Choosing the right material for my pool deck

Swimming pool decks add charm to your home and therefore, selecting suitable materials to build them is important. Your selection will be guided by a variety of considerations:

• The pool is in-ground or above ground

• Budget

• Maintenance constraints

• Local climate

• Local climate

• Beauty

• Persopnal circumstnaces (active social life? children?)

Keep in mind all these factors to be able to make a wise decision regarding your private pool. Your pool contractor generally offers you sound advice, but here is a list of materials you can consider, with their strengths & weaknesses.

Natural Stone

Flat stone is one of the most luxurious and expensive materials for pool decks. Its appeal simply can’t be replicated. But for stone to keep its beautiful aspect, it must be protected from corrosive chemical elements and the vagaries of weather. It has a long lifespan 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 geometrically perfect look, you might want to look at dimensional stone. Repairs can be easily made by replacing individual stones. However, installation is labor-intensive and stone decks need resealing every season. Keeping your grout replaced is essential when temperatures vary wildly in your region. Note that water from a salt-water pool will cause the stone to chip. That is why regular 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 affordable and enable you to design a pool deck according to personal tastes while keeping a low budget. To enhance the look of concrete, you can add color or stamp it. Texturing concrete will help you create a less slippery surface. It is interesting to note that concrete decks 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 altogether at a single go because it is difficult to match the colors of batches of concrete. Concrete will crack sooner or later and repairs are easily noticeable. Lastly, concrete keeps heat and become really hot for bare feet in summer.


Travertine is extracted from natural quarries. Its beautiful look is very different from synthetic materials. Travertine is ideal for hot climates as this stone stays relatively cool under the feet. Note however that discoloration is possible with travertine just like it is with concrete. It is a stone of choice among homeowners, owns a consolidated look, is offered in many patterns, and is not slippery. Discoloration doesn’t comes in quickly, and most importantly this versatile stone withstands extreme temperatures. Just as natural stone, installing travertine requires a lot of labor, so cost can run out of control.

Artistic Pavers

These pavers may be a good choice as they have the natural look of real stone. They resist salt corrosion, 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 work well in 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. If left untreated, weeds will grow between pavers, but this can avoided by using polymeric sand or a pre-emergent weed killer. The color and design patterns are many and their surface feels rough on feet.

More information on recommended reading.