Most swimming pool owners love looking straight down into their pool’s depths to see where grime has accumulated. However, not everyone shares that sentiment. Some pool owners prefer black-bottom pools, which make the water look darker due to the black liner. So is a black-bottom swimming pool right for you?
Black bottom swimming pools certainly look interesting, and the water tends to stay warmer due to the darker depths. However, black bottom pools can be dangerous if the swimmer can’t perceive where the bottom of the pool is. The pools are also not legal in all areas.
In this article, we’ll first explain what black bottom pools are, then delve into the pros and cons. We’ll also discuss cleaning these pools, whether they’re warmer than standard pools, and how dangerous they may be.
Let’s get started!
What Is a Black Bottom Pool?
Swimming pools used to have blue or teal liners, but these days, homeowners are adding increasingly inventive additions to their backyard. One of these additions is black bottom swimming pools.
As the name implies, a black bottom pool has a black liner or uses dark pool-building materials. In some instances, the color might not be exactly black but rather gray or dark blue. The true black bottom pools, though, are pure black.
Even though the water is still translucent against a black liner, the water also has the illusion of appearing darker. This is because the depth of the pool can be imperceptible unless from an overhead view, such as standing over a diving board. Then you can see somewhat down to the bottom.
The Pros and Cons of Black Bottom Pools
Black bottom pools certainly turn heads, but does that mean this is the right type of pool for you? Here are some pros and cons that can help you make up your mind.
1. Pools of All Shapes and Sizes Can Be Configured Into Black Bottom Pools
Since it’s often just your pool liner that you’re upgrading, it doesn’t matter as much the shape or size of your swimming pool. You can still make it a black bottom pool. Every pool shape, from rectangular to oval and even oblong shapes, looks awesome with a black or dark gray bottom.
2. Many Pool Materials Are Available
How does your pool become black? Well, as we’ve explained, a pool liner is one option, but it’s not your only one. Black pool tiles create the illusion of dark waters, as does dyed concrete pool plaster. You can also opt for a dark fiberglass pool.
Concrete doesn’t always have as much pigment as fiberglass, which means the depth of color won’t be as strong. This can take away from the illusion of a black bottom pool. For example, here’s a photo of a gray bottomed pool versus a true black bottom. The difference is profound, as you can see!
3. Makes an Ordinary Pool Look Extraordinary
You were very enamored with the style of your swimming pool when you first installed it, but that was years and years ago. These days, you find the pool’s look rather boring. Sometimes you think about getting a new pool dug out, but you know that will be expensive.
Making yours a black bottom pool is a great way to transform it. Upgrading the liner means you don’t even have to change the pool’s foundation, which can help with cost savings. In addition, black bottom swimming pools look incredibly upscale, especially when surrounded by a light-colored deck!
4. Very Trendy
If you care about trends (which many of us do), black swimming pools are quite trendy right now. From infinity pools to standard oval-shaped swimming pools, more and more people are taking the plunge and going darker with their swimming pools!
1. Can Freak Out Some Swimmers
Some people chomp at the bit for a chance to get in a black bottom pool. Although swimming in the pool isn’t any different than being in a light-colored pool, the whole experience feels different. Yet, for some people, it feels different in a bad way.
Black bottom swimming pools can distort your sense of depth perception, leaving swimmers scared.
2. Might Not Be Allowed to Have a Black Bottom Pool in Some Parts of the Country
The above-mentioned depth perception issues have led some localities to ban the installation of black bottom swimming pools. So before you go ahead with your backyard makeover, you might want to check with your city, town, or county to ensure that your black swimming pool is allowed.
3. Are Black Bottom Pools Harder to Clean?
In this section and the others, we’ll answer all your burning questions about black-bottomed swimming pools. Let’s begin with homeowners’ frequent concerns before deciding on this type of pool. Are black bottom pools harder to clean?
The cleaning processes you’ll follow for a black bottom pool are no different than a pool of any other color.
Each day, you should skim dirt, leaves, insects, and debris off the pool’s surface. Weekly, you should thoroughly clean the pool down to the bottom to remove dirt and other particles. About every two weeks, you should test your pool water chemistry to determine if the pH is balanced and whether you need chlorine.
