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Pool Colors And Their Effect On The Appearance Of An Inground Pool

There are a lot of fun and cool parts about purchasing an inground pool–wait, we’re probably just stating the obvious here! Regardless, there are so many aspects of the design process that you can customize according to what you want your pool to look like, what you want to use it for, how it will function, and much more!

One that you may not be familiar with is the color of the pool due in large part to the mainstream association of swimming pools with the color blue.

Wherever you look, pools have that crystal-clear blue tint to them because that’s just the way they’ve been advertised. However, color options extend far beyond just the standard blue that we see pretty much everywhere–and those are exactly what we’re going to discuss in this article. Actually, we’re going to take it a step further.

In addition to listing the colors commonly available for concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl liner pools, we’ll go into detail about how they affect the appearance and conditions of the pool.

Whether you choose a shade of blue, black, grey, tan, or another color, each one has their own effect on a swimming pool–some of which fare better in specific environments over others.

We’ve installed pools with all kinds of colored finishes and know that some may cater to specific individuals more because of what they bring to the table in terms of appearance and pool conditions. So, with the experiences we’ve had over the years, we’re ready to pass it along to you as you embark on your swimming pool purchasing journey!

Available Colors

Each pool manufacturer or builder will have their own set of colors available to consumers for concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl liner pools. However, a majority are likely offered among all manufacturers and builders even if they’re called something different.

Here are some of the colors offered by most manufacturers/builders:

  • Light Blues
  • Dark Blues
  • Greys
  • Black
  • Tan
  • White
  • Greens

Now, colors will vary between each pool type because of the materials they consist of. For example, concrete pools have a variety of available finishes such as aggregate, tile, and plaster. This means that you have even more customizable options since each color can be presented in a different material.

Sharing a similar level of color customization are fiberglass pools, which is one of the only customizable features they offer since all of the shapes and sizes are pre-designed. Even so, once you decide on a shape and size, you’ll be able to choose from most, if not all, of the colors listed above.

The least amount of color customization is available in vinyl liner pools since the liners themselves typically are only available in this handful of colors: blues, greys, white, and tan. However, the variety of patterns is a little wider which allows you to create different combinations with available colors.

So really, the possibilities can extend far beyond what you may expect at first glance!

What Appearance Does Each Color Create?

The color of pool water will vary depending on the color of the pool’s surface. This is due in large part to the ultraviolet rays that shine down from the sun.

Darker colors such as black or darker blues tend to absorb ultraviolet rays whereas lighter colors like greys, lighter blues, and tan tend to reflect ultraviolet rays. This has a direct correlation to how the water appears as you can see below. (All colors courtesy of River Pools and Spas)



Ocean is a darker blue and when used as the color for a pool’s surface, it results in a darker blue shade of water that we commonly see when pools are advertised.



As we move towards lighter shades of blue, you can see how the difference between the pool surface and the water becomes greater because of the increased reflection of ultraviolet rays from the sun.



As we look at a grey pool surface, you can see that the water appears as baby blue and is more toned down than some of the other options.



A tan color, or sandstone in this case, creates an appearance that resembles the ocean. The water has a slight blue tone and in the shallow ends you can see the sandstone color of the surface. When combined with a beach entry pool, you can bring the feel of the ocean to your backyard!


How Does the Pool Surface Color Affect Water Temperature?

Remember when we said the darker pool surfaces absorb ultraviolet rays from the sun and lighter pool surfaces reflect them? Well, this also plays a big role in the water temperature.

When ultraviolet rays (heat) are absorbed by the pool, the water temperature naturally increases by 3-5 degrees in direct sunlight. So, if you live in a cooler climate, a darker pool surface can almost act as a small-scale pool heater. Of course, an actual heater is what will actually heat a pool to the temperature you want, but even so, a darker surface could do the trick if you only need that small boost in temperature.

Again, this shouldn’t take the place of an actual heater if you’re serious about one, but choosing a darker pool color could definitely be something to keep in mind.

For more information about pool surfaces and how they differ from pool to pool, check out some of our other articles available in our Learning Center or give us a call at (219) 322-2797 with any questions!