What is a Sun Shelf in Pool Design?

 In Custom Pool Design

New swimming pool trends emerge each summer and disappear soon after. One swimming pool trend, however, with long standing popularity is the inclusion of a sun shelf.  This pool feature was once exclusive to high-end hotels and resorts, but they are now becoming increasingly popular in custom made pools for your own backyard.

A sun shelf goes by many different names including a Baja shelf, tanning shelf or even a tanning ledge. Whatever name you decide to call it, a sun shelf is a flat, shallow area in your pool, before the deep end of the swimming pool.

Pool owners usually incorporate this feature into their pool for several reasons. One being that a sun shelf is an ideal spot for owners to lounge and tan near the pool because they can be in and out of the water at the same time.  Basically, it allows a pool owner to relax in the water without having to change into your swimsuit, or arduously maneuver yourself on a raft or pool float.

Due to its shallow depth, a sun shelf is also an excellent area for small children, a family pet, or even someone who is handicapped to cool off during a hot summer afternoon. Furthermore, a sun shelf allow you to relax by your pool on a chilly day or early in the morning before the deeper end of pool has a chance to warm up.

The Many Shelf Design Options

Are you considering redesigning your swimming pool? The addition of a sun shelf is a smart choice because it can fit into just about any pool design and come in a variety of size and shape options. With proper planning, a sun shelf has the potential to look amazing. Adding a sun shelf to your existing swimming pool design can bolster its appearance and make your pool more upscale and luxurious.

Many owners of sun shelves include features such as a built-in umbrella sleeve so that you can insert a pool umbrella to enjoy the shade whenever you choose. Some sun shelves can include water massage jets, built in tables and fountains to maximize your relaxation time. In terms of designing your sun shelf, it is a perfect opportunity to incorporate creative use of tiling and lighting in order to make it stand out from the rest of your pool as well as your neighbors’ pools.

Is a Sun Shelf Worth the Cost?

Like any other pool feature, adding a sun shelf comes at a price – in both money and in space. Many pool owners make the mistake of including a “beach entry” into their pool, which has the same feature of a sun shelf but takes up much more space. If your backyard is tight with space, a sun shelf is perfect for you because it takes up less space and can be easily incorporated into different pool designs.

Adding a sun shelf does not cost a lot on its own. But if you plan on adding extra features such as bubblers, massage jets, or built-in tables, then your bill will end up costing more. It is also important to note that renovating an older pool in order to add a sun shelf can increase the cost of this feature.

The Verdict

Whatever the price of adding this feature, there is no denying the obvious advantages of a sun shelf. Adding a sun shelf into your pool design will allow you to get more use out of your pool. When making the decision to purchase this feature, reevaluate how this feature will fit into your family. If you have young children or grandchild, a sun shelf is a safe place for them to get their feet wet on a hot summer day. Also, if you love tanning and relaxing in the sun, then adding a sun shelf to your pool is the perfect choice! Keep up to date with the latest pool trends and tips by following us on HOUZZ.

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