of those who like taking care of your home in order to extend the life of the outdoors, we recommend you to take a look at these advices:
If you decide to add a wooden flooring to the exterior of your pool, even if you choose one of the types of wood that we have previously recommended, the ideal is to extend its life by following these recommendations:
- Use before summer and before winter a coating product with an impregnating action that penetrates deeply into the wood, protects it, but, in turn, leaves an “open pore” finish. In this way, we allow the wood to breathe and regulate its humidity, we protect the wood from ultraviolet action, we combat biological organisms and we provide the wood with water-repellent properties against rain.
- Moisten your platform in summer.
- Air the wood flooring in summer, lifting the covers and drains.
- Sand the wood flooring every 7-8 years. If you take care of it with the previous steps, it will not need more care.
Natural stone care
With natural stone something similar happens to wood for swimming pools. Although it is a very precious material in architecture, due to its high durability, it is always advisable to follow a basic maintenance treatment, especially in porous stones:
- Once a year, apply a special water-repellent treatment for natural stone. In this way the possible cracks will be waterproofed, you will consolidate the stone so that it does not erode, you will protect the joints and you will slightly brighten the tone.
Why choosing noble materials for your pool?
Noble materials add style, elegance, warmth and dazzling beauty to pool projects that synthetic materials cannot. In addition, there are a multitude of finishes, textures and tones, so that, depending on the chosen material, we can achieve different environments: modern, rustic or more elegant.
Noble materials for swimming pools are a great choice for those who want to achieve timeless spaces, that do not go out of style and that will last without being damaged over many years.
Whichever combination of noble materials you choose, the most important thing is that the pool project is in harmony and balance with the home and surrounding areas.
If you need advice when choosing a suitable design for your home, at GodoPools we can help you.
** Images of Casa C3 by Barclay & Crousse, Panormos Bay Luxury Suites by Theodoros Tsafoulias and The ‘GP House’
by OWN Architecture & Felipe Caboclo Arquitetura **