Pool Tile and Deck Guide

As summer winds down and the fall months start to slowly bring the scorching temperatures down to a heat that we can handle, you may have finally reached the end of your rope. You have made the decision to not go through another season of unbearable heat without a pool to help cool your body and your temper, and because you understand the supply issues the entire country has been dealing with, you have probably already started the construction process. As a matter of fact, you may right now be at the point of choosing finishing touches such as the tiles that will trim your crystal-clear pool and the decking that surrounds your backyard oasis. These decisions may seem decorative, but the reality is they are very important ones to make, especially as you need the decking to stay as cool as possible and you want something in the pool that makes it look beautiful but is easy to maintain. This guide to Arizona pool tile and deck options will help make the decision easy!

The Jewelry for Your Arizona Pool

Pool tiles come in many shapes, sizes, styles, and designs, and although they do increase the beauty of your pool, they also can help in a small way to keep the water cooler, especially when you choose a ceramic or porcelain tile that doesn’t absorb heat. This classic choice comes in every color under the sun, allowing pool owners to get a little crazy, should they choose.

Glass tiles come in small squares and are a little more involved when it comes to installation. Adding an iridescent look to your backyard lagoon, it can take up to four to six weeks to complete the installation, but because the glass is recycled and the end look is breathtaking, it may be the option that makes you happiest! Also available in mosaic, today’s pool owners are discovering that they can add a sea turtle or mermaid to the floor of the pool, upping the cool factor immensely! Mosaic tiles may come in a variety of glass and ceramic and can really add that finishing touch of perfection to your design, just as a pair of earrings or a beautiful bracelet finishes off the outfit you choose to wear for a night on the town.

Our final option for the day is stone tiles, which give your pool an elegantly natural appearance. They can be a little more expensive and require more maintenance, but their simple beauty can change the look of your yard! Stone is porous and water can damage it, so you will need to seal it every couple of years, but if you are good with the extra work, it is a wonderfully natural choice.

Keeping It Cool and Safe

Now it is time to walk over and explore the decking options that are open to you, and as we mentioned earlier, this can be one of the most important decisions you make, as you must consider slipperiness and temperature. Midwesterners are probably used to wood pool decks that surround their above ground pools, but neither are a very good option in the arid desert environment, so we are going to stick to the common desert choices.

The coolest of all your choices will be, of course, the textured spray coatings you see on most of the pools in the state. It offers one of the lower costs and comes in a variety of colors and styles, so feel free to get a little creative! Pavers are another budget conscious choice, again offering a variety of colors and styles to ensure your pool is unlike any other, but some can be too slippery, and others can absorb too much heat, so if you make this decision, we can sit and talk with you about what you need to watch out for and which choices are best.

Our last decking choice of the day can add a dramatic look to your backyard and also happens to be something we have already discussed. Natural stone can “flow” from the pool trim to the pool deck and can create a cohesive look that appeals to all those who crave order and symmetry in their lives! Offering everything from slate to sandstone to travertine—the most common out here in the desert, as it doesn’t absorb heat—the beauty of stone can make your yard the envy of your neighborhood!

So Much More

Your choices for pool tile and decking are only limited by your imagination and your budget, and obviously, the items we talked about here are just the beginning! Give us a call today and let’s work together to create a pool design that will bring you pleasure for years to come.

Pool Features Deep Dive: Seating Options

As you might expect, we are excited about all the modern options you can add to your pool today. What was once basically nothing more than a rectangular hole in the ground filled with water can be magically made into almost any shape or design that the human mind can imagine, and because pools are where we desert dwellers spend so much of our summer months, it only makes sense that we try to make it comfortable and fun to play in. This guide to the different seating options you can have installed in your pool will ensure that you, your family, and all invited guests will want to spend even more time in its watery depths than your neighbors do in their own more boring and less inviting Arizona pools!

The Basics of Arizona Pools

Pool seating has evolved from the small rectangular shelves often found on one side or more, although those are still popular choices, and if you are on a budget, can be an inexpensive addition to the construction. These loveseats are simple to build and are great spots to read, relax, or talk with your friends on the hottest days of summer. If you have a larger pool, go ahead and build more than one; two is average, but remember the only limits to what you can add to your pool are the limits of your imagination. Take it up a notch by shaping the seating area to match the curve of your pool and add a built-in table for a cool spot to lunch or enjoy sipping cocktails with your friends. Leave a hole in the center to install an umbrella and you may never want to go inside your house again!

