beautiful pool and spa

When undertaking any kind of renovation project, there’s often a whole new set of vocabulary to learn just to understand what exactly will be happening to your space. It can be daunting to learn what may feel like an entirely new language, but it is also important to do so to make sure that you end with exactly what you need. The Liquid Concept Signature Pool & Patio team has put together this dictionary of common pool construction terms to help demystify the process and ensure that you remain informed about what will be happening in your backyard.


An aggregate is a mixture of colored plaster and decorative particles which can be anything from tumbled stones to coated quartz to ground marble.The size and color of the material used will determine the texture and hue of the aggregate surface. Available colors typically include whites, browns, greens, blues, grays, and blacks.


The beam is located at the top of the pool and traces the perimeter shape; this helps identify the perimeter measurement for the pool structure. Once the pool construction is nearly complete, the decorative stone edge or other decorative tiles will be installed just above the beam inside of the pool.

Cantilevered Deck

A cantilevered deck is a pool deck that continues over the edge of the pool. This type of deck does not need to have separate pool coping and is typically made from a single material such as stamped concrete or wooden deck boards. One of the biggest aesthetic benefits of this style is that it creates a clean look for your pool.

infinity pool with blue glass tile


Coping sits on top of the pool beam and traces the shape above the waterline tiles. It can be made out of brick, flagstone, or travertine. If you have a concrete pool deck, the deck will connect to the backside of the material; this is known as the control joint.

Filtration Pump

The filtration pump is the main pump for the pool or spa that pushes water through the system and pool equipment. Filtration pumps are available as single speed, 2-speed, and variable speed pumps, giving you plenty of options so that you can select the one that works best for your needs.


A grotto is an imitation cave, and it can help create a natural look to your pool. Adding a waterfall will also help elevate the beauty of the grotto. In addition, underwater benches can be added and lighted to create a cool hangout for swimmers to rest in. Grottos can be made from real boulders or can be crafted with artificial rock, giving you many options to select a material that best fits the rest of your pool design.


Gunite is an extremely durable type of concrete that can be shot through a high pressure hose. The gunite goes over the rebar framework to make a shell for the swimming pool. Gunite is also versatile, allowing it to be used for a wide variety of different shaped pools, including free-form, geometric, and modern pools.

Infinity Edge

infinity pool

An infinity edge is a design element where one side of the pool is lower than the water level so that the water spills over. When viewed from the opposite side of the pool, the infinity edge gives the illusion that the water continues on endlessly. This illusion works without severely increasing water costs by having the water spill into the catch basin installed below the pool. The water is then recirculated back into the pool. 

Integrated Spa

An integrated spa is a pool and spa combination where the spa is attached to the pool. The spa is generally installed on one corner of the pool and shares the same circulation and heating equipment, which is the main reason the spa is considered integrated rather than separate.

Lap Pool

A lap pool is a long, narrow pool designed for swimmers to exercise in. Backyards that have a narrower construction are perfect for a lap pool, but lap pools can also be added to a larger pool design.


Just like the name sounds, a mister is a water feature that creates a fine, fog-like spray of mist. It creates a mystical atmosphere for your pool while also keeping the pool cool in hot environments.

Natural Waterfall

rock sculpture with slide into a pool

A natural waterfall is made of real rocks and boulders; it gets its name because it uses natural elements in its design. Natural waterfalls can be used to create a gorgeous natural and tropical effect. Artificial rock can also be used when the design calls for an intricate rock formation, particularly if it includes multiple streams and spillways.


Perimeter is the term used to describe the measurement of the pool beam. The perimeter measurement is extremely important for free-form pools as there is no definitive shape. Knowing the perimeter measurement also helps the pool-builders calculate the interior surface area which is important for knowing how much material is needed to line or fill the interior part of the pool.

Raised Spa

As the name implies, a raised spa is a spa that is elevated above the pool surface. It can add a dramatic focal point to the poolscape and can also double as a water feature by allowing the spa water to cascade into the pool.


Rebar is the reinforcing steel or bar that is used to act as a support for the concrete structure. Rebar is used because it bonds well with the concrete used to make the swimming pool’s shell. It is flexible, allowing it to be the perfect skeleton for the concrete to pool to take shape while still giving it a little bit of room to expand and contract with the weather without causing major cracks.

Stone Pavers

Stone pavers are cut and finished rectangular pieces of stone. They can be set in sand or mortared into place on a cement slab. 

Swim-Up Bar

pool and outdoor kitchen area

A swim-up bar is a refreshment area that is accessible from inside of the pool. Swim up bars often include underwater stools and a place to set beverages down safely. Most swim up bars are on the edge of the pool that is next to a sunken patio bar or outdoor kitchen area.

Surface Area

Surface area refers to the square footage of the area inside of the pool. This measurement is typically used to figure out how much square footage of water can be placed inside of the pool. When viewed as a 2D top-down representation, the surface area is represented as the footprint of the pool and determines how much space will be needed to build that particular shape/pool.

Ready to Get Started Building Your Dream Pool?

Now that you’ve got a handle on the basic terminology, you can feel confident in working with the experts to build your dream pool. Our team at Liquid Concept Signature Pool & Patio has the skills and experience to bring the vision of your ideal pool to life. Call us today to schedule a consultation or appointment!