Dive into the Top 6 Types of Pool Designs

Ready to take the plunge into pool ownership? Explore the top 6 pool designs and find the perfect fit for your backyard oasis.

Transform your outdoor space into a personal paradise by choosing the perfect pool design to suit your lifestyle and preferences. This article explores the following types of pools to find the ideal match for your backyard retreat. Let’s go!

Types of Pool Designs

1. In-Ground Pools

If you want a boost of luxury in your backyard, an in-ground pool is the way to go. In-ground pools come in three main types: concrete, vinyl liner, and fiberglass. Each type has perks and cons, so it’s essential to do your research before deciding.

Concrete Pools

Concrete pools are the universal type of in-ground pool. They are very much customizable and can be built in any shape or size. If you have a unique twist to your pool, a concrete pool is the way to go. However, concrete pools are also the most expensive and take the longest to install. They also call for more maintenance than other types of pools.

Concrete In ground Pools

Vinyl Liner Pools

Vinyl liner pools are a more affordable option than concrete pools. They are made by installing a vinyl liner over a steel or polymer frame. Vinyl liner pools come in various shapes and sizes, but concrete pools are more customizable. The liner must be replaced every 5-10 years, which can be an added expense. However, vinyl liner pools require less maintenance than concrete pools.

Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass pools are the easiest and quickest type of in-ground pool to install. They are built in a factory and then moved to your backyard. Fiberglass pools come in assorted shapes and sizes but are less customizable than concrete pools. They are less durable than concrete pools and can develop cracks over time.

When choosing an in-ground pool, it’s essential to look at your budget, maintenance requirements, and desired level of customization. Each pool type has perks and cons, so it’s necessary to do your research before deciding.

2. Above-Ground Pools

If you want an affordable and easy-to-install pool option, an above-ground pool might be the perfect fit. These pools are typically made of steel or aluminum and come in diverse sizes and shapes. This section will discuss the two main types of above-ground pools: steel wall pools and aluminum pools.

above ground Pools

Steel Wall Pools

Steel wall pools are the most common type of above-ground pool. They are made of a steel frame with a vinyl liner that holds the water. Steel wall pools come in various sizes and shapes, from round to oval to rectangular. They are typically less expensive than aluminum pools and can survive up to 20 years with regular maintenance.

One of the benefits of steel wall pools is that they are customizable. You can select the size, shape, and depth of your pool and additional features like a deck or fence. Steel wall pools are also easy to install, with most models taking only a few days to set up.

However, there are some downsides to steel wall pools. They are more susceptible to rust and corrosion than aluminum pools, which can lead to leaks and other issues. Steel wall pools also require more maintenance than aluminum pools, with the liner needing to be replaced every 5-10 years.

Aluminum Pools

Aluminum pools are a more durable and long-lasting option than steel wall pools. They are made of an aluminum frame with a vinyl liner and can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance. Aluminum pools are more expensive than steel wall pools but require less maintenance and are less likely to develop leaks or other issues.

One of the benefits of aluminum pools is that they are invulnerable to rust and corrosion, making them excellent for areas with high humidity or salt water. They are also more energy-efficient than steel wall pools, with the aluminum frame retaining heat better than steel.

However, there are some downsides to aluminum pools. Steel wall pools are more customizable, with fewer size and shape options. Aluminum pools are also more challenging to install, with most models requiring professional installation.

Overall, steel wall and aluminum pools are great options for an affordable and easy-to-install pool. When selecting between the both, consider your budget, maintenance needs, and the climate in your area to select which option is best for you.

3. Natural Pools

Opt for an eco-conscious aquatic haven with a natural pool, a perfect blend of nature and leisure in your backyard. Employing plants and bio-filtration techniques, these pools ditch chemicals for pristine, crystal-clear waters. Here are some things to keep in check when designing a natural pool:

Pros of Natural Pools

  • Chemical-free: Natural pools use plants and bacteria to filter the water, making them a healthier option for swimmers and the environment.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: The natural look of these pools blends in seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, creating a beautiful and serene oasis.
  • Low maintenance: Once established, natural pools require less maintenance than traditional pools, as the plants and bacteria keep the water clean.
  • Attracts wildlife: A natural pool’s plants and ecosystem can attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to your backyard.

Cons of Natural Pools

  • Higher upfront cost: Natural pools can be more expensive to install than traditional pools because of the supplementary materials and labor required for the natural filtration system.
  • Limited design options: The natural look of these pools may appeal to some, and customization options can be limited.
  • Water temperature: Natural pools may heat up slower than traditional pools, making them less ideal for colder climates or those who prefer warmer water.

Designing a Natural Pool

When designing a natural pool, there are a few key elements to consider:

  • Size and shape: Natural pools can be designed in various shapes and sizes, but it’s essential to consider the surrounding landscape and how the pool will fit in.
  • Plant selection: The plants used in a natural pool are a crucial part of the filtration system. Oxygenating plants, biological filters, and floating plants all keep the water clean and clear.
  • Filtration system: The natural filtration system can be designed in various ways, including gravel beds, wetlands, or a combination.
  • Materials: Natural pools can be constructed using various materials, including concrete, stone, or even natural materials like clay or sand.

Natural pools offer a beautiful and eco-friendly alternative to traditional pools. With careful planning and design, you can set up a backyard oasis that’s both stunning and sustainable. Follow this step-by-step guide to create your very own natural pool filtration system.

Natural Pools

4. Infinity Pools

If you’re looking for a pool that creates a stunning visual effect, an infinity pool may be right. Also known as zero-edge pools or negative-edge pools, infinity pools give the illusion that the water disappears into the horizon.