The Next Level

We mentioned a built-in table in the paragraph above, but why stop there? Built-in bars complete with concrete stools are popular choices these days, especially when you build them in a grotto! Swim under the cave-like covering, belly up to the bar without fear of burning under the scorching hot sun, and enjoy the flavors of your favorite tropical drinks with friends.

The Ultimate in Pool Luxury

What used to be known as tanning ledges, built up landings that can be utilized as places to lay and tan, are now often called sun shelves or Baja benches; these can be the ultimate in pool luxury! Add a spot for an umbrella to stay shaded and cool on the hottest days of summer and place one of your own lightweight lounge chairs on the shelf and you have created the most perfect space in your yard. And because we at New Image Landscape and Pools do not subscribe to the belief that less is more, how about considering adding something more permanent to your Baja bench? Loungers created from a variety of materials come in a large selection of colors, giving swimmers the perfect place to lounge while allowing homeowners the opportunity to personalize their backyard even further! Add a small table between two loungers on which you can rest your beverages between sips, invite a few guests, and turn up the tunes; your summer adventures are destined to be memorable ones when you add comfort options to your pool!

A New Direction

This next hint involves more than just a place to sit in your pool, it actually solves access issues for people with mobility problems. The beach entry slope, filled with sand or left to match the rest of the pool’s surface area, is a modern option that combines form and function. Eliminating the need to maneuver slippery steps that are often spaced a little too far apart for shorter legs, swimmers can casually walk into the water much like they would in the ocean. Adding sand gives you an ocean vibe and a soft place to rest your pool chairs, but as we stated above, it is not necessary. Your pool will be accessible, comfortable, and attractive with or without a sandy slope!

Keep It Simple

As you begin the construction process of your new pool, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the sheer volume of decisions that have to be made, so keeping it simple and sticking with a loveseat or two may ease the stress of decision making! We at New Image Landscape and Pools will work with you to help you make your backyard space a dream come true, and when you run out of ideas, we’re here to help! After years of being in the landscape and pool business, we have enough ideas to make your new pool the spot you will never want to leave. Give us a call today!

Luxury Features to Spice Up Your Pool’s Style

It doesn’t matter if you live in a mansion or just want to get the most out of your backyard, a swimming pool is one of the best features you can put into your home. However, after a while, it’s easy for pools to become dull and outdated. Here are some ideas to breathe new life into your Arizona pool area with luxury features.

Add a Hot Tub

One way to add luxury to any pool area is by installing a hot tub either nearby or right off your pool. There are many different styles and colors available, so find the right fit for your space. A hot tub is an especially attractive addition to round pools.

Replace the Tile in Your Arizona Pool

After so many years of wear, tile starts to lack the luster it once had, and the patterns become outdated and boring. Update the look of your home pool with new pool tile and designs. There are lots of different materials to choose from.

Glass tiles are a great choice in sunny Arizona. These highly reflective tiles will glitter and shine every day for you! If you want something more subtle, stone look tiles bring an earthy dimension to your pool. The looks run from sandstone and slate to marble and lapis lazuli. These tiles can also help pull together other areas of your landscaping with the pool. There are many other options for pool tile, only limited by your imagination!

Update Your Lighting

No matter what kind of space someone is designing, lighting is always one of the most critical aspects. It can make or break any area of your house or yard, so choose carefully. Underwater pool lights give your pool more mood and character than just using above-ground lighting. If you’re going to spend the money on underwater lighting, make sure you can change the color and control it all remotely. Underground lighting can be especially effective if you have a fountain in or around the pool that would also catch the light. And speaking of fountains…

Water Features

Making a standard pool into an exciting water feature—or adding one for effect—is a fun and creative process. Depending on how your pool and decking are situated, you can create fascinating fountains and waterfalls in any number of ways. If you’re considering new tile and/or lighting, this would be the time to think about the water feature as well, so the design holds together.

