Coping Decision (Noob getting a pool)

jp4LSU

Active member
Jun 22, 2021
38
DFW, TX
I've been trolling here for a month trying to get ideas and info during our pool build.
Build Data
Saltwater, Freeform, gunite, 97' perimeter, 3.5 to 6' deep, raised beam with 2 scuppers.

Gunite should be applied in 1.5 - 2 weeks.
The standard selection for coping and raised beam area are limestone and OK flagstone. I've been seeing discussions about deterioration in SW pools of both these materials. The flagstone seems to be very popular here in TX also, I guess because of availability and price.
I haven't given this much thought till seeing my sister in laws SW pool and a lot of pitting and deterioration of the coping, which appears to be limestone. I'm leaning towards OK flagstone.

Thoughts? Recommendations of other materials? Sealers? What say you?
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
659
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Prevailing convention is that a salt water pool is going to add only minimally more environmental stresses to the stone. So a soft stone is going to pit with pool water regardless as the salt water is only a few thousand ppm more than standard pool water. That said we tend to be very SW biased here. I would say that regardless of water type you want a robust coping material - meaning don't choose a stone that you know is really soft and susceptible to deterioration.
 
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JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,527
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I personally would steer clear of flagstone and limestone in any pool. Those materials seem to be hit or miss, and it just takes a few pieces to go bad and take away from your enjoyment.

I used travertine coping and decking on our salt pool in DFW and have no regrets so far.
 

jp4LSU

Active member
Jun 22, 2021
38
DFW, TX
Jamjam and JJ_Tex....thanks for the info. I'm not wanting to do the limestone. I'm leaning towards the OK Flagstone and picking out the neutral colors. I think the OK stone is better in the outdoor environment, but I do have reservations as a coping for a SW pool. It seems like one stone will have issues while a neighboring stone will have no issues. If I go this route, I guess I'll have to seal.

Now JJ_Tex, I've been reading that travertine is soft and will have issues as well. It's already porous and I would think that would be the starting place for issues and deterioration.
How long have you had the Travertine coping?
 
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JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,527
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
How long have you had the Travertine coping?
We are going on year 3 with no issues or noticeable wearing/pitting. Hopefully it stays that way for many years to come.

My parents have had flagstone on their last 2 patios (no pools), and 25-50% of the pieces begin flaking off after a year. Not a huge deal, but it is an annoyance I would like to avoid.
 

jp4LSU

Active member
Jun 22, 2021
38
DFW, TX
Speaking of flagstone I've read that flaking can occur on one piece and the piece next to it never flakes. I wonder if it is certain colors are prone to it?
 
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