Picking the Right Plaster for Every Pool

Pool PlasterThe most elegant pools require the most elegant finishes, and when it comes to plaster, you have TOO MANY options. But one of our jobs is to simplify the complex.

In short, there are four main types of plaster that Absolute Pools uses to waterproof your pool, each of which has many variations. They are marcite, Diamond Brite, Hydrazzo and PebbleTec.  Hydrazzo is by far our most common and popular plaster, and we typically use Hatteras Gray and French Gray.


Marcite is white Portland cement and marble dust with your choice of colorant, if desired. This is the oldest and least expensive option, but, as a result, also the least durable. Marcite will typically last 5 to 10 years, and we generally recommend that you don’t use this option unless your budget doesn’t allow the other premium finishes. Marcite starts out bright white, but with colorant, it can be any shade of gray and even other colors. But with so many other, more modern options available, it just doesn’t have the durability that we insist on at Absolute Pools.

Diamond Brite

Diamond Brite is made with natural quartz – one of nature’s hardest and purest minerals. Diamond Brite’s insoluble quartz aggregate is unaffected by the harshest pool chemicals and resists permanent staining, as well.

Diamond Brite is an exposed aggregate, which means it isn’t smooth. With a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years, and with a stunning appearance, it is an excellent choice for some pools. This option provides the best bang for the buck – it is truly beautiful and durable, but it just doesn’t feel as luxurious as our all-time favorite plaster, Hydrazzo (see below).

For more information on Diamond Brite, visit sgm.cc.


The most beautiful pools in the world are surfaced with the hand-polished magic of Aquavations Hydrazzo. It’s the smoothest, richest and most luxurious surface available, formulated from time proven technology and the earth’s finest raw materials. Aquavations Hydrazzo combines naturally beautiful coarse graded crystalline and colored marble, along with white Portland cement and a host of other performance enhancing ingredients to create the ultimate pool coating.

The secret to the Aquavations Hydrazzo finish is the final step – polishing the surface to a brilliant luster, and thereby unlocking the marble’s natural beauty and its extraordinary strength. The finished color is breathtaking, achieving a soothing and color-intensifying effect. Aquavations Hydrazzo is the “smooth sensation” in exposed aggregate pool finishes, friendly to fingers, toes and swimsuits.

Hydrazzo is expensive, but it’s worth every penny. With an expected life of 15 to 20 years, along with a smooth feel and gorgeous looks, Hydrazzo is the right choice for most luxury pools.

For more information, go to aquavations.com.


At the upper-end of the pricing range, Pebble Tec is for clients who have an over-the-top pool that requires an over-the-top pool finish. The only way you can make the pool fancier is to tile the entire interior (which we have never done but look forward to the day when one of our clients wants the ultimate in luxury pools).

PebbleTec provides a textured finish with large pebbles and stone aggregates. Available in a range of colors, this material provides a great non-slip surface and an earthy look and feel. The company also offers three new varieties – PebbleSheen, which uses smaller pebbles; PebbleFina, which uses exceptionally fine, almost sand-like pebbles and a smoother feel; and BeadCrete, which trades out the pebbles for smooth glass beads that catch and reflect light and offer a crystalline appearance.

PebbleTec will last 20 years or more, and is the most durable finish available. It’s smooth and insanely gorgeous, but we feel it’s generally not the best option for most of our clients.

Visit pebbletec.com for more information.

As you plan your pool, Absolute Pools & Waterscapes can walk you through these and other options to help you select the perfect finish for your pool as part of the design process. Serving Nashville and the greater vicinity, we design and build the best residential pools at reasonable prices. If you are in the market for a custom pool, call owner Brad Shuman today at 615-354-1840.


5 Reasons to Add a Custom Swimming Pool to Your Property

Absolute Pools & Waterscapes, located in Nashville, TN, specializes in the design and construction of gunite swimming pools and spas. Here are five reasons to add a custom swimming pool by Absolute Pools to your property:

1) Theyre an investment, really

Most people don’t know that in the right setting, a custom gunite pool is actually a good investment. Historically, gunite and shotcrete pools have added 8% to a home’s value. Most people, even real estate agents, are under the impression that pools have a neutral or negative effect on home value. As a general rule, the more expensive the home, the greater the negative impact from vinyl and fiberglass pools. Conversely, the greater a home’s value, the greater the positive impact from custom gunite & shotcrete swimming pools. The fact is, most million + homes have pools for a reason. Aside from looking great, they have a significant positive impact on value. Even though a pool isn’t the best investment out there, it’s nice to know that rather than losing money by building a custom pool, you can actually wind up breaking even or adding equity on top of the cost of a pool. Your home is one of your greatest investments. Building the right pool in the right setting is like having your cake, with frosting, and eating it, too!

2) We offer great bang for the buck

We use nothing but the finest materials and the best equipment, and we do it with superb craftsmanship. Absolute Pools are among the best custom swimming pools you can get. Paying attention to all the details, our high-end pools impress even the most discerning people. Yet, at the same time, we offer good prices. Our prices tend to be mid-range in the Tennessee pool market. What do you get when you mix the highest quality and craftsmanship with mid-range pricing? You get an amazing product for a great value.

3) They look great day 24 / 7 / 365

Our philosophy is that your pool should always look great. A big part of your enjoyment of the pool happens every time you glance at the pool as you go about life in your home. Whether you are eating dinner inside or outside, reading a book poolside, or having a pool party for family or friends, your pool should always be at its best. After all, if you are going to spend tens of thousands on a pool, it should always look fantastic. For that reason, as well as others, our pools are designed to take the rigors of nature year-round. Most of our clients never winterize their pools, and when they are home, not a day or night goes by where they don’t enjoy the beauty and peace that our pools bring.

4) Absolute Pools reflect… YOU

Absolute Pools puts the power of customization in your hands. You select tile, coping (the stone or concrete material used to cap the pool shell wall), pool interiors, water features, lighting, decking, landscaping and more.

Our custom designs are first done by hand and then by computer. Using technology, you can see what your virtual pool and waterscape world will look like before it’s constructed. If you want or need to change anything, the model gives you the opportunity to see it before it’s built and change it as needed. Because the pool is custom made, you can shape it in a way that makes it a functional work of art– a beautiful pool that reflects your personality.

We excel at customization. If cookie cutter pools are on one side of the spectrum, Absolute Pools are on the other side. Not only can we build anything you can imagine, we’re also really good at helping you figure out your best options. We give frank, honest advice, telling you the pros and cons of each decision. We are pool experts, and we aim to give you the most sensible advice out there. In short, we help maximize the money you spend to give you a pool that is the best reflection of yourself.

5) Theyre fun

While custom pools are, of course, luxurious, they’re also fun, especially for kids and kids-at-heart. Absolute Pools can build-in features that make your pool the place to be. Many of our clients build a luxury pool because they want to create a space for their children to hang out. The best way to keep tabs on your kids is to have them home, and one of the best ways to keep them home is to create a place where they, and their friends, want to be!

Call 615-354-1840 today to discuss your vision for a custom swimming pool to enhance your property and your life.