Adding or Changing the Decking

Like lighting, a deck can make or break a pool design. For instance, if you have a grotto pool, you wouldn’t want to add a standard, squared-off redwood deck right on the edge. If you’re going to add wood to the scene, you could consider a rustic wooden bridge or walkway, but mostly you would want to stick to the earthy, rock-like feel of the grotto pool. If you have an infinity pool, you may prefer decking that emphasizes the minimalist qualities of such a pool. Elaborate tiles may take away from the focal point, which is, of course, endless.

Upgraded Pool Heating and Filters

The benefits of an upgraded filter system include convenience, better quality water, and quicker vacuuming. Why spend 30 minutes cleaning the pool and filters if you can spend 15? In the market for a new pool heater? A popular method of heating pools nowadays is solar heating. Solar panels can save some serious money on utility bills.

Salt Water Pools

If you currently have a chlorine pool, you know how damaging it can be. Your skin, hair, and eyes will thank you for switching to a saltwater system. Only about one-tenth of the salinity of seawater, saltwater systems create the chlorine through electrolysis. The small amount of chlorine produced disinfects the water adequately and is much easier on the body. Other advantages? You don’t have to handle chemicals, the water feels silkier, and there is less overall maintenance on the pool.

Although the saltwater system is more expensive initially than a traditional one, over time, you will save money in chemicals and repairs and will do less damage to the environment. If you are considering a saltwater system, contact us about the advantages of a salt-chlorine generator.

Of course, there are other things you can do to make your pool look better. Try new landscaping or add some fire pits and other decorations. Even if you only do one or two of these suggestions, your pool will look refreshed and more inviting. Contact New Image Landscaping and Pools today for more information on adding luxury features to spice up your pool’s style!

Advanced Pool Design Options

Planning a pool is one of the greater joys in life, even if you are just going for the basic options, because you know that at the end of construction, your ordinary backyard will turn into an oasis of cool—at least for most of the summer! Being able to swim under the night sky will cool your core temperature as it eases your mind. We firmly believe that many of our personal problems have been solved by a quick dip, and we often find our Zen moments as we strain the pool for leaves and debris; standing by the pool, mindlessly reaching out with net and pole is strangely calming! And because less is never more when it comes to pools, for those of you that are considering something more, these advanced pool design options are guaranteed to increase your delight; your backyard can be something all the neighbors will dream could be theirs.

Infinity Edge

When you want a touch of the dramatic, an infinity edge will make your pool stand out from all others. Offering a near-seamless view of the water, as you peer out into the landscape of your backyard, it appears to be one with the land and the views of beyond. An infinity edge also offers an easier way to keep the surface of your pool clean, as the entire edge of the pool acts as one big skimmer.

Negative Edge

A negative edge pool is similar to the infinity edge with the difference being that only one side, or a portion of the pool, drops off into an exterior trough. This particular option will take your breath away if you’re one of the fortunate owners of a home in the mountains; it gives your backyard a view of infinite distance, not unlike the ocean when you stare into the horizon!

Beach Entry

Also called a walk-in entry, the beach entry gradually slopes from the deck as it transitions into the cool blue water of your pool. Providing a safe play area for smaller children to play—while being supervised, of course—it’s also an ideal choice for those with disabilities or those who may have troubles with their knees and/or hips, allowing swimmers to walk into the water without having to manage the steps that are your traditional way of entering a pool. It’s also a great place to lounge in a lounge chair, staying cool as you soak in the rays of the desert sun, perhaps reading that summer bestseller you’ve had on your nightstand for far too long!

Choosing Your In-Pool Seating

In the early days of pool construction, a single bench (often called a loveseat) along one side of the pool was about as good as you could get, but today’s options are only limited by your imagination—and your budget, of course! For simplicity’s sake, today we often find more than one bench, placed in the deepest areas of the pool, giving swimmers a chance to rest, sunbathe, or read if you don’t have a pool float. These benches can also be used for placement of volleyball sleeves and pool lighting, adding more amenities and a luxurious appearance to the body of water in your backyard. Benches placed under grottos are fun, especially as the water tumbles over the side, giving pool occupants the feel of being in a cave behind a waterfall. Offering a touch of romance for young lovers and a touch of adventure for young children who like to pretend they are pirates at sea about to make their mortal enemies (younger siblings, perhaps?) walk the plank!

