Tanning Ledge in Vinyl Pool?

dak434January 25, 2010

Lurker here...has anyone seen this or had one done? Any information or pictures would be great! Specifically, I was wondering if they would be really slippery for small children and also wondered in they would shorten the life of the liner because of increased risk of tears etc. due to heavy traffic/play and/or sun exposure.

We live in a small city that is rather isolated and vinyl pools are the norm. There is one gunite dealer who came into the area about 2 years ago but we do not know anything about their reputation. We plan to talk with them so a gunite pool could still be a possibility but if there are any questions as to their reliability, it will be back to a vinyl pool. We also have access to a couple of fiberglass dealers but haven't seen anything that really appeals. I know Trilogy has them in their Fusion series but I have contacted them and they are not in our area. Viking is available here and they have a nice Fiji model but the info online says it is 19 inches deep and we wanted one that was more shallow...more like the first step at 8 or 9 inches. San Juan also has a a couple of models with small ledges but they have features we are not interested in (spas or swim-up bar stools) and they are a little strange in shape (at least we think so!). If anyone knows of any other fiberglass companies that have ledges, that would be great to know!

Anyway, it is a feature that appeals and I think we would use it with future grandchildren someday but don't want to do it if it isn't a smart thing to do with vinyl. There is one very reliable vinyl pool dealer in the area which uses Legacy Edition pools and their website does show a sun shelf as an option so I think it is possible but again, don't want to do if it isn't a good idea! Thanks for any info!

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Liner pools can be made with a tanning ledge. That being said, if you live in an area with a lot of rain and clay soil, don't do it. Water will fill the ground with water which may flow just under the surface. If this happens, the liner at the tanning ledge may float unless extraordinary and somewhat expensive steps are taken to drain that shallow flow away.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 1:11AM
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Thanks Scott...we do have heavy red clay soil. As far as rain goes, we have had many below average years for rainfall but not this past year and not now. Even as I type this, there is flooding in some of the areas around us. Are there steps that can be taken while the pool is being built that would address the problem for the future and be less expensive during the construction phase? Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 9:23AM
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During the construction phase is the best time since everything is chewed on in the back yard anyway. As for specific remedies, without a soils report, survey and visual of the surrounding area, I couldn't offer more advice. Some of the remedies include dry wells, soil replacement, lawn drains and so on.

Tanning ledges, BTW on a liner pool need a special, thick material to withstand the pounding of people bringing in lounge chairs and such and this will drive up the cost for the liner and replacements in the years to come. This thicker material is usually a solid white or blue. Most liners have a pattern and this section will not match.

When a liner pool has steel steps instead of vinyl or fiberglass steps, the same material is used over the steps and, surprise, these liners cost more to purchase and install.

Often, people opt for buddy seats with jets. They make some pretty neat ones that you can change the seat back and it changes the jets or the plain ones with or without jets. They are still comfortable and often have an umbrella stand built in.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 7:13PM
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I Live in Tennessee and every pool we build is on heavy clay soil. Any Vinyl pool build has to have proper drainage and is not that expensive to do. For Example have the pool back filled with gravel and a french drain placed around the pool regardless if you add a shelf or not this will insure that water does not get under the liner. I would not be afraid to have a shelf on a pool and we have built several. Proper drainage is a must regardless of the shape of your pool or any type of pool for that matter. And yes it will add cost to your liner replacement.But if that is what you want than go for it..

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 8:12AM
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Thank you both for the information...it is good to know going in as we continue to look at our options. Hopefully swimming before this year is over!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 9:12PM
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We have built many vinyl liner pools with a sun shelf. I would recommend modifying your chairs, rather than foam under liner. Or doubling liner up with piece of extra liner material. You can also velcro fist step down or use rod and liner loops with clips. Vynall liners and Kafko have built great liners for me with complicated coverd steps and shelfs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sun Shelf

    Bookmark   February 10, 2010 at 2:35AM
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Thank you poolguymi! That is a great picture and exactly what I wanted to see. Is it possible to put bubblers in as well? Thanks again...

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 4:33PM
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That is a great question? I've never built one. I don't know if anything is currently manufactured in the liner industry to do exactly that. I have done in floor cleaning systems and I would have to imagine it would be very similar. One vinyl pool I built with another contractor had a gunite pebble beach entry, and gunite steps with swimout bench the rest of the pool was steel wall vinyl liner.He put a bubbler/ built into a table post, so it would double as a fountain and a table. He liked to call the pool a HYBRID Vinyl Gunite. He had some videos of it on youtube. I will look for photos.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 9:43AM
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Has anyone added a plastic tanning shelf that has to be removed for the winter in a vinyl pool? They have plastic steps that has to be weighted down, how about a tanning shelf?
Please help because I would really like one.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:37PM
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Anything can be done with a liner pool that can be done with gunite. I do both. Not a fan of hybrids. Not a fan of medal walls. Grey or black polymer is better. I like grafix. Gravel for backfill and french drain yes. We do a double bottom on our vinyl pools. Three to four inches of concrete tied into any concrete freeform structure (like a sun ledge) with rebar. Then an inch of vermiculite and a brown coat over freeform. Then quater inch foam (happy bottom) over freeforms. Then velcro and/or rods where needed. Then liner. This answer is specific to your question. However, there is much more that can be done with vinyl pools. As for fade it depends on the site, specific type of use, cleaner, liner color, and liner quality(they are not all the same). Vinyl or gunite. Vinyl is softer and gunite is tougher, etc. The choice depends on what you plan to do with it. Fiberglass not recommended.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 9:41PM
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