What Exactly is a Sun Shelf?

It’s very likely that you’ve seen a sun shelf before. It’s a long, flat ledge just below the surface of the water, usually in the shallow end overlooking deeper waters. It allows swimmers to enjoy the cool water while still laying out in the sun, and many people enjoy relaxing on sun shelves for long periods of time! Sometimes people just walk around on the shelf to get their feet wet, enjoy the water without having to change into a swimsuit.

Many people with families also like sun shelves because they make the pool more enjoyable for people of all ages. While older children and adults can swim nearby in the deep end, younger children can safely play and sit on the sun shelf.

Sometimes people refer to sun shelves by other names: Baja shelf, sunbather shelf, tanning shelf, tanning ledge, etc. But whatever you decide to call it, this shelf can be a striking feature of your pool that adds extra function and fun!

Sun Shelf Design Options

When it comes to the specific design of the sun shelf, the options are incredibly versatile. The shelf can be designed to fit most pool shapes and sizes, and various other features can be added to it for more function and a true luxury feel. For example, many people choose to add features like water jets or bubblers, and more recent years have also seen the rise of small tables, drink rests and even umbrella stands! Some people even add in lights along the shelf for nighttime use. You can customize your sun shelf however you want to!

Going along with that, sun shelves can be made to match the bottom or sides of the pool, or they can stand out more as their own unique color or mosaic design. Some people even take things a step further in making their sun shelf stand out and add in extra doses of upscale features like a small waterfall nearby or a fountain. The great thing about sun shelves is that they’re so basic in their initial design that they can virtually be customized however you want!

Additional Pros and Cons

Let’s get into the nitty gritty details. If you’re considering adding a sun shelf to your pool, it’s important to know that the cost can vary widely. While a sun shelf is usually very simple in design and does not cost a lot on its own, adding additional features to it like water jets, lights, tables, bubblers, etc. can drive up the cost considerably.

Now, it is also worth pointing out that it can often be more cost effective to add a sun shelf into a new pool design and build it in right from the start. Depending on the design of an existing pool, the cost could be higher and also relatively more time-consuming. Still, people add sun shelves into their existing pools every year!

That said, it’s also important to note that adding a sun shelf to an existing pool is not feasible in every case. While sun shelves can fit the vast majority of pool shapes and sizes, the pool must still have enough space for the addition, and it has to be in good condition. While adding a sun shelf can definitely up the value of an existing pool considerably, it’s very difficult to install one safely and correctly if the pool is very old and has cracks or has otherwise not been well maintained.

If your pool is on the smaller side, a sun shelf may take up valuable swimming space. That said, it can be a great option if you plan to spend more time lounging or wading than you will swimming. Likewise, many people opt for a sun shelf as a smaller, more space-saving alternative to a beach entry (where the pool starts extremely shallow and gradually gets deeper). It’s all about knowing your specific desires, budget, space requirements and any space restrictions.

What Next?

Whether you’ve decided that you definitely want to add a sun shelf to your pool and want to learn more or are still wondering if it is the right choice, we’re here to help. If you’re designing your pool from scratch, it’s even easier to add a sun shelf into the design and customize it however you like. Nevertheless, we are also happy to consult with you on the best way to incorporate one into your existing pool design.

So when you’re ready, contact the experts at Crystal Falls Pools today! With our years of experience and our love of great pool design, we’re here to help you create the backyard oasis of your dreams.