Selecting Deck Materials for a Pool
Pool decks add personality to your home and therefore, selecting the right materials to build them is important. Your choice will be guided by personal preferences and circumstances:
• Whether your pool is above-ground or in-ground
• Maintenance requirements
• Local climate
• Persopnal circumstnaces (active social life? children?)
Keep in mind all these aspects to be able to make a wise decision regarding your private pool. Your contractor will typically help you with sound advice, but here is a list of materials you can consider, with their strengths & weaknesses.
Flat stone is certainly the most upscale building material for decks. Its beauty simply can’t be replicated. But for flat stone to keep its beautiful aspect, it has to be sealed and protected from harsh chemicals and the vagaries of weather. It will withstand decades of abuse and it has a wide color variation to choose from. Natural stone comes in two styles, both offering a unique look.
For a rugged and traditional look, flagstone pool deck is the answer. For a precise and neat look, you might want to look at engineered stone. Repairs can be made by replacing individual stones. Build a stone pool deck requires a great deal of labor, however and stone decks need resealing at least 3 times a year. Keeping your grout protected is essential when temperature changes are extreme. Note that water from a salt water pool will cause the stone to erode. Therefore periodical sealing of the stone is necessary to protect its aspect.
Concrete decks have been the choice of budget-conscious owners since the 50s. They are cost-effective and enable homeowners to design a pool deck according to personal tastes while keeping costs under control. To enhance its appearance, you can add color or stamp it. Texture will help you create a slip-resistant surface. The good thing about concrete pool decks is that they can be customized with various designs and patterns. Build a concrete deck is not complicated and they are more affordable than natural stone. On the downside, installation needs to be done altogether at a single go because it is difficult to find the same color match. Concrete eventually cracks and repairs are easily noticeable. Lastly, concrete keeps heat and become really hot for bare feet in summer.
Travertine is extracted from natural quarries. It has a unique look that is very different from synthetic materials. Travertine is very suitable for hot regions as this stone stays considerably cool under the feet. Note however that discoloration is possible with travertine just as it is possible with concrete. It is a highly popular option among homeowners, owns a consistent look, is offered in many patterns, and is not slippery. Travertine does not discolor rapidly, and most importantly this stone has a high tolerance for extreme temperatures. Just as natural stone, installing travertine requires a lot of labor, so cost can run out of control.
Artistic pavers are a good option as they imitate the look of natural stone. They are salt resistant, they are slip-resistant and chlorine does not impact their color. They do not allow growth of algae and mildew especially when a good sealant has been applied on them. Pavers are well adapted to all kinds of climate. The good thing about them is that they are affordable to install and durable, and they won't crack when installed properly. Fixing a pool deck made of pavers is simple and maintenance only includes sweeping and rinsing for dirt and leaves. Although you can expect weeds to sprout up in between pavers, but this can avoided by using weed-killing products. Pavers come in many colors and shapes and their surface feels rough on hands.
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