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Swimming Pool Glossary 

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Acrylic Lace

A type of spray texture overlay used on concrete, it's slip-resistant and cooler than regular concrete, making it popular in warmer climates.


Materials such as pebbles, stones, or shells added to plaster or concrete to enhance the pool's appearance and texture.


A garden structure, usually made of wood or metal, serving as a backdrop or for climbing plants.

Automated Systems

Technology solutions allowing for remote control of pool features such as lighting, heating, and waterfalls via smartphones or tablets.



Material used to fill in the space around the pool structure. This can be the original dirt excavated or a specific fill material.


The process of cleaning a pool's filter by reversing the flow of water to remove accumulated debris.


Material, often stones or concrete, used to provide stability and weight.

Beach Entry (or Zero Entry)

A pool entry that gradually slopes from the deck into the water, mimicking the gentle slope of a beach.


A type of pool plaster that incorporates glass beads and aggregates, resulting in a 3D-like shimmering effect when exposed to light.

Baja Shelf (or Sun Shelf or Tanning Ledge)

A shallow, flat ledge within the pool, usually a few inches deep, allowing loungers and sunbathers to relax in minimal water.

Bond Beam

The top portion of a pool's wall structure. It provides structural integrity by being wider and often reinforced, distributing stresses and ensuring stability.

Brushed or Broom Finish Concrete

Concrete that has been brushed with a broom for texture. This gives the surface grip, making it slip-resistant.



A device that introduces chlorine to the pool to sanitize and disinfect the water.

Composite Decking

Made from a blend of wood fibers and plastic, this type of decking is known for its durability, minimal maintenance, and resistance to rotting, warping, and pests.


The process of densely pressing the soil at the pool construction site to ensure a solid foundation.


The material or masonry product used to cap the pool shell wall, providing a finished edge and often acting as a boundary for the pool deck.



The area immediately surrounding the pool, typically made from concrete, stone, or wood.


The process of water movement around garden areas, essential for plant health and hardscape longevity.



The process of removing earth to create the hole where the pool will be situated. It's the first major step in in-ground pool construction.

Expansion Joint

A gap between the pool structure and the surrounding deck, allowing both to expand and contract with temperature fluctuations without causing damage.

Exposed Aggregate

A type of finish achieved by placing concrete and then removing the outer layer to reveal decorative coarse aggregates.


Figure - 8 Pool

As the name suggests, this pool is shaped like the number eight, typically featuring a smaller circle on one end and a larger circle on the other.

Fire Features

Elements that introduce fire into the pool landscape, adding warmth and a dramatic touch. Examples include fire bowls, fire pits, and fire walls.

Fire Pit

A constructed pit in which a fire can be lit, used for warmth or cooking purposes in an outdoor setting.

Freeform Pool

Pools with irregular shapes and curves, often designed to mimic natural water features or to fit a specific landscape. They are highly customizable.



Cave-like structures often built with rock materials, typically housing a spa or a seating area, and often combined with waterfalls for a secluded retreat feel.


A mixture of cement, sand, and water applied through a pressure hose, creating a strong, dense layer. Commonly used for pool shells.



Non-living elements of landscaping, such as patios, walkways, and walls. Made from hard materials like stone, brick, and concrete.

Heat Pump

A device that warms pool water by extracting heat from the air or ground.


A polished aggregate finish known for its ultra-smooth texture. It's made up of unique marble and Portland cement, combined with color pigments and polished to bring out its lustrous beauty.


In-ground Pool

A pool that's built into the ground, as opposed to an above-ground pool.

Infinity (or Negative Edge) Pool

A luxurious design where one or more edges appear to blend seamlessly with the horizon or surrounding landscape, creating a visual effect of water extending into infinity. These pools are often built on sloping sites with a beautiful backdrop.

Irrigation System

A system to supply water to land or crops, which can include drip lines, soaker hoses, and sprinkler systems.


Jacuzzi (or Spa)

A heated pool or tub with jets that produce a relaxing, massaging effect.


Kidney Pool

A shape resembling a kidney bean with soft, flowing curves. It offers a natural look, and the design often incorporates a deep end and a shallow end.


Lagoon Pool

A pool designed with naturalistic features, often irregular shapes, and may include waterfalls or rock features.

Lap Pool

A long and narrow pool specifically designed for swimming laps. Ideal for fitness enthusiasts.


The process of making a yard or other piece of land more attractive by adding or modifying features like plants, trees, and lawns.

LED & Fiber Optic Lighting

Modern lighting solutions that provide energy-efficient illumination in a wide range of colors and patterns. They can be installed in the pool, around the pool, or within water features.


Main Drain

The primary point for water removal at the deepest part of the pool.

