12 Swimming Pool Types, Designs, and Styles | 101 Guide

Did you know that there are more than 10 categories of swimming pools? In fact, each of them is built to serve different purposes.

While some swimming pools are designed for entertainment and leisurely exercise, others are meant for athletic training or hydrotherapy. Therefore, the types, designs, and styles of pools are directly related to the intended use.

Furthermore, the cost of building a pool varies from one option to the other. Also, a lot depends on the aesthetic features and the pool operation itself. That’s why we have created this guide, so you can opt for something that meets your requirements and budget.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Swimming pool types 1
  1. Above-Ground Pool

An above-ground pool is one of the most affordable pool styles, touted for its practicality and easy maintenance. So, if you’re low on finances and want to create a fun water zone for your family, this is the ideal option.

For starters, it’s easy to install and does not entail an elaborate procedure, unlike other designs and styles. You can choose from a wide variety of layouts and even pick the construction material as per your requirements. Furthermore, you can also find above-ground pool options that are portable and include built-in features like jet sprays and lights.

Besides, digging a pool is a challenge with certain types of lands and rocky areas. Therefore, it’s a feasible backyard addition if you would rather avoid the whole excavation project. Plus, it’s a lot safer, as the entry point is much higher above the ground, which minimizes the risk of falling in.

You may add a deck later to enhance the overall look, and it’ll still cost you less compared to other styles. Overall, an above-ground pool is the way to go for enjoyable and hassle-free swimming sessions, within a humble budget.

  1. Family Pool Or Recreational Swimming Pool

A recreational swimming pool is an excellent option if you want to create the perfect water activity zone for your family. While it’s not mandatory to add all the elements, you can incorporate some exciting features to make things more relaxing and fun.

These pools are much like water parks, only smaller and with fewer people. Furthermore, it’s a great hangout option where you can unwind with your family on the weekends. As for the features, you may include pool slides, tunnels, caves, and boulders, which will instantly make it more appealing to kids.

So, if you want your little ones to jump and splash around in the summers, we recommend opting for these mini water parks. Furthermore, you can also work in a few laps when possible, as they tend to be quite large and spacious.

  1. Architectural Pool

As the name suggests, an architectural pool necessarily must have structure and symmetry. It’s all about precise lines and layout, that more often than not correspond to the shape of the house. Also, it’s made using the same materials as the house for a neat and cohesive look.

Besides, these pools are usually designed by an architect, as they involve a lot of planning and sophistication, unlike other less elaborate projects. Generally, these pools are built while constructing the house, since it takes into account the plot area, building plan, and other prerequisites.

Furthermore, the house and pool should perfectly complement each other, and the latter should not stick out like an eyesore. Therefore, an architectural pool is the best option for homeowners looking to enhance the overall look and curb appeal.

  1. Kiddie Pool

You may not have the budget for a full-size pool, but at the very least, you can afford a kiddie pool. These are more like inflatable tubs than pools, allowing children to take a dip and play in the water.

Usually, they are made of PVC material, and you can buy them from departmental stores or online. Depending on the number of occupants, make sure to get a pool big enough for your children to sit in and splash around.

Once you inflate the pool, you can fill it up with a garden hose and, as such, put it anywhere around the house. It’s quite handy and portable, so you can place it anywhere on the yard, porch, walkway, or driveway.

Furthermore, it’s a cinch to store, so just fold and tuck it away during off-seasons. Make sure to drain the pool after each session and keep an eye out for your little ones if they’re just getting accustomed to tubs.

  1. Indoor Pool

An indoor pool is exactly what it sounds like – inside an establishment, with a roof on top, and insulated by at least three walls. This style entails a simple layout and is primarily built for swimming or training around the year, especially in cold climates.

Besides, running an indoor heating pool costs less than outdoor ones, since the pool room is insulated and the heat is less likely to escape. Also, it’s undoubtedly easier to clean and maintain than external varieties.

  1. Infinity Pool

Infinity pools also have a few other names including, vanishing edge pools, zero edges, negative edge, or infinity edge pools. These structures are custom-built, and most importantly, they’re designed to highlight a grand view.

