Vinyl & Fiberglass coping options for inground pools
There are three types of coping options that are more common around an in ground pool. You can use a cantilevered concrete edge, aluminum coping piece, or a natural stone, brick, paver option. I have seen all three done on both fiberglass and vinyl liner pools. Lets review the three common options. Aluminum coping is the most commonly used of the three listed above and usually has a white powder coated finish. This coping is mostly seen on vinyl liner pools as it is an inexpensive and simple way to do coping. The style that is normally used is a bullnose piece. The track is screwed down to the top of the wall, and then the concrete is poured so that it fills in to the top edge. This makes for a clean finished look, with the aluminum being the finished face that you see. There are different styles of coping that can be used. A flat incline style and the rounded style is one that we see along with different variations of the bullnose.
On fiberglass pools a cantilevered edge is more common, though we have seen them more on vinyl pools lately. Doing a cantilevered edge just means that the concrete itself will be the face that you see. This option costs more than aluminum coping because of the labor involved. You use a styrofoam form on the inside edge of the pool to pour the concrete into. When the concrete is to the stage when it is being finished, these forms are pulled off and the face, or the edge, is finished. This process is labor intensive and requires a concrete guy that really knows what they are doing. We have seen some bad cantilever jobs because the concrete guys did not have enough experience. You can get different types of forms to put a little wave or curve on the face. You do not have to have it so that it is a flat face. On Natural stone, brick or pavers has become more popular in recent years as people look for options to enhance their pools. This route is going to be the most costly. Besides the cost of whatever material that you choose, this is the most labor intensive option. If you want something other than concrete for your decking this is the best option out of the three.