Comparing Materials for Pool Decks

Swimming pool decks add appeal to your home and therefore, selecting suitable materials to build them is important. Your picks will be guided by a number of factors:

• The pool is in-ground or above ground

• Cost

• Maintenance requirements

• Durability

• Local climate

• Beauty

• Lifestyle (active social life? children?)

Keep in mind all these factors to be able to make a wise decision regarding your situation. Your contractor generally offers you sound advice, but we compiled a list of materials for you to look at, with their pros and cons.

Flat Stone

Natural stone is certainly the most upscale building material for pool decks. Its beauty simply can’t be replicated. But for natural stone to keep its beautiful aspect, it has to be sealed and protected from corrosive chemical elements and the vagaries of weather. It will last a very long time and it has a wide color variation to choose from. Natural stone comes in two styles, all offering a unique look.

For a rugged and traditional look, choose flagstone. For a precise and neat look, you may prefer artificial stone. Repairs can be easily made by replacing individual stones. However, installation is labor-intensive and stone decks require resealing every season. Keeping your grout protected is essential when temperature changes are extreme. Also remember that water from a salt water pool will cause the stone to chip. That is why regular sealing of the stone is absolutely required to protect its aspect.

Concrete Pool Decks

These kinds of pool decks have been favored by homeowners for a long time. They are affordable and enable you to design a pool deck according to personal preferences while avoiding blowing a budget. To enhance the look of concrete, you can taint it or stamp it. Texturing concrete will help you create a slip-resistant surface. Pool decks made of concrete can be customized with various designs and patterns. They are very easy to install is not complicated and they cost less than natural stone. On the downside, installation needs to be done in just a day 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 climates as this stone stays relatively 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. Installation is again labor intensive, so cost can run out of control.

Artistic Pavers

Artistic pavers may be a good choice as they have the natural look of real stone. They are salt resistant, they are slip-resistant and their color is not sensitive to chlorine. They are not prone to algae growth especially when they are sealed. Pavers work well in all kinds of climate. They are affordable to install and durable, and they do not crack when installed properly. Repairing is simple and maintenance only includes sweeping and rinsing for dirt and leaves. If left untreated, weeds will grow between pavers, but this can avoided by using weed-killing products. The color and design patterns are many and their surface feels rough on hands.

Learn more about concrete pool deck.