However, seeing the messes that can accumulate in your pool is not as easy with a black-bottomed pool. Unless the leaves that fall on the water’s surface are bright orange, red, or yellow, how are you supposed to spot them? You probably won’t.
Little insects swimming on the top of the water, such as ants, flies, or cockroaches, can get by unscathed because you won’t be able to see them. Dirt will be imperceptible to you as well.
You’ll still skim, but try as you may, you won’t get everything.
What you miss on the surface of your pool will eventually sink to the bottom. We had mentioned earlier that one of the only ways to see the bottom of your black swimming pool is with an overhead view, such as from a diving board.
Still, it’s not like you can stand on your diving board and clean the pool, which means you’re doing it blindly. It’d only be when you took a dive to the bottom of the pool and felt dirt and goodness only knows what else underneath your feet that you’d know you have to do a deeper cleaning next time.
One of the areas in which black-bottomed pools are easier to maintain than lighter-colored pools is that the former is less likely to have algae. This is because algae can only survive in sunlight. True black bottomed pools don’t allow light to penetrate, but lighter-colored ones like a gray pool do, at least to a degree. Thus, algae could still develop.
Still, you wouldn’t have the rate of algae that a homeowner with a lighter-colored pool would. Plus, green algae would stand out due to the darker waters, so you could remove it quickly.
Do Black Bottom Pools Stain Easier?
Pool stains come in all colors, black being chief among them. A dark-colored stain in your swimming pool could be caused by microbial dye, especially if you have a vinyl liner. Microorganisms stain the pool, leaving scars behind.
Black algae, which can resist chlorine, can also develop in the pool, as can metal stains. But, of course, in a black bottom pool, you wouldn’t see any of these stains, for better or worse.
However, pink stains will be much more noticeable against a black backdrop. What causes pink stains in the pool, you ask? That, too, could be due to bacterial dying, especially in PVC or vinyl pool liners. By chlorinating your pool, the pink stains should disappear, but they can recur without treating the bacteria.
You’d have to super chlorinate the pool, but even that might not be effective. At worst, pink stains would require you to replace your pool liner, which is time-consuming and expensive.
Are Black Bottom Pools Warmer?
For some pool owners, diving into a cold pool on a hot summer’s day is the best thing ever. Others begin shivering and pruning after a few minutes in the water, which is no fun. It’s for the latter camp that black bottom pools are an excellent choice.
The reason you aren’t supposed to wear dark colors when it’s hot out is that black absorbs sunlight more quickly than lighter colors. The same phenomenon happens in your black swimming pool. The dark color of the concrete or the liner absorbs sunlight so that the pool is always several degrees warmer than a pool with a lighter-colored liner.
This can prevent you from having to manually heat your pool, which will reduce your electricity bills.
Are Black Bottom Pools Dangerous?
We have to go over the biggest risk of black bottom pools, and that’s safety. As we talked about earlier, the blackness of the pool all the way to the bottom can disrupt your depth perception.
Someone swimming in your pool can panic, which puts them at risk of drowning. Another potential issue is someone can assume the pool is deeper than it is and dive in head-first, injuring and potentially paralyzing themselves.
Children and pets will likely not do well in a black bottom pool, so wait until the kids are older before getting one of these swimming pools installed. Always keep your dog inside.
Another health risk with black bottom pools is that you never know who you’re sharing the pool with. On very hot summer days, the local wildlife can go into your pool to cool off.
At the very least, that can mean swimming with a mouse or squirrel in the pool. If you live in Florida or another southern state, then you could be sharing the water with a crocodile! We’re sure we don’t have to tell you how dangerous that would be.
Black swimming pools are taking the world by storm, and rightfully so. These pools, with their colored fiberglass surfaces or vinyl liners, make the water look fascinatingly dark. While the dark color of the pool resists algae and stays warmer, it can be harder to maintain a black bottom pool, and there are safety risks to keep in mind as well.
We hope this article helped you decide whether you should get a black bottom pool!