When building a pool, one of the most important considerations you need to make is what kind of pool finish do you want.
On a surface level, yes the pool finish is a big part of your pool’s aesthetic and a good impression means a lot. However, what is sometimes forgotten is that the pool finish also determines how comfortable the pool feels to the touch and how long the pool lasts.
A good pool finish can last for years with proper maintenance and is expensive to replace, so you are making a semi-permanent decision that probably won’t be reversed in the near future.
When it comes to pool finishes, there are two popular companies to choose from: PebbleTec and StoneScapes. If you are in the market for a pool finish, you’re likely to be looking through their catalogs. But what is so good about them? And in a head to head comparison between StoneScapes vs PebbleTec, which one should you pick?
In this article, I will discuss what each company can offer you to help you make a more informed decision.
Why you should choose very carefully
Before delving into the PebbleTec vs StoneScapes debate, I think it’s really important to discuss what’s at stake here.
When you’re building a pool in your backyard (or anywhere), at its core it’s basically just a giant hole in the ground filled with water. However, the issue here is that without a pool finish, the water would mix with the dirt and become dirty, and eventually all of it would seep into the ground.
Pool finishes stand between the water and the ground around it. It can be made out of tiles, pebbles and the like, and you decide on the color and design of the finish.
A good looking pool finish drastically affects the whole aesthetic of the pool, especially in relation to its surroundings. It can make the difference between a boring, lifeless pool to one that looks like you’re swimming in tropical waters.
As mentioned, a pool finish can last for many years and is expensive to replace. So if you pick one that you’re unhappy with, you might be stuck with it for a while (or your wallet will be hurting).
When it comes to choosing between StoneScapes and PebbleTec, I have no doubt that their quality is good, but you need to make certain that you’re happy with the color because these finishes aren’t cheap.
StoneScapes vs PebbleTec
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StoneScapes and PebbleTec are the two leading companies when it comes to aggregate pool finishes. So let’s put them head-to-head.
PebbleTec was established over 35 years ago, whereas StoneScapes is much newer. As such, PebbleTec has the more solid reputation since they’ve been operating for longer.
Both companies have a similar selection of products with regards to the size of the pool pebbles you want. Specifically, you can choose between regular sized pebbles, mini pebbles, a mixture, or a glass-like finish.
The materials used in these pebble finishes are similar, and as such, they are comparable in durability, feel, and longevity.
PebbleTec has more quarries all over the world and as such has greater availability than StoneScapes. They also have a larger selection to choose from.
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All of these benefits allow them to charge a higher price than StoneScapes, since you may not even have any other option depending on where you live.
StoneScapes pool finishes are more affordable as they cater to more casual homeowners.
Another point in favor of PebbleTec is their versatility. PebbleTec’s PebbleSheen, PebbleFina, and Original PebbleTec each have their pool tiles cut into different shapes. PebbleTec is square, PebbleSheen is triangle, and PebbleFina is oval.
StoneScapes tiles all have the same basic shape across all their entire lineup. However, it does offer various color options for a wide range of aesthetics.
Ultimately, if you prefer versatility or are limited by availability then go with PebbleTec because they are available worldwide. If you prefer a more budget option then go with StoneScapes.
Top factors to consider when selecting a pool finish
Whether you’re building a new pool or renovating an existing one, the pool finish will not just affect the pool, but also its surroundings, including your backyard and the house itself. So here are a few things to help you decide on a pool finish.
A pool reno can be expensive, but there are ways to keep costs down. There are probably affordable alternatives to even the most expensive pool finishes.
Between StoneScapes and PebbleTec, StoneScapes is definitely the more budget-friendly brand.
That said, consider also how long stone tiles last compared to plaster. Stone tile finishes can last for 15-25 years, depending on how well they are maintained. Plaster needs to be replaced every 5 years or so.
So even if the initial installation is expensive, consider how long it will last for and how easy it is to maintain a stone tile finish, and the large initial expense may be justified.
For some, the choice to go with StoneScapes over PebbleTec is simply due to the lower cost.
Both StoneScapes and PebbleTec offer a variety of color options, and PebbleTec even offer different shape options for their tiles.
One of the biggest differences a pool finish can affect is the water appearance. You can pick a pool finish that makes your pool look like a darker blue, a lighter blue, clear, or even give it a greenish tint, for example.
Ideally, you want to look for something that enhances the beauty of your home and yard, is soothing to the eyes, and is inviting to swim in.
At the end of the day, whichever company offers the pool finish that catches your eye the most, budget willing, is likely the one to do business with you.
Both of these companies offer stone tile finishes that supposedly last a long time, but what happens if they just… don’t? Thankfully, both companies offer limited warranty for their pool finishes.
PebbleTec offers a 5-year limited warranty to repair or replace any defective finish material. Click the link to see what exactly is covered and excluded.
StoneScapes generally offers a 10-year limited warranty for their finishes. Again, click the link for more details on coverage.
At a glance, StoneScapes’ warranty seems far superior to PebbleTec’s. However, I have read a few negative reviews from StoneScapes customers claiming that it took a long time for the company to send someone to assess the problem and repair it.
I’m sure there are customer service horror stories for every single company, but it seems in this case that PebbleTec has the superior reputation when it comes to customer service.