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Florida Holidays – Making the most out of your pool deck and area

Posted on Nov 24, 2020 |

It is hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us. However, given the recommended social distancing guidelines, the holidays may look and feel a little different this year and into the future. One thing many of our customers have been emphasizing, considering COVID-19, is the desire to create a more inviting, comfortable, and relaxing atmosphere at home—creating a backyard paradise for stay-cationing and the holidays.

In the last few months, more customers have requested proposals to extend, build, and/or remodel their pool decks than in years past. Many have hoped to create additional outdoor space to host their families and friends in the fresh air, as opposed to everyone spending time inside the house. We are so fortunate to have beautiful weather in Florida, just in time for the holidays—so, for many, taking the festivities outside seems to be a solution many are seeking to keep the holidays as normal as possible this year (and possibly beyond)! 

We offer several different options for homeowners who are looking to remodel their deck. Certain deck options may be more advisable depending on the state of an existing deck, or the overall look/style that the homeowner is looking to achieve.

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How It Works – The Process of Resurfacing Your Concrete Swimming Pool: Step 4 – Applying The Interior Finish

Posted on Jan 15, 2020 |

How It Works – The Process of Resurfacing Your Concrete Swimming Pool: Step 4 – Applying The Interior Finish

How it Works—the process of resurfacing your concrete swimming pool: STEP 4 – Applying the Interior Finish

This is our fourth blog in our series diving deeper into the main steps in resurfacing your swimming pool. We have had a short hiatus from our regular blog posts for the holidays but are very excited to continue this series covering the basic steps of pool resurfacing!

As you may recall, there are five main steps to resurfacing a swimming pool (or spa), 1) draining the pool, 2) prepping the pool (which would include repairs and tile work, if any), 3) Bond Cote, 4) applying the interior finish, and 5) filling the pool. Last week we covered the third step of the process, Bond Cote.


Once the Bond Cote has been applied, the pool finish is finally ready to be put on! Depending on the type of finish and color the customer has selected, the mixing process varies slightly.

The two types of finishes that Advanced Pool & Spa uses most frequently are Marquis Quartz and Stonescapes Mini-Pebble. Marquis Quartz finishes are a crushed aggregate finish, meaning the aggregate (rock/stone/etc.) are crushed up in the cement base product. Stonescapes Mini-Pebble finishes are a pebble finish where the aggregate is a whole, mini-pebble. If you would like more information on the differences between these two finishes—or if you are interested in a different type of finish for you pool, contact us via our website, Facebook, or via phone! We would be glad to discuss them with you! Also, check out our previous blog post, “Remodeling Pool Finishes,” which is located at this link:

Before the finish can be applied, the finish must be prepared. This is most often done using a concrete mixer. The process for each mix depends on the type of finish and the color. For the purposes of discussing the various colors, we will focus on discussing options available with a Marquis Quartz finish, however, the Mini-Pebble finishes are also available in a variety of colors. The standard Marquis Quartz color is Oyster; however, customers can opt to have colored specks or dyes added to the mix to enhance the color of the water. Blue specks to make the water appear bluer and teal specks to create a more turquoise color. Adding one unit of blue specks brings the color to “Bluestone” and one unit of teal specks brings the color to “Marina.” Customers can add additional colored specks to create other colors too. For example, two units of blue specks create the color “Miami Blue” and five units create “Sapphire.” The more colored specks, the more the color of the water is enhanced once completed and filled.

If the customer has selected a dyed pool finish, the base mix itself is dyed in addition to adding colored specks. Dyed finishes (also known as pigmented or dark finishes) although beautiful are more difficult to maintain because the pool finish is a concrete based product. We do not recommend dark finishes to homeowners who have well water or very hard water without a softener and those who are not prepared to take on the additional maintenance required. If you are considering a dark finish, please ask us about it so you are aware of what to expect!

Once the pool finish is properly mixed, it is brought into the pool with a wheelbarrow or it is pumped into the pool using a concrete pumper. The finishing crew works to apply the finish using hand trowels. This is a very labor-intensive process. The crew usually wears spiked shoes to prevent leaving footprints in the finish and works apply as even, smooth, and consistent finish as possible. If the customer has requested step edge inserts to identify the edge of the pool, those tiles would be set during this stage, such as at the edge of the steps, seats, or swim outs. The interior finish (sometimes called plaster) is applied throughout the entire interior of the pool from the floor of the pool and up the walls to meet the lower edge of the tile. Once the finishing crew has completed applying the plaster, some surfaces require water washing to expose the aggregate and others can be filled immediately.

