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Quebec a trendsetter when it comes to swimming pool personalization

Montreal Gazette

When it comes to backyard enjoyment, no one seems to love pools as much as Quebecers. In fact, of all new pool installations nationwide each year, 43 per cent are in Quebec. The province also has the largest number of swimming pools per capita in North America.

“We’re ahead of California and Florida, where the climate is more favourable to owning a pool,” said Hélène Côté, senior director of marketing strategy for Val-Mar, the concrete-pool building company that offers design and construction services. “But here our summers are so short, so people want to make the most of them, and one of the best ways to do that is to install a pool.”

Our province’s obsession with pools means a look at the Quebec market is a sure-fire way to learn about the ongoing trends in pool design. So what’s most popular these days? Customization is king.

“When we talk about trends, it really boils down to personalization,” Côté said. “It’s all about what’s tailor-made because the swimming pool must be perfectly integrated with its environment and supported by its surroundings like patios, green spaces, furniture, accents, and everything else that goes into creating the perfect outdoor space.”

Concrete construction

Concrete building techniques have opened up a world of possibilities for customization. Concrete is ideal because it can take any shape or form: square, rectangle, round, bean, and more. What’s more, the dimensions can be adjusted to fit the exact size of the yard, whether you’re looking for a standard length, 25 metre swim lane, or a shallow basin.

The range of available styles also varies, from sleek linear pools to infinity pools.

“There are many benefits to opting for a concrete pool,” Côté said. “They’re solid, waterproof and durable; it’s actually a preferred composite material for strength and durability. It allows experts to build a monobloc structure that guarantees the strength and longevity of the pool.”

Marinal system

In addition to installing traditional sprayed concrete pools, Val-Mar is also the exclusive Quebec dealer of the patented Marinal system, which allows the concrete to be poured in a single step. The concrete used by Marinal comes from concrete plants certified in accordance with European standards, and follows the technique of reinforced concrete formwork used for civil engineering structures such as bridges, hydro dams, and reservoirs. Pouring the concrete in one piece creates a completely watertight structure that’s exceptionally durable.

“The concrete density is uniform, without jointing and without connections,” Côté said, “so there’s no point of fragility and no risk of leakage.”

Concrete’s ability to create custom designs also allows pools to be built regardless of the type of terrain, whether it be a smooth level yard, or sloping, wooded, or rocky terrain.

Semi in-ground pool

The popularity of this type of pool has been steadily on the rise in the last few years as it’s practical and suitable for a range of terrains and it allows for a stylish look to be achieved.

As its name suggests, the semi-inground pool consists of a pool in which one section is buried beneath the ground, and the top section is elevated and visible.

“Even if it requires stabilizing the ground that will accommodate it, or to make a surrounding terrace, this work is generally less onerous than a full in-ground pool,” Côté said.

And the esthetic advantages of a semi-inground installation are huge, she added.

“People surround them with terraces, gardens, and accent materials — most often with wood finishes, stone, and ceramic,” Côté said. “This type of pool fits perfectly and really contributes to the overall look and character of a home’s exterior.”

Infinity and mirror pools

While they are traditionally associated with exotic vacation spots, infinity and mirror pools have been growing in popularity for residential properties for a few years. Infinity pools’ vanishing edge design, in which water overflows at one section of the pool before being recirculated, creates a chic and streamlined visual.

Reflective pools, on the other hand, allow water to cascade down all sides where it is continuously recirculated back into the pool. The effect is an ice-like mirror surface.

“They work in any type of yard but they’re great for small spaces because the reflective properties make the whole space appear larger,” Côté said.

High-tech pools

In addition to trendy styles and materials, another growing part of the pool industry is technology. Smart pools, in which homeowners can control lighting, temperature, filtration systems, and more via an app on their smartphone has opened up a new category.

“Even the water chemistry of your pool can now all be remotely controlled via a smart device, saving you both time and money,” Côté said.

With improvements in technology, construction techniques and materials, pools are becoming more advanced all the time — and thanks to the customization techniques available today, every homeowner can have his/her dream backyard pool.

For more information, visit val-mar.com


This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Val-Mar.