How to Pick the Perfect Pool Finish

Over the course of swimming pool history, pool finishes have advanced in incredible ways. When pools started popping up in backyards in the 1950s, the main option for pool owners was white plaster finish. Then pebble finishes were introduced in the 1980s and color options exploded into what we have today: interior surfaces in almost every hue, texture and style imaginable.

From blue, green and turquoise to black and beige, NPT offers an amazing range of colors within six distinct pool finish lines: StoneScapes, JewelScapes, QuartzScapes, PolishedScapes, ColorScapes and PlasterScapes. For a guide to the differences between all of these finishes, check out the NPT Pool Finish Guide.

With so many options to choose from, how do you pick the right finish for your inground pool? Continue reading for tips on how to choose the best interior surface for your pool! Then use NPT's Pool Finish Matcher to get paired with a finish that suits your color, texture and style needs.

Factors that Impact Your Water Color

There are many factors that influence the color of your pool's water. Pool water looks different in full sun than it does under cloud cover or in early morning vs. late afternoon hours. If you have tall trees or surrounding buildings shading your pool, the water color appears darker. A pool's shallow end also appears lighter than its deeper water.

1. Select the Right Pool Finish Color

The first step to choosing the perfect swimming pool finish is deciding what color you like best. To achieve blue water, select a pool finish with white, blue or gray pigment. For green water, choose a pool finish with green, tan, brown, gold or black pigment.

NPT pool finish colors This chart shows NPT's pool finish colors. Which one is your favorite?

Here are 8 color options and NPT pool finish suggestions to help you create your desired color:

2. Select the Right Pool Finish Material

Do you want your pool finish to be smooth to the touch or feature a natural texture like pebble, glass or marble? Each of the six lines within the NPT Pool Finish Collection is either smooth or has a unique texture. From rustic pebble and traditional plaster to silky smooth quartz and striking glass beads, here is a look at NPT's six pool finish material options:


StoneScapes® is a pool finish that features naturally occurring quartz pebble, specialty exposed aggregates, high quality pigment formulations and white Portland cement. StoneScapes colors and texture are inspired by nature. The result is a spectacular and long-lasting pool finish that feels like river pebbles. NPT StoneScapes comes in many fabulous sizes and styles: Micro, Mini, Regular, Puerto Rico Blend Small, Puerto Rico Blend Large and Touch of Glass.

View StoneScapes


Capture the sparkle and brilliance of the world's finest gems in a stunning, durable interior swimming pool finish. JewelScapes is a glass bead finish that is smooth to the touch and dazzles under sunlight. JewelScapes® combines the beauty of smooth, colorful glass beads with the highest quality pigments and aggregates for a finish that offers strength, durability, etch resistance, and ease of maintenance. JewelScapes has 3 different series – Classic, Reflective and Opal.

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This stunningly smooth mix of marble and glass aggregates is polished using diamond abrasives. Mirrored highlights that sparkle in the sun make PolishedScapes® as pleasing to the eye as it is to the touch.

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A premium blend of crushed colored quartz, white cement and mineral-based pigments, QuartzScapes® merges beauty and strength for a stunning pool finish. Natural quartz is one of the world's strongest minerals and NPT's QuartzScapes® interior swimming pool finishes create reliable beauty that lasts.

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These high-performance blend pool finishes are created with ColorScapes® ceramic-coated quartz crystals (similar to mini quartz tiles) for uniform color and a better pool finish that is easy to install and looks great every time.

View ColorScapes


Tried and true, plaster pool finishes are attractive and lasting surface options. Reflect the colors of nature in your pool or spa with PlasterScapes® tinted pool plaster. Achieve beautiful, consistent, lasting colors with high quality pigments for a unique, enduring finish.

View PlasterScapes

Key Features of Pool Finish Materials

Product Line Pro
Plaster Affordable
Quartz Durable
Pebble Nature-inspired
Glass Smooth, sparkly surface

3. Select Sparkle or Not

Many NPT pool finishes feature aggregates that add sparkle, shine and color to your pool finish. If you'd like sparkle in your pool water, there are many finishes that can get you there:

NPT's Pool Finish Matcher Quiz

Take this short quiz to narrow down the dozens of NPT pool finish options. Here are some questions to consider before you start:

  • Color: Think about the water color you'd like to achieve. Would you like your pool water to appear blue or green? Do you prefer a lighter or darker color? Do you prefer the water to sparkle or look more mellow?
  • Texture: Do you like smooth to the touch finishes or natural-feeling texture like pebbles, quartz or glass beads?
  • Sparkle: Do you like sparkly, reflective water or prefer a more subdued look?

The Unique Beauty of Your NPT Pool Finish

Every NPT pool finish is uniquely yours. The combination of your home's architecture, backyard settings, position of the sun, time of day, pool design and more will make your chosen finish one of a kind.

To get a better idea of how each of these finishes reflect the conditions in your climate, ask your local pool builder to show some examples of recent work in your area. This will help you get a more informed picture of how your chosen pool finish will likely look in your backyard.

View NPT's online catalog of finishes or visit your closest NPT showroom to view and touch samples of all finishes.

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