Pool builders and homeowners constantly find new ways to set their pools apart from others—and one of the most eye-catching and attractive features to make a pool stand out are clear acrylic pool walls.
“It creates depth, it adds another dimension,” says Paul O. Gardner, vice president of engineering, quality & safety at Reynolds Polymer. “It takes the pool experience to another level.”
“An acrylic viewing window adds a dramatic effect to the simplest of designs,” says Jason Jovaag, general manager of Aquatic Glazing International. Acrylic windows stand out day or night, “whether it’s the ambient sunlight casting rays into the pool,” says Jovaag, “or LED lights illuminating the poolscape at night.”
The experts recommend placing your acrylic wall at the focus point of the pool—they’re common beside a sunken fire pit lounge, or at a negative edge. “It ends up being like an open campfire on a summers night,” says Gardner. “You can’t stop looking at it.”
The most important thing to note: the structures aren’t easy to build. “These take serious engineering,” says Bill Drakeley, principle and founder of Drakeley Pool Company. “The test of a quality installation is how does it weather over one season, two seasons, five seasons,” he says. “The hard part is making it continuously perform, and making it sustainable year after year.”
Acrylic panels are easiest to add to pools in warmer climates with little temperature variation. While acrylic panels aren’t for every homeowner, Gardner says that “with proper engineering and consideration of the environment, there are solutions for most conditions.”
Mark Hoentjen, COO of Underwater Windows, says that safety is their number one priority with installing acrylic. “What we want is for the customer to enjoy the window and pool without any problems,” he says. “There must be no worries about it.”
“This needs to last for decades, not a few years. It is worth the investment,” says Gardner. “You truly get what you pay for on this purchase.”