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How to Design a Tanning Ledge or Baja Shelf for your Pool

Backyard Entertainment | 10/01/22

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A baja shelf is often referred to as a tanning ledge because it’s a large area where you could sit in a chair and tan in the sun. Incorporating a baja shelf into your new pool design is a great option if you prefer to lounge in the pool. Many baja shelf designs are large enough to fit a few chairs and a small table. When you design a baja shelf, there are some important aspects you should consider.

Decide on the Depth

A baja shelf is large and shallow. It’s often the same depth (about 3 – 6 inch water depth) as the first step of a pool, but some can have an even deeper entry step after stepping in from the first step of the pool. This second step is typically equal to the standard second step of a pool (about 14-17 inch water depth).  Baja shelf areas can be large, almost “beach-sized”, like at some resorts or just small enough for one person.

Option for an Umbrella

Is your pool area shaded? If not, a baja shelf is a great place to incorporate a built-in umbrella. When you’re lounging in your pool, think about if you’ll want to have shade directly over you. Your pool builder will be able to add an umbrella hole directly into the step where you can put up an umbrella and take it down when you’re not using it.

Custom Tiles for the Shelf’s Border

Baja shelves have endless opportunities for customizing. One way to design a baja shelf is to add a border of tiles on the edge of the step or all the way around the perimeter. This is a way to add a custom touch. It can also be a safety feature so you can clearly see where the step begins and ends.

Water Features and Lighting

Consider adding a water feature to your baja shelf design. Water features are great for the sound and the beautiful look. Lighting can also be added on the top of the side of a baja shelf to add extra lighting in the pool when swimming at night. If you’re not adding a water feature or lighting to the shelf, think about the view from the ledge. Perhaps you want to look out to a waterfall as you’re tanning?

At Shasta Pools, we’re dedicated to making your new pool experience an enjoyable one. We do this by taking the time to listen to what you want in a backyard environment. During a one-on-one design consultation meeting, we will explain all your options to you in simple, easy-to-understand terms and continue to keep you informed throughout every step of the process.

If you’re ready to experience the Shasta difference, contact us to get started building the pool of your dreams.

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