Plunge Pools and Lap Pools- What Are Their Main Differences?

The recent trend that is sweeping the world is the tiny living lifestyle. The recent popularity gained by tiny houses has also permeated into other aspects of the living spaces like swimming pools. The traditional pools are quite large in size and require ample space to construct. This makes small swimming pools like plunge pools and lap pools very attractive, as they not only take up lesser space but also require lesser maintenance. Besides this, the cost of these pools is significantly lower when compared to regular pools.

Plunge Pool

A plunge pool is typically small in size and quite deep, which makes it ideal for lounging and wading. Owing to their small size, they can easily fit in a smaller backyard or even indoors. Since the size of these pools is limited, one cannot swim per se, but many other activities like water aerobics can be performed easily. Most plunge pools also come with steps, which can be great for sitting and enjoying drinks in the pool on a hot summer day. They are widely used in Australia and Europe and are gradually gaining popularity in the United States as well.

Plunge pools are generally associated with leisure and are typically designed keeping that in mind. Plunge pools are great choices for those who want a pool that can be easily installed in a small yard and is easier to maintain. They can be installed both in-ground and above ground and can seamlessly fit into the surroundings. Jets can also be added to these pools, which can allow people to practice swimming against the current.

The Size and Depth of Plunge Pools

Plunge pools come in different sizes, but they generally remain small. A typical plunge pool measures around 8 feet by 8 feet and can even increase to 8 feet by 16 feet. The absolute volume of plunge pools can vary quite a bit because of the different shapes. While square pools usually have sides measuring 8 feet, the round pools have a diameter of approximately 10 feet. They can also come in the shape of a half-circle which has an 8-foot radius. Most space can be derived from rectangular plunge pools. The apparent advantage of a plunge pool over a lap pool or a standard pool is that they can come in a wide variety of shapes that can be customized to people’s preferences.

Although there are no rules regarding the depth of plunge pools, they are generally 4 to 8 feet deep. For leisure purposes, it is better to have a shallow pool, while those who want it for exercise should opt for a deeper variant.

Benefits of Plunge Pools

Plunge pools come with a multiplicity of benefits. Some of these are-

  1. The cost of plunge pools and their installation is quite less when compared to traditional pools.
  2. Plunge pools can provide sensory stimulation and therapeutic relaxation.
  3. The maintenance is not only less but can be done on a smaller budget.
  4. Can fit into a smaller lot size
  5. Lesser electricity consumption because the filters and other equipment are used less frequently.
  6. They offer many design features and are easily customizable.

Lap Pools

Lap Pools are known to have originated in Rome and Greece. They were mostly used for the purpose of aquatic games, exercise, military training and hydrotherapy. The recent years have seen them gaining popularity again because they offer the convenience of a small pool that is both luxurious and sharply designed. Lap pools differ from the plunge and regular pools because of their size and dimensions. They are usually quite narrow and long and mostly rectangular in shape. They are primarily designed for swimming laps. Many lap pools also come with a bench sitting area, which can be used for leisure and relaxing.

Lap pools offer all the benefits of a traditional swimming pool without taking up a lot of space. Owing to their narrow size, they can fit easily in smaller backyards and even indoor spaces. They can even be extensions of outdoor decks. Most lap pools are rectangular, although recently, many other designs have come up. An L-shaped lap pool offers a larger space for performing other activities than laps. The L-shape can also be used to accommodate the space for steps.

The Dimensions of Lap Pools

Pools that are designed for competitive swimming usually measure around 75 feet long. However, such a length cannot be accommodated in a backyard space. The length of the lap pools is dependent on individual preferences. If one has the space and budget to accommodate a 45 feet lap pool, then it is generally considered the best for making laps without having to constantly change directions. For people with smaller backyards, the length of the lap pool can be adjusted accordingly. The width should measure around 8 feet at the minimum. The depth of the pool should ideally be more than 3.5 feet so that the hands do not scrape the bottom while doing laps.

Advantages of a Lap Pool

The lap pools come with many advantages. Some of them are-

  • Space-saving: Since lap pools are quite narrow and shallow, they are ideal additions for residential spaces which do not have a large backyard.
  • Privacy: People have the advantage of doing laps in the privacy of their own backyard. It saves the trip to a local swimming centre.
  • Aesthetic value: Lap pools can also add to the aesthetic value of the garden or backyard. They can make a great focal point in your house if you add beautiful landscaping and deck chairs beside them.
  • Less Maintenance: Since lap pools measure a fraction of the regular pool size, they require little to no maintenance. Although standard equipment like pool filters and chemicals need to be added, they are used cost-efficiently owing to the small size of these pools.

Following are some of the best additions that can be incorporated into the lap pools:

  • Spa: A spa can be added to the lap pool to extend the time for relaxation. With this, you can derive the benefits of both spa and exercise in a single pool.
  • Steps: In-pool steps or traditional ladders can be added for ease of entry and exit.
  • Deck: By adding a deck around your lap pool, you can prevent the spillage of water into the garden. It allows for easier maintenance and keeps the dirt and debris away from the pool water.

Whether you decide on a plunge pool or a lap pool, it is ultimately the space you have that will determine its design. Both lap pools and plunge pools come with unique features and benefits.