01 July 2016
Pool access done right
There are lots of ways to enter a pool. One popular school of thought holds that the only 'proper’ way to enter a pool is to jump in. While that's certainly one of the most fun ways of doing it, pool accessibility is actually very important - and getting it right can be a challenge.
Why is pool accessibility important?
Whether you have an elderly guest or if your pool is used therapeutically for back pain or muscular problems, getting in and out of the pool can represent a challenge.
Even for young able-bodied children, proper access features are as important to pool safety as parental supervision. If a pool is too shallow, jumping in without looking could lead to minor injuries for people of all ages. Meanwhile, climbing out of the pool using the sides puts you at equal risk of slippage - not to mention being an unpleasant experience requiring a lot of physical exertion. So what are your options for ensuring your pool is safe and easy to access for everyone? The short answer: steps and ladders.
There are a variety of different pool ladders on the market today, and the type installed will be largely determined by the construction and form of the pool itself.
As the staff at Ladders.net point out: “The ladders for in-ground pools typically are installed with the pool, and they often are crafted to the pool’s exact specifications.” But what else needs to be considered? There's the material (plastic or metal), the type of grip (non-skid surface or an additional rubber mould), as well as how many access points your pool needs (many recommend at least two for larger pools).
Pool ladders represent a space- and cost-friendly solution to basic pool access and are a great option for pools where the focus is on exercise and maximising the pool space. Talking to your pool designer or architect about your options will ensure you get a ladder suited to both your pool’s physical requirements and your own personal tastes and preferences.
Pool steps are an incredibly versatile means of pool access and can be incorporated into a wide range of pool sizes and shapes. They will inevitably change the shape of your pool, but often for the best.
Combining pool steps with fitted lights can create a seamless path into the water from the surface, while the steps can also be made wider to double as a comfortable seating and transitory area for the pool. Pool steps are particularly well suited to pools with automatic covers, as they do not impede the movement of the cover, and can also be given a unique finish to improve grip underfoot and general aesthetics.
You don't necessarily need to choose ladders over steps or vice versa. Combining both access options can give you the best of both worlds, and placing them correctly will spread access across the pool space. Those with less mobility can take their time easing themselves into the water using steps, while a ladder still provides others with a quick and easy option for getting in and out of the pool.
At London Swimming Pool Company we specialise in swimming pool design, construction, and refurbishment, so if you need advice on a brand new pool, contact us for an initial discussion – there’s no substitute for expert advice.