Last Updated: August 25, 2021

Dark Bottom Pools (Color & Material Options)

Written By: Pool Care Guide

Black bottom pools are the latest in backyard trends. If you’ve never seen one, their name says it all. Instead of a traditional pool bottom color such as concrete, white, or blue, these trendy pools have a dark-colored base. 

Before you write this style off as too avant-garde or not for you, know that there’s plenty to love about black bottom pools. They look incredible when finished, and the dark reflection they add to a yard is both beautiful and mysterious. 

Installing a pool in your house is a significant decision, and you may be undecided about whether to go dark. To help you make up your mind, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about the pool trend sweeping the nation. 

Black Bottom Pool Colors

Let’s start by taking a look at a critical pool component: surface color. Black bottom pools are available in several different dark tones. No matter what your preference, you’re sure to find a hue you like. 

A quick note to anyone considering them: before building, you’ll have to check with your municipal department to ensure you can complete the project. Some municipalities do not permit black bottom pools. 

Black

If you want a truly dark pool surface, there are several black hues from which to choose. Of all the dark surface options, black is typically going to give you the most dramatic results. 

However, if you’re concerned about seeing the pool bottom (which may be the case in homes with pets or children), you can work with lighting to change this. 

Lighting is also a crucial feature if you decide to install an indoor black bottom pool. Inside, dark pools seem even darker due to the lack of natural light, so you’ll have to find the best lighting to make your pool inviting. 

Grey

Grey tones run the gamut from silver to almost black, and they’re excellent for enhancing the blues of your pool water. Grey is perhaps the least dramatic of all the color choices, especially if you choose a lighter grey. The reason is that with grey, your water will still be blue-looking. 

Dark Blue

Blue is a dominant shade in pool construction, and darker shades can help you achieve the black bottom vibe without fully committing to it. What’s nice about dark blue is that it’s easy to find a shade that suits your preferences, and blues also favor many different pool materials. 

Another advantage? The right dark blue can make you feel like you’re sitting by the ocean, even if the nearest beach is hundreds of miles away.  

Green

Lastly, a somewhat surprising color for dark bottom pools is green. Green is less popular than the ones mentioned above, but they work very well for anyone searching for the perfect lagoon vibe for their yard. 

Green colors look amazing in yards with lots of foliage, and because this color is naturally found in the environment, greens can also help a pool blend more seamlessly with nature. 

Popular Black and Dark Bottom Pool Finish Choices

We want to help you find the right dark bottom pool finish, so we've found some popular brands of pool finishes and transformed them by adding a blue fade into the images. It's our goal to simulate what those finishes might look like under several feet of water.

PebbleTec

PebbleTec Finishes are broken down into four separate product lines: Pebbletec Original, PebbleSheen, PebbleBrilliance, and PebbleFina.

Black Pearl (PebbleTec), Black Galaxy (PebbleFina), Black Marble (PebbleTec), Black Onyx (PebbleSheen), Midnight Blue (PebbleTec), Ocean Blue (PebbleSheen), Emerald Bay (PebbleTec), Turtle Bay (PebbleSheen)
Sapphire Galaxy (PebbleFina), Majestic Sound (PebbleBrilliance), Prism Blue (PebbleSheen), Tropicana (PebbleBrilliance), Deep Cove (PebbleBrilliance), Tropical Breeze (PebbleTec), Blue Surf (PebbleSheen), Clearwater (PebbleBrilliance)
Steel Grey (PebbleFina), Blue Granite (PebbleSheen), Seafoam Green (PebbleSheen), Emerald Galaxy (PebbleFina), Bordeaux (PebbleSheen), Tahoe Blue (PebbleTec), Aqua Blue (PebbleSheen), Sparkling Water (PebbleBrilliance)
Caribbean Blue (PebbleTec), Crystal Harbor (PebbleBrilliance), Desert Gold (PebbleSheen), Shoreline (PebbleBrilliance), Egyptian Sands (PebbleFina), Sandy Beach (PebbleTec), Irish Mist (PebbleSheen), Blue Wave (PebbleTec)
French Grey (PebbleSheen), Oasis (PebbleBrilliance), Moonlight Grey (PebbleTec), Slate Blue (PebbleSheen), Aqua Falls (PebbleBrilliance), Blue Lagoon (PebbleTec), Creme De Menthe (PebbleTec), Vivid Shores (PebbleBrilliance)
Grigio (PebbleFina), Jade (PebbleTec), Glacier Bay (PebbleBrilliance), Soft White (PebbleTec), Fresca Verde (PebbleFina), Bella Blue (PebbleFina), White Pearl (PebbleTec), Acquos (PebbleFina)

Black Bottom Pool Materials 

Black bottom pools are available in all three main pool types: fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl liner. Let’s go over the main differences between the three to help you make the best decision for your home. 