Other seating areas, however, include tables and chairs that can be built as a permanent structure. Best for larger pools, you can create swim-up bars or entire seating areas that stay dry even as they are surrounded by water. And because needs change, removeable table and chairs are also available.

Resort-Like Pools

We’ve all spent a weekend or more in a big resort, enjoying the amenities, including the waterpark-like pool areas, but did you know you can construct a pool with many of the same extras? Your version may be smaller, offering only one waterslide instead of six, but it can still offer a scaled down version of the fun! Include a lazy river and a romantic bridge, add a residential splash pad off to the side for younger children to enjoy, and of course, the grotto we mentioned before! Fire pits in the water create a much talked about addition, and the shape of your pool can be a conversation piece as well. Musicians have been known to create piano or even, in one particular case, a cello pool using LED lighting to create the frets!

Be It Grand or Simple

Building a pool in your backyard is one of those simple luxuries that fast becomes a necessity for Arizonans. Give us a call today and let’s discuss how we can turn your backyard into the oasis of your dreams!

Enjoy Year-Round Water Fun with a Heated Spa or Pool

Living in the Phoenix area comes with many perks. Offering a beautiful landscape, friendly people, and weather that lets us enjoy our pools almost year-round, there’s no place we would rather live! But the word “almost” bothers us a little, because we know that with an average of 299 days of sunshine in Phoenix each year, we should be able to take advantage of our pools the entire year, not just part of the year. When you add a heater to your pool, install a hot tub in your backyard, or do both, you CAN swim or simmer in bubbles every day of the year! Life just doesn’t get any better than this when you have a heated spa.

Adding a Heater to Your Pool

If you already have a pool, a professional can install a heater to your equipment fairly easily and at a reasonable price. Depending on the size of your pool, heater prices can run about $1000 and up, with installation prices varying according to the installer. If you’re thinking about going that route, give us a call here at New Image Landscape and Pools and we can work up an estimate that will easily fit in your pool budget! If you’re just now planning on digging a new pool in your backyard, adding the heater to your equipment is an easy fix; we bring up the topic of pool heaters at the very beginning of the planning stage, so there are no surprises when the weather cools.

Heated Spa in Arizona?

Although we all know that by August, the pool water can actually feel like a hot tub, or at the very least, a very large bathtub filled with warm water, a hot tub is still something homeowners still consider, and for very good reasons. Once the sun drops behind the mountains in the winter, the air can develop a bite, and soaking in the bubbly wonders of your own hot tub can be a very good thing. Aching muscles, bad backs, or just a bad day at the office are other reasons that adding a hot tub to your property will be the best idea you’ve had since the thought of moving to the Phoenix area entered your mind!

Give Us a Call

The cool days are what keep desert dwellers sane, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop all outdoor fun when the temperatures drop. Give us a call today and let’s start a discussion on adding a heated spa to your life!

Accent Your Yard with Lighting Features

It’s been a long haul, but after months of spending your weekends working on your yard, it is no longer the barren and sterile space you feel the need to ignore as much as possible; today it is an oasis with a crystal blue pool, colorful flowers, and a few structures to add interest and coolness in the desert heat. Beautiful, stylish, and inviting, it’s almost your favorite part of your home—until the sun sets, that is. Offering no other source of lighting than a single bulb on the patio and the LED pool lights, once darkness sets in it’s nothing more than a black hole that forces you away rather than drawing you in. Since you’ve spent all that time and money, wouldn’t you like to make the space inviting at night? It’s easy to do when you accent your yard with the lighting features in this guide!

Porch Lighting

Your choices for porch lighting are numerous and include options you may not have known existed! For those with railings and steps, you can invest in deck post lights, deck rail lights, baluster lights, and even step lights, creating a welcoming glow for the nights when you want to sit outside with a glass of wine and the company of those closest to you. Options for wall lighting also include sensor-activated ones that turn on with movement, stunning ceiling lights, or even exterior ceiling fans that come with lights as well.

Yard Lights

Larger yards offer plenty of space to create pathways that meander through and around your garden and installing path lighting can give your yard the extra boost of light that it needs! Solar path lights are the easiest ones to install and they come in a variety of styles, including our favorite, the lantern. Simply stick them in the ground, let the sun do its magic, and by nightfall your garden will be illuminated in a soft gleam of luminosity!

