What Does an Infinity Pool Look Like?

Infinity pools can come by many different names.  They’re also commonly known as vanishing edge, zero edge or negative edge pools, among other terms.  When asked, “What does an infinity pool look like?” the easiest way to explain it would be as the names suggest; an edge of the pool seems to disappear into the horizon.  How these pools work, where they work best and other factors to keep in mind when deciding on an infinity pool will be covered in this article.

How Does an Infinity Pool Work?

Infinity pools are basically a large optical illusion.  The edge of the pool that provides the illusion is slightly lower than the surface of the water.  This allows the water to pour over the edge into a catch basin below. When the edge is aligned with the appropriate background it appears to meld into the horizon and creates the illusion that there’s a massive drop off beyond the pool edge. 

Why Is the Background Important?

To create the proper effect, aligning the submerged edge with the right background is imperative. The best backgrounds are steep drop-offs or natural slopes leading to a landscape situated far off in the background.  This creates an optical illusion of the water’s edge blending into the landscape.  The effect doesn’t work properly if the catch basin is too large, the background landscape is too close or there isn’t much of a drop off beyond the edge of the pool.

Are Infinity Pools Dangerous?

Infinity pools are not really any more dangerous than a regular pool. It’s not as though you can fall off the zero edge into a huge chasm below. There has to be a basin a few feet below the zero edge to catch the water.  If you climbed over the zero edge, you’d find yourself in the catch basin.  Infinity pools may look like they exist on the edge of the abyss, but as mentioned, it’s really just an optical illusion.

Do Infinity Pools Require More Work?

Infinity pools, in fact, do require more work during installation. Due to their design, they will also cost more to install. Estimates for infinity pools are usually about 30% higher than a regular pool.   Installing the pump needed to get the water from the catch basin back into the pool is an extra expense.  And you’ll also need a pump to ensure the water is drawn towards the disappearing edge along with a special filtration system.  When it comes to maintenance, the catch basin will need to be regularly cleaned on top of regular pool maintenance. Your pool will also experience more evaporation due to the water cascading over the zero edge.