Marcite Pool Finish: The Pros and Cons

Marcite pool finish, a blend of cement and marble dust, offers durability, color options, affordability, and a soft feel, but requires strict water quality maintenance due to chemical vulnerability and reduced lifespan compared to other materials.

what is marcite pool finish

Marcite has become synonymous with pool plastering for decades. Over the years, this versatile combination of construction materials has conferred waterproof, shielding, and beautifying characteristics to several thousand pools worldwide.

However, areas with particularly mineralized water (usually containing calcium or high alkalinity) may leave your pool far from perfect.

There are several reasons why marcite is the best finish for your pool, but first, you have to understand it, which is what we try to help you do in this article.

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What Is Marcite Pool Finish?

Occasionally, marcite and plaster may be used interchangeably. This is because marcite is widely used for pool finishes in many climates and geographic locations.

However, marcite more accurately describes the mix of Portland cement, marble dust, and fortifying material applied by hand on top of the concrete shelf on your pool.

The marcite plaster mix is usually white but may be tinted with darker dyes to elicit the sought-after lagoon effect on the bottom of your pool.

However, constructors are always wary of dying with darker colors because of the lighter undertone. This tends to exaggerate blemishes that may occur during your pool’s lifetime from scratches or reactions to hard water.  

What Are the Benefits of a Marcite Pool Finish?

With technological advances, new plastering materials have come into play, with the most prominent players being quartz and pebble finishes.

However, marcite remains the predominant plastering choice for many pool owners. Why might this be? Here are a few reasons why marcite is a versatile finish for your pool.


When done right, marcite pool finishes can last for eight to twelve years. This, however, refers to the ability of the plaster to remain waterproof and does not cover the aesthetic appearance of the pool.

The mineral composition of marcite makes it susceptible to reactions that continuously wear it down, making it inappropriate for regions with abnormally hard pool water.

Color versatility

The marcite pool mix is white, which for many pool owners, is a blank canvas. Several die options can add a bit of character to your pool. You can match it with your landscaping, your pool gazebo, or even go all Barbie and sync it with some custom outdoor neon signs.

Regardless of the pool design’s beauty, the finish’s beauty makes it pop. However, as mentioned earlier, it is always a good idea to steer clear of darker hues to avoid visible blemishes from scratching, molting, discoloration, and erosion.


When considering renovating your pool or plastering a new one, you might only sometimes have the extra coin for top-of-the-range finishes such as quartz or pebble. A marcite pool finish will get the job done when on a budget.

From procuring the required materials to enlisting the services of a qualified contractor, the marcite pool finish installation process is anything but expensive.

The plaster is installed entirely by hand and requires no special equipment or expertise as opposed to installing more complex materials. This makes it the go-to option that offers both longevity and affordability.

Soft feel

The pool surface needs to maintain a soft and smooth feel to avoid getting cuts and scrapes when diving down in summer heat.

Marcite’s blend of Portland cement, fortified components, and crushed marble are creamy in appearance and texture, making it an ideal material for pool resurfacing and plastering.

What Are the Cons of a Marcite Pool Finish?

Maintaining a stable chemical environment is integral to boosting any pool’s longevity and visual appeal, but this is even more true for those with a marcite finish.

Compared to other surfacing materials such as fiberglass, quartz, or pebbles, marcite is more prone to chemical action from fluctuating electrolytes in the water.

For this reason, squeezing out additional years of service from marcite requires stringent water quality adherence that may be more convenient and affordable in the long run.

Additionally, marcite pools have a reduced lifespan that may deter those trying to avoid resurfacing costs in the near future.

Scaling might occur as early as two years into the new marcite installation, unlike for other materials such as diamond Brite (a quartz aggregate mixed with cement) that guarantees a fade-free pool for up to 15 years.


Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions.

How long does a marcite pool finish last?

On average, with proper care, a marcite pool finish will retain its structural integrity for between 8 and 12 years. However, some pools have been known to last for nearly 20 years. Maintaining a stable chemical environment in your pool will help boost your marcite plaster’s lifespan.

What is the difference between marcite and gunite?

Often called concrete plaster, a marcite pool finish is also known as gunite plastering. Depending on your contractor and geographical location, these words may be used interchangeably for the same white material used in plastering pool finishes.

Is marcite a good material for pool resurfacing?

Due to its durability and functionality, marcite is the preferred material for both pool surfacing and resurfacing, as it blends functionality and visual appeal seamlessly.  

What is the longest lasting pool plaster?

The longest-lasting material is tile. Unfortunately, tiles are more expensive than other pool surfacing options and a lot more tedious to install. However, with proper maintenance, you may never need to repair or replace your pool’s finish.  

More FAQs

What is the difference between marcite and gunite?

The difference between marcite and gunite is that marcite is a type of plaster or interior finish that is applied to all inground gunite pools. Gunite, also known as dry shotcrete, refers to the structure of the pool itself.

What is the life expectancy of pool plaster?

The life expectancy of pool plaster varies due to several factors, including the quality of the plaster, water chemistry, and maintenance practices. Typically, a properly maintained pool plaster can endure for approximately 7 to 12 years. Nevertheless, there have been instances where pool owners have experienced plaster longevity surpassing 12 years.

What does it mean to marcite a pool?

To marcite a pool means to apply a smooth material mixed with water, known as traditional pool plaster, onto the inside surface of the pool using hand-held trowel tools. This process creates a smooth and durable exterior over the concrete surface.

Which pool finish lasts the longest?

The longest-lasting pool finish is tile. Tile is easier to clean compared to exposed aggregate and offers several advantages. Glass tile, in particular, is nonporous and highly durable. It is resistant to fire, heat, and UV rays, and it is also frost-proof.

What is the longest lasting pool resurfacing?

The longest lasting pool resurfacing option is tiles, which can have a life span of 20 years or more. Glass tiles are even more durable and can last even longer. Some individuals choose to use accent tiling, utilizing tiles above the water line and concrete or fiberglass for the remaining pool finish.

How often should a pool be resurfaced?

A pool should be resurfaced every eight to 10 years, on average. However, if you observe certain indications such as surface stains or flaking and peeling of the plaster, it may be necessary to perform maintenance.

Can you put a liner in a marcite pool?

Can a liner be installed in a marcite pool? Yes, it is possible to install a vinyl liner in a marcite pool, which can help reduce the time and cost associated with renovating the pool. Although it requires some work, it is a feasible option for transforming a marcite pool.

What is the difference between Replastering and resurfacing a pool?

The difference between replastering and resurfacing a pool lies in the outcome they offer. Replastering allows for a fresh appearance and the option to change the color of the pool, providing a new look. On the other hand, resurfacing can also enhance the pool’s aesthetic appeal, but it may require additional measures to conceal any existing damage or stains that replastering alone may not fully address.

Can you paint a marcite pool?

Yes, it is possible to paint a marcite pool. The best pool paints for marcite pools are epoxies, which offer the best value. However, for rough surfaces, it is advisable to use an epoxy primer like Gunzite.

How do I know if my pool needs resurfacing?

To determine if your pool requires resurfacing, look for signs such as pool tiles that are sticking up or curling away from the pool wall, visible cracks in the tiles and walls, discoloration of tiles and pool water, the presence of mold near areas with tile grout, and pool plaster loss around pool equipment or the waterline.

Why would a pool need to be resurfaced?

A pool would need to be resurfaced because the coating and/or surface of the plaster deteriorates over time, requiring this treatment every ten to twenty years depending on the region. Initially, any cracks or spalling must be fixed, followed by the preparation of the entire pool shell.

What type of pool finish is best?

The best type of pool finish is tile, which is highly durable and provides a wide range of design options. Tiles can be used to add a vibrant touch to the waterline, floor, or steps of the pool, or they can be used to completely finish the interior of the pool.

What is the cheapest pool finish?

The cheapest pool finish is typically plaster. Plaster pool finishes, which consist of a blend of cement and crushed marble, are the oldest and most affordable option available. Generally, they cost around $2,500 – $5,000 or approximately $4 per square foot.

How long do pool finishes last?

The lifespan of pool finishes varies depending on factors such as water chemistry and maintenance. Generally, a pool plaster finish can endure for approximately 5 to 10 years. However, it is important to note that this estimate is contingent upon proper care. Pool owners who desire a fresh appearance or enhanced durability for their plaster can explore alternative pool finishes that provide both aesthetic appeal and an extended lifespan.

What are the colors of Marcite?

The colors of Marcite can vary as white marcite plaster can be tinted in shades of blues, greys, tans, and blacks. However, many pool builders and plastering companies tend to avoid this risky approach.

What is the most expensive pool finish?

The most expensive pool finish is tile. There are various types of tile available, such as ceramic, porcelain, stone, quartz, and glass, each with their own unique features and appearances. Tile is a durable and long-lasting option for finishing a pool.

How is marcite applied?

Marcite is applied by troweling a mixture of cement, sand, and calcium carbonate (plaster dust) until it forms a hardened protective layer. This layer consists of calcium carbonate and cement, which is brought to the surface during the application process.

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