A tanning ledge is a versatile and attractive addition to any vinyl or fiberglass pool. Use your tanning ledge as a space for sunbathing, sipping on summertime cocktails, or splashing in the shallows with your little ones. From playtime with the kids to naptime in the sun, a tanning ledge offers something for every member of your family to enjoy. With over 60 years of experience, Latham Pool Products can customize the perfect tanning ledge to fit your needs and preferences.

What Is a Swimming Pool Tanning Ledge?

Like swimming pools, tanning ledges can be constructed from several different materials.Latham offers two types of tanning ledges, Fiberglass Gel Coated and Vinyl. Every tanning ledge consists of the same basic elements: a shallow, elevated platform that features openings into the main swimming pool. However, there are countless design variations to choose between, from modern to rustic to classical and beyond.

Learn more about:
Fiberglass Tanning Ledges  |  Vinyl Liner Pool Tanning Ledges


Fiberglass Gel Coated Tanning Ledges

Fiberglass has several qualities that make it ideal for tanning ledges. Its smooth texture prevents painful snags or scrapes, while its unique chemical composition ensures high durability. This translates to huge savings over time, since less maintenance and fewer repairs are required.

Fiberglass tanning ledges are standalone independent structures so they can be added to virtually any type of inground swimming pool, including fiberglass and vinyl liner pools. Often you see these types of tanning ledges installed adjacent to one side of the pool wall and raised up a step or two so the ledge can spill over and create a water feature that softly flows into the pool.

Semicircle Tanning Ledge

Fiberglass Tanning Ledge Shape Options

Fiberglass Gel Coated tanning ledges come in a variety of pre-engineered shapes and sizes to seamlessly integrate into any new or existing pool design. Our selection of rectangular and freeform tanning ledges shapes can be added to any inground pool, whether you have a fiberglass, vinyl liner or any other type of pool.

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Size: 9′ – 4″ x 16′ – 5″

Depth: 10″

Gallons Approx: 400

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Size: 5′ – 9″ x 9′ – 8″

Depth: 10″

Gallons Approx: 310

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Size: 7′ – 8″ x 15′ – 8″

Depth: 10″

Gallons Approx: 400

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Size: 8′ – 4″ x 16′

Depth: 10″

Gallons Approx: 250


Vinyl Liner Pool Tanning Ledges

Vinyl is a high-performance alternative to fiberglass, boasting its own unique set of distinctive features. Like their fiberglass counterparts, vinyl swimming pool ledges are also soft to the touch and quick to construct, delivering excellent value for your investment and providing a highly customizable social area.

These types of liner tanning ledges are only offered on vinyl liner pools as they are built using polymer or steel forms and then leverages the actual pool liner for the finished look. Vinyl tanning ledges are fully integrated into the pool’s inside perimeter so the best time to add a vinyl tanning ledge is either at the time of new construction of the actual pool or possibly during a renovation of an existing pool liner.

Always be careful of what types of foreign non pool type toys and furniture used on a vinyl surface. Check with the lounge chair manufacturer if the lounger is approved to be used on vinyl surfaces as Latham does not warranty any cosmetic or degradation.

Vinyl Liner Pool Tanning Ledge Shapes Are Completely Customizable

Vinyl tanning ledges are crack-proof, offer fast and easy liner replacement, and can be customized to enhance any vinyl liner pool design. The size and shape options are nearly endless, such as end-to-end rectangular ledges or curved ledges that extend from your vinyl pool steps. Get inspired for your pool design by our rectangular, semicircle and freeform vinyl tanning ledge examples below:


How Deep is a Pool Tanning Ledge?

The purpose of a tanning ledge is to create an oasis of calm. Since they are designed for lounging instead of exercising, tanning ledges are intentionally shallow — often, containing less than a foot of water. For example, our Gemini, Semicircle, and Picasso tanning ledges are each 10 inches deep, despite measuring different widths and lengths.

