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Swimming pools have long been a way to make a backyard into a recreational oasis. But what are some of the latest trends in pool designs?

According to pool builders, beach entries, fire features, water fountains, infinity edges and saltwater pools are all the rage.

Beach entries are gradual slopes built into the pool floor that become deeper with each step. No need for pool stairs or ladders and it's ideal for families with young children.

Pool designers can light your fire with a mesmerizing flame from fire accents such as a gas-powered lava rock fire bowl. You can change the color of the flames and dramatically set the mood for your outdoor guests at night.

Fountains are nothing new, but the newer foaming frothy ones have a mushroom-head effect. Rocks with built-in fountains can rise out of the pool or surround it, transforming the setting into a secluded retreat.

Infinity edges are aptly named for a pool edge whose recirculated water runs off radius-shaped edges into a catch basin. The disappearing edge is ideal for pools in backyards with city, ocean or other scenic views to take the eye towards the horizon.

Hate it when your eyes burn from the chlorine? Then a saltwater pool just may be the ticket. While it may cost more to build one, the maintenance costs are actually lower than those of a traditional chlorine pool.

For more information about pools and pool builders, visit the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals' website at apsp.org.

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