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The Ultimate Pool Options Guide

options and accessories

Guiding You Though An Array Of Choices

This article aims to humbly guide you through this array of choices, assisting you in sifting through the noise to select the accessories that best suit you and your family!

I'll be straightforward: this read might require a bit of your time. However, by the end, you'll gain comprehensive insight into every available option for your pool—inside, outside, and around. Lets GOOOOO!


Interior Pool Options


Pool Color to Liners Patterns

Choosing the right color for your pool is a crucial decision that significantly influences the ambiance of your entire backyard.

Fiberglass pools usually come with a selection of 6 to 8 color options, providing a range of hues to suit various tastes. On the other hand, if you opt for a vinyl liner pool, you'll have a much broader palette to choose from, with as many as 25 to 30 different color options available. This variety ensures that you can find the perfect shade to complement your outdoor space and personal style.

When selecting the surface color for your pool, it's essential to consider not just the color of the finish itself, but more importantly, the hue that the water will reflect. This reflection is a crucial aspect of your pool's overall aesthetic. For instance, pools with a white finish create a light, airy blue reflection, reminiscent of a serene, clear sky. In contrast, darker blue surfaces produce a deep, vivid blue hue, adding a sense of depth and richness to the water. Beige tones, chosen to mimic the appearance of sand, will reflect a green-blue hue similar to the inviting waters of the Caribbean. Meanwhile, gray-toned surfaces will result in a captivating teal color in the water, offering a unique and elegant look. Each color choice dramatically influences the mood and appearance of your pool, transforming the water into a dynamic element of your backyard's landscape.

Average Cost - Most pool builders do have color built into their pool package price. If not you can typically spend $1800 - $3,000 depending on your pool size.


Water Line

These tiles are designed for gunite and fiberglass pools because they cannot be applied to vinyl liner pools as the liner has its own tile pattern printed on it.

The construction and material of gunite and fiberglass pools allow for tile application, offering a luxurious and elegant look.

Pro Tip* - We recommend with fiberglass pools to only select smaller tiles such as 1” tile so they can fit in the rounded but rather tight corners of the pool shell!

Average Cost - The cost to add real tile to your fiberglass or gunite pool can be anywhere from $4,000 - $ 7,000.00 depending on the size of your pool and your tile of choice.



Pool lighting comes in 2 different types of lighting. Larger 10” lights and smaller nicheless lighting.

10” Large Light Options:

  • Available in multi-colored LED or white-only halogen.
  • Ideally placed at the deep end, facing the shallow end.
  • One light can illuminate pools up to 20 x 40 feet.

Average Cost -  Most pool contractors should have a price built into the pool package but if they don't. Expect to pay $1500 - $2,000.00 for one 10” light. This price includes the light, the electric and a transformer if the builder is using low voltage lighting.

Nicheless Smaller Lights:

  • Offered in multi-colored LED or a single bright white LED.
  • Typically installed along the length of the pool.
  • Two lights needed for small to medium-sized pools.
  • Three lights required for pools up to 20 x 40 feet.
  • Ideal for shaped pools to illuminate 'dark spots' not reached by a single 10” light.

Average Cost - Nicheless lights typically start with two lights minimum unless your pool is a very small pool. With that being said 2 lights will go around $3,400.00 - $3,600.00 this includes the electric, the transformer and the lights themself. Any additional light will typically go for around $1,200 - $1,500.00 per light.


Pool Equipment Options

Most swimming pool contractors offer a standard package that includes a specific set of equipment. This typically encompasses essential components like a pump, a filter, a pool heater, and a sanitization system. In the following section, we will detail each piece of equipment. This breakdown aims to enhance your understanding when reviewing the contract from your pool builder, enabling you to make informed decisions about whether to upgrade or downgrade certain elements of your pool's equipment.

Single Speed Pumps: These pumps operate at a fixed horsepower and maintain a constant speed. Essentially, they function in a straightforward manner - they are either on or off.

Average Cost - A single speed pump is the cheapest pump in the pool market ranging from $800.00 - $1,100.00 depending on the size of the motor. 

Variable Speed Pumps: Unlike single-speed pumps, variable speed pumps are designed with maximum horsepower but offer the flexibility of adjustable speeds. They are equipped with fixed magnet motors, enabling them to operate at various speeds and potentially achieve up to 90% energy savings compared to single-speed pumps. While typically costing double or more than their single-speed counterparts, when properly programmed by a pool professional, they can recoup the additional cost in energy savings within two to three years. Additionally, variable speed pumps are built with fans at the motor end, which helps to keep them cool and extends their lifespan beyond that of single-speed pumps.

