Infinity pools, also known as infinity-edge pools, create the illusion that they extend into the horizon. In the past, these dazzling designs were typically only present at high-end resorts. Now, it’s possible to install one in your own backyard. Because of their unique design, many people wonder how exactly an infinity pool works. The concept is relatively simple to understand but requires an experienced builder to execute properly.
An infinity pool creates the illusion of extending to the horizon through the use of one edge that is lower than the others. This edge also has a sloped top that water flows over. Using blue tiles on the edge can add to the aesthetic by highlighting the water and the sky as they merge together.
When viewed from a distance, it looks like there is no wall here at all. This leads many people to ask whether an infinity pool is safe to swim in, but it’s important to remember that the pool is still fully enclosed. Although water flows over the infinite edge, the wall is still in place and, provided other pool safety rules are followed, swimmers are safe to swim near it.
Of course, it wouldn’t be safe or practical for water to simply fall off the edge of the pool into the space below. This would quickly flood the area and create a hazard for any property below the pool. Instead, infinity pool builders create a catch basin, also known as a drain basin, below the infinite edge. Water flows from the main pool into this basin, where it is redirected into the pool’s circulation system. From there, it is redirected back into the swimming area above.
Although the catch basin is not typically visible from the deck, you’ll be able to see it when you swim to the edge of the pool or if you look down near the edge. Different pool owners and designers approach the catch basin differently. Some use grates to protect the water from any debris, and this may be more practical if you cannot easily reach the area to clean it. On the other hand, some prefer to keep the aesthetic as close as possible to the main pool.
Because of their unique design, infinity pools may not be suitable for every backyard. You will typically need to have some sort of elevation change for an infinite edge to be practical. Properties on a hill, especially those with gorgeous views, are better candidates than a typical backyard pool in a suburban neighborhood, for example. On the other hand, a very steep slope can make the job more difficult and increase the cost. An experienced pool builder can help you adapt your vision to what is realistically possible within your outdoor living space.
At Pools by Design, we have the expertise necessary to build stunning and functional infinite-edge pools. We can also add a variety of other high-end features that will make your backyard feel like a luxury resort.