If you’ve decided on putting in a swimming pool or buying a property with a backyard pool then chances are you will have to think about pool coping.

Installing a new swimming pool or renovating an existing one takes time and planning. You’ll also need to think about more than just installing it in the big dirt hole and filling it up with water. There’s the pool water type, fencing, heating and lighting to consider. Then there are the finishes of the pool interior and surrounds to decide upon.

To get the most enjoyment from your pool, you will need to finish the pool off both practically and aesthetically. One essential component of the pool finishes is the pool coping.

What is pool coping?

Pool coping is the term used to identify the material used for the capping or edging that is placed around the swimming pool shell wall or, as someone once said:

Pool coping is the crowning glory of your pool

Coping separates the swimming pool shell from the surrounding surface area and helps to protect the pool structure. Coping is designed to stop water from getting behind the pool shell and, if coping is installed properly, water that is splashed out should flow away from the pool and down into the nearby drains.

Styles of pool coping

Pool coping is available in several finishes or profiles to suit a variety of needs and tastes.

There are generally three styles (or shapes) of pool coping:

  • Square Edge
  • Rebated Square Edge
  • Single Bullnose

During construction, the coping material is laid on the swimming pool beam (the width of concrete around the pool).

If you’re renovating a pool, you’ll need to select specific products that can work with the existing shape. Consider how much room you have to play with and whether you’re meeting up with existing paving.

You should consider how the coping will enhance the look of your swimming pool, whether it can withstand salt or chemicals, and whether it provides a non-slip surface.

Ask the experts

Choosing the right style for your project is vital. The type of coping you select will depend on your personal taste, what suits the aesthetic of your space and the style/material you can afford.

We recommend you discuss your coping options with your pool design professional to get the result and performance that works best for your home’s swimming pool.

Ask your installer the following questions:

1. Are there size limitations due to expansion joints or set down?

2. Is it being laid on glue or a wet bed?

3. Do you need a thinner tile or is there some room to move with thickness?


Looking for pool inspiration? Browse modern & contemporary, classic & traditional or natural & organic pool designs to find the swimming pool that’s right for you.

Leading image: Trusco Project Stone used as pool coping.