Pro Tip: Genuine Variable Speed Pumps seamlessly adjust speeds based on pre-set programs, either via the digital display on the pump itself or through an automation panel. If you find yourself manually pressing a button on the back of the pump to change its speed, it's not a true variable speed pump. Ideally, these pumps should be programmed to automatically shift speeds at least three times a day. Imagine the inconvenience of manually adjusting the speed three times daily then forgetting or just giving up completely — it would hardly be 'variable', would it?

Average Cost - A variable speed pump will typically sell for $1,500.00 - 2,500.00 depending on the size of the motor you need. 

In the realm of pool maintenance, three primary types of filters are commonly used: Sand Filters, Cartridge Filters, and DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Filters. Most pool contractors typically include one of these filters as a standard option in their 'base package'. To assist you in making an informed decision about which filter is best suited for your needs, here’s a concise overview of each type, complete with a list of their respective advantages and disadvantages

Sand Filters 

Sand filters operate by allowing water to pass through a bed of sand or, with advancements in today's technology, other high-end media such as glass. This process effectively filters out solids, preventing them from re-entering your pool.


  • Easy to clean the filter media. (Simply backwash the filter bed which will clean it.) 
  • Cheapest Upfront Cost
  • Cheap to replace the sand every 3 - 5 years


  • Filter the least amount of debris per micron, compared to cartridge or DE
  • Sand replacements can be tricky and somewhat messy. You may have to hire a professional. 

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters function by permitting water to flow through a pleated filter, akin to an air filter found in automobiles but designed for water filtration. This design efficiently captures impurities and ensures the purity of your pool water.


  • Filter more solid debris than a sand filter 
  • If oversized you will only have to rinse the filters 3-4 times per year


  • Most expensive to purchase up front
  • Most expensive media to maintain 
  • Even if it is sized exactly to your pool size or smaller, maintenance will be a burden by rinsing the filters once every week to two weeks. 

De Filters or Diatomaceous Earth

A Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filter for a pool is a type of pool filter that uses diatomaceous earth, a fine white powder composed of fossilized remains of diatoms, which are microscopic aquatic organisms.


  • The best filter of the three per micron rating
  • A little cheaper in upfront cost than cartridge


  • Maintenance is a burden. The grids or fingers inside the DE housing must be backwashed weekly which can lead to a mess in your yard. A deep cleaning is required monthly. This involves removing the grids of fingers to rinse them completely clear of DE for a fresh clean start. 


  • Lifetime cost is the most costly of all three types. You'll always have to have DE on hand and the grids or finger will typically need to be replaced as they fail or every 5 years or so. 

Pro Tip: The human eye typically can't discern differences in water clarity based on variations in filter microns. When choosing a filter, consider your maintenance preferences. Are you someone who enjoys hands-on upkeep, or do you prefer a lower-maintenance option? Your choice of filter can greatly impact your pool maintenance routine and overall enjoyment.

Maintaining the sanitation of your pool water is a matter of personal choice, and there are several options available. You can opt for chlorine tablet feeders, automated chlorine systems like a salt cell, or chlorine-reducing systems such as UV and Ozone. Let's explore each of these choices along with their respective lists of advantages and disadvantages.

Chlorine Tablet Feeder

Chlorine tablet feeders consist of a tank that is typically installed in the pool plumbing system after the pool heater. These compact tanks are designed to hold chlorine tablets, which gradually dissolve as pool water flows through them. This controlled erosion of the tablets effectively disinfects the pool water by slowly introducing chlorine into the system.


  • Cheapest upfront cost
  • Typically included for free within a swimming pool contractors “base package”


  • You must handle chlorine tablets
  • You must manually adjust your chlorine output at the tank via a knob

Average Cost- This item should be on every pool builder's contract already as it's the bare minimum in sanitation. If not, depending on the model they should range anywhere from $200.00 - $600.00.

Salt Cells

A swimming pool salt cell is a specialized device integrated into a pool's filtration system after the heater. It works by utilizing electrolysis to convert salt (sodium chloride) dissolved in the pool water into chlorine gas, which acts as a natural disinfectant.


  • No handling of chlorine tablets
  • Salt cells are automated to produce chlorine at a specific percentage
  • Basic systems can be affordable


  • Fully automated systems are more expensive than a chlorine tab feeder and UV and OZone
  • May take time to understand how it works
  • You will need to replace the cell itself every 3-4 years for it work efficiently
  • You can easily overdose your pool with chlorine if you do not pay attention weekly to your water reading

Basic Cell Average Cost - Basic salt systems should cost around $1500.00 - $1700.00 depending on plumbing and electrical needed.

Automated Cell Average Cost -  Salt cells paired with an automation system can vary dramatically depending on the type of automation you have. So once you figure out the automation system you want, factor in an additional $500.00 - $700.00 depending on the manufacturer, make and model.

