What are pool headers?

Pool headers (which are also known as pool coping or capping) are the sections of capping that run around the top rim of a swimming pool to reduce the risk of injury. Headers separate the swimming pool from the adjacent surface area, therefore, also protect the pool’s structure. Aesthetically, headers can also help define the edge of your pool, and provide an attractive visual finish.

Pool headers can be constructed from materials including limestone, slate, granite, brick and sandstone. A pool’s header will be laid on top of a pool beam (a layer of concrete that traces the pool’s outline). This is crucial, as a header can only be laid if it will be placed on a stable surface, which a pool beam provides.

Whichever pool header material you opt for, the header can be sealed to prevent water marks, chlorine staining or exposure to the elements. There are also products with non-slip coating that help to reduce the risk of accidents even further.

Types of pool headers

  • Square edges – edges of the paver are square. This gives a really clean, slick look, and is popular for contemporary garden design.
  • Tumbled edge – intentionally uneven edges that give a rustic look to the pool’s rim.
  • Drop down face – this provides a seamless finish from the pool to the paving. The tile has a lip that juts out over the pool edge, effectively hiding the rim from view.
  • Bullnose – rounded edges that provide a softer finish. Popular in traditional or heritage garden design.

Why do you need pool headers or coping?

The most important benefit of solid pool coping is the reduction of risk of accidents from those entering or exiting the pool. Pool headers can be treated with non-slip coating which can provide incredibly useful for those who are accessing the pool and may be at risk of slipping and falling around the pool area.

Pool coping can also;

  • Provide a useful structure for an automatic pool cover or other pool mechanics,
  • Keep debris, tree leaves, grass and dirt from your pool,
  • Stay cool, which means on hot summer days you won’t have burnt feet as you jump in or out of the pool,
  • Help any water that is splashed out of the pool to flow away from the pool and into deck drains or other drainage systems (which can be set up during the pool header installation process),
  • Provide a stylish and aesthetically appealing look for your pool, compared to fibre glass edgings which can look a little cheap and plastic-like in comparison.

Thoughtful, custom pool coping is also a clever way to inject your own personal style into your pool and garden landscaping plans. You’ll have the choice of a variety of colours, materials, finishes and styles – each of which can create a very distinct and different type of feel for your pool and your pool’s integration with the rest of your garden.