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What is an Infinity Pool?

Vanishing, Negative, Zero and Disappearing -Edge Swimming Pools

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vanishing edge pool
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Infinity-edge pools are meant to be photographed. They are the ultimate in luxury, taking the concept of a private residential swimming pool to an entirely different level. Done right -- and they almost always are -- infinity pools give the illusion of a sheet of water dropping off over the edge of the property, like a waterfall, although you can't see or hear falling water.

That's because the water doesn't fall. The water that spills over the edge, usually into a catch pool or basin a few feet-or-so below the vanishing edge, is recycled back into the swimming pool. To work properly, an infinity-edge pool requires carefully calculated and maintained water levels, strong, solid construction to support thousands of gallons of water and a level edge over which the water can flow.

The View Dictates

Imagine a lovely vanishing-edge pool in the average backyard that is enclosed by three walls or fences. Depending on where you live, an average backyard might be barely big enough to build a small lap pool, or it could be half an acre or more. What is the view? A field of cows? A wrought-iron fence, and behind it an alley? Your neighbor's faded plastic swing set -- the nice couple whose kids are in college now? A slope or hill that goes up, not down?

This may give you an idea of the types of properties that are suitable for vanishing-edge pools. Likely possibilities: homes and yards on hilltops, with breathtaking views of oceans, lakes, rivers, city skylines, forests, deserts or natural landscapes.

Edge Shapes

While the standard vanishing pool has an edge with a 90-degree angle, infinity edges can take on several different forms. Edges can be sloped, rounded, overhanging or stacked stairs. Materials used for edges can be smooth or textured, since swimmers won't be in the catch basin (at least they shouldn't be). On steep slopes, vanishing edges can be 6 feet or more -- the cascading water creates a dramatic water feature when viewed from below the slope or pool.

Also known as: negative edge, zero edge, infinity pool, disappearing edge, or vanishing edge pools.

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