The Complete Florida Swimming Pool Resurfacing Guide


Everything You Need to Know When Resurfacing a Pool in South Florida

 

High-end customer pool in Palm Beach
High-end customer pool in Palm Beach

Swimming pool resurfacing (sometimes referred to as refinishing or plastering) is something that almost every South Florida pool owner will end up doing at one time or another.  That’s especially true here in Palm Beach County.  Our weather conditions are perfect for owning a beautiful pool where you can relax with friends, family, and guests. From Boca Raton to Jupiter, whether you’re going for a quick swim by yourself or entertaining others, a pool is an excellent and valuable investment in your home. That’s why we put together this guide on swimming pool resurfacing. It’s for pool owners who are looking to make sure their pool is at its best.

Of course, all investments need attention, and pools are no different.  As time goes by and your pool starts to age, it will eventually fall victim to damage through the process of normal wear and tear. If you’re researching pool resurfacing, you’ve probably already noticed the finish of your pool starting to deteriorate.  Perhaps it’s starting to develop cracks or chips.  That’s the point when it’s time for you to seek out options for pool resurfacing.

A typical swimming pool could need resurfacing every 5 to 10 years.  This mainly depends on the type of finish originally used and the amount of usage the pools gets. Homeowners who have their pool maintained regularly will typically required less frequent resurfacing.

For other pool owners, it could simply be time for a new look.  In fact, many homeowners choose to refinish their pool to add value to their home. So whether you’re past due for a refinish or staying ahead of the game, here are the costs, materials and timing considerations to keep in mind before resurfacing your pool.

 

Swimming pool resurfacing customer pool, resurfaced with blue glass tile
Resurfacing customer pool, resurfaced with blue glass tile

Swimming Pool Resurfacing Costs in Florida

Cost is one of the first considerations that homeowners have when resurfacing their swimming pool.  Whether their pool finish is dull, cracked, or broken, or they’re simply looking to update the pool to match their tastes, swimming pools owners will usually be able to find a refinishing option that fits their budget.

The main factors that will affect the price of a swimming pool resurfacing job are:

  • The length, width, and depth of the swimming pool/spa
  • The type of materials used
  • Detailed or custom designs (i.e. patterned finishes or mosaics)

The general rule of thumb is:  the bigger or more detailed your pool is, the more it will cost. There are some great tools out there to estimate total pool volume, however most homeowners don’t realize that there is also a large cost difference when it comes to the type of material used for the pool’s finish. Some might think the job is as simple as picking up a bucket or two of pool plaster. Often, they’ll try to reduce their costs by simply plastering over cracks themselves. But this is a job typically left to the pros for a reason. Read on to learn more about the types of finish and why cost varies between them.  

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Which Type of Finish Should I Choose?

Depending on your own situation and preferences, you will likely want to choose one of these three popular options:

  • Diamond Brite: a mix of colored quartz stone and “polymer-modified Portland cement”
  • Pebble Finishes: high-tech aggregate finishes including PebbleTec, PebbleSheen, BeadCrete and Hydrazzo
  • Glass Tiles: giving you the option for many elegant colors, patterns, and options

Diamond Brite

When it comes to pool finishes Diamond Brite has been the industry standard for many years. It’s available in colors including Aqua Quartz, Cool Blue and Super Blue. Diamond Brite typically lasts 8-12 years before it starts to become faded and spotty.

While each style and color is priced differently, a typical Diamond Brite finish costs between $5,000 and $10,000. The darker colors can look very nice, but because dark colors absorb more heat in the South Florida sun, most pool professionals in Palm Beach will recommend lighter colors.  Lighter colors will also reflect more of your in-pool lighting, resulting in a better looking pool at nighttime. Here’s a sampling of available DiamondBrite colors:

Sample of 16 different DiamondBrite pool resurfacing colorsPebble Pool Finishes

Pebble finishes like PebbleTec or PebbleSheen offer a more earthy/textured appearance. If you absolutely require a darker finish, these finishes are highly recommended. They come in a large variety of available colors, including White Pearl, Sky Blue, Soft White and Black Pearl.  You even can use PebbleTec’s water color selection tool to see how different finishes will look when your pool is filled with water.

Other finishes made by PebbleTec include BeadCrete and Hydrazzo.

Other advantages include a non-slip, stain-resistant surface, and other cosmetic options (including Shimmering Sea, which includes a sparkle in the finish). Pebble finishes usually come in at around the same price as a Diamond Brite finish.

PebbleTec Vs. PebbleSheen

PebbleTec and PebbleSheen are both made by the same manufacturer.  But, they have some slight texture/cosmetic differences:

PebbleSheen

  • Smaller pebbles compared to PebbleTec
  • The company’s top-selling pool finish

PebbleTec

  • Not as smooth, but larger pebbles for a more natural look and feel

Both are quality, long-lasting finishes that will give you years of enjoyment in your pool.

Glass Tiles

Pool needing resurfacing

On the higher end of the scale, we have tiles, including ceramic and glass tiles, which provide a dramatic, luxurious finish, but are typically the most expensive of the resurfacing options.  While most pool owners opt for tile along the waterline or as accents on steps, there are many swimming pools in Palm Beach where the owner chose to use glass tiles for the entire pool.

This is referred to as a “full tile” finish, and the materials and installation cost can be comparable to the cost of the whole pool:  anywhere from about $30 to $50 per square foot. For that price, you get a highly durable finish that’s extremely attractive and stain resistant, but like all tile, will require periodic cleaning and maintenance in the form of regrouting.  We’ve discussed some common swimming pool tile repair issues in a separate article.

How To Resurface A Swimming Pool

Resurfacing a swimming pool is a lot more complicated than buying some pool plaster and applying it over the course of an afternoon.  Typically, an experienced team will spend at least 2 full days on a resurface. They will make sure the work is done properly the first time.  

Step 1:  Drain all of the water from the pool.

Step 2:  Thoroughly clean the pool to make sure any dirt or loose plaster is removed. If performing a full resurface, make sure to clean the coping too.

Step 3:  At this stage, with the pool empty and clean, you will notice any cracks/damage in the concrete shell.  This would be the right time to repair those to ensure you are putting down the new surface on a solid, quality base.

Step 4:  Once the underlying surface is sufficiently prepped, the team will apply plaster, or a bonding layer if necessary.  This typically dries quickly, and then the final finish can be applied.

 

How to Find the Best Pool Resurfacing Company

If you’ve decided you’ve been putting it off long enough, and it’s finally time to resurface that damaged, dull pool finish, finding the right contractor to resurface your pool is easy.

When you call Palm Beach Pool Pros at 561-277-0464, one of our certified pool resurfacing providers will listen to your ideas and needs for your pool and get you the information you need.  Once you’re satisfied with the information, you can make a responsible and educated decision about moving forward and we can help you set up an appointment and get a quote.

If you’re looking for more information, check out our resources on pool repair, new pool construction, and more.