Genesis/Synergy Semicircle Side Tanning Ledge

Photo by courtesy of The Pool Guyz

Latham Fiberglass Synergy | Crystite Classic Sapphire Blue inground pool


Learn More About Tanning Ledges

You already know that tanning ledges make a beautiful addition to your swimming pool (which you can view a few stunning examples of here). However, tanning ledges are more than just attractive decorations — they also add functionality to your fiberglass or vinyl liner pool!

Also known as “sun shelves” or “Baja shelves,” tanning ledges offer a spot to lounge and soak up some extra rays without having to leave the water. They can also be used as benches, making them perfect for pool parties, entertaining, or any occasion where you need some extra pool seating. Plus, their placement gives you a fun spot in the center of the action — not from a distance on your deck. Whether you want to enjoy a cocktail, a book, a nap, or a party, tanning ledges help you get more mileage (and more fun!) out of any pool size or design.

Tanning ledges are available in a variety of sizes and styles. That means you have a range of options to choose from, but will also need to think carefully about the dimensions of your pool — and how you plan to use it. Most tanning ledges measure at least seven to eight feet long, which provides ample room for one person to stretch out comfortably, or a small group of people to share as a bench. You may want to install multiple ledges and/or leave space for additional pool features, which will also impact the size and placement of each ledge.

While sun shelves are available ranging anywhere from nine to 18 inches deep, we generally recommend that you select a tanning ledge with a depth of at least 12 inches. A minimum 12-inch depth ensures that you’ll be able to comfortably enjoy both the sunshine and the water, making it easy to splash and cool off whenever you want a little refreshment.

Fiberglass is a common pool construction material that’s prized for being strong, durable, and easy to maintain — three factors that add up to lower costs over the pool’s lifetime. Fiberglass pools also have another benefit: they’re great for installing tanning ledges (plus other dazzling pool features)!

Depending on the size and design of your fiberglass pool, along with your budget and time constraints, one or more tanning ledges can easily be added to the main pool basin by our expert team of builders. Once installed, your tanning ledge provides a stylish focal point for the pool while offering a spot to rest, sunbathe, or chat!

Not only can tanning ledges be added to vinyl pools — in fact, vinyl liner pools offer some of the most flexible style and customization options available! That’s just one of the many benefits that vinyl swimming pools have to offer, not to mention their impressive durability and lower up-front costs when compared to fiberglass models.

With vinyl liner pools, tanning ledges are generally installed in place of drop-in steps, making them integrated into the pool’s design. For people with mobility issues, such as elderly swimmers, tanning ledges can help make pool access safer and easier than needing to navigate a set of stairs.

Maybe you’re concerned that your pool is too small, too shallow, or too asymmetrically-shaped to install a tanning ledge. But don’t worry — as long as you plan for a few factors first, a sun shelf can be added to almost any type of pool, especially a vinyl liner swimming pool designed by Latham!

For instance, you’ll need to think about the ideal length, shape, and even color for the ledge, along with your budget and how it might impact your choice of construction materials. You’ll also need to consider how many tanning ledges you want, along with the size and location of other pool features like fountains, steps, spillover spas, or waterfalls.

Tanning ledges create more opportunities to socialize, entertain, relax, and unwind. They also add a touch of distinction, increasing the beauty and elegance of your pool for a fully functional showpiece. Whether you’re spending quality time with your children, soaking up rays with your dog, or chatting with your new neighbor, a Baja shelf offers something for everyone.

Get more value, enjoyment, and functionality out of your swimming pool by adding a custom-made tanning ledge — without the stress or hassle of installing it yourself. If you’re ready to upgrade your family’s pool experience this summer, visit or contact a Latham dealer near you to learn more about our tanning ledges and other quality custom pool products. Our friendly team of expert technicians are here to make your dreams a reality!

Backyard Showcase

Your backyard can be an extension of your home, giving you additional room to relax and entertain. A Latham pool can be the focal point in any backyard. Review our outdoor living spaces for design ideas of your own.