Negative Edge vs. Infinity Pool | A Comprehensive Comparison

Discover the differences between negative edge and infinity pools and learn which one is the best fit for your home

Negative Edge vs. Infinity Pool have long been a popular way to enhance the beauty and functionality of outdoor living spaces. As new technologies and designs emerge, homeowners are constantly on the lookout for the latest trends in pool construction.

Two of the most popular pool designs in recent years are the negative edge pool and the infinity pool. While both offer stunning visual effects and a luxurious atmosphere, there are key differences between the two.

In this article, we will explore the distinctions between negative edge and infinity pools, including their design, installation, maintenance, and cost, to help you determine which option is the best fit for your home.

Understanding Negative Edge and Infinity Pools

What is a Negative Edge Pool?

Negative Edge Pool
Negative Edge Pool

A negative edge pool, also known as a vanishing edge or zero edge pool, is a swimming pool design where one or more edges of the pool appear to blend seamlessly with the horizon or surrounding landscape. This is achieved through a carefully designed overflow system that channels water over the edge and into a hidden catch basin, creating the illusion of a borderless pool.

What is an Infinity Pool?

Infinity Pool
Infinity Pool

An infinity pool is a specific type of negative edge pool where the vanishing edge is designed to blend with a large body of water, such as an ocean, lake, or river, creating the impression that the pool extends infinitely into the distance. Infinity pools often have at least one glass wall or panel to enhance the visual effect and create a more seamless transition between the pool and the surrounding water.

Design Considerations for Negative Edge and Infinity Pools

Choosing the Right Location

Both negative edge and infinity pools require a suitable location to achieve their desired visual effect. For negative edge pools, a sloping site or an elevated position overlooking a scenic vista is ideal. Infinity pools, on the other hand, must be situated close to a large body of water for the optical illusion to be effective.

Site Preparation and Landscaping

The construction process for both pool types involves extensive site preparation, including excavation, grading, and retaining wall construction. Careful attention must be paid to landscaping and design elements such as pool decking, lighting, and plantings to enhance the overall aesthetic.

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Installation and Construction

Materials and Construction Techniques

Both negative edge and infinity pools can be constructed using a variety of materials, including concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl liner. However, due to the complex engineering and precision required, concrete is the most common material used for both pool types.

Overflow and Filtration Systems

The key component of both pool designs is the overflow system, which must be engineered to ensure a consistent flow of water over the edge without significant fluctuations in water level. This requires a separate catch basin and a specialized filtration system to keep the water clean and free of debris.

Maintenance and Operating Costs

Pool Maintenance

While the maintenance requirements for negative edge and infinity pools are similar to those of traditional pools, they may require additional attention to the overflow system and catch basin to prevent clogging and maintain the desired visual effect.

Operating Costs

Due to their specialized filtration systems and the need for a constant flow of water over the edge, both negative edge and infinity pools typically have higher operating costs than traditional pools. Energy-efficient pumps and variable-speed motors can help to offset these costs.

Cost of Negative Edge vs. Infinity Pools

Negative Edge vs. Infinity Pool
Negative Edge vs. Infinity Pool

Initial Investment

The cost of constructing a negative edge or infinity pool will generally be higher than that of a traditional pool due to the additional engineering, site preparation, and specialized materials required. The exact cost will vary depending on factors such as size, materials, and location, but homeowners should expect to pay a premium for these luxurious pool designs.

Return on Investment

While the initial investment for a negative edge or infinity pool may be higher, these unique pool designs can significantly enhance the value of a property and its overall appeal to potential buyers. In areas where such pools are highly desirable, the increased property value can help to offset the higher construction and maintenance costs.

Making the Right Choice for Your Home

Assessing Your Needs and Preferences

When deciding between a negative edge and an infinity pool, it’s important to consider your specific needs, preferences, and the characteristics of your property. If your home overlooks a large body of water, an infinity pool may be the ideal choice to maximize the stunning views. If your property doesn’t have direct access to a large body of water but still offers a picturesque view, a negative edge pool may be a more suitable option.

Budget Considerations

Before committing to either pool type, make sure you have a clear understanding of the costs involved, including construction, maintenance, and operating expenses. It’s also important to consider the potential return on investment and the impact on your property value.

Working with a Professional

Given the complexity and precision required for constructing negative edge and infinity pools, it’s essential to work with an experienced pool builder who specializes in these designs. They will be able to guide you through the process, help you choose the best option for your property, and ensure that your pool is built to the highest quality standards.


Negative edge and infinity pools offer a luxurious and visually stunning addition to any outdoor living space. By understanding the differences between the two designs, as well as the considerations for installation, maintenance, and cost, you can make an informed decision about which pool type is the best fit for your home. With careful planning and the help of a skilled pool professional, you can create the perfect pool to enhance your property and provide endless enjoyment for years to come.

Author Profile

Mark Cullen
Mark Cullen
I have many qualifications and certificates in construction, such as City & Guilds, CPCS and CITB. These are the highest standards of training and competence in the industry. Whether you need help with plumbing, carpentry, bricklaying or any other trade, I’m here to help you succeed.