Choosing materials for a gunite pool can be daunting. There are the deck and coping materials and colors, the waterline tile and grout, as well as the interior finish. The gunite pool colors available are primarily dependent on the selection of the interior finish, but are influenced by the tile color also. If you’re looking to change the color of your gunite pool or are building a new pool, this guide is for you. In this article we will walk you through the various gunite pool colors available and how you might go about choosing them.
Water Color Vs. Gunite Pool Color Differences
To begin with let’s talk about the water color. You might be surprised to find out the color of the pool finish and the color of the water can be drastically different. For example, if you use a white interior finish for the pool, you will get a light blue pool. If you use a brown interior finish, you will get a sea green. If you use a green interior finish, you will get a deep blue green.
The color of the sky impacts the color of your interior finish drastically, so whenever you pick your gunite pool colors, always make sure you see photos of the finish installed in a swimming pool in addition to seeing the physical sample of the finish itself.
What Are The Least Expensive Gunite Pool Colors?
First, let’s start with the least expensive option, white plaster. This is a troweled on finish made up of a modified white cement and sand. This is the classic gunite pool finish and is still found in most public and commercial swimming pools built. It is also one of the most selected gunite pool colors for homeowners on a budget. There are some drawbacks to the white plaster like durability, staining potential, and for some people the color. You should be able to expect around ten years or so before you need to consider re-plastering the pool or acid washing the pool.
What Are The Most Common Gunite Pool Colors?
Depending on your pool builder and state, there are plenty of common gunite pool colors to choose from. We’ll explain some of the most common styles. With certain finishes, such as the quartz and pebbles that I’ll later describe, there are many color variations inside them.
Next there are the colored plasters, the most common of which is gray plaster. These are either liquid dye added to the plaster as it’s mixed, a powdered dye added to the plaster as it’s mixed, or both. These finishes are popular because they give you a darker blue water color in the sun. The same durability issues exist with gray (or any other color) plasters but with the added issue of color fastness.
The color is not long lasting with colored plasters, and over time you get a streaky ness or ‘mottling’ effect where patches of the interior look white and streaky. Gray plaster is usually a small upgrade from the price of white plaster, a few thousand dollars at most for the majority of swimming pools.
Then there are the quartz finishes, like Diamond Brite, Wet Edge Technologies Luna Quartz, and the like. Here are some Diamond Brite gunite pool colors for you to get an idea of how they look. These are either completely pre-mixed and pre-bagged like Diamond Brite, or the ingredients are bagged and you mix in some common ingredients at the plaster truck. These finishes generally last longer than plaster and have some additional coloration benefits to boot. The use of quartz along with powdered dyes means there is less chance of the color fading completely.
These finishes still have the potential to mottle and discolor. However, they do not to the same effect as colored plasters. There is a grittier texture to these finishes which some people prefer, and others do not like. The grit is the quartz and sand being exposed to the water, which helps them last longer than plaster finishes. The gunite pool colors available from quartz finishes are wide and variable, anything from a white to black to blue and green. The upgrade to quartz finishes is usually in the $3,000 to $10,000 range depending on the size of your pool and the color you select.
Similar to the quartz finishes are the pebble finishes. These are some of the most popular interior finishes available and most commonly used. These are known for their ability to withstand wide variation in water chemistry without long term damage, and for lasting a long time in general, 20 years plus. The main manufacturers of pebble finishes are Wet Edge Technologies and Pebble Technology. Both have a wide ranging product line with just about every color in the rainbow available. The texture is a bit rough to some people, as the primary surface of the pool is small pebbles. However, this also gives the finish its long lasting nature.
What Are The Most Expensive Gunite Pool Colors?
The most expensive troweled on finishes available are diamond polished finishes with the texture of terrazzo, like Hydrazzo and Wet Edge Technologies Primera Stone. These are installed much like the pebble finishes but after a small cure time, they are hand polished smooth. These have the highest labor costs of all finishes other than tile. You should expect to spend tens of thousands of dollars on these finishes. There is a wide range of costs depending on color and manufacturer.
Lastly, there is tile. Yes, you can tile the entire pool. Tile is the most expensive option out there, but it’s the only way to get custom colors such as a red pool, for example. Tile pools are the most luxurious and can be the longest lasting finish depending on your climate. Expect to pay a minimum of $50,000 premium for a tiled pool. Although, the cost typically exceeding $100,000 depending on your location and the tile you select.
Ultimately, there are many options for gunite pool colors. What you choose should be personalized to your tastes and your project. If you know the color you want the pool to be, try showing your pool contractor or plaster contractor photos of what you like and in most cases they will be able to tell you what finish and color could achieve the gunite pool colors you are after.