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How to Pick the Perfect Pool Finish

For years, swimming pool owners filled their backyard paradise with the bright blue waters of the Caribbean. The brighter the better! And while the tropical feel still dominates the industry, some consumers have turned to other pool vibes—earthy greens to mimic hidden forest pools or crystal clear expanses that glimmer as refreshing as a pure stream burbling from the side of a mountain.

All this artistry is possible thanks to decorative pool finishes. The unsung hero of swimming pool design, pool finish—composed of plaster, pebbles, quartz, or glass beads--lays the foundation for water color from sparkling translucent shades of aqua to deeper, woodland hues.

Dazzling Ebb and Flow: Environment’s Effect on Water Color

Other factors also influence the color of your pool’s water. A pool’s water will look different in full sun than it does under cloud cover or in early morning or late afternoon hours. If you have tall trees shading your pool, the water color will appear darker. Surrounding buildings can also cast this effect. A pool’s shallow end will also appear lighter than its deeper water.

Select the Right Color and Material

To achieve blue water, select a pool finish with white, blue, or gray pigment. For green water, choose a darker pool finish with green, tan, brown, or black pigment. Choose your finish and water color to complement your pool’s atmosphere:

  • Select a cool tone like a Tahoe Blue or QuartzScapes® Ivory if you prefer a refreshing seascape environment to sparkle in the sun.
  • Use warm tones like StoneScapes® Sand and QuartzScapes® Cappuccino to reflect an inviting natural stream or to highlight a beach entry.
  • For a more dramatic effect, choose a darker tone like QuartzScapes® Midnight Blue or Curacao Night.

NPT’s Lineup of Luxury Finishes

The NPT Pool Finish Collection offers a wide array of colors and textures from rustic pebble, to silky smooth quartz, or even striking glass beads. Here are some of our most popular options:


Capture the sparkle and brilliance of the world’s finest gems in a stunning, durable interior swimming pool finish. JewelScapes® combines the beauty of smooth, colorful glass beads with the highest quality pigments and aggregates for a finish that’s beyond compare.

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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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Give your pool or spa the natural beauty of a pebble-bottomed stream with a StoneScapes® pool finish. An inviting selection of colors and textures allow pool owners to express their unique style. StoneScapes® combines artistry with durability and comfort to create the perfect finish for any pool or spa.

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A premium blend of crushed 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 will last.

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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.

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Tried and true, plaster has proven an attractive pool finish for years. 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.

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Design Choice Quiz: Pick Your Ideal Finish

Not sure what finish is right for you? Here are a few questions to get you on the road to designing your dream pool:

  1. Color: 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?
  2. Conditions: What conditions around your pool may influence how the color appears? Consider pool depth, sunshine, and surrounding landscape and architecture.
  3. Texture: What texture do you prefer for your pool finish? NPT PolishedScapes, QuartzScapes, and ColorScapes offer a smooth finish while StoneScapes will lend the feel of a pebble-bottomed stream.
  4. Durability: How durable do you want your pool finish? How long do you plan to be in your current house? Quartz, pebbles, glass beads, and other aggregates in NPT finishes can add beauty and durability to your pool finish.

Key Features of Pool Finish Materials

Product Line


Plaster Affordable
Quartz Glimmers in the Sun
Pebble Durable
Glass Smooth, sparkly surface

To better appreciate the unique beauty that differentiates these finishes and how each of these finishes reflects the conditions of your climate, ask your local pool builder to show examples of some recent work in your area. View NPT’s online catalog of finishes or visit your closest NPT showroom to view and touch samples of all finishes.

Pool Finishes
Designer Surfaces
Outdoor Elements
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