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Compare Tanning Ledge Options For Your Swimming Pool

  Oct 30, 2015 / by Tara Kar


Once only found at exotic resorts and high-end hotels, tanning ledges are quickly becoming popular among homeowners installing inground pools. Also called baja shelves and sun shelves, more and more homeowners are incorporating tanning ledges into their pools because these features are both practical and beautiful. If you’re having an inground pool installed, here’s how you could use a tanning ledge to add both function and class to your backyard pool.

What is a tanning ledge, baja shelf or sun shelf?

Tanning ledges, baja shelves and sun shelves are all different terms used for the same inground pool feature. They’re large, shallow shelves. Typically big enough to fit at least a couple of lounge chairs and an umbrella, their size may range from 5 feet 6 inches by 12 feet to 8 feet 10 inches by 18 feet 1 inch. Their depth is usually between 6 and 12 inches, with 10 inches being an especially popular depth.

What types of pools can tanning ledges be installed in?

Tanning ledges are highly customizable and can be adapted to almost any pool style and construction. For instance, Trilogy Fusion Pools come with tanning ledge options for all of the line’s free-form modular designs (Gemini, Genesis, Synergy and Picasso). If you have a more square swimming pool, the modern Europa or Semi Circle design will fit perfectly alongside a pool’s straight side. Additionally, these shelves can be incorporated into most types of inground pools, including both fiberglass and vinyl inground pools.

What do people use tanning ledges for?

The large, shallow area of a tanning ledge is, of course, perfect for tanning. Lounging in a chair with a favorite beverage or book and sunning yourself is just one way you can use a sun shelf. These shelves are also ideal for:

  • Letting young children play in your pool (while supervised)
  • Giving elderly adults a way to enjoy a pool without struggling to get in and out of it
  • Splashing around in the water with your dog
  • Staying cool while doing yoga outdoors

How should a tanning ledge be designed?

Tanning ledges have become popular, in part, because they’re highly customizable. In addition to working them into almost any pool design, you can further customize a baja shelf by:

  • Adding bubblers (they’re the perfect depth for bubblers)
  • Placing a fountain between your sun shelf and pool
  • Changing the spillways that flow from your baja shelf into your pool
  • Illuminating bubblers, fountains and spillways at night with LED lights
  • Installing built-in umbrella sleeves for pool umbrellas
  • Selecting custom tiles to border your shelf

If you’re looking for a way to add both class and functionality to your inground pool, talk to your pool builder about how a baja shelf could transform your backyard pool into a resort-like oasis. They take up much less room than beach entries yet provide a shallow area for staying cool and splashing around. Your pool builder will be able to help you envision a tanning ledge, baja shelf or sun shelf that both meets your family’s needs and enhances your pool’s elegance.


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Topics: Pools, Fiberglass Pools, Pool Features, In-Ground Pools, Latham Pool Products, Swimming Pool Ideas

Tara Kar

Written by Tara Kar

Tara Kar is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Latham’s Canadian Division. Born and raised in one of the country’s most vibrant cities, she realized her passion for anything creative at a young age. From the dramatic arts, to backyard party planning, to Sunday cake decorating, her passion for creating is her driving focus. Recently married, her husband and herself enjoy quality time in their home, which they are renovating to include - you guessed it a pool!

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