Choosing the Right Finish for Your Pool


In Arizona, the summer seems to last forever. Many families spend a lot of time outdoors, and their pool is the focal point of their warm weather get-togethers.

Pools require maintenance to stay safe and beautiful throughout the seasons. The finish of your pool is one of the most important choices you’ll make. As much as we love helping Tucson families create the perfect outdoor entertaining areas, we don’t like interrupting the festivities with frequent maintenance. Choosing a pool finish designed to last for years will help you save time and money in the long run without creating any downtime that will keep the kids from swimming.

What is a Plaster (or Marcite) Finish for Your Pool?

Plaster, or marcite, is the least expensive way to finish your pool. While some pool refinishing companies will mix colored pigments into plaster finishes, Pioneer Pools doesn’t. The pigments never blend properly in the cement and marble dust mixture, leaving behind a streaky and uneven blend of colors and textures that make a finish look worn out the moment it’s been completed. For that reason, we prefer to keep the plaster finish white.

There’s one major concern with white plaster pools, and it’s their susceptibility to staining. Pools get dirty. They come into contact with chemicals. Playful children spill their drinks or drop their ice pops in the pool. Arizona’s hard water leaves behind evidence of mineral deposits and corrosion.

Although plaster finishes can last between 8 to 12 years with optimal maintenance, they’ll look worse for wear rather quickly. Even if the integrity of a plaster finish is still up to par, many homeowners prefer to refinish their plaster pools for aesthetic reasons. We offer a 2 year warranty on our plaster finish, and after that warranty runs out, you may want to schedule regular professional cleanings to keep the plaster looking its best.

Because of plaster’s extensive cleaning requirements, we try to steer homeowners in a different direction. Quartz finishes and pebble finishes look beautiful for longer, and they both come with much longer warranties. There is a price difference at the time of installation, but the time and money you’ll save on cleaning and upkeep easily justifies the upgrade.

What is a Quartz Finish for Your Pool?

Quartz finished combine plaster with silica and quartz aggregate. The end result is studier, smoother, and less porous than a plaster finish. The tiny quartz spheres add color and the illusion of texture to your pool finish. Blue based quartz finishes make a pool look like a desert oasis, while gray and tan based finishes perfectly complement outdoor stone motifs.

Quartz is much stronger than plaster and tends to look newer for longer. Since this blended finish incorporates a wide variety of colors, small stains and evidence of hard water are easily disguised. You still need to clean the walls and floor of your pool regularly, but since the surface obscures imperfections and is less porous, upkeep is much simpler.

Quartz finishes are designed to last. Pioneer Pools offers a generous 7 year warranty on quartz finishes.

What is a Pebble Finish for Your Pool?

Pebble finishes offer homeowners a little more creative freedom in the design of their pools. Pebbles come in a wide array of colors and textures, and they can be set in numerous patterns. No two pebble finishes are exactly alike, and that’s often the appeal. They’re a decorative, long lasting, and uniquely beautiful solution.

Although pebble imparts more of a texture than plaster or quartz finishes, using very small pebbles can keep the texture comfortable to the touch. You won’t feel like you’re walking around on a bunch of sharp rocks. Small, smooth pebbles aren’t rough on your feet.

Pebble finishes are the longest lasting pool finish. Their texture makes them easier to scrub clean, and they flawlessly disguise hard water buildup. If you want a one-and-done solution for a beautiful pool, choose pebble. We back up our pebble finishes with a 10 year warranty.

Why Choose Pebble Over Plaster?

We can’t blame homeowners for attempting to save a few bucks, especially if they don’t understand how important the finish of their pool will ultimately become. In truth, it’s about 20% more expensive to choose a pebble finish over a plaster finish. That is a significant price difference at the start, but it ultimately pays for itself.

Many homeowners have their plaster pools refinished somewhat frequently due to the rate at which plaster finishes stain and begin to look dingy, even with regular cleaning. Plaster only comes with a two year warranty. If at the end of the third year you decide to refinish your plaster pool, you’re paying for the whole thing out of pocket.

Pebble finishes come with a ten year warranty. You won’t need to pay to replace a damaged or worn out pebble finish for over a decade.

As much as Pioneer Pools loves to visit homeowners and address their needs, we’d love it even more if we only have to refinish your pool once every ten years. It saves us both time, and it saves you a substantial amount of money. We’d rather see you spend your extra cash on a family vacation or a few amazing summer cookouts, rather than on refinishing your pool two or three times a decade.

Designing Your Pebble Finish

Pebble finishes give homeowners a lot of artistic license. We source our pebble from Stonescapes, and they have a huge array of color and texture options. Our pool experts will work with you to create the right blend of colors and textures to help you create the perfect finish.

If you’re completely renovating your outdoor entertaining area, we can create a coordinating color and design scheme that will transform your entire space. Your pebble finish can complement your decking, stone tile, or other design features. We’d love to help you bring your creative vision to life.

Ready to Renovate Your Pool?

The first step in renovating your pool is a phone call. Call Pioneer Pools at (520)-881-7031 to discuss your project. We’ll be happy to walk you through your options and send our experts out to your home to discuss your design choices and prepare an accurate quote. We’re ready to start as soon as you are.