Up lights can be used at the base of trees, offering a stark beauty that also works to keep burglars from having a place to hide. Fairy lights can be strung in the trees to give your yard a magical appearance and string lights can be hung on the cover of your patio. There will be no reason to be afraid of the dark when all these light options are available!

We Can Help with Your Pool Lights, Porch Lights, and Yard Lights

With lighting, whether pool lights or yard lights, there is a possibility that too much is too much, and too little will never be enough. Give us a call today and we can help illuminate the issue of your incomplete yard!

Saltwater Vs. Fresh Water Pools

There was once a time when pool variances were rare. Homeowners were able to pick from a small selection of chlorine pool styles and then would pay an arm and a leg, wait months for it to be built, and be happy; it’s no wonder the not very efficient above ground pool went through a brief period of popularity! Today, however, is another story altogether. Choosing from styles of all shapes and sizes, surface materials, depths, and even edge styles makes the process a bit more complicated, and when you add the choice of saltwater versus fresh water, it should make you glad that you have us on your side to help you interpret your Arizona pool choices!

The Popular Choice

Although chlorine works perfectly well, the benefits of a salt water pool make them the most popular choice in new Arizona pool builds. Saltwater pools are much better at maintaining the chemical balance needed for clarity and health, and because saltwater pools convert salt particles to chloritic acid, which is the purest form of chlorine, it helps keep the pH levels from fluctuating.

Another saltwater pool characteristic is the lower amount of chloramines that are produced by oxidation; chloramines are the irritants in chlorine that burn your eyes, leaving them red and irritated. And although many people worry that a saltwater pool will make the skin dry and itchy much as a swim in the ocean would, the levels of salt parts per million (ppm) in a pool average about 2800 to 4200; for comparison, salt levels in the sea run about 35,000 ppm. The softer water of saltwater pools leaves the pool running smoother, cleaner, and may help people with skin allergies suffer less reactions.

While a saltwater pool costs more to set up initially, maintenance costs are low enough to help pool owners make up the difference in the long run.

Still a Viable Solution for You Arizona Pool

The startup cost of a saltwater pool can make it difficult for homeowners on a limited budget to afford, so if a chlorine pool is all that your budget can withstand, go with that option. Chlorine pools can be converted to saltwater at any time, so choosing this alternative doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to chlorine forever—you’re just putting it off for a minute or two!

New Image Landscape and Pools Can Help

There are a lot of issues to consider when making the decision to build an Arizona pool in your backyard. Give us a call today and let’s get started on your personal oasis!

Building Heated Pools in Phoenix or Spas for Year-Round Enjoyment

There are more than a few facts that first time residents or visitors do not realize about our state, but the one that seems to surprise them the most is learning that, yes, it DOES get cold in Arizona! No, we don’t get ice storms or blizzards in the Greater Phoenix area, but come January or February, the temps drop, and we bring out our version of winter coats! Fortunately, the really cold snaps last only a few days at a time, but the cooler nights the rest of the time can limit our enjoyment of our pools. Unless, of course, we invest heated pools in Phoenix, or better yet, a spa for year-round soaks, and New Image Landscape and Pools is here to help you with the process!

Pool Heaters to the Rescue

Temperatures can stay in the 100s during the day all the way through Halloween, often picking back up again in April or early May, but the cool temperatures of winter can keep our pools from being comfortable. Too cold to swim in, even as the sun shines brightly overhead, we can’t help but feel annoyed at not being able to enjoy its sparkling blue depths—unless you invest in a pool heater! Offering an extended swim season for a relatively low price, it doesn’t add too much to your electric bill but adds a whole lot of fun to your outdoor adventures!

Spas are More Than Just a Tool for Romance

The best part of hot tubs, in our humble opinions, is being able to use them year-round, even during the hottest days of summer—although you may wait until later at night to enjoy their bubbling waters! Offering a quietly romantic way to spend your date night, their health benefits make the average hot tub a necessity in life! Soaking tired muscles after a long day of manual labor helps limit the need for medication, while the heat and relaxation it offers can help you wind down from a stressful day. If you’re currently building a pool, adding a hot tub during the building process can save you money; it’s a win-win situation for your soon to be backyard oasis!

