Basics and Benefits of Tanning Ledges in Custom Pools, Part 1

At Packman’s Pools, we’re thrilled to be your first stop for custom pool construction. Whether you’re looking for a relatively simple fiberglass swimming pool, a complex inground pool or any other option, our team will work with you from the design phase all the way through installation.

One customizable area that many modern pool buyers are becoming more and more interested in over recent years? The tanning ledge, which offers several benefits in terms of comfort and enjoyment for warm-weather fun. This two-part blog will detail exactly what tanning ledges are for those unfamiliar with them, plus some basic dimension considerations to keep in mind and the kinds of materials you might choose for your tanning ledge if you’ve decided to install one.

tanning ledges custom pools

Tanning Ledge Basics and Uses

A tanning ledge is commonly referred to by several other names: Tanning shelf, baja shelf, sun shelf or a few others. All of these mean the same thing, though – a shallow shelf in a pool that spans either its entire width or part of it, allowing for both entry to the pool and several areas of relaxation.

Once you install a tanning ledge, your options for it are virtually limitless. Many pool owners like to add furniture items like chairs, umbrellas and drink holders, turning the ledge into a perfect relaxation area where you can quickly slide off and take a dip if you desire. Others use them as play areas for the kids or pets in the home, or as some kind of hybrid between these areas.

Size of Tanning Ledge

So how large a tanning ledge should you choose? While most tanning ledges are a minimum of five feet wide, allowing space for items to be placed on top, you can essentially dictate this based on your own needs and the size of your pools. Most fiberglass tanning ledges are between five and eight feet wide – enough space for a few items, but not so much that the actual swimming space is blocked entirely.

Depth of Tanning Ledge

What about the depth of the ledge itself? This is also up to you, though remember that the depth of the ledge determines how much water will be at your feet when you stand or sit on it. In most cases, there will be about three inches between water surface and the top edge of the pool, so a ledge that’s nine inches deep will cause about six inches of water to remain above the ledge threshold.

We wouldn’t recommend going much deeper than 12 inches for the ledge depth, leaving nine inches of water for you to stand in – this is a good depth for kids and pets, but also the maximum depth at which we’d recommend placing furniture in the water (it might begin to float otherwise).

For more on tanning ledges, or to learn about any of our other custom swimming pool construction or design services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.