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A new and popular pool feature we’re taking a look at this week is Rebound Pool Surfaces. Rebound is a soft and slip-resistant pool texturing that is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners who are looking for a safer pool deck. Not only that, but swimmers can actually enjoy the same bouncy texture inside the interior of the pool. To get a better understanding of the product and how it works, we reached out to Rebound Pools to get with Steve Walsh and Lance Johnson of Rebound Pools.

What is a Rebound Pool Surface?

“Our new system for decks and pool interiors creates a soft surface. This is a pretty simple system that can go over existing pool interiors including concrete, plaster, pebble, and stone finishes. It creates a beautiful finish for pools and decks,” said Steve Walsh.

Rebound is a soft bouncy texture being applied to pool decks and swimming pool interiors. Photo Credit: Rebound Pools

The product which is available in a wide assortment of colors, resembles floor safety systems that many with small children will already recognize existing in their local playground or schoolyard. Rebound is very similar to that bouncy texture found in areas where small children play. To see this type of material showing up around the pool deck is a new feature that is catching on with homeowners concerned about safety. The slip-resistant and soft bouncy feel of the texture provide better traction and feels great on bare feet.

10 Years of Data in Splash Pads & Playgrounds

In fact, playground systems are exactly where rebound pools initially started. “We actually have a sister company that started about 13 years ago doing playground safety surfacing and they got into splash pads about 10 years ago.” said Walsh.

Rebound is a soft pool surface made of proprietary blend of liquid polymers and top-in-class thermo plastic granules, the same bouncy material found in children's playgrounds.  - Photo Credit: Rebound PoolsRebound is a soft pool surface made of a proprietary blend of liquid polymers and top-in-class thermoplastic granules, the same bouncy material found in children’s playgrounds. – Photo Credit: Rebound Pools

“Right after that the owners of the company were having some cocktails on their back patio and the dogs knocked all the drinks over and the glasses broke and they thought, ‘boy if we could get our product to be on this deck but in a different one way, broadcast instead of mixed in we might have something that would be softer’,” said Walsh.

Who is Using Rebound?

When looking at where the product is being installed, it’s primarily homeowners with small children that are looking for safer alternatives and additional slip resistance around the pool deck. “Side by side, if you compare rebound to all the other decking products on the market, on the safety issue – it’s a slam dunk for our product,” said Lance Johnson, “in addition, if you’ve applied the product on the interior, this product offers a huge benefit if you’re worried about safety at all. Walking around in the shallow end is a lot safer.”

How Durable is a Rebound Pool Surface?

For those who are wondering how durable this surfacing is, the two part polymer and plastic thermo granular material is designed to be submerged under water and hold up year after year in wet / dry conditions. “It’s really impervious to water,” said Walsh, “it doesn’t react to it and we think it has got a really long life on both decks and pool interiors. The granules we use feel like a squishy soft rubber but are actually a high end product called TPV – it’s a type of plastic without any fillers. It lasts a long time and doesn’t leach or interact with anything. Because it’s completely inert, it’s a great product for the pool environment.”

How Rebound pool surfaces stack up against pool interiors like Plaster, Pebble & Glass, Paint, Fiberglass, and Vinyl LinersHow Rebound pool surfaces stack up against pool interiors like Plaster, Pebble & Glass, Paint, Fiberglass, and Vinyl Liners

How Rebound Holds up in the Swimming Pool

While the product has only been around for a few years, there is considerable data from the splash pad/playground sector to indicate that the product will have an equally long life in pool interiors. Steve Walsh helped explain, “I think the best test for us has been the 10 years or so that it’s been used in splash pads, which has heavy traffic and high chlorine water. The product is exposed to the sun all day. It gets wet and dry, on and off constantly. Holding up to that is much tougher than what is happening when it’s sitting in a pool.”

How The Product is Applied

“The product itself is a three-coat system,” said Walsh, “The polymer goes on and sets up in a few hours, then the second layer of polymer is applied. After that, we broadcast granules into the surface. The next day the granules are vacuumed up and then granules get applied again. For a standard pool of about 900 square feet, it’s about 27 man-hours to install it. Three guys in three days including all the prep and cleanup.”

Installing the pool surface typically takes 3 workers 3 full days to complete installation & cleanup.  Photo Credit: Rebound PoolsInstalling the pool surface typically takes 3 workers 3 full days to complete installation & cleanup. Photo Credit: Rebound Pools

In terms of how the product feels, Walsh described the end product. “That quarter inch you get is very durable and very flexible. It has some elongation properties to it. We call it rebound because it’s kind of a soft squishy product. It’s not super soft, but it’s softer than any other product on the market and feels great to stand on when you’re in the pool.”

What pool contractors think of rebound

“When they find out about our product they want to take over their territory and start moving truckloads,” said Johnson, “once they see how little labor is involved to go over the top of an existing surface versus that big tear out and all the mess and expense that comes with that.”

“To get into installing the product, it’s very economical,” said Walsh, “you’re looking at a few hundred dollars in product that you would need to install versus the high prices for other products out there.”

“The granules come in bags and get blended. You can rent a mixer at Home Depot for about $40 or buy one for a couple of hundred dollars. That lets you mix and blend the product,” Walsh explained, “the other products are just ways of applying the polymer. Roller frames, roller covers, and poles, some spiked shoes are about $20 a pair. The list of everything to get into the business of installing rebound pool surfaces is about $700 and roughly $100 in consumables per pool.”

One contractor that swears by the product is Sacramento pool industry veteran, Gregg Sample of Gregg’s Pool Works & Pool Yoda. An early adopter, he was one of the first installers of Rebound Pool Surfaces. “The low start-up cost of becoming an installer make it a really viable business for pool contractors to get into,” said Sample, who has been installing the products in pools around El Dorado County.

Rebound applied to the entire pool deck as well and stairs, creating a safe slip resistant pool area.  Photo Credit: Rebound PoolsRebound applied to the entire pool deck as well as the stairs, creating a safe slip-resistant pool area. Photo Credit: Rebound Pools

With a short learning curve to become an installer, Walsh says that learning how to apply a Rebound Pool Surface is incredibly easy. “If you can use a paintbrush or a roller, you can learn how to install this product,” said Walsh, “the product can be applied in fiberglass, gunite, and composite wall pools as well as on decks and steps.”

“The product works well vinyl liner pools,” said Walsh, “the whole industry has been looking for a product that can fill in the nasty cracks that develop in broken pool stairs and are finding this product works better than a patch. With our product, you can skip the first step and just do a double broadcast. The only prep work needed is a little acetone on a rag to wipe it down. You can get it done in one day at a pretty economical price.”

Find out more about Rebound Pools and listen to our interview on the Pool Magazine podcast.

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