Perimeter Overflow Spa vs Infinity Edge Spa - Houston, TX

JMSMommy

Bronze Supporter
Sep 26, 2020
54
Sugar Land, TX
Hi All! We are currently under the design phase and my husband and I are having a hard time deciding between the perimeter overflow spa and a "regular" spa with an infinity edge. Any pros/cons regarding the perimeter overflow spa? I am having a hard time deciding if it is functional. Does the water actually spill over all the time - assuming we run the pump or does it just have still water and water at times trickles down? Besides being super pretty to look at, is the perimeter overflow spa worth it? I have seen one in person and it is very pretty and cool, but still am not convinced how functional it is. Anyone recently build Thanks!!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,200
Central California
Hi, and welcome to TFP. I'm not sure which is what, but I think these folks have one or the other. You might send them a private message.

 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,053
Tallahassee, FL
Hi and welcome to TFP!

The cons to a perimeter overflow spa is the care of the area around the spa. You have to have good water flow to get the water out of that area and you will have to have a smaller, round brush to brush it. Then there is the "problem" with getting in and out of the spa with out slipping or such.

It IS very pretty when done right but at what cost?

Kim:kim:
 

JMSMommy

Bronze Supporter
Sep 26, 2020
54
Sugar Land, TX
Hi, and welcome to TFP. I'm not sure which is what, but I think these folks have one or the other. You might send them a private message.


Thanks! I'll PM thing to see how they like their overflow spa now that it has been 6 months or more with it. =)
 

JMSMommy

Bronze Supporter
Sep 26, 2020
54
Sugar Land, TX
Hi and welcome to TFP!

The cons to a perimeter overflow spa is the care of the area around the spa. You have to have good water flow to get the water out of that area and you will have to have a smaller, round brush to brush it. Then there is the "problem" with getting in and out of the spa with out slipping or such.

It IS very pretty when done right but at what cost?

Kim:kim:

Thank you! This helps....the builders we are looking at have done many of these perimeter overflow spas so they definitely know what they are doing. Yes - my concern is the same - how do you get in and out without slipping?!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,200
Central California
NO standing on the edge allowed for ANY reason!!!
J-Mom, as you know, kids will always find a reason! My middle one would continue to run around on that surface even after he's already cracked his head open a few times from slipping off of it!

And as I am a naysayer for in-pool spas, I'm already biased. They're already so much form-over-function, the perimeter overflow is just more of that, so not for me. I do love the look, though.
 

JMSMommy

Bronze Supporter
Sep 26, 2020
54
Sugar Land, TX
J-Mom, as you know, kids will always find a reason! My middle one would continue to run around on that surface even after he's already cracked his head open a few times from slipping off of it!

And as I am a naysayer for in-pool spas, I'm already biased. They're already so much form-over-function, the perimeter overflow is just more of that, so not for me. I do love the look, though.
my kids would also run around...overflow spa and travertine floors...I am basically welcoming falls. Really will have to be a crazy lady and scream no running aloud all.the.time.

* I may need to reconsider my design/material choice.
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
548
Houston, TX
I originally really liked the idea of the perimeter overflow and ended up going with a large stepped waterfall from the spa into the pool. One of the things that changed my mind was the amount of area that you lose in the pool to make room for the spa to have the perimeter. Because of how they bid swimming pools you end up paying quite a bit more for the perimeter that is lost than you would for a regular spa or infinity edge.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
775
Katy TX
One other point - ensure you have enough flow from your pump to create the overflow effect you want. There have been several others on the forum that have been disappointed in actual vs. what are in pictures when it comes to spa overflows especially when the total linear footage of the overflow is large. If your PB has done a lot, then ask him for references and call them to see if either you can physically go see it or get their feedback on performance of the perimeter overflow. We went with a basic flow from spa to pool and have a nice waterfall over rocks into the pool on opposite end.
 

JMSMommy

Bronze Supporter
Sep 26, 2020
54
Sugar Land, TX
I originally really liked the idea of the perimeter overflow and ended up going with a large stepped waterfall from the spa into the pool. One of the things that changed my mind was the amount of area that you lose in the pool to make room for the spa to have the perimeter. Because of how they bid swimming pools you end up paying quite a bit more for the perimeter that is lost than you would for a regular spa or infinity edge.
I'll ask the builder the price for the perimeter over flow vs an infinity edge only. I think my perimeter is at 114 feet (just under 115 - we have a geometric pool design) and from what I remember in the design session, both builders were not counting the perimeter of the spa? I could be wrong. I'll ask. Thanks for the input!1
 

