One important design decision & material selection that is made when building a new pool or renovating an existing pool is coping. Pool coping is the protective lip or cap that sits on top of the pool walls and borders the entire pool. Coping prevents water and debris from getting behind the pool shell, thus protecting it from damage or cracking. Although coping is necessary and serves a practical purpose, it also provides an opportunity to create specific aesthetics using varying materials.



Let’s delve deeper into some common coping options J&M recommends to our clients.




The most cost-effective type of coping is called cantilever. This type of coping is made by pouring concrete on top of the pool shell using forms. With this coping style, the concrete used for the deck can be brought to the edge of the pool and slightly overhang, providing a clean and seamless look. Concrete is very strong and resists shifting well, but over time any type of concrete may develop hairline cracks, which could become the long-term cons of this type of coping. Control joints or expansion joints can help minimize the likelihood of this. Look at this beautiful vinyl pool with Kooldeck cantilever coping! 




Flagstone is an excellent choice for pool coping and looks great. It is very durable and slip-resistant. Flagstone comes in various colors, with brown, beige, and gray the most common. From a design perspective, flagstone provides an organic feel that can blend in with its surroundings. This coping goes well with stacked stone walls or raised spas, free-form shapes, and natural stone waterfalls or grottos. 





Travertine is a natural stone that begins as limestone and, under certain circumstances, becomes travertine. It comes from large deposits or quarries located all around the world. Travertine stands the test of time and is considered a premium material selection. It comes in many different colors and can have quite a bit of variation. There is a shade of travertine for everyone. It also comes in various finishes (i.e., honed, tumbled, chiseled) and with different edge options (i.e., bullnose, straight cut, eased edge). Travertine is durable, slip-resistant, and heat-resistant. If you want something that lasts, consider this, the Rome Colosseum is made of travertine. 




Concrete and porcelain pavers are yet another good option for pool coping. Concrete pavers have chlorine and salt-resistant properties, are comfortable underfoot, and naturally slip-resistant. Concrete pavers are relatively low-maintenance and can be used in several additional applications to create a cohesive look, such as wall seating, wall caps, fire pit caps, and more.  


Porcelain pavers are structurally compressed clay that does not have any fracture points. This gives them a very high breakage load. These pavers come in various colors that can mimic natural stone or wood. They come in multiple sizes, from planks to large modular shapes. Additionally, porcelain pavers never permanently stain.


Our professionals at J&M Pools will work with you to determine what type of pool coping is best for you, whether you’re building a new pool or renovating an existing pool. Feel free to contact us today to schedule your consultation.