One of the main features of an infinity pool is its vanishing edge, which creates a seamless look between the pool water and the surrounding landscape. This effect is achieved by designing the pool with one or more edges overflowing into a catch basin, where the water is recirculated back into the pool.

Infinity Pools

Infinity pools require a lot of structural, mechanical, and architectural detail in their design to achieve the desired visual effect. This means that they can be more costly than traditional pools, with costs ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 or more on top of the average price of an inground pool, which is around $37,000.

Despite their higher cost, infinity pools offer a unique and luxurious swimming experience. They are often built into high-end homes or hotel resorts, where they provide a stunning view and a sense of tranquility.

When designing an infinity pool, it’s essential to consider the surrounding landscape and how the pool will fit into it. Infinity pools should be prepared to highlight a view, whether it’s of the ocean, mountains, or city skyline. We can also design them with various features, such as waterfalls, lighting, and seating areas, to enhance the overall experience.

Overall, infinity pools are an excellent choice for creating a luxurious and visually stunning swimming experience. Just be sure to budget appropriately and work with a reputable pool builder with experience designing and constructing infinity pools.

Stunning visual effectMore expensive than traditional pools
Unique and luxurious swimming experienceRequires more complex design and construction
Enhances surrounding landscapeMay require more maintenance
Can be customized with various featuresMay not be suitable for all types of properties

5. Plunge Pools

Looking for a small, deep pool that can be installed in your backyard to cool off and invigorate your skin and body? Look no further than a plunge pool. Here are some things you must know about plunge pools:

Types of Plunge Pools

Plunge pools come in a variety of shapes and designs. They can be made with fiberglass or concrete and installed above ground or in-ground, depending on what best suits your outdoor retreat.

Plunge Pools

Benefits of Plunge Pools

Plunge pools are an excellent option for those who want a small pool that doesn’t require much maintenance. They are also more affordable than traditional pools, with installation costs ranging from $10,000 to $20,000.

Materials for Plunge Pools

Regarding the material of your plunge pool, you have three choices: vinyl, fiberglass, and concrete. Vinyl is the cheapest option but tears more efficiently, while concrete can last up to 40 years.

Plunge Pool Design Ideas

If you’re searching for some inspiration for your plunge pool, consider these design ideas:

  • Freeform-shaped plunge pool enclosed and surrounded by greenery
  • Plunge pool with a fun turtle design
  • Plunge pool with a built-in spa or hot tub
  • Plunge pool with a waterfall or fountain feature

A plunge pool can be an excellent addition to your backyard, providing a relaxing and refreshing space to cool off during hot summer days.

6. Saltwater Pools

A saltwater pool might be the perfect choice if you’re searching for a low-maintenance pool that’s gentle on your skin and eyes. Saltwater pools use a salt-based sanitizing system instead of traditional chlorine, which can be harsh and irritating.

One of the main benefits of a saltwater pool is that it requires less maintenance than a traditional pool. The saltwater system produces chlorine through electrolysis, so you don’t have to add chlorine to the pool manually. This means you’ll put in less time and money on pool maintenance.

Another advantage of a saltwater pool is that the water is gentler on your skin and eyes. Traditional chlorine can cause skin irritation, red eyes, and other discomforts. Saltwater pools use a lower concentration of chlorine, which is less prone to irritate your skin and eyes.

Saltwater Pools 1

However, it’s important to note that saltwater pools are not entirely chlorine-free. The saltwater system still produces chlorine but in a more stable and people-friendly form. You’ll still need to regularly test and balance the water chemistry to ensure the pool stays clean and safe.

When designing a saltwater pool, there are a few considerations to remember. For example, saltwater can be corrosive to specific materials, so you must choose pool materials compatible with a saltwater system. Dark-colored tile and stone may also show a whitish residue from the salt.

Overall, a saltwater pool can be an excellent choice for those who want a low-maintenance, gentle pool experience. With proper maintenance and care, a saltwater pool can provide you and your family with years of excitement and enjoyment. Would you like to build a saltwater pool? Getting started is easy with this guide

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the main differences between in-ground and above-ground pools?

In-ground pools are built by excavating and constructing within the ground, offering design flexibility and integration with landscaping. The cost is higher, but the lifespan is longer. Above-ground pools are pre-fabricated and sit above ground, providing affordability, quicker installation, and simpler maintenance. Having limited design options, they are a practical choice for temporary pools or budget pools.

How do natural pools differ from traditional chlorine pools?

Natural pools, in contrast to traditional chlorine pools, utilize a self-regulating ecosystem where plants and biological filters maintain water quality. These pools avoid chemical disinfection agents like chlorine, which are common in traditional pools.

What is unique about infinity pools and how are they constructed?

Infinity pools are unique due to their stunning visual effect, which creates the illusion of an endless edge, blending seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. They are constructed with a vanishing edge that allows water to flow over the edge, creating a visual effect of water extending to the horizon. 

Why are saltwater pools becoming more popular, and how do they differ from traditional chlorine pools?

Saltwater pools are gaining popularity due to their perceived benefits and more gentle water treatment approach. Unlike traditional chlorine pools that require regular addition of chlorine chemicals, saltwater pools use a salt chlorine generator.


Choosing the right pool design can transform your backyard into a dream oasis tailored to your lifestyle and preferences. By carefully considering the various types of pools and their advantages, you can create a stunning and functional outdoor space for relaxation and entertainment.

Whether you opt for an in-ground pool, an above-ground pool, or a more eco-friendly option, your dream backyard retreat awaits.

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About the author

Maria Anderson

I am an arts and design lover. My passion are swimming pools and gardening. Follow me in our family project ThePoolPassion.com where we want to help everyone to make their dream pool become reality.

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