Downstairs & Above-Ground: Planning a Basement Pool
How Bert planned a pool for year-round physical and mental fitness
The convenience, privacy, and 24/7 access suits him just fine: something of a Renaissance man, he's active in sports and the arts … and he finds that his Endless Pools installation helps him with both!
Why Not Outdoors?
With a warm climate like South Carolina's, why not install an outdoor pool? "Then I have to worry about debris falling in the pool," notes Bert. "I live in the woods.
"And I can swim 365 indoors," he adds. "It rarely gets cold, but it did snow this winter, and I went swimming!"
Summers aren't always ideal either: "It gets unbearably hot outside" where the mercury can hit 100° F or higher.
Why the Basement?
Like many unfinished basements, Bert's had "a slab already laid down." That's a smart cost-saving measure; as with garage pools, using a pre-existing concrete floor saves money on site preparation for an above-ground pool. "It made sense," he says plainly.
He used an approximately 20' x 16' space in his unfinished basement. With the Endless Pool, you only need to access one side of the cabinet, so Bert could save space with a corner installation. He had no need to access the backside.
Plus, "it seemed to make the most sense so there's less siding." Purchasing and installing skirting on just two of the four sides is another smart cost-saving measure!
Finishing the Unfinished Basement
Starting with exposed studs and cement walls, Bert chose tile in clean, neutral tones and "rubber flooring like you find at a gym."
Moisture-resistant ceiling tiles serve multiple purposes. They protect the wood floor overhead from humidity, allowed him to drop the ceiling 11" to about 8.5' for easier climate control, and provide a uniform finish to the pool area.
The pool area also incorporates a nearby restroom for convenience and a small mechanical room for easier access to the pool's remote equipment.
2 Surprising Uses
"I don't swim every day, but I try to," Bert notes. When he's on vacation from his university post, he particularly enjoys the at-home flexibility. "During summer, I've swum early morning; I've swum midday; I've swum as late as 9:30 at night."
As an amateur baseball player, he also finds, "It's good for pitching! I've swum after a game to loosen up. I'm still pitching into the 7th inning, and I'm in my 60s. I think swimming helps."
Besides cross-training for baseball, he also finds that his Endless Pools swimming can help when he's writing music. When writer's block strikes this Professor of Jazz Studies, he sets the pace of the Endless Pools swim current close to that of the music's tempo and goes for a swim.
"I can get the pace of the music in my mind. I can solve problems in my writing. It clears my mind. I can listen to music in my head without the distraction of an instrument or a pencil – just working out what's in my head.
"It's been great having it here."