UV and Ozone

A UV and ozone system for a pool is a water treatment technology that utilizes ultraviolet (UV) and ozone generators to disinfect and purify pool water. Here's how it works:

  • UV (Ultraviolet) Disinfection: UV lamps or bulbs are installed within the system, and pool water is exposed to the UV light as it passes through. The UV light effectively deactivates or kills microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and algae that may be present in the water. UV disinfection is a powerful method for destroying pathogens and preventing their reproduction.
  • Ozone Generation: Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent produced by an ozone generator. In the system, ozone is introduced into the pool water. Ozone molecules react with contaminants and impurities in the water, breaking them down into harmless byproducts. Ozone also helps in eliminating organic compounds, reducing the demand for chlorine, and improving water clarity.


  • Automated and doesn't need to be adjusted once set
  • Cuts chlorine usage down 90%
  • Kills Viruses, Bacteria and certain organics


  • You still have to handle small amounts of chlorine tabs
  • You will have to replace the UV Bulbs
  • More expensive depending on the system in comparison to basic salt cells

Average Cost - UV and Ozone costs depending on the brand, make and model anywhere from $3,200.00 - $4,400.00


Swimming pool automation refers to the use of advanced technology and control systems to manage and operate various aspects of a swimming pool and its associated equipment. It allows pool owners to remotely monitor and control pool functions, enhancing convenience, energy efficiency, and overall pool management

Average Cost - Automation can get very complex depending on everything you want automated. On average for a basic pool you will see costs around $3,000.00 - $4,500.00. Remember as I said above if you add salt please consider at least $500.00 more.

Water Features

Pool Water Feature Options


Swimming pool laminars, also known as laminar jets or simply "laminars," are specialized water features designed to create striking and visually captivating arcs of water in a pool area with lighting in the water stream. So think deck with a arc of water that has light in the water stream.


  • Smoothing stream of water to receive the light in the laminar housing
  • Used for its relaxing sound and cool visual look of arcing water with lighting.


  • These are double the price of deck jet at minimum
  • There is maintenance is cleaning the screens in the laminar housing throughout the year
  • You pool contractor may charge you more to winterize and open your pool

Average Cost

1 Laminar is going to be around $2,800.00 a bulk discount can be applied by your swimming pool contractor beyond 2. Most likely additional pumps will be needed as well.


A swimming pool bubbler, also known simply as a "bubbler," is a water feature commonly found in pools, spas, and decorative fountains. Bubblers produce a continuous stream of water that rises to the surface, creating a bubbling and effervescent effect. These can be paired with lighting as well!


  • They look very high end and custom to any pool 
  • Relaxing ambient sound
  • Great distraction for the little ones to keep them close to a pools tanning ledge
  • Bubblers without lighting are a cost friendly way to enhance your backyard space


  • They look very high end and custom to any pool 
  • Relaxing ambient sound
  • Great distraction for the little ones to keep them close to a pools tanning ledge
  • Bubblers without lighting are a cost friendly way to enhance your backyard space

Average Cost

1 Bubbler:

$1,200 -  $1500.00 with labor

2 Bubblers:

$2,400 - $3,00.00 with labor

A bulk discount may be applied beyond 2. Depending on your equipment, additional pumps may be needed for an additional cost.

Water Pots

Water pots, also known as "pool water pots" or "pool scupper pots," are decorative water features commonly used in swimming pools, spas, and outdoor water features. These pots are designed to create a unique and visually appealing water effect.


  • Stunning Visual around a pool!


  • Will be rather pricey
  • You pool contractor may charge you more to winterize or open your pool

Average Cost

Average cost depends on the size you get and varies dramatically on the distance of the pool from the pump and may even indicate that you need a second pump. On average we see clients spending anywhere from $2,000.00 - $5,000.00

Deck Jets

A swimming pool deck jet, also known as a deck jet fountain or deck jet water feature, is a decorative water feature commonly installed in or around swimming pools. It consists of one or more jet nozzles typically embedded in the pool deck or surrounding area. When activated, these nozzles shoot streams of water into the pool, creating visually appealing arcs or streams of water.


  • Cheapest Water Feature to have installed
  • No maintenance once set
  • Used for its relaxing sound and cool visual look of arcing water.


  • No lighting installed 
  • Must be plumbed in a loop properly for no maintenance.

Average Cost

Set of 2:

$1,800.00 - $2,200.00

Set of 4:

$3,000 - $3,800.00

Sheers and Rainfalls

A pool sheer, also known as a "sheer descent," is a type of water feature commonly used in swimming pools and spa areas to create a dramatic and elegant visual effect. It consists of a linear or narrow trough or channel that spans a portion of the pool or spa's edge. Water flows evenly and uniformly from the trough, creating a continuous, thin sheet or curtain of water that descends gracefully into the pool or spa.

