Comparing Materials for Pool Decks

Pool decks add personality to your home and therefore, selecting the right materials to build them is important. Your picks will be guided by a number of factors:

• The pool is in-ground or above ground

• Money

• Maintenance constraints

• Durability

• Local climate

• Personal taste

• Persopnal circumstnaces (active social life? children?)

It is important to keep in mind all these aspects to be able to make a wise decision regarding your situation. Your contractor generally offers you good advice, but we compiled a list of materials for you to look at, with their strengths & weaknesses.

Natural Stone

Flat stone is certainly the most upscale building material for decks. Its appeal simply can’t be replicated. But for flat stone to keep its beautiful aspect, it has to be sealed and protected from corrosive chemical elements and the vagaries of weather. Natural stone will withstand decades of abuse and it has a wide color variation to choose from. Natural stone comes in several styles, both offering a unique look.

For a rugged and traditional look, flagstone pool deck is the answer. For a geometrically perfect look, you may prefer engineered stone. Repairs can be easily made by replacing individual stones. However, installation is labor-intensive and stone decks need resealing at least 3 times a year. Keeping your grout replaced is essential when temperature changes are extreme. Note 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 appearance.

Concrete Decks

These kinds of pool decks have been the choice of budget-conscious owners since the 50s. They are cost-effective and enable you to design a pool deck according to personal preferences while keeping costs under control. To enhance its appearance, you can add color or add a stamped design. Texturing concrete will help you create a slip-resistant surface. Concrete pool decks can be customized with various designs and patterns. They are very easy to install is not complicated and they are more affordable than natural stone. Conversely, installation needs to be done in just a day because it is difficult to match the colors of batches of concrete. Concrete will crack sooner or later and patches are 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 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 stone of choice among homeowners, owns a uniform look, comes in a diverse range of color patterns, and is not slippery. Discoloration doesn’t comes in quickly, 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

These 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 a good sealant has been applied on them. Pavers work well in all types of meteorological conditions. The good thing about them is that they are affordable to install and durable, and they do not 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 weed-killing products. Pavers come in many colors and shapes and their surface feels rough on feet.

More information on building a pool deck.