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What’s the difference between polished and exposed aggregates?

Choosing from pool finishes is an important decision when you're looking to remodel your Fort Worth swimming area. There's a range of selections to choose from that can impact the aesthetic appeal of your pool. Plaster and tiles are common options, but aggregate finishes have recently gained popularity among owners who want their homes to look more luxurious.

Typically, aggregates offer an array of colors that can range from vivid to subtle to match the desired appearance of your pool, the National Plasterers Council explained. Aggregates are also much more durable than other surfaces, leading to their growth in usage by many pool owners. However, simply choosing an aggregate isn't a viable move, as it comes in polished and exposed options that offer both similar and different benefits to swimming pools.

Polished aggregates
According to Luxury Pools, this kind of finish contains finely crushed quartz, granite or marble. Once the aggregate mixture is applied to the bottom of the pool, the surface is polished. This process smoothens out the finish and brings out the plaster's shine. The flecks of colored stones give the polished aggregate a glossy, decorative finish that's unparalleled by other surface options like ceramic tiles. In fact, the polish can make the plaster endure years of exposure to pool chemicals.

Exposed aggregates
The composition of this mixture is similar to the polished aggregate, however, it typically contains small river pebbles or glass beads. Additionally, once it has been applied to the pool and is still wet, the finish gets power washed with a mixture of muriatic acid and water. This helps remove the top layer of the aggregate and expose the colored beads or pebbles underneath. The finish adds traction to the bottom of the pool, which can make it safer for people who have issues with mobility. And the various colors allow for a range of combinations to make each surface unique from the next.

Pebble mixtures tend to have a more natural and rustic look that complement the surrounding area, giving your pool a lagoon-like design. Some can even resemble the sand from beaches, making your pool feel tropical. On the other hand, glass bead finishes can sparkle under the sun and moon, creating a nearly three-dimensional effect. The glass brings an interesting elegance to the pool's design and can enhance the aesthetics of your home.