Next week we’ll cover the final step of the pool refinishing process. In the meantime, please feel free to check out our social media. Please “like” Advanced Pool & Spa on Facebook, follow us on Instagram to see some of our current work, and feel free to browse our blog for other pool related topics and to look through our gallery for more photos of our work. Advanced Pool & Spa is fully licensed, bonded, and insured and has proudly served the Tampa Bay area for more than 35 years—we have the experience to assist you with all your residential and commercial swimming pool and spa remodeling needs!


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Three Items to Make your Pool More Enjoyable for your Dog!

Posted on Nov 8, 2019 |

Three Items to Make your Pool More Enjoyable for your Dog!

Some dogs are natural swimmers and love playing and splashing in the pool. Other dogs are may be hesitant and don’t enjoy the water or have a difficult time swimming. Some dogs love the water but are may not be the best swimmers. Before allowing your dog to swim in the pool, it is extremely important to know what your dog’s capabilities are to ensure that they are safe in the water. It is also crucial to supervise your dog whenever he or she is around the pool or on the pool deck.

Recently, Advanced Pool & Spa remodeled a pool specially designed for doggies! This pool had some special features to make swimming safer and more enjoyable for many dogs. The pool was designed with a beach entry, which is a gradually descending slope that mimics water entries in natural bodies of water like lakes or the ocean. Beach entries are incredibly dog friendly because entering the water is gradual and more natural feeling for your dog. Secondly, the beach entry turned into a sunshelf, or an extra shallow area of the pool for wadding and relaxing in the water. This made the pool more friendly for dogs that weren’t as comfortable swimming or who just wanted to lay in the water and cool out without the effort of swimming. Also, the pool had a large swimout/bench in the deep end which created another place for dogs to enter and exit the pool or to rest.

Advanced Pool & Spa, can create a sunshelf, beach entry, swimout, or bench during your pool remodel, if that is a feature you are interested in adding!

Many homeowners don’t have these features on their pools, but there are still other ways to help make your pool more enjoyable for your best friend!


  1. Purchase a lifejacket for your dog.

For dogs that are uncomfortable in the water or have a difficult time swimming, a lifejacket is an essential purchase for your dog’s comfort and safety. Just as you would put a like jacket on a young child to help support them in the water, a dog lifejacket provides the same function. Many pet stores now carry dog lifejackets so you can bring your dog into the store to find the perfect fit.

  1. Purchase a pool float for your pup!

A pool float for your dog is a great option if you don’t have a sunshelf or beach entry. The float allows your dog to relax and cool off in the water without the effort of swimming. Since most pools are too deep beyond the steps for your dog to walk and most steps are too narrow for your dog to comfortably lay down with their head above water, the float offers an alternative for your dog to lounge around and enjoy the water!

Pool floats pictured above is from


  1. Purchase a pool ramp or ladder to help your dog get in and out of the water.

One of the most important things if your dog likes to swim in your pool is making sure they have a safe way to exit the pool. Adding a ladder, ramp, or other type of device to assist your dog in getting out of the water is a way to help make them safer and to make the pool more enjoyable for them. When your dog tires from swimming, he or she will be looking for the quickest way out of the pool. If you do not have a sunshelf, swimout, or steps near-by, your dog may try to climb out at the nearest edge. Adding a ladder will help by providing your dog with another point of exit making it safer for them and helping to keep you dry!

The ladder pictured above is available from


The most important thing to keep in mind if your dog is going for a swim in your pool is to always supervise your dog in or around your pool.  Also, be sure to never force your dog into an uncomfortable situation. Allow your dog to become comfortable in or around the water at his or her own pace.

If you are looking to have your swimming pool (and/or spa) remodeled, please be sure to check out Advanced Pool & Spa, Inc. for all of your commercial and residential swimming pool, spa, and deck resurfacing and remodeling needs! We have proudly served the Tampa Bay area for 35 years and are wholly family owned and operated. Please feel free to check us out on Facebook (@advancedpoolspa), Instagram (@advancedpools.fl), and visit our website to see some of our work! We would love to help you tackle your pool remodel!

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The Pros and Cons of Adding Special Features to your Pool

Posted on Oct 11, 2019 |

The Pros and Cons of Adding Special Features to your Pool

Over the years, pool trends too have come and gone. Certain features are now rising in popularity, while others have fallen by the wayside. How do you decide what features to add to your pool, if any when you are remodeling your swimming pool? Here are three of the major pool trends from the past several decades through present and the pros and cons of adding each of them to your pool.


Sunshelves are one of the most popular pool trends today. These shallow shelves are usually 6” – 12” deep and create a platform to set lounge chairs or sometimes lounge chairs and umbrella to create the effect of sitting in the water, kind of like you’re at the beach.

