There’s nothing quite like soaking up the sun and cooling off in the water during a relaxing day at the beach. Beach lovers were some of the first to bring that experience home to their backyard with the beach entry fiberglass pool. Previously only available in custom gunite or modified vinyl pools, or at high-end resorts and waterparks, Thursday Pools began to offer residential inground fiberglass pools featuring a beach entry. The Sandal and the Grace beach entry designs (Patent US 10,472,839) continue to be popular among pool owners.
“Beach entry” and “zero entry” are terms used interchangeably to describe inground swimming pools designed with a long, gradual entry down a slight non-slip slope from ground level into the water rather than traditional steps. Mimicking the feeling of walking into the ocean, initial entry into the pool begins dry, or with “zero” water. Thursday Pools did just that with our patented (US 10,472,839) fiberglass zero entry pool designs.
Do you love luxury? When it comes to inground fiberglass swimming pools, resort-style features let homeowners bring the lavish joys of a paradise vacation to their own backyards. There are plenty of things you should know before taking the plunge, however, including extra benefits of a beach entry you may not have considered yet.
A beach entry pool is possible in gunite (or concrete), vinyl, and fiberglass. Take a closer look at the beach entry options available for each type of pool and see what makes them unique. Thursday Pools features two unique designs of zero entry pools to meet personal preferences with multiple sizes to accommodate yards of various sizes.
Adding a beach entry fiberglass pool is just one way to bring resort-style living to your backyard paradise. But as awesome as they are, beach entries may not be for everyone. Take a look at some of the most notable pros and cons of zero entry fiberglass pools to decide if including a beach entry in your pool project is right for you and your family.
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We’ve worked hard to design fiberglass pools that give swimmers a true beach entry experience. Our beach entry designs have you beginning at a point of zero water before walking down a very slight slope for a gradual entry.
Let’s take a closer look at some fiberglass pool designs that might have a similar feel to a “beach entry,” but don’t necessarily offer a beach entry pool experience.
Simple Step. Some pool designs touted as a “beach entry” actually have a four-inch step down onto a large landing area or sun ledge. While these are nice designs, they are not what we would consider a beach entry. The four-inch step down may not seem like a lot, but it also doesn’t take into account the thickness of your pool coping or cantilever concrete which sits on top of the pool shell. With the average height of pool coping being four inches, that takes your initial step into the pool to eight inches total. Once your pool is installed, you’ll realize you have quite a distance to step down before you actually get to the “beach.” Children, seniors and any swimmers less than steady on their feet may have a hard time safely navigating this type of entry.
Sloped Tanning Ledge. This version also begins with a four-inch step down onto a sloped tanning ledge. Again, this design does not have the same effect as a beach entry. You’re not starting from a dry point and stepping into water—you’re in water from the point where the pool begins. The same coping height applies to this design as well, making your first step an eight-inch drop onto a wet, sloping surface. This option also fails to offer the luxury of the zero entry beach experience and can make it tricky for both people and pets to safely enter and exit the pool.
Many individuals considering a beach entry or zero entry pool are doing so not only for the exquisiteness of the design, but also for the ease of entry and accessibility. You may be disappointed if you are expecting no step down into the pool but, in the end, you have one.
A Thursday Pools beach entry pool can transform your backyard, creating a place for beach-themed parties, summer celebrations, and family staycations for years to come.
Do you love being on the cutting edge of the latest trends? When it comes to inground fiberglass swimming pools, resort-style features such as tanning ledges, waterfalls, mood lighting, and now beach entry designs have enabled homeowners to bring the joys of a vacation to their own backyards.
There are plenty of things you should know before taking the plunge, however, including hidden benefits of beach entry or other factors you may not initially think of when considering a fiberglass pool.
They aren’t inexpensive.
