Pool Coping: Everything you Need to Know

Ever wondered what the material above the pool tile line is? The part of your pool that covers the entirety of the structure surrounding the pool area?

That’s the coping.

Pool coping is the part of the swimming pool area that divides and separates the actual pool that holds the water and the surrounding domain where the exterior of the swimming pool is located. Beyond the coping is where you’ll often find the pool patio and the furniture as well as other amenities that requires to be away from the water. Pool Plaster Central offers pool plaster and pool remodel services with the option of adding a pool coping and even installing of pool pebble.

The pool coping is a part of your swimming pool that’s often taken for granted as it’s often seen as a cosmetic component of the pool. Although not many pool services pay attention to pool coping, pool coping has some actual practical applications and acts as a marker or a frame that pool users can use as a form of notification that they are entering the pool area and that they are to expect a body of water ahead. It can be considered as a small and insignificant safety feature amongst swimming pools that do not have advanced and sophisticated systems.

Here are a few things to think about that will help you understand what pool coping is and its use in the swimming pool and why you need to consider a pool coping service.

In architecture, the term coping refers to a protective lid or a cap at the top portion of a mounted wall giving it a finished appearance as well as making the structure pop out of the otherwise bland backdrop. It also serves the same purpose in swimming pools adding a certain variety in dimension and in aesthetic value which makes the pool area pop out or stand out from the rest of the backyard. Pool coping designs can also be matched with that of other pool components like your pool tile and pool decking.

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Pool Coping FAQs

What is pool coping?

Pool coping is a form of a cap or lid that covers the upper surface of the pool wall. Whilst its main purpose is to cover the bond beam, pool copings also work as a means to direct the splashout away from the pool water and into the deck drains. Moreover, pool copings provide the added purpose of beautifying your swimming pool by giving it a more polished look and ultimately making your pool a safer place to swim in.

What is the best pool coping?

In terms of coping material, one of the best is travertine. Travertine pool copings are a great option if you’re planning to upgrade your pool coping because it covers both the aesthetic and the structural elements of a pool. In terms of its cosmetic and aesthetic value, travertine pool coping offers a sophisticated and elegant look adding dimensions to your pool area that makes it stand out. Thanks to its marble-like texture and limestone nature, travertine pool copings look stylish and refined but is also tough and durable. Travertine is also cool to the touch so you won’t get your feet burned even when walking over your coping under the scorching sun.

In terms of design, coping layout or cut, the best pool coping option is rolled edge. This type of pool coping design and layout offers a slanting edge making it suitable not only for diving but also as a means for swimmers to hold onto from the inside of the pool. It’s also more comfortable to sit on rolled edge copings because it won’t put pressure on the thighs as other pool coping cuts and layouts would.

Is pool coping necessary?

When a concrete in-ground pool is constructed, the upper edge of the pool wall will have rough concretes and exposed steel. This can be a hazard not only to swimmers but also to anyone in close proximity. That said, the use of pool coping is necessitated as a means of covering the exposed concrete and steel. Pool copings can serve as safety features as well as a means to improve your pool’s aesthetics. You can match the type of material in your pool deck or the structure beside the pool to the coping to form a more cohesive look. Having said that, installing or adding coping to your pool is necessary as it serves not only as a means to cap the exposed part of your pool but also a means to enhance the beauty of your aquatic retreat.

How much does pool coping cost?

Pool copings costs vary depending on the scope of work as well as on the type of material used in the pool coping project. Nevertheless, the average cost of installing pool coping is around $30 to $50 per linear foot. Here are a few more estimates of pool coping costs depending on the materials used.

  • Brick coping – $25–$30 per linear foot.
  • Travertine coping – $45–$55 per linear foot.
  • Cantilevered coping – $6–$10 per linear foot.

Types of Pool Coping



Another popular choice for swimming pool coping is bull-nose brick. It’s a variety of pool coping that gives the pool a somewhat elegant and industrial appeal. Having had the appearance of red brick structures, this type of coping material goes well with houses that use the same type of bricks forming a cohesive structure where the pool works well taking the design cues of the property standing beside it.

It offers a finished appearance that looks solid and sturdy.



Hancrete is a type of pool coping that is known for its durability and overall build quality. Their products range from various styles and details from single bullnose detail, squarenose detail, to mesa style pilaster cap detail. Each product category offers specific advantages that blend aesthetic and structural benefits.

Hancretes are also known for their elegant designs, colors, and textures that range from their standard roman white, natural grey, to specialty color options. Likewise, you can opt to have your hancrete coping come in a smooth finish, salt/pocket texture, and a light washed finish. Hancrete pool copings add an elegant and luxurious feel to your private pool.



Another variety of swimming pool coping is travertine. Travertine is a kind of limestone with marble-like texture with attractive warm colors. It offers the perfect marriage and the benefits of using slate and marble that it emanates a warm atmosphere while still maintaining a temperature that’s cool to the touch. Like marble, travertine is also expensive and apart from giving your pool an attractive look, it also increases its value. It’s a must-have for pool owners that aim to have a posh pool to entertain guests, families, and friends.

Poured in Place

Poured in place

As the name suggests, the concrete coping is poured in place which makes this variety of pool coping a solid and a durable option since the coping is merged and molded above the exposed pool area. Poured in place pool copings aren’t just rock solid, they are also an attractive addition to any pool as poured in place pool copings can be had in a variety of finishes including a sand-blasted finish, brom-finished, buff-polished, and acid finish.

Like other pool coping materials, poured in place coping can also be styled and laid out using various pool coping cuts and designs. Poured in place concrete copings can be shaped with a flat edge, bullnose, and even a curved edge. Basically poured in place copings are popular because they serve as a water-proof and a single, solid piece of concrete to seal the top edge of your pool.

Pool Coping Process

Are you considering adding pool coping to your swimming pool? Maybe upgrade the current coping you have on your pool? Installing or even upgrading your pool coping can be a fun project that’s affordable and beneficial at best. As we’ve covered above, swimming pool coping is used to protect the pool area and the individuals using the swimming pool. Its purpose is simple and humble however installing the pool coping is more than just digging a hole in the ground, that’s why it’s best to leave pool coping installation to experienced pool professionals. That said, an adept swimming pool professional can help you increase the practical and aesthetic value of your pool coping by helping you install the right kind of coping in your pool.

Interested to know what your options are in pool coping? We’ll start with some important things you should consider when planning for a pool coping project.

Pool Coping page

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