8 Popular Swimming Pool Shapes (and How to Choose the Perfect One!)

There are 10.4 million residential pools in the United States nowadays. And we’re not surprised in the slightest! Swimming pools offer myriad benefits to any homeowner who’s lucky enough to have one.

They’re the perfect places to entertain guests, have fun as a family, relax on sunny afternoons off work, and get some much-needed exercise to boot. Oh, and they increase the value and appeal of your property in the process! One thing’s for sure though:

Not all swimming pools are made equal and different pool shapes have an almighty impact on the overall experience. A key element of pool design, it’s imperative that you pick a style that’s appropriate for both your space and intentions. Would you like to learn more about the various types of pool shapes?

Well, you’re in the right place! Today we’re going through 8 popular shapes of pools and how to choose the best one for your needs.

8 Popular Swimming Pool Shapes

With so many compelling benefits on offer, the decision to install a swimming pool in your home or backyard is easy. The tricky part is deciding how it should look! If you’re finding it hard to settle on the ideal design, these 8 popular pool shapes should provide some useful inspiration to inform your choice.

1. Rectangle Pools

Rectangles aren’t the most inventive pool shapes available, but they’re definitely popular and practical. For one thing, the classic elongated design means they’re ideal for swimming laps, teaching kids how to swim, and playing as a family. You can also fit them into uniform areas, making them well-suited to skinny backyards, apartment blocks, and luxury penthouses.

Make no mistake, the regularity of rectangle pools doesn’t make them uninteresting either! For example, you can play around with different dimensions and depths, and incorporate creative features such as novel step designs, benches, and corner hot-tubs too. As far as their aesthetic appeal goes, rectangular pools tend to be sleek and modern to behold.

2. Geometric Pools

Geometric swimming pools vary in shape and style. The one thing they have in common? Their inclusion of straight, geometric edges creates a stripped-back contemporary effect.

These pools are also a top choice for homeowners who want a non-traditional layout and/or who have a backyard that’s non-uniform in nature. You can incorporate any number of angles and lines to accommodate the precise modern layout you’d like. Expect to pay more for the extra square-footage though!

3. L-Shaped Pools

L-shaped swimming pools fall under the umbrella of geometric designs. However, they’re so popular among homeowners and full of attributes that they deserve a special mention! Shaped (as the name suggests) like the letter ‘L’, you’d enjoy one elongated side that leads down to a shorter one, which cuts away at a right-angle.

Aside from creating a unique aesthetic to complement your backyard, the design offers a versatile space as well. After all, you basically end up with two separate areas to utilize at once! You could be swimming on the longer side of the ‘L’ while your kids play and splash around in the other.

4. Circular Pools

If you’ve got lots of open space to fill outside your home, then you can’t go wrong with a circular pool. They’re visually-appealing ways to break up large areas of land and are perfect shapes for having fun with friends and family. Compared to straight-walled pools, circular models are also cost-effective methods of cultivating significant swimming areas.

Many circular swimming pools also come with covers or enclosures of the same shape. Providing shade on sunny days and keeping dirt/debris out when the pool’s not in use, these enclosures facilitate maintenance throughout the year.

5. Free Form Pools

Otherwise known as ‘radius pools’, free-form swimming pools take a ‘no holds barred’ approach to design! They’re curvilinear in nature, with soft bends, bows, and arcs that often resemble bubbles or clouds. Attractive and unique, these flowing shapes are also a good choice for homeowners who wish to break up hard angles in smaller, square-edged yards.

It’s worth noting that covering free-form pools can prove troublesome though. Due to their irregular shape, it’s near-impossible to find anything off-the-shelf that does the job well enough! For that reason, you’ll need to factor in the cost of a customized cover if you do choose to install a free-form pool.

6. Grecian Pools

There’s no denying the popularity of Grecian pools. They’ve been installed in peoples’ homes for millennia! Imagine a rectangle with internally-rounded corners and that’s what you’d have with a Grecian pool.

Chic, simple, and graceful shapes, the only downside of these pools is how the absence of corners reduces the available space. It’s not the end of the world, but it may make a difference for larger families who love swimming and splashing around.

7. Roman Pools

Simple and elegant, Roman swimming pools are another classic design that takes inspiration from ancient times. Similar to Grecian pools, the basic layout is rectangular in nature. This time, though, the two short ends are rounded outward, which extends the length of the pool.

These semi-circular spaces can serve different purposes. Some Roman pools use them as shallow seating areas, while many incorporate staircases that lead you deeper into the water. In either case, the overall style complements properties with classic architecture.

Don’t fancy the full Roman design? You could install a ‘half Roman’ instead. These pools only have one rounded edge, leaving the other side square (providing a prime location to incorporate a spa as a result).

8. Custom Pools

Although not a ‘shape’ per se, it’s worth remembering that you don’t have to stick to traditional pool styles. Opt to install a custom swimming pool and you can do anything you want! You’d work with a professional to design and build your dream aquatic space.

You could pick and choose the elements you like from each pool shape on this list. You’d also have ultimate say over the hardscaping around the swimming pool and the special features within it (such as spas, fountains, and in-pool seating areas).

Top Tips on How to Choose a Pool Shape

It’s one thing to know about the variety of pool shapes that exist. It’s another altogether to recognize which is right for your home! With that in mind, here are our top tips for choosing the best pool shapes possible.

Audit Your Activities

Start by asking yourself what activities you have planned for the pool. Do you want something for recreational use; for frolicking with loved ones on lazy weekends? Or do you intend to swim lengths every morning, play water polo with your pals, or practice diving?

Your answers to these kinds of questions will play a significant role in determining the right shape for your needs. Remember, different designs are better suited to different activities. Try swimming laps in a small Grecian pool and you’ll see what we mean!

Assess the Size

Make sure you take into account the amount of space you have available as well. After all, anything you install has to fit within it, right? Be realistic about feasible shapes/sizes and select one that complements your yard (without dominating it).

For example, you might want a huge circular pool for hosting epic parties in the summer. But it’d be impractical at best and impossible at worst if you only have a small, rectangular area to fill.

Think About Aesthetics

The appearance of your swimming pool should be in keeping with the general aesthetic of your home. Like buying a new outfit for your wardrobe, it has to make sense from an aesthetic standpoint and fit in with your usual style. Trust us, a Roman pool can look incredible outside a property with classic architecture, but it often seems strange outside one that’s more contemporary!

Consider Your Budget

A swimming pool’s shape has a dramatic impact on how much it costs. That’s why it’s always sensible to think about your budget from the outset too! Cost-effective pools are usually smaller and curved, whereas costlier options are larger, more complex, and have lots of straight-edges.

For the best possible outcome, try striking a balance between function, aesthetics, and affordability. Oh, and work closely with your pool designer. They should be able to offer a rough idea of how much each shape (depending on its size) would cost.

Don’t Forget These Popular Swimming Pool Shapes

Few things in life are more exciting than installing your very own swimming pool! Amazing additions to any property, they provide a sublime space for family fun and increase your home’s value at the same time. However, the tricky part’s settling on a design that’ll deliver the best bang for your buck!

With any luck, the insights and ideas in this article will help out in that regard. Refer back to the popular pool shapes in this post and you should be one step closer to picking one that looks phenomenal and provides the functionality you need. Would you like some professional support designing and building a pristine pool for your home?

At California Pools, we’ve been helping homeowners do exactly that for over 60 years! Locate your nearest design center now and give us a call to get the ball rolling.

Good times guaranteed.
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