A rain fall is the same exact thing as a sheer, but the water comes out as a …. You guessed it, rainfall!


  • A stunning visual in or around any pool


  • Will be rather pricey
  • You pool contractor may charge you more to winterize or open your pool

Pool Fire Feature Options

Adding a fire feature to your backyard can elevate it to a level of luxury and ambiance reminiscent of the iconic Bellagio in Las Vegas


Fire Bowls

A fire bowl refers to a decorative and functional fire feature that is often incorporated into the design of a swimming pool or its surrounding area. Fire bowls are typically bowl-shaped containers or vessels made of materials such as concrete, metal, or ceramic. They are designed to hold and display a controlled fire within or on top of the bowl.


  • Stunning visual at night


  • Expensive to install and will require upgrades to gas mains on your house. 

Average Cost - 1 Bowl will be around $4,300.00 - $5,000.00 plus a gas main increase between $400.00 - $700.00


Linear Fire Features

A linear fire feature is a type of fire element used in outdoor and poolside designs to create a visually striking and contemporary look. It typically consists of a long, rectangular or linear burner that emits a controlled and linear flame.


  • Stunning visual at night
  • Can be added to a raised wall, fire table or even a fire pit


  • Expensive to install and will require upgrades to gas mains on your house. 

Average Cost -  Average cost depends on the size you get and varies dramatically on the distance of the gas main. On average we see clients spending anywhere from $2,500.00 - $6,000.00

Cleaners and Games

Pool Accessory Options


Pool Cleaners

In the pool industry, there are three main types of pool cleaners commonly used for cleaning and maintaining swimming pools. These pool cleaners are designed to remove debris, dirt, and contaminants from the pool water and surfaces. The three types of pool cleaners are:

  • Suction-side pool cleaners are connected to the suction side of the pool's circulation system, usually through the skimmer or a dedicated suction line.
  • They operate by using the pool's existing pump and filter system to create suction, which drives the cleaner around the pool.
  • Suction-side cleaners typically have a hose and a vacuum-like head that moves around the pool, collecting debris and dirt into a filter bag or the pool's skimmer basket.
  • They are cost-effective and relatively easy to install but may not be as efficient at cleaning larger debris.


  • Cheapest type of pool cleaner to purchase


  • They are only going to work efficiently as long as your pool filter is properly maintained.

Average Cost - $200.00 - $800.00

  • Pressure-side pool cleaners are connected to the pressure side of the pool's circulation system, often through a dedicated return line or a booster pump.
  • They use the water pressure generated by the pool's circulation system to propel the cleaner around the pool.
  • Pressure-side cleaners typically have a sweep tail or a set of jets that help loosen and remove debris from the pool's surfaces, which is then collected in a filter bag or a separate debris canister.
  • They are effective at cleaning both small and large debris and can improve water circulation in the pool.


  • They are efficient at cleaning up 80% of your pool and assisting in the overall cleanliness of your pool. 


  • More expensive than suction side cleaners and robotic
  • You will need a second pump called a booster pump. The booster pump is what physically moves the cleaner around. 

Average Cost -   $1,100.00 - $2,000.00 with a booster pump included. 

  • Robotic pool cleaners are independent, self-contained units that do not rely on the pool's circulation system for operation.
  • They are powered by electricity and have their own onboard motor and filtration system.
  • Robotic cleaners are highly efficient and effective at cleaning pool surfaces, including walls and floors, as well as capturing fine particles and contaminants.
  • They are known for their convenience and ease of use, as they can be simply placed in the pool, and they operate independently.
  • Robotic pool cleaners are typically equipped with advanced features such as programmable cleaning cycles and remote control options.


  • Cheaper than pressure side cleaners
  • They are efficient at cleaning up 80% of your pool and assisting in the overall cleanliness of your pool. 
  • Have their own filter system built in typically as a filter screen or a pleated grid
  • Some high end models can be controlled by cell phone
  • Most modern technology of the three types of cleaners


  • You will have to clean the interior filters
  • Repairs can be costly 

Average Cost - $1,000.00 - $1,800.00

Basketball and Volleyball

Pool Games and Furniture

Basketball and volleyball can make for the best memories in your swimming pool. They can be cast in concrete and removable or set on the patio with a water filled base to be moved around. There is nothing better than competing against friends and family in a water sport. Just be sure your team takes the shallow end 😉

  • Concrete Cast Average Cost:
    $2,200.00 – $3,500.00
  • Portable Average Cost:
    $100.00 – $800.00