Kidneys, Ls And 8S -- A Family's Guide To The 7 Basic Pool Shapes

25 February 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Thinking of adding a swimming pool to your backyard? It's a move that often adds to home values and certainly adds to the fun and entertainment of the entire family. But it can be hard to know where to start when picking out a pool design. To get you started, here's a quick primer on the 7 basic pool shapes and what each one is best at. 

Rectangle. The basic rectangle pool shape is the original shape and still a very popular choice for simplicity and function. It works well for those who want to use the pool for exercise like swimming laps. Design-wise, a geometric shape like this helps create a formal or modern look. 

Oval. An oval-shaped pool is essentially a variation on the classic rectangle. By rounding the edges, though, you reduce the formality and soften the look of the pool. The symmetrical, clean design is great for families who want to set up equipment for water sports. 

L-Shapes. There are two types of L-shapes in pools: a true "L" with a 90 degree angle and a lazy "L" with a 45 degree angle. Both shapes are good for backyards that may be a short on space. In addition, they work well for families with small children because you can easily delineate between the shallow end (the extension) of the pool and the deeper parts. The extension also creates a natural entrance, which is ideal for a beach entrance or entertainment area. 

Kidney. Shaped like a kidney bean, this type of pool is also good in yards with space limits, because you can contour the pool and fit a larger one in a smaller area. Kidney-shaped pools also tend to look more natural, due to relaxed formality and curving edges. 

Figure 8. This type of pool is simply an oval whose center is narrower than the ends. Like a kidney-shaped pool, it is less formal and emphasizes fun. It also makes a great pool for entertaining, with visual separations of shallow and deep areas and a perfect place for walk-in entrances or tanning ledges. 

Grecian or Roman. Based on classical design, Grecian or Roman pools are rectangles with modified edges. Roman corners are curved while Grecian design has cut-off corners that create an octagonal design. Both styles are highly traditional and make for the perfect complement to a formal garden or a home with lots of classic hardscaping elements. 

Free Form. Free form pools are, as their name suggests, shaped by hand rather than by a set of rules. Free form design is used to create a custom shape or to blend in the pool with existing elements (like landscaping, buildings, fences or entertainment spaces). It looks and feels very organic and fun. 

Understanding the role each type of pool shape plays and how it can be used best will help you get started with your pool design. And by starting with the right shape to create the environment and tone you want in your yard, you can end up with a pool that everyone will enjoy for years to come.