Fiberglass

If an impact is your goal, a fiberglass pool could be right for you. With fiberglass, you can choose from any color hue you want, and the colors are more intense than those of concrete or vinyl liner pools. Black bottom fiberglass pools will illuminate your backyard, and they also tend to have a bit of sparkle. 

Concrete

If you want the dark bottom look without having a totally black base, concrete can help you achieve that goal. You can dye a concrete pool in any of the colors mentioned above, but you’ll get slightly less pigmentation than fiberglass options. 

Concrete also allows homeowners a certain degree of flexibility with their designs. For example, adding dark tile is an excellent way to give your pool a more mysterious effect. 

Keep in mind that most pool dyes last about ten years, so you have a bit of leeway to change things down the road.  

Vinyl Liner

As with concrete and fiberglass pools, vinyl liners are available in many black shades. You can also customize them with designs such as marble or mosaics. 

The indecisive pool owner may opt for a vinyl liner pool, which only lasts a few years before needing replacement (typically between five and nine years). So if you’re on the fence or end up deciding that the dark look is not for you, it’s much easier to get the color you want than it would be with a fiberglass pool. 

The one significant downside to vinyl liner pools is that they are susceptible to fading if you use too much chlorine in your pool. Fading is less noticeable with lighter colors, but you could very well end up with a color that doesn’t match your black bottom pool dreams well before the time comes to replace it. 

Black Bottom Pool FAQs

Now that you know more about black bottom pool colors and materials, you probably have some questions about whether this type is right for you. Keep reading to find out the answers to your burning black bottom pool FAQs. 

Are They Safe?

The safety of dark bottom pools is probably the biggest concern homeowners have about this pool type. Because the bottom can be hard to see (especially in pictures), some people believe black bottom pools are unsafe. 

This idea is untrue, however. Pool users are perfectly visible, whether you’re in it or near it. Even your children are safe to swim in this type of pool. If you need to supervise a small child, it’s not difficult to do so. 

What can be a safety issue is that black bottom pools fool our depth perception. You may look at one and think it’s deeper than it is. If you opt for a shallow pool, always remind your guests before swimming that it’s not deep enough for diving. 

Another way to avoid problems is by adding a “No Diving” sign and putting depth information around the pool. 

Are They Warmer?

Expect your black bottom pool to be a few degrees warmer than a traditionally colored pool. Dark colors retain heat more than lighter ones, which you’ve probably experienced if you’ve ever worn a black shirt outside on a hot day. The same principle applies to black bottom pools, which retain heat more than their lighter counterparts. 

This added warmth can be a positive or a negative, depending on your circumstances. Some pool owners want to maximize natural heating methods, in which case darker colors are an ally.

However, if you live in a climate with scorching summers, a dark bottom pool may not be the best choice. You’ll likely require a pool chiller, which will add to your overall costs and energy costs. 

Are They Cost-effective?

Let’s face it: pools are expensive, and some homeowners do all they can to construct their pools to cut costs. If price is a concern for you, traditional pool colors are probably your best bet. 

Why? White and blue colors come standard with pool installation while changing colors or surface types do not. Selecting a non-standard pool color is charged as an upgrade, meaning dark colors will raise the cost of your project. 

Do They Change My Swimming Experience?

Sure, a black bottom pool looks different, but you may be wondering if it’s all that different to swim in. 

Aside from the temperature differences mentioned above, black bottom pools are a novelty for many people, making them more exciting to swim in. For some, the thrill comes from having a twist on a familiar environment. For others, not being able to see the bottom enhances the experience. 

Though many people love them, keep in mind that dark bottom pools are not for everybody. If you have Thalassophobia or fear of deep, dark water, swimming in a dark bottom pool may be challenging. Be sure to consult with all family members who will be using the pool before installation to avoid making a costly mistake. 

Does Maintenance Change? 

There are no significant maintenance differences between traditional pools and black bottom pools. Both require you to carry out cleaning the same way. The latter, however, does tend to hide maintenance needs more than the former. 

For example, it’s easier to miss algae in dark bottom pools, which is an issue that needs attention right away. Because the dark color hides minor issues for a while, you’re often left with an unsightly problem when it finally becomes noticeable--such as unattractive blotches on the pool’s surface. 

Conclusion

Black bottom pools offer a unique, sophisticated look that will make you stand out among your neighbors. 

Because of differences in safety, water temperature, and installation costs, they’re not suitable for everyone. They’re probably a better option for single adults without children. 

We recommend doing extensive research before deciding to ensure many years of enjoyable pool use.

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