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9-25 akins video artBy Lew Akins

As I suggest at the start of the video linked below, one of the most important decisions made by a soon-to-be poolowner has to do with the tile and coping:  Among all project components, these are generally the ones that stand out most in visual and aesthetic terms, so we do all we can to persuade our clients to choose wisely among all available possibilities.

While we do tend to set them a little loose with this part of the process, we’re also ready with aesthetic advice based on the years of experience we have with sourcing and selecting combinations of materials that go well together and will still have visual appeal years into the future.  

There are also practical issues to consider, such as whether the coping material is compatible with, for example, the chemical challenge presented to certain types of stone by saltwater pools – or whether a dark stone is the right choice in a hot, sunny yard where hands and feet might suffer as the homeowners and their family move in and out of the water.  So while we want them to make the call, we do all we can to guide the process and make certain it’s an informed one.

A final point:  I mention the expense of shipping stone as a factor in coping selection.  What I didn’t mention as a complementary observation is that increasing numbers of our clients are environmentally aware and are interested in finding and using local and/or indigenous materials to reduce a project’s “carbon footprint.”  If doing so makes them feel good, it makes me feel good, too.

To see the video, click here.


Lew Akins operates Ocean Quest Pools By Lew Akins out of three offices in central Texas.  He started in the pool business in California in the late 1970s, opening his own design/build/retail firm in Texas in 1984.  Widely acknowledged as a pioneer of the vanishing-edge concept, he added “design consultant” to his list of services in 1998.  He may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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