Long term concrete cantilever pool coping vs aluminum coping in the North (Michigan)

remixmark

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2017
54
Saline, MI
I was wondering if any concrete guys/gals or just pool owners in general, have any experience and advice with concrete cantilever pool coping around a vinyl pool?

I'm getting a new vinyl pool this Fall and I'm in Michigan where we have below freezing temps. The concrete guys I've talked to say that concrete cantilever coping is NOT a great idea because if it does crack it will be a lot more difficult and ugly, aesthetically, to repair than if we just go with the standard aluminum coping. My wife and I don't like the look of the white powder coated aluminum and feel the concrete cantilever coping looks better.

Perhaps a colored aluminum coping would be a good middle ground so we don't have the ugly white? :goodjob:

I will have a salt water pool. One concrete guy said the salt won't affect the cement, the other says long term affects could make the cement deteriorate quickly. is this true? I thought the levels of salt are so low that it really won't matter. :paddle:

Concrete coping:
Cantilevered_concrete_coping_1.jpg

IMG_3237.jpg

copings1.jpg
aluminum coping:

P1050102-Large.jpg

Inground-Swimming-Pool-Kit-Coping.jpg
 

Perpetual summer

Silver Supporter
Feb 17, 2017
279
Ohio
Hi, we just had a fiberglass pool installed last October. We live in northern Ohio. We had concrete cantilever coping installed, we were also told salt level was low so no need to worry about it. I had no worries about the longevity of it
but I heard and read that concrete will crack not if.....it will. That's why joints are cut into it. I haven't taken the winter cover off yet so I haven't seen how it fared the winter, and I am expecting zero damage. Somebody who has longer ownership will have a better story to tell. Good luck
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,537
Sebring, Florida
Yours is a great question and the answer is not perfectly simple.

1. concrete decking will move and it will move independently of the pool. It is very important the pool body and the decking not be connected. So that means where your very good diagram shows the concrete poured directly into that aluminum form, I would suggest keeping those separated with a layer of tarpaper. That way the decking can move up, down, back and forward and "slide" over the pool wall.

2. Yes, concrete will crack but usually only because it has not been prepared properly. The "backfill" area behind the pool wall should not be the excavated soil but, rather, should be clean rock. The rock is self compacting and will not settle. The dirt will settle away from your concrete and the concrete will crack.

3. The corrosiveness of salt on concrete is really a separate discussion so bring that back up in this thread if you like but do so after you have the decking issues clearly sorted out with your PB.
 

remixmark

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2017
54
Saline, MI
3. The corrosiveness of salt on concrete is really a separate discussion so bring that back up in this thread if you like but do so after you have the decking issues clearly sorted out with your PB.
Thanks for your response. I think the corrosiveness of salt on the concrete coping is a main consideration and one that should be placed along with all the pro's and con's of concrete coping.

I'm having one of the concrete guys out this weekend so I'll go over all the details with him :thumleft:
 

BigEinAZ

Well-known member
Jan 3, 2016
586
Mesa, Az
Do you put salt on your driveway in winter? Is your driveway a pile of rubble?? That application is hundreds of times more concentrated than pool water. Where does this idea that a saltwater pool is filled with some incredibly corrosive liquid and how does this myth continue to be perpetuated??