What is Cantilevered Coping and Why is it So Important?

Cantilevered Concrete Coping is not the sort of phrase that jumps to mind when you think about swimming pools, but it is a very important part of Fiberglass swimming pools. While this kind of coping can also be poured on a Vinyl Liner pool, on a fiberglass swimming pool it is one of the most important things your builder should do when he is pouring your concrete.

In the photograph above you will see a cross section of a fiberglass pool with the cantilevered coping exposed.  The pour has been stopped at the halfway point to permit additional work to be done that was requested at the last moment. Of course the difference is huge, not only because the coping is decorative, which it truly is, but also because the cantilevered concrete gives a very solid handhold to anyone who might want to rest for a moment while they are in the pool.

Some children, and some adults, are not always comfortable in a swimming pool – perhaps they are fatigued, or they swallowed some water,  and want to hang on to something for a moment.  If the edge of the pool is at a 90 degree angle, there is nothing to grip, but with a cantilevered edge there is an excellent handhold. We see this as a decorative issue and also as a safety issue.

Finally, as you probably know, fiberglass exposed to the sun for an extended amount of time, is liable to “chalk up” as a very fine powder will begin to form on the fiberglass.  Thus can be removed, or prevented, fairly easily by treating the fiberglass with a good boat wax, or a fiberglass wax designed for that purpose.  Look for it in an automotive store – it is spelled W O R K – you can’t miss it.

Or, you can assure yourself that your contractor provides cantilevered concrete coping and that the cost is included in your price. Every pool ABLE builds comes with cantilevered coping included.  It is too important to list it as an option.

As for the pool in the photo above.  Here it is after completion:


Cantilevered concrete coping 2


Doesn’t that look great?  Be certain cantilevered concrete coping is included in your pool pricing, and if it is not, make sure you get additional pricing from another contractor before you decide.  Cantilevered concrete coping is beautiful, a safety aid, difficult to do properly and, at least with ABLE, included. The decking, and the coping, are the things people notice when they first see your pool, and you want it to look fantastic!  Add in some waterline tile, as this customer did, and your swimming pool will look professionally done – as it should.


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