Mosaics & Inlays

Decorative designs made from tiles or other materials, embedded into the pool floor or walls, adding a touch of personalization.


A material (like decaying leaves, bark, or compost) spread over the soil to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil health.


Natural Stone

Materials like flagstone, slate, travertine, or limestone can be used for an elegant and timeless pool deck. Each stone type offers a distinct appearance and texture.



A paved outdoor area, usually adjacent to a residence, intended for dining or recreation.


Individual units or blocks made from stone, brick, or concrete, laid out to form the deck. They are durable, versatile, and can be easily replaced if damaged.

Pebble Finish

A pool surface finish containing small, smooth stones for a natural look.

Pebble Plaster

Incorporating tiny pebbles or stones, this type of plaster gives a pool a natural, lagoon-like appearance. It's highly durable and comes in various colors and finishes.

Perimeter Overflow

A pool design where water flows over all sides into a hidden catch basin and is then recirculated back into the pool.


A garden feature that provides shade with vertical posts supporting open lattice or cross-beams. Vines or plants are sometimes grown on them.

pH Level

A measure of how acidic or alkaline the pool water is, critical for ensuring water safety and equipment longevity.


Refers to the system of pipes, drains, and fittings installed in a pool. This system enables water circulation, filtration, heating, and sanitization.

Polished Aggregate

A smoother version of pebble finishes, where the stones are polished down for a flat, shiny finish.

Pool Finish

The material or treatment applied to the interior of a pool to create its surface.

Pool Shell

The structural framework or container of the pool, typically made of concrete or other materials.

Pool Water

The water contained within a swimming pool, treated to maintain clarity and hygiene.


Raised Spa

A spa that is elevated above the pool or ground level. It can be a visual focal point and often spills water into the pool for a cascading waterfall effect.

Rebar (Reinforcing Bar)

Steel bars used to reinforce swimming pools. They are placed in a grid pattern and then encased in gunite or shotcrete to provide strength and shape to the pool shell.

Rectangular Pool

A classic and frequently chosen design, characterized by its straight edges and 90-degree corners. Ideal for those seeking a traditional look.

Retaining Wall

A structure designed to restrain soil at different levels on both sides, often used for terraced gardens or to manage hillside erosion.

Roman & Grecian Pools

These pools have designs inspired by classic Roman and Greek architecture, typically rectangular but with rounded or stylized ends.


Saltwater Pool

A pool that uses salt and a chlorine generator to sanitize the water, reducing the need for added chlorine.

Saltwater System

A system that uses salt and a chlorinator to produce chlorine, offering a gentler water experience.

Sheer Descent Waterfalls

Water features that produce a clear arc of water, projecting away from the pool wall and descending down into the pool.


Similar to gunite, but it contains a higher cement-to-sand ratio and is applied in a wet mix, which can be either pumped or pneumatically projected onto a surface.


An essential component of pool plumbing, designed to pull water into a system where it's filtered, removing floating debris.

Solar Cover

A cover that harnesses solar energy to heat pool water and reduce evaporation.

Solar Cover

A heated pool or tub with jets that produce a relaxing, massaging effect.

Spillover Spa

A spa that's positioned to allow water to "spill over" into the adjacent pool, creating a continuous flow and visual connection between the two.

Spool (Spa + Pool)

Larger than a spa but smaller than a traditional pool, spools are a combination of both, often featuring seating and jet systems for relaxation.

Stamped Concrete

Concrete that is patterned, textured, or embossed to resemble brick, slate, stone, tile, wood, and various other patterns and textures. It's a versatile and cost-effective decking choice.


The level of prepared ground on which the pool will be built.


Tanning Ledges (or Sun Shelves)

Shallow, flat areas in the pool where lounge chairs can be placed, or individuals can relax in minimal water.

Thermal Ledge

Similar to a Baja shelf, it's a shallow ledge within the pool but is meant for warmer water, functioning as a mini heated relaxation zone.


Typically made from porcelain, ceramic, or stone, tiles can offer a sophisticated look to the pool area. They're available in a myriad of designs and textures.


Water Bowls

Decorative bowls that spill water into the pool, often combined with fire for a stunning visual effect.

Water Feature

Any range of installations in landscaping that uses water, like ponds, fountains, or waterfalls, to enhance the environment.


Water features where water cascades down rocks or a structure, creating a soothing sound and adding a touch of nature to the pool area.

Weep Hole

Small holes in retaining walls or other hardscapes that allow water to drain, preventing water buildup behind structures.

Wood Decking

Often chosen for above-ground pools, wooden decks offer a warm, natural look. Types of wood like redwood, cedar, and pine are commonly used because of their resistance to water.

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