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Plaster vs. PebbleTec®

Pool Finish Choices – Plaster vs. PebbleTec 

If you’re considering resurfacing your pool or building a new pool in your backyard, one of the biggest decisions is what product to use for the interior surface.  Factors that should play into your decision are your yard’s natural surroundings, how much pool maintenance you’re willing to do, durability and cost.  This article discusses the two most popular types of pool surfaces, plaster and PebbleTec® finish.


Standard pool plaster is the most well known style of pool surfacing.  Most older pools have traditional plaster as an interior finish.  The standard marble-based mix has been around since the 1960’s with many improvements over the years. While plaster is much less expensive compared to a PebbleTec® finish, it has a few drawbacks to be aware of.  It is highly susceptible to discoloring, staining, and harboring bacteria due to the porous nature of the material.

As a result, more chemicals are required to maintain a balanced water chemistry in a plaster pool. However, if a plaster pool is well maintained, then the above concerns will take years to develop into issues.
A plaster pool should be re-plastered approximately every 5 years.


PebbleTec® is a newer finish that has become popular in the last couple of decades for good reason. While it is more expensive than plaster, it is the highest quality pool resurfacing material available due to its longevity and ability to hide chemical residue. PebbleTec® comes in several aggregate types and many color shades ranging from tan to blue/green.

PebbleTec® is made from specially formulated cement blended with pebble aggregates. The pebbles make up the majority of what you see, and a PebbleTec® surface actually looks like the bottom of a creek or a riverbed. It’s a little rougher on your feet than plaster, and if that is a concern, you can check out PebbleSheen® which is very similar to PebbleTec® but has a smaller aggregate. There are multiple options of finishes through the PebbleTec® family.

A PebbleTec® surface should last 20+ years with the proper care and maintenance.

What is Plaster? This video excellently describes what pool plaster is and why you should consider PebbleTec®, PebbleSheen®, PebbleFina®, PebbleBrilliance, PebbleBreeze, or PebbleEssence, pool finish materials for remodeling and new construction.

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