Stamped Concrete Borders.
Let me start off by saying Stamped Concrete is an Art not a science. Many years ago when my partner Mike and I got into the stamped concrete business it was us and maybe a couple other companies stamping concrete. The industry has come a long way over the past 10-15 years. The industry standard went from topical colors to using integral colors from 4-5 different patterns to over 60 unique stamping patterns and finally top end companies utilizing their artistic talents to create stunning borders around swimming pool projects. The design possibilities are endless with stamped concrete. With over 200 color options, multiple patterns to choose from and now the ability to create stunning slate borders has made this industry hard to compete against.
How does a border enhance your fiberglass pool Project? A slate border breaks up the stamp pattern to create the look and feel of a real stone coping around your pool project. The border does not have to be around the inside coping all the time. It can be placed on the outside edge of the concrete as well. Both ways look very nice. The best part about it is that it costs only a fraction of what a real stone coping would cost. Before I get into the positives of a cut in stone border versus a real stone coping let me answer the main question of how much does it cost to create a cut stone border in Stamped Concrete. The average cost to do the border work is 10.00 per foot. This includes the tooling work during the stamping process, diamond blade cutting, and two coats of acid stain to color the 12 inch border and face of the cantilever coping. For example a16 by 40 pool which is roughly 100 lin feet would cost 1,000 for the coping. In comparison to the real stone coping you would be looking at roughly 40.00 per sq/ft or 4,000 for real coping. This is a huge difference when trying to stick to a tight budget but again this is your pool project and you need to be happy with the end result.
What are the pro’s and Con’s of real coping versus cut in coping. Keep in mind that there is a 1 foot over dig on all fiberglass pool projects. With this being said you are now going to put a 1 foot real stone coping next to your pool and then follow up with pouring concrete against the the coping stones that were installed. Here my friend you are asking for the concrete deck to settle from the coping stone over time due primarily to the 1 foot over dig of the pool. If this is the route you are taking please make sure your contractor pours a min of 2-3 ft of concrete level with the pool coping allowing the Pavers to cantilever the coping and go 3′ out over concrete which is past your 1′ over dig. When doing this 1/2 Rebar should be installed every 3-4 ft around the pool coping to enable the concrete to actually tie into the pool to eliminate any settling down the road. Again this process takes time and cost a lot more than the cut in stone border created without separation in concrete pours. The best part about doing a cantilever coping is that the concrete sits up 4 inches over the concrete shell and goes a minimum of 3 ft away from the pools waters edge. So you have concrete sitting on the coping and also sitting on Virgin ground away from your 1 ft over dig. Now that’s what I call solid construction. I hope this article gave you the customer some useful information regarding coping choices for your fiberglass pool project:)