Give Us a Call Today to Learn About Heated Pools in Phoenix

Your pool parties and date nights deserve the added boost of fun, and we at New Image Landscape and Pools are about having more fun! Contact us today to learn more about our services and heated pools in Phoenix!

3 New Arizona Pool Design Ideas to Make Your Backyard Stand Out

Remember the days when very few people had pools in their backyard, and those that did had to stick to two basic designs? With very few exceptions (Liberace’s piano shaped pool, for one!), the standard homeowner’s pool was built in the shape of a rectangle or a kidney. It made the design process a lot easier to complete but said nothing about the owner’s personality!

Today, however, the only limits to your pool design is your imagination—and your budget, of course! To get you started on the path to innovation, we’ve created this guide to three new Arizona pool design ideas that will make your backyard stand out.

Recessed Lounge Area

Your pool is guaranteed to be the talk of the neighborhood when you include a recessed lounge area that is perfect for socializing, tanning, and staying dry on those days you don’t want to worry about your hair! Built-in concrete seating, cushions, and a built-in table can be the focus of your backyard oasis; just add friends and alcohol (no glass!) and you have the ingredients for a perfect pool party.

Zero-Edge Pools

This breathtaking Arizona pool design idea(also called the infinity edge)has become popular in yards with a view,and your home in the foothills is perfect for the zero-edge look. Seemingly going on forever,as you sit in a lounge chair at the other end of your pool, your view of the valley will be enhanced by the crystal-clearwaters of your new pool. Add a firepit in the center or along the edges and your neighbors will be green with envy!

Create an Oasis

When you really want to impress, your cool new pool offers many opportunities to enhance its natural beauty. From cascading waterfalls to hot tubs to lazy rivers,your backyard will stand out against the sea of ordinary! Add a koi pond and a bridge that crosses the pond for maximum wow factor.Your backyard oasis is the one place in your life that will never let you down.

New Image Landscape and Pools for Great Arizona Pool Design Ideas

Going above and beyond the norm can be a scary experience, especially if you don’t have the knowledge to determine if what you are dreaming about can be done! When it’s time to stop dreaming and start constructing, give New Image Landscape and Pools a call. We have the knowledge and experience to give you the backyard of your dreams!

Pool Features to Add for Summer Fun

In case you haven’t noticed simply by stepping outside and feeling the sun scorching your skin, the summer heat has begun and our days of hiking, biking, and enjoying al fresco dinners have come to a temporary end. For the next 5 or 6 months air conditioning and your brand new pool will be your best friend and protector against the evil desert heat! If you’re in the process of building your new pool, or even if you have an existing pool, these new pool features will ensure your summer will be filled with fun, laughter, and most importantly, much needed coolness!

Adding a Slide

Fun for children of ALL ages—and yes, that includes your 44-year-old husband—a slide adds hours of fun to your pool adventures and offers a great chance to get a little extra exercise in as well! After climbing up the steps, then sliding into the water, then climbing up the steps (you get the idea!), you’ll enjoy the tight muscles on your calves at the end of the summer! And because a slide can be added at any time, as long as you have the room, it’s a great addition to an existing pool.

LED Lighting

Night time is the best time to swim during the hottest days of summer. Even if the water is warm, it still manages to cool down your core to allow you to enjoy a deep and peaceful sleep. And while your existing pool light works perfectly fine, the array of colors available in LED lighting makes your night swimming more fun and provides a beautiful glow to your backyard setting.

Chasing Waterfalls Can Be Fun

The sight of water streaming over rocks is a peaceful one, and when that waterfall is in your pool, it serves multiple purposes. Adding a sense of peace, the sounds of serenity, and most importantly, it can cool the waters allowing you to swim comfortably for a much longer period of time. A pool with a waterfall can add value to your home, and while the procedure for installing one on an existing pool isn’t as simple as adding a slide or lighting, it can be done.

New Image Landscape and Pools Has Your Back

You deserve to be as comfortable as you can during our long and difficult Arizona summers, and we at New Image Landscape and Pools are here to help you achieve that comfort with exciting pool features. Give us a call today and let’s get started on making your pool not just functional, but a fun and welcoming spot in your own personal oasis!