Figure 3 - Sunshelfs are a recent trend in pool building and remodeling.

Figure 3 – Sunshelfs are a recent trend in pool building and remodeling.


Sunshelves are a relaxing feature to add to your pool. A sunshelf creates another place to for swimmers to take a rest and can be a shallower hangout for kids and pups alike. The sunshelf allows pool-goers to stay cool in the water while enjoying the sunshine.


Adding a sunshelf to your pool is a big commitment because unlike a swim up bar or diving board, they cannot be removed once constructed.  Sunshelves can be somewhat expensive to construct depending on the size, shape, style, and whether the homeowner wants to add tile or other features to the sunshelf.

Swim Up Bar

Swim up bars and seating areas have become very popular in the hospitality industry and some homeowners have wanted to bring that flair of luxury to their back yards.

Figure 2 - Photo from:

Figure 2 – Photo from:


Swim up bars are great for entertaining your guests and from adult parties, to snacks for the kids. In the summertime a swim up bar can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors while staying cool in your swimming pool to beat the heat.


Swim up bars can get in the way of other pool related activity and take up room on the pool deck as well. Also, because it is primarily a feature used in entertaining, many homeowners may not use them as much as they anticipated leading to wasted space in the pool. Also, depending on how the seats/stools are designed, it could be difficult for homeowners to clean around and most automatic pool vacuums may have a tough time navigating those obstacles.

Diving Boards

Several decades ago, many residential swimming pools had diving boards. Today, many homeowners are removing existing diving boards. The fall in popularity of diving boards seems to have occurred for two main reasons: safety and pool depth.

Pool remodel where a diving board was removed.

Figure 1- Pool remodel where a diving board was removed.


Some pool experts argue that diving boards can enhance safety because they assist the swimmer to land in the deepest (and thereby safest) portion of the pool when properly used. Additionally, diving boards can help swimmers to more easily recognize the deep end of the pool preventing them from jumping or diving into the shallow portion of the pool by mistake.


Diving boards can be dangerous when not used appropriately. Also, diving boards require a much deeper “deep end” than pools being built today (this deep area is often called a diving well). Sometimes, the presence of a diving board can even cause the homeowner’s insurance to increase. It is worth noting, however, that most jumping/diving incidents do not occur when using a diving board, they occur when a swimmer dives into too shallow of water.

Building a deeper pool to safely accommodate a diving board can be more costly. To safely accommodate a diving board, most pool professionals would recommend a deep end that is at least 8 feet in depth. Digging a deeper pool, or refinishing a deeper pool, is more costly because of the additional surface area, additional labor, and additional material, and additional equipment (such as scaffolding) required to properly apply the finish, all leading to greater expense.

Building a deeper pool limits the amount of area that can be used for other activities, such as volleyball, because of the space needed to accommodate an appropriate grade/transition from shallow to deep.

Smaller pools are simply not large enough to accommodate a diving board due to the depth needed. Pools with

**Advanced Pool & Spa, Inc., cannot install a diving board for you, but we would be glad to help you remove it as a part of refinishing or remodeling your pool.

If you are considering remodeling or refinishing your swimming pool, please give Advanced Pool & Spa, Inc. a call. We have been in business for 35 years and have the experience to assist you in making your pool beautiful and enjoyable for the whole family! Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and on Instagram (@advancedpools.fl) to see some of our work.


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Does your dog enjoy your pool too?

Posted on Oct 2, 2019 |

Does your dog enjoy your pool too?

Is your pool well loved by all the members of your family? Even the four-legged ones?

Some dogs are natural swimmers and L-O-V-E getting in the pool. Dog breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundland Retrievers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Portuguese Water Dogs, and Golden Retrievers even have webbed feet which help them be more proficient swimmers. Cat lovers—you may already know this, but there are even some cats that enjoy a good swim too!

At Advanced Pool & Spa, we are animal lovers and even have two dogs in our office daily! Daisy is a two-and-a-half-year-old Miniature Schnauzer. Gracie is an eighteen-month-old Golden Retriever. Daisy is not a huge fan of the water, but loves being around her family poolside. Gracie, on the other hand, loves the water so much, it is hard to keep her out of it (in fact, she was caught trying to swim in the bird bath at her first Thanksgiving)!


Here are the top five things to consider if your furry friends are enjoying your pool with you!

