Puzzle: L-shaped coping + pool cover track


Sep 9, 2021
Santa Rosa, CA
We’re doing a remodel of our 30 year old, 50x15’ pool to update all finishes and add a spa. We’re trying to do a spillway that goes across the walkway into the pool, as (poorly) rendered here:
4CB7A770-D75E-4E12-8C7D-77212BA7CF1B.jpegWe also want to keep our fairly new automatic pool cover. As part of the renovation, we plan to switch to an encapsulated cover track that sits just below the new coping and bottom of the spillway. 👍

Here’s the puzzle: we want to do an SWG (thanks to all the great discussions here!), so we’re favoring porcelain pavers, which max out at 2cm thick. This doesn’t seem like enough depth for a spillway (1/2”)? But, I’ve found some L-shaped porcelain coping that gives us a 2-4” edge. Seems perfect! Except that this is new ground for our pool builder, who says the coping needs to be the same thickness throughout to work with the cover track.

Is there a good way to put the track into the wall, independent of the coping? Or, since we’re planning on pouring new concrete as a base for the pavers - could that be formed above the bond beam, over the encapsulated track, to fit the L-shaped coping? Other ideas?

L-shaped / rebated / drop-face coping seems popular outside the US. (I’ve dug up a handful of sources for both porcelain and natural stone, if any of you are looking.) I’ve got to imagine at least some of them have pool covers and this must be a solved problem?! 😆

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

Here’s an inspiration shot of 2cm porcelain pavers across the water, and one that’s a little like how the spa will look (but lower to the ground and without all those joints in the face):

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2014
Texas, San Antonio/Marion, South-Central Area
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45 Plus
Welcome to TFP! :wave: Sorry no one has replied to your post from last week. Didn't want you to feel ignored. With the season slowing down there may not be as many eyes on the forum for unique issues. But feel free to post back to this thread as much as you like in hopes of getting some ideas about the cover tracks and spillway. Thanks for posting.



Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
Hey Olivia !! I don’t know squat about Mason work but I’m a great Welcomer, so thanks for joining us. :)

LOVE the ‘crude’ spa. It totally gets the point across, which is all that matters.


Sep 9, 2021
Santa Rosa, CA
Thanks so much guys! Since posting, we’ve decided to ditch the SWG and go with natural stone so we can get 2” coping and make the spa catch basin/spillway into the pool design work more easily with the cover track. (Side note: I was shocked to find that Travertine is basically half the price of the limestone I wanted, so we’re probably going that way.)

For anyone looking in the future, I did find some companies who have an L-shaped porcelain coping, or can miter the edges to fabricate it, but lead times and cost are a factor. With our more involved design, it just upped the complexity and risk too much.

Here’s the latest sketch of how the spa/pool connection will work, using an angle-topped wall at the edge of the catch basin/spillway like the one creating the spillover from the spa. I still don’t 100% know how the cover track will fit in here, but our PB seems more confident they can do it with this approach.


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