JMSMommy

Bronze Supporter
Sep 26, 2020
54
Sugar Land, TX
One other point - ensure you have enough flow from your pump to create the overflow effect you want. There have been several others on the forum that have been disappointed in actual vs. what are in pictures when it comes to spa overflows especially when the total linear footage of the overflow is large. If your PB has done a lot, then ask him for references and call them to see if either you can physically go see it or get their feedback on performance of the perimeter overflow. We went with a basic flow from spa to pool and have a nice waterfall over rocks into the pool on opposite end.
Good point. I do know there is a variable pump for the pool and spa and a separate pump for the water features we have on the opposite side of the spa. I'll ask about the "flow". I did see one in person at the design center, but I'll ask for references as well - good suggestion!
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
548
Houston, TX
I'll ask the builder the price for the perimeter over flow vs an infinity edge only. I think my perimeter is at 114 feet (just under 115 - we have a geometric pool design) and from what I remember in the design session, both builders were not counting the perimeter of the spa? I could be wrong. I'll ask. Thanks for the input!1
Mine doesn't include the perimeter of the spa either, just the perimeter of the concrete outer beam. But my pool has a 12" beam, and my spa shares that 12" beam. If I wanted to go with a perimeter over flow I would need a 12" beam for the pool, space for the water, then another 12" beam inside of that for the spa. What fits in a 12" space with just a waterfall would have taken 2"6" minimum to fit a perimeter overflow. They charge extra for the added work and material to build that second beam. In my situation that extra 18" would have had to have been taken off of my tanning ledge and I am already disappointed that they built the ledge smaller than what we were expecting, with a perimeter overflow on the spa I would have even less space.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,200
Central California
Good point. I do know there is a variable pump for the pool and spa and a separate pump for the water features we have on the opposite side of the spa. I'll ask about the "flow". I did see one in person at the design center, but I'll ask for references as well - good suggestion!
This is a little obtuse, but something you're going to want to be aware of and monitor. And you have to catch this at the right time during the build, or it'll literally be "in stone."

If a water fall, or overflow or whatever, is not built really well, and perfectly level, a little PB trick to hide that fact is to turn up the pump RPMs to create more flow over it. This can conceal an underlying build defect, like an uneven or not-level edge. The increased flow pushes more water over the edge, a thicker layer of water, that disguises the defect. It all looks great, you sign off on it, and the PB drives away. It is only later that you realize you have to run your pump on high all the time or else your water fall or perimeter overflow looks crooked because the water only runs over it on one side.

You prevent this from happening by discussing it with the PB ahead of time, and making your expectations well known: that the edge must be perfectly level and that you want it to look even with a minimum amount of flow. Just letting him know you know about this might be all it takes. Or you might have to go out there with a level and check it yourself before everything is finalized (this would have to happen before you fill the pool). It's not reasonable to expect it to be perfect to 1/32" inch, it's plaster and tile after all, but it should be level enough that it works well with a relatively low pump speed. (Didn't know what you were getting into, did you?) And, unfortunately, this needs to be checked before there is water to check it! Like right after they install the finish surface (tile or stone). Hopefully the sub that will do this work knows his stuff, but that is not a guarantee.
 
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Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
318
NE Oklahoma
This is a little obtuse, but something you're going to want to be aware of and monitor. And you have to catch this at the right time during the build, or it'll literally be "in stone."

If a water fall, or overflow or whatever, is not built really well, and perfectly level, a little PB trick to hide that fact is to turn up the pump RPMs to create more flow over it. This can conceal an underlying build defect, like an uneven or not-level edge. The increased flow pushes more water over the edge, a thicker layer of water, that disguises the defect. It all looks great, you sign off on it, and the PB drives away. It is only later that you realize you have to run your pump on high all the time or else your water fall or perimeter overflow looks crooked because the water only runs over it on one side.

You prevent this from happening by discussing it with the PB ahead of time, and making your expectations well known: that the edge must be perfectly level and that you want it to look even with a minimum amount of flow. Just letting him know you know about this might be all it takes. Or you might have to go out there with a level and check it yourself before everything is finalized (this would have to happen before you fill the pool). It's not reasonable to expect it to be perfect to 1/32" inch, it's plaster and tile after all, but it should be level enough that it works well with a relatively low pump speed. (Didn't know what you were getting into, did you?) And, unfortunately, this needs to be checked before there is water to check it! Like right after they install the finish surface (tile or stone). Hopefully the sub that will do this work knows his stuff, but that is not a guarantee.
What Dirk said. I have a spill over in my spa that is not level. The masons did a phenomenal job, except for that one part. PB didn't want to remove the stones and re-set them as it could create an issue at the plaster since the plaster butted up directly to the stone in that spot. So now I've been trying to figure out the best way to correct this. Nothing I can come up with will look good. So make sure they know that will be a point of contention ahead of time. Had I checked once the masons were gone, before plaster, it could have easily been addressed. Waiting until the pool is plastered and filled, makes it tough to make any adjustments.

--Jeff
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,200
Central California
So Jeff, the best stage to check the level would be right after the tile is set in the mortar, maybe right before the grout goes in, but definitely before they shoot the plaster/pebble? Is that right?
 

Turbo1Ton

Gold Supporter
Dec 26, 2019
318
NE Oklahoma
I would agree with that, Dirk. Just after whichever finish is going in, has been set. If that is tile, after the tile is set, preferably before grout, so that it is easier on them to make corrections. In my case it was stone, so as soon as they set the stones, I should have been out there with a level.

Regardless, make sure it is checked prior to plaster. Much easier fix at that point.

--Jeff
 
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