In recent years there has been a shift in the world of swimming pools. This shift can be seen in many different aspects. The biggest part of this shift is in the type of in ground swimming pool that people are getting. In the past I speculate that the majority of people were getting concrete pools. Now the trend has moved toward vinyl liner in ground pools. The reason for this is partly due to the fact that the perception of the vinyl liner pool has improved. I think that people used to see a vinyl liner pool as inferior to the concrete pool. Now people are starting to realize that there are benefits to owning a vinyl liner pool that are not available with a concrete pool. In addition to that the cost of a vinyl liner pool is in most cases cheaper than that of its concrete counter part.
In today’s world one could get a vinyl liner in ground pool with all the same design freedom of a concrete pool. By that I mean vinyl liner pools can be made in any shape, size, and form. It is basically a matter of what is desired. I have even seen guitar shaped vinyl liner pools. In the past, the design options were limited, but with new technology and know how those options are now endless. When vinyl liner pools first entered the market, there weren’t much to them. A basic shape, with a white thermoplastic step. Soon after that the fiberglass step was offered as an upgrade. Mainly due to the fact that the fiberglass step is a much more structurally sound way to go. Today more and more people are getting pools with custom vinyl over steps.
The vinyl over step is almost to the point where it is expected in a pool design. This style of step offers more of a concrete pool look and custom design options. Obviously that is an amazing selling feature for vinyl liner swimming pools. Now instead of having the same white step as the neighbor, people are now able to have a similar swimming pool that looks completely different. There are a few different ways that these steps are created. First of all there are two basic types of vinyl over steps. One is what is known as straight tread, and the other is known as permanent form. The difference is in the way that these steps are manufactured. The straight tread design means that the entire step is made out of the same material. Meaning that both the riser and tread of the step are either made out of steel or a non-corrosive material. (Side note… There are major differences in the types of non-corrosive materials that are available. To learn more check out the rest of my blog.) The permanent form design is in my humble opinion the better type of step. This style of liner over step offers folks a more solid structure for their steps. This type of step is different in that the riser is made out of the steel or non-corrosive material, but the treads of the step are concrete. The permanent form step is partly made in a factory, and finished on site. Once the step is installed in the pool there are a couple other options that need to be addressed.
|Rod and Clip Design|
With a vinyl over step, the liner will need to be secured to the step. Usually this is done in the area of the steps where the treads meet the risers. This is done a couple of different ways. One way is to use rods and clips. This way would require the liner to be made with “sleeves” on the under side of the liner where the treads meet the risers. Then fiberglass rods would be slid through the sleeves and clips would be used to secure the rods to the steps, which will ultimately secure the liner into place over the steps. This is an effective way of securing the liner over the steps. However please note that the rod will, in most cases be somewhat visible under the liner where the risers meet the treads. It comes down to personal preference. Would it bother you to be able to see where the rods are underneath the liner? If so then you might want to go with the other way of securing the liner to the steps. This would have to be determined prior to the steps being installed in the pool.
The other way is to use what is called a bead receiver where the treads meet the risers. In the past, the bead of a liner was only found at the top edge of the liner. This is what secures the liner to the top of the walls of the pool. However a bead is now used to secure the liner to the steps. The liner would have to be manufactured with a bead in the correct location. So instead of having a “sleeve” on the backside of the liner where the treads meet the risers, there would now be a bead. That bead would then be neatly tucked into the bead receivers of the steps to give the steps an overall clean look. Either way, the end result would be a secure liner over the steps, the only difference is that one way, in my opinion, has a better aesthetic appeal in the end.
The difference in cost is not that much in the grand scheme of things. Again it comes down to personal preference and what best suites you. The fact is that many people are getting pools installed with liner over steps as a way to make their pools a unique piece of art.
For more information on vinyl liner pools, and swimming pool in general please check out the rest of my blog. There is a lot of useful information within it that will help current pool owners stay on top of whats new, and help those without pools decide if a pool is right for them.