  1. The average size dog is equivalent to approximately three people in terms of the load on your sanitation system. That means, if your furry friends are regular swimmers in your pool, you should be testing your chemicals more frequently to make sure you are maintaining the proper balance. Any dirt, fecal matter, and bacteria that may be on their fur will end up in the water, so it is important to stay diligent with testing your water.
  2. If your dog is a big shedder (like our sweet Gracie) that hair will be in your pool so it will be important to regularly clean your filter or even change your filter out to a large capacity filter, if possible!
  3. Your dog’s skin is very similar to yours. That is—just as people’s skins can become irritated from the chlorine and chemicals in your pool, your dog’s skin might too. It is important to rinse your fur-baby off after they’ve been in the pool.
  4. Not all dogs are fond of water (or swimmers). Be sure to take extra precautions to keep your dog safe. Some dogs may need, or would be more comfortable with, a life jacket to help keep them afloat. Some dogs are not able to swim at all and pool owners need to be cautious to keep their dogs from accidentally falling into the pool.
  5. Dogs often have very sharp nails too, so it is important for the safety of your dog and the people who would be swimming with your dog, to make sure that your dog’s nails are properly trimmed to prevent scratches (we do not recommend your dog swimming in a vinyl liner pool for this reason too)!

And, here are three things to consider if you are remodeling your swimming pool that would make the pool even more enjoyable for you and your dog!

  1. Your pool entry/exit. Your dog may be more likely to give swimming in your pool a try if they don’t literally have to take the plunge to do so. Beach entries are very popular for dogs because they create a more natural feeling, like how it would be entering a lake or an ocean, for your dog.
  2. Dogs need rest too and they can’t hold onto the wall like you! Consider whether there are swim outs or sun shelves, or other places in your pool where your dog can take a rest if they need!
  3. If you have a puppy, an older dog, or a dog that cannot swim, consider adding a baby fence around your pool to prevent them from accidentally falling in. Our dogs are like children, so it is important to always supervise them when they are around the pool and it is important to take whatever precautions you can!

Finally, here are a few extra things to keep in mind if your dog enjoys your pool with you: make sure to always supervise them when they are swimming; take extra precautions if your dog is swimming with children or the elderly to prevent your dog from scratching them; and be sensitive to your dog’s comfort level—swimming is supposed to be fun and if your dog doesn’t enjoy it and you force them to swim, it could scare them from getting in the pool again in the future.

If you are considering remodeling or refinishing your swimming pool, please give Advanced Pool & Spa, Inc. a call. We have been in business for 35 years and have the experience to assist you in making your pool beautiful and enjoyable for the whole family! Please be sure to follow us on Facebook and on Instagram (@advancedpools.fl) to see some of our work and to see more of Daisy and Gracie!



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Seeing Your Pool and Spa in a Whole New Light

Posted on Sep 25, 2019 |

Seeing Your Pool and Spa in a Whole New Light

Swimming pools and spas are often the focal point of your backyard. More and more, residential swimming pools and spas are being used as a visual feature to enhance the overall aesthetics of the outdoor living area. One way to have a major visual impact and enhance the aesthetics of your outdoor area is to add LED (light emitting diode) lighting to your pool or spa.

Over the last decade there has been a notable shift from incandescent lights to LED lighting in home use. This shift is simultaneously taking place in the swimming pool and spa industry.

For the past several decades, pools have been built with a single, large light niche on the wall of the pool (usually the deep end) where an incandescent light is installed to illuminate the entire pool. Incandescent lighting is still a big portion of the pool lighting industry. However, in new pool construction, LED fixtures are beginning to overtake incandescent lighting in popularity.

Here are the top 8 reasons how LED lights can enhance your pool and spa:

  1. LEDs can be installed on both in horizontal and vertical surfaces (for example, shelves or steps and walls, respectively)
  2. LEDs can be installed in smaller, tighter areas where traditional incandescent lights don’t fit
  3. LEDs can be color-changing, giving homeowners the ability to transform the look of their pool area for any event
  4. Even white LEDs are available in different temperatures (colors) of white, enabling homeowners to compliment other lighting in the pool area, such as landscape lighting
  5. LEDs are longer-lasting than incandescent lighting and do not need to be changed as frequently
  6. LEDs require are more efficient than incandescent lighting which is better for the environment and can save homeowners some on their electric bill
  7. Multiple LEDs can be installed in the pool to provide more uniform light distribution and a more aesthetically pleasing look than a single incandescent light
  8. LEDs can be used to specifically enhance water features, such as beach entries, spillways, waterfalls, and more

Advanced Pool & Spa, Inc., can help you with all your swimming pool and spa resurfacing and remodeling needs. While we’re at it, we can assist you with either replacing your incandescent pool light or installing a new LED light or lights in your pool and spa! Be sure to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @advancedpools.fl.

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