When done perfectly, these pools create an illusion of a water edge where it seems like one side ends in a waterfall. You cannot see or hear falling water, but it’s all about the visual effect that it creates. They’re far more expensive than other residential options and are usually found in commercial establishments.

  1. Lap Pool

A lap pool is typically constructed for fitness and health purposes. They are usually long (often more than 50 ft) and narrow, allowing swimmers to practice lengthy strides. They have a rectangular shape and may include features that contribute to the user’s fitness and agility.

  1. Olympic-Size Pool

Pool events constitute a significant part of the Olympics, and as such, those competitions take place in a mega water arena. That said, an Olympic-size pool is hardly a residential option, given the large area it occupies, the hefty operational costs, and maintenance.

Usually, such pools are found in swimming clubs, Olympic training centers, and other such dedicated establishments.

  1. Natural Pool

Natural pools (or swimming ponds, as known as in Europe), is a concept that dates back to the 1980s are self-cleaning water bodies with an unbeatable visual appeal. Long story short, these pools combine a swimming enclosure and water gardens.

Much like in-ground styles, a natural pool can have an asymmetrical layout, include boulders and waterfalls, or feature a sleek and elegant design.

Typically, natural pools are lined with reinforced polyethylene or rubber material. A separate ‘regeneration’ zone within the pool is equipped with aquatic landscaping, which serves as a cleaning system.

Meanwhile, pumps and skimmers circulate water through the regeneration zone and push it across a wall of rocks, tiles, or loose gravel. Furthermore, the bacteria found on the wall acts as a supplementary biological filter.

Speaking of a pond, the image that immediately crosses our mind is a murky water body with low visibility. However, a natural pool has sparkling clear water right to the very bottom. Usually, these pools are more expensive than conventional ones.

Nevertheless, the overall costs depend on factors like landscaping, plant life in and around the pool, and gardening features. That said, natural pools are the best green alternatives to artificial chlorinated pools.

  1. Saltwater Pool

Saltwater pools are not structurally distinguishable from other traditional pool varieties, primarily because it’s not a design category. Simply put, it’s any swimming pool equipped with a saltwater chlorinator or generator that can be included during the construction process or later.

These are widely popular in New Zealand and Australia and have now made their way into the US. Saltwater is known for its healing properties, and as such, a lot of people prefer salt baths to relieve joint pains and swelling.

Therefore, the purpose is more therapeutic rather than recreational. Furthermore, it’s not limited to in-ground options only, as you can add a chlorinator to compatible above-ground pools.

  1. Plunge Pool

Plunge pools are small, cold-water enclosures that have been used for treatment for thousands of years in China. Besides, they were also popular in Ancient Rome. Plunge pools are ideal for swimmers and athletes who want to cool off after an intense workout or sauna session.

These pools are suitable for complete immersion and help you to relax post-training. They are known to have therapeutic properties that ease taut muscles and help relieve body stiffness.

Besides, these structures are very flexible in the sense that the pool can be built separately or as a section of a bigger in-ground pool. They may look like a spa, but once you get in, the pool’s depth will reveal otherwise.

  1. Spool

The term spool is an amalgam of the words spa and pool. With increasing costs of pool construction, several homeowners prefer custom-built spools to a full-size variety. Furthermore, this design is easier to maintain and operate in the long run.

While some people prefer to use this mini pool for relaxation and entertainment, others soak in lukewarm or cold water on sweltering days. Since they are not as expensive to build as a larger pool, you can add multiple features like jet sprays, lights, massaging jets, etc.

Swimming pool top view

That’s all from us about the different types, designs, and styles of pools.

And we hope you can find a suitable option for your home. Nevertheless, if you’re planning on building a pool, we suggest getting in touch with a reliable contractor for an estimate. After all, the functionality and appearance of the pool also depend on the structure itself.

You must figure out the area that has to be dedicated to the pool and how much time it’ll take to complete the project. If you want an in-ground pool, the excavation process itself will take a few weeks.

Other than that, you must also weigh in the operational costs, as the pool needs to be periodically drained and refilled. And you have to carry out monthly inspections and maintenance as well.

The scenario is not too different for above-ground options; however, the cost involved is undoubtedly lower. On that note, we’d like to take your leave.

Till next time! 

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