All of the awesomeness does come with a price. Just like any other feature you might want included with your new pool, such as a tanning ledge, wet deck or flowing fountains, beach entry fiberglass pool designs will add to your new pool’s costs. Zero entry designs are typically more expensive than standard pool entry options such as steps or ladders. However, until recently, beach entries were only found in fully custom gunite pools or highly modified vinyl liner pools and weren’t an option for fiberglass. Now more-affordable fiberglass options are available for beach entry swimming pools. Get an accurate estimate by connecting with a Thursday Pools independent dealer in your area, or use our helpful Pool Cost Calculator to receive a ballpark estimate for your pool project.
They’re incredibly pet-friendly.
If your “fur babies” love to swim, a beach entry fiberglass pool is a great option for your family. But especially for older dogs and pets that aren’t great swimmers, the zero entry design allows them to wade in only up to their own comfort level. The gradual beach entry slope makes it easy for them to both enter and exit the pool on their own. And their claws won’t scratch or damage the fiberglass gelcoat surface!
They have a special entry to account for.
That special entry is your beach entry pool’s defining feature, and your pool deck surrounding the entry and exit point will need to be thoughtfully planned out. Because the beach entry slopes from the ground level, you’ll want to be sure your plans incorporate the slope into the pool deck’s landscape, concrete, pavers, or other materials.
They come auto-cover ready.
The Thursday Pools’ Grace beach entry pool design comes auto-cover ready. Automatic pool safety covers can be a smart choice for inground pool owners. They help to ensure no one can enter the pool without your knowledge while also reducing the time you’ll spend on upkeep and lowering maintenance costs.
They take up some space.
Because the gradual grade of a beach entry does not exceed a 1:7 slope, meaning one inch of depth requires seven inches of length, it can take quite a bit of space to achieve considerable pool depth. For example, a traditional beach will need to span 28 feet in length to reach a four-foot pool depth.
Last, but certainly not least: They’re absolutely luxurious.
If you’re looking to create a resort-style, luxurious feel to your backyard oasis, a beach entry fiberglass pool may be the perfect option for you. The disappearing slope of a beach entry conjures up images of long lazy days at the beach with the whole family together, the water gently lapping at your ankles and the feeling that vacation will never end.
Until recently, built-in beach entries were not available for fiberglass pools. For many years, fully custom gunite pools were the only way for families to have a beach entry pool in their own backyards.
Beach entries are now available across all three of the common inground pool types.
With patented fiberglass beach entry pool models (US Patent 10,472,839), zero entry fiberglass pools are available in both rectangular and freeform styles from Thursday Pools. They are generally more affordable than beach entry pools in other inground pool types, and can include other built-in features like wrap-around benches and large swim-outs.
While fiberglass beach entry pools do still require a good amount of space, they’ll take up a bit less than a gunite beach entry pool because they can feature a shorter beach entry that leads to a few steps into the pool.
A beach entry can theoretically be achieved with a vinyl liner pool, but most builders and installation experts would likely steer you toward considering concrete or fiberglass if it’s an important feature for you. Vinyl liners require the weight of water on top in order to stay in place, so the shallow nature of a beach entry isn’t necessarily ideal for the structure of vinyl pools.
FIBERGLASS BEACH ENTRY POOL DESIGNS
It’s a beautifully designed fiberglass beach entry pool with a curvaceous, free-form shape.
The Sandal is available in two sizes:
Check out some of the Sandal features you’ll enjoy most.
Take a 360-degree tour of the Sandal inground fiberglass beach entry pool design.
See where the water will come up to in different areas of the pool.
Hear from real customers and what they think about the Sandal.
Evoking its namesake’s simple elegance, the Grace gives you the full feel of a beach with its zero entry experience in a luxurious and refined rectangle-shaped design.
The Grace is available in three sizes:
Check out some of the Grace features you’ll enjoy most.
Take a 360-degree tour of the Grace inground fiberglass pool design.
See where the water will come up to in different areas of the pool.
Adding a beach entry fiberglass pool is just one way to bring resort-style living to your backyard paradise. But as awesome as they are, beach entries may not be for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable pros and cons of zero entry fiberglass pools to decide if one is right for you and your family.
Pro: Ease on in
Fiberglass beach entry pools provide easy access to the pool, especially for young ones just learning to love the water and those who may need to slowly acclimate themselves. Small children can gradually work up the courage to enter the pool depth a few inches at a time, while adults and seniors can enjoy the safety of a non-slip surface that’s easy on the knees as it descends without stairs or a ladder.
Pro: Great for growing families with a depth for all
Having the flexibility to lounge and play in anywhere from just inches of water to three feet and more makes beach entry pools great for growing families. The shallow area is perfect for babies and toddlers to splash in while the deeper areas are great for those who want to dip in more than just their toes. The varying water depths provide everyone in the family the ability to wade in, hang out, and swim at a water’s depth that’s comfortable for them. Whether your family includes toddlers, tweens, or teens, everyone will find a spot they love. Fur babies will love the ease of entry and exit, too.
There are no stairs or ladders in a beach entry pool. The gentle slope of a beach entry fiberglass pool makes it easier for everyone to access the water. Many families are familiar with a “plunge and pass” approach in which one parent plunges into the pool first while the other parent passes the child from the sidelines into the pool. It can be a complicated process or take some coaxing. With a beach entry fiberglass pool, parent and child can both gradually enter the pool together, hand in hand!
Pro: a spot to chill—and a place to party
Families love the versatility of a fiberglass beach entry pool. Sometimes parents just need a timeout. In your zero entry pool, you can chill out on a pool chair with a good book and still be just an arm’s reach away from the kiddos.
For special occasions—or any reason whatsoever—an inground pool provides a place for the whole family or the entire block to gather, and the ideas for beach-themed parties are endless. You’ll find you’ll never run out of reasons to celebrate at the beach in your own backyard.
Con: Swim space is somewhat limited
Since they are built in a factory-controlled environment and then taken to the installation site, fiberglass pool designs have size restrictions due to transportation limits. In order to create a beach entry pool design, we need to create a long, gradual entry, which takes up part of the overall swim space. In our Sandal Beach Entry design, the beach entry extends approximately 14 feet out into the pool area at its longest point. In our Grace Beach Entry design, the beach entry extends approximately 15 feet, 5 inches into the pool area at its longest point. The remaining portion of the pool designs are dedicated to swim space. However, if you love lap swimming, you’ll need to trim your laps shorter on account of the entry requiring more space to reach the pool’s full depth.
Beach entry fiberglass pool models have an expansive and shallow lounging area that can be difficult for pool builders to pack and backfill properly. This difficulty is a problem for all fiberglass pool designs with large shallow lounging areas or tanning ledges. Ensuring your tanning ledge is properly backfilled and installed is important. The Thursday Pools Backfill Eliminator® is one solution, and many of our independent dealers and installers have more methods of backfilling these areas. However backfill is approached, it is a topic that you will want to cover with the installers to ask them about their technique.
Con: Water run-off
A standard pool deck slopes away from the pool and descends typically one-quarter inch per foot. This allows for rainwater and run-off to fall away from the pool, which aids in keeping away dirt and debris that may find its way onto the deck and into the pool water. Because of what a beach entry (or zero entry) pool is, the pool deck on the entry portion will slope into the pool. Consequently, that area of the pool deck will allow for rainwater and run-off to enter the pool. For most, this won’t pose any notable problem. However, if you plan to have a lot of trees or landscaping around your pool area where debris will regularly fall onto the pool deck, then it may be something you consider and discuss with the pool builder. In this situation, a properly installed deck drain could be an effective solution.
Con: Not ADAAG compliant
Not all beach entry pools are ADAAG compliant. While they offer assistance and certainly make pool access easier for individuals with disabilities or those who may have a challenge with stairs, they do not meet the Americans with Disabilities Act’s accessibility guidelines regarding ramp slopes, handrails, or landings. For more information on those guidelines, visit www.access-board.gov.