Black Bottom Pools – Are They Worth It?

Black bottom pools have an indisputable air of mystery about them. The name alone conjures up some intriguing imagery even if you’ve never heard of them before. But the reality of these pools surpasses even the most lively imagination. And you’re about to discover what these beautiful pools are, where they excel, and the areas where they might pose some problems. By the end, you’ll know if the pros are strong enough that a black bottom design will be worth it for you.

Pros and Cons of a Black Bottom Pool

A black bottom pool isn’t very different from a standard pool in terms of basic design. The main difference is that the pool utilizes darker colors. Its colors can range from a deep blue or grey all the way to black. This might seem like a small change over standard pool coloring.

The darker colors create an illusion of depth which can radically change how you see your pool.

This also brings with it a number of advantages and disadvantages.

Positives of Pools With Black Bottoms

black bottom pool in a hotel with an infinity edge
In the evening and at night is when a black bottom pool is its most dramatic as the reflection is the strongest.

You’re almost certainly curious about what a black bottom pool has to offer. And talk to anyone who owns one and you’ll get a wide variety of different answers. But the following are among the biggest benefits of a black bottom pool design.

More visually appealing and unique

Black bottom designs give an impression of almost oceanic depths. It’s a beautiful sight, especially under the right lighting conditions. And it’s also rare enough for your pool to instantly become a unique fixture within your home.

Easier to heat

Think about how hot you get if you’re wearing black under the summer sun. The same principle applies to a black bottom pool design. The darker colors soak up heat from the sun and can save you a significant amount of money on heating costs.

More Eco Friendly

Solar’s one of the most eco friendly options around. And as previously mentioned, you’re getting a lot of heat from the sun rather than electricity when you use a black bottom pool design. The sun heats up all of the dark material in your pool. Which will, in turn, heat up the pool water. All without any need for external power.

Can be incorporated into all pool types

Pool accessories tend to be limited to specific pool types. But one of the great things about a black bottom pool design is that it’ll work with all types of pools. There are some minor differences in how well any given material will work with a darker design. Concrete doesn’t take to pigmentation quite as well as other materials. Chlorine can cause the coloring in vinyl pools to fade a little faster than with other materials. And fiberglass gives your darker colors a bit of an extra boost thanks to the inherent shimmer of the material. But for the most part, these are all minor differences.

Hides dirt and algae

Darker colors usually go hand in hand with environments that are prone to dirt, mud, and other debris. Dirt tends to simply fade into the background of darker colors. And that principle holds true for a black bottom pool as well. The style can easily camouflage a little bit of dirt or algae.

dark bottomed pool with grey tiles and concrete coping
The contrast of a black pool against its surroundings is why many choose them, coupled with a light colored coping it can really add to the wow factor.

Black Bottom Pool Problems

There’s no such thing as a one size fits all solution to pool design. What speaks to one person’s style or priorities might do the opposite for another. And there are some solid arguments against the black bottom pool design. What follows are the most significant problems that you might want to consider before going ahead with a new black bottom pool.

Affects depth perception

The illusion of a bottomless pool is one of the design’s biggest strengths. But it’s also one of its biggest problems. Dark pools can warp people’s depth perception and cause them to assume the pool is deeper than it actually is. Children might panic as a result. And adults are at risk of misjudging whether the water is deep enough for a dive.

Some localities have pool pigmentation restrictions

You’ll often run into building restrictions when looking into various pool design options. And the depth perception issues have made black bottom designs especially contentious in many areas. As such, you’ll want to check with your pool builder before getting your heart set on this design.

You need to be more attentive to hidden algae

One of the benefits of a black bottom design is also a detriment. The fact that dark colors can hide dirt and algae is great when it’s just a minor issue you already know about. But this can also cause you to miss algae infestations. And the larger the amount of pool maintenance needed the higher the overall cost to fix it.

Color fades over time

The beautiful dark color of a black bottom pool will fade over time as the elements take their toll. Though you can mitigate this to some extent by going one shade darker than you’d normally prefer. That way the earliest fading will simply take your coloring down to your initial choice.

May be more expensive than a typical blue or white finish

Any pool features which differ from the standard design will typically incur extra costs. And given that most pools are blue or white that means you’ll typically have to pay more for a black bottom pool.

Some find the black look less appealing to swim in

Many people feel that black bottom pool designs are among the most beautiful pool options. But many others disagree and feel that it creates an unappealing atmosphere for swimming. As with most art, this is entirely subjective. But it might be a good idea to talk over the design with your family to make sure you’re all on the same page.

black swimming pool reflecting the sky
Both an advantage and disadvantage of the black bottom is that you cannot see how deep the pool is.

Are Black Pools Dangerous?

The biggest problem with a black bottom pool is that it can be hard to gauge its depth. It’s very easy for people to misjudge how deep the pool is and dive head-first into shallow water. And children are often prone to panic when they can’t see the bottom of a pool. Both of these issues, and similar problems, have resulted in black bottom pool bans in many communities.

Weighing the Options Before Taking the Plunge

You’ve seen that there are some equally compelling benefits and detriments to a black bottom pool design. The simple fact is that this design is a fairly polarizing option. It’s less a question of whether black bottom designs are good or bad choices. Instead, you need to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons for your specific needs. It’s a great design, but you need to decide if it’s also a great fit for your individual preferences.


At Viking Capital, we try to provide accurate information on loans, credit scores and pool care, but it may not apply directly to your individual situation. We are not financial advisors and we recommend you consult with a financial professional before making any serious financial decisions. The content on is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.

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