Choosing the right material for my pool deck

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

• Whether your pool is above-ground or in-ground

• Money

• Maintenance constraints

• Local climate

• Durability

• Aesthetics

• Lifestyle (active social life? children?)

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

Flat Stone

Cut stone is certainly the most upscale building material for decks. It has a uniqueness and splendor that simply can’t be replicated. But for flat stone to retain its beauty, it is important to protect it from corrosive chemical elements and weather. Natural stone will last a very long time and it has a full gamut of colors 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 might want to look at dimensional stone. Repairs can be made by replacing individual stones. However, installation is labor-intensive and stone decks require resealing every season. Keeping your grout protected is important when temperatures vary wildly in your region. Also remember that water from a salt-water pool will cause the stone to erode. Therefore periodical sealing of the stone is necessary to protect its appearance.

Concrete Pool Decks

Concrete 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 avoiding blowing a budget. To enhance the look of concrete, you can taint it 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. Build a concrete deck 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. It has a unique look that is very different from synthetic materials. Travertine is very suitable for hot climates as it 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 uniform look, comