Precision Pool and Spa

Design Intro to Tanning Ledges
inground pool, Sun Ledge, Tanning ledge, gunite

Tanning Ledges: Maximize Your Pool’s Relaxation Value

For pool owners, tanning ledges (also called tanning shelves, baja shelves, and sun ledges) are a fabulous way to experience the luxury of sunbathing while still being able to enjoy the cooling water of their pool.

What is a Tanning Ledge?

This unique oasis is created by installing a level area in your pool that holds between six and nine inches of water. While relaxing on a tanning ledge, suddenly the pool experience truly becomes about enjoying the sun and the refreshing water—no need to worry about toppling off a raft and needing to swim!

How deep is a tanning ledge?

The depth of most tanning ledges is approximately nine inches, meaning that the ledge itself is no more than 12 inches deep. At this water level, many activities that are less possible at deeper depths become enjoyable, and the pool becomes a place where more people are able to relax.
When designing your tanning ledge, keep in mind that the depth of the tanning ledge will determine the amount of water that is in it, which becomes important when you are considering who will be using the tanning ledge most often. Typically, there are three inches of space between the surface of the water and the top of the pool’s edge. For example, a nine-inch-deep ledge will provide six inches of water; this depth is perfect for small children and pets.

How much space does a tanning ledge take up?

Many people choose to bring furniture onto their tanning ledges, creating a cooling space to enjoy a drink and a book. To accommodate this, tanning ledges are generally at least five feet wide, offering enough space for one or more lounge chairs. For those hoping to bring out an umbrella or a small table, a larger space may be necessary.

Who Benefits from Using a Tanning Ledge?

Tanning ledges open up the pool for use by many people who otherwise might shy away from the water. For instance, for those with mobility issues, tanning ledges provide the perfect depth for being able to use a larger area of the pool without needing to negotiate stairs. Tanning ledges also offer a safe space for your younger loved ones to enjoy the water. As tanning ledges can be designed to be entirely separate from the deeper areas of the pool, families often use tanning ledges as a shallow place for children—or pets!—to play.

Customization is Key

Besides the practical aspects of having a tanning ledge, there are many ways to customize the design of your ledge to increase its unique factor. Many people add lights and bubblers—these sensory accessories provide a more enriching visual and aural experience, especially in the evening hours. Lights can come in any color and can be customized to change at different intervals or at certain times. Bubblers shoot a stream of water above the pool’s surface, creating a fountain effect. You can even combine the two features: Many bubblers come with lights built in! A favorite of every pool-dweller, lights and bubblers add a tranquility to the tanning ledge experience.

Imagine a built-in umbrella stand creating a little shade for the especially sunny days. Adorn your tanning ledge with matching tile or a custom mosaic tile design. Add a bubbler or a waterfall to your sun shelf and you’ll have the perfect place to relax and enjoy your pool.

Because we design every pool completely custom, you will have the luxury of creating the perfect size, shape, and location of your tanning ledge.