Did You Know Florida Has New Finish Requirements for Commercial Pools?

Commercial Pools Construction

Commercial pools, which are required to be built of concrete, are typically refinished every 10 to 15 years. Florida enacted new safety requirements for commercial swimming pool finishes in 2017 that go into effect in January 2018”.

The new requirements deal with color and the tile used in areas where bathers walk. Let’s take a look:

1.Color. The color of a pool surface below the waterline can change once the commercial pool is refilled. Some colors, while light and reflective when dry, can darken when wet.

Since 1970 when pool surface finishes were primarily white, many different colors have come on to the market.

It is important, especially in a commercial swimming pool, that surface colors below the waterline remain white or light pastel and reflects light, making it easier for lifeguards and others to see swimmers in the pool. Contrary to the belief made popular by movies, that swimmers in trouble make a raucous on the surface, most just quietly slip under the water. With the new requirements, these “floaters” are more easily seen by lifeguards and others from above the waterline.

The plaster colors must now pass an analysis that measures the light reflectance value of the colors. In other words, how much light will the walls and floor of a pool reflect light. It is based on a scale of zero (black) to 100. The codes require the color score to be 80 or greater for dry lightness and 50 or greater for wet light reflectance”.

If a new finish does not meet this standard, the entire finish may need to be removed and redone. A very costly endeavor. With the new analysis, this possibility should be eliminated.

2.Tile. The new regulations also address tiles that are intended to provide safe footing for bathers. These tiles now must be made of slip resistant materials, while not being so rough or irregular as to cause injury or abrasions. They are located in several areas of the pool; so check out the code cited in the first reference below for more details.

        Did you know that we service and build commercial pools as well as residential?

Contact Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches today to discuss all your pool resurfacing and tile replacement needs.


Florida Swimming Pool Association. “2017 Florida Building Code 6th Edition, Public Swimming Pool Changes, FBC Section 454.1, Effective January 1, 2018.” Accessed October 9, 2017. http://www.floridapoolpro.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2017-FLORIDA-BUILDING-CODE-6TH-EDITION-RECAP-OF-APPROVED-PUBLIC-POOL-CHANGES-6.16.17-with-logos.pdf.

Aquatics International. “In Florida, Pool Finishes Will Be Under Increased Scrutiny.” Accessed October 5, 2017. http://www.aquaticsintl.com/facilities/in-florida-pool-finishes-will-be-under-increased-scrutiny_s.

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