What is an Infinity Pool?

Mary McMahon

An infinity pool, sometimes called a negative edge pool, is a swimming pool that has been constructed with the illusion of extending all the way to the horizon. From the right perspective, this pool seems to stretch on endlessly, and contractors often place the pool strategically so that it appears to merge with a larger body of water, like the ocean. This eye catching pool design started to catch on in the 1990s, and was adopted by many luxury resorts, which tout their infinity pools in brochures and other promotional material.

An infinity pool may appear to merge with a large body of water, like the ocean.
An infinity pool may appear to merge with a large body of water, like the ocean.

The construction expertise required for an infinity pool is considerable. Although the basics of the pool are the same as those for a regular pool, the contractor must be especially careful at the "infinite" edge of the pool. The edge of the pool is actually below the water level, allowing water to sluice over it and into a trough that collects the water and circulates it back into the pool. The filtration and cleaning systems can be incorporated into this trough, so that the sound of falling water will cover up the noise of a pool filter system. Essentially, every pool of this type is a custom design, which allows the designer a wide range of flexibility in shape and placement, but also makes it more complex to install.

Infinity pools have been adopted by many luxury resorts.
Infinity pools have been adopted by many luxury resorts.

When installing an infinity pool, caution should be taken. The infinite edge of the pool will draw the eye of the observer, so it is important to make sure that there is something beautiful beyond it, rather than the neighbor's house, a privacy fence, or an empty lot. In general, this type of pool is best suited to a sweeping natural landscape like the ocean, sky, or mountains. On a smaller lot, the builder may want to consider cooperating with the landscaper to create a pleasing backdrop for the pool.

The cost to install a pool of this type is higher than that for a conventional pool, although some pool companies are have developed standardized infinity pool designs to make them more accessible to average consumers. Custom pools can vary widely in size from extremely large irregularly shaped pools to much smaller rooftop pools in urban areas.

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Discussion Comments


The home I'm considering to purchase has an infinity pool. I'm just reading up as much as I can about them.


I'd prefer a saltwater infinity pool over a clorinated infinity pool!


If you're getting your own infinity pool, don't forget to get an infnity spa too!


An infinity pool is also known as a disappearing edge pool, infinity edge pool, negative edge pool, vanishing edge pool, or zero edge pool.


how wide should be the water canal be for an infinity pool with 4 meter width and 9 m long


An infinity pool is different than an endless pool. Endless pools are small pools that can be used for lap swimming because you can set the water flow against the direction you are swimming, allowing you to swim while staying in one place.

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