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Arizona, with its blazing sun and arid climate, demands specific considerations when it comes to building and maintaining swimming pools. The Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, and Scottsdale regions, known for their upscale residences and luxurious outdoor living spaces, often set the trend for pool design and finishes. Choosing the right interior finish for a swimming pool in these areas is crucial for durability, aesthetics, and comfort. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding the Arizona Climate

Before diving into the specifics of pool finishes, it’s essential to understand the environmental factors at play. Arizona’s desert climate means high temperatures, low humidity, and intense UV radiation. These elements can impact the longevity and appearance of pool surfaces, making it vital to choose finishes that can withstand such harsh conditions.

Types of Pool Finishes

There are several popular pool finishes to consider, each with its own set of advantages and drawbacks:

1. Plaster
2. Aggregate
3. Tile
4. Fiberglass


Plaster is one of the most traditional and cost-effective pool finishes. Typically made from a mixture of cement, sand, and water, it provides a smooth and clean surface.

– Cost-effective
– Smooth texture
– Easy to apply

– Prone to staining and etching
– Requires regular maintenance
– Shorter lifespan compared to other finishes

In Arizona, plaster might not be the best choice due to its susceptibility to the harsh sun and frequent temperature changes, which can cause cracking and discoloration.


Aggregate finishes, which include exposed and polished options, are a popular upgrade from traditional plaster. These finishes combine plaster with materials like quartz, pebbles, or glass beads, providing a more durable and aesthetically pleasing surface.

– Enhanced durability
– Aesthetically versatile
– Resistant to stains and etching

– Higher cost than plaster
– Rougher texture, particularly with exposed aggregate

For Arizona pools, an aggregate finish can be a fantastic choice. The added durability and resistance to UV rays and chemicals make it well-suited for the extreme climate. Polished aggregate, in particular, offers a smoother surface while retaining the strength of exposed aggregate.


Tile finishes are the epitome of luxury and can transform a pool into a stunning oasis. Available in ceramic, porcelain, and glass, tiles offer a wide range of design possibilities.

– Highly durable and long-lasting
– Resistant to chemicals and UV rays
– Easy to clean and maintain
– Unlimited design options

– High initial cost
– Installation can be time-consuming
– Tiles can chip or crack if not properly installed

In the Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, and Scottsdale regions, tile finishes are often seen in high-end properties. Their durability and resistance to the elements make them an excellent investment, especially for homeowners looking to create a visually striking pool.


Fiberglass finishes involve a pre-formed shell that is placed into the excavated pool site. While less common than plaster, aggregate, or tile finishes, fiberglass has its own set of advantages.

– Quick installation
– Smooth and non-porous surface
– Low maintenance

– Limited shapes and sizes
– Higher initial cost
– Repairing damage can be difficult

For Arizona’s climate, fiberglass can be a good option due to its resistance to algae growth and ease of maintenance. However, the limited customization options may be a drawback for some homeowners.

Recommendations for Arizona Pools

Given the unique environmental challenges of the Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, and Scottsdale areas, aggregate and tile finishes stand out as the best choices for swimming pool interiors.

Aggregate Finishes: Opt for a polished aggregate finish to balance durability with comfort. The variety of available colors and textures can complement any backyard design, making it a versatile choice.

Tile Finishes: For those willing to invest more, a tile finish offers unmatched durability and aesthetic appeal. Porcelain or glass tiles are particularly resistant to Arizona’s intense sun and temperature fluctuations.

Choosing the right interior finish for your swimming pool in Arizona is a critical decision that impacts both the longevity and beauty of your pool. Aggregate and tile finishes provide the best combination of durability, aesthetic appeal, and comfort, ensuring that your pool remains an inviting retreat even in the harshest desert conditions.