Coping is essentially the frame for your pool and it consists of two parts: the outer coping is the concrete or stone around the edges of your pool and the inner coping, which is the part facing the inside of the pool.
Inner coping has a track to lock in the liner. If you look at a pool carefully, you can see a white stripe near the top of the pool’s wall. Some pools have a double track, with the second track being there to hold the winter snap cover.
Outer coping can be made out of different materials, but the most frequently used ones are concrete or stone and each one has its advantages.
If you choose to enclose your pool with concrete coping, the track that locks in the liner must be embedded into concrete in such a way that it’s accessible from the inside of the pool, but the parts anchoring the track are embedded deep into the concrete. After this, another layer of cement is poured over the layer with the track, forming the pool deck typically 1 meter wide.
The advantage of concrete coping is its low price compared to stone or brick, but it definitely loses out when it comes to the appearance. Despite the variety of paint and decorative options that can be used to cover the concrete, it still will not look as nice and luxurious as natural stone.
Another drawback is the difficult repair and replacement processes associated with concrete coping. In case you need to replace the track that holds the liner, the entire layer of concrete above it will have to be taken off and replaced. You will essentially need to redo the whole coping and then pay extra on top of that to reinstall your safety fence and winter cover, because the holes for fence posts will need to be drilled into the new concrete and anchors for the cover will need to be installed all over again.
Interlock (Natural Stone or Brick) Coping
In case of interlock coping, the liner track is installed directly into the wall of the swimming pool and the stone is placed on top to decorate the edges of the pool.
Not only interlock coping looks better than concrete, but it also makes the deck safer because it’s less slippery. When replacing the liner track in a pool with interlock coping, it won’t be necessary to remove the top stone layer. The builders will disassemble and remove the track from the inside of the pool and install the new one.
Many different types of stone are available for building interlock coping, so you will be able to choose from a wide selection of hues and textures. They are extremely durable and will last you many years, so despite the high initial price, if you plan to live in your house and keep your pool for a long time, investing in interlock coping will save you money on repair jobs over the years and will likely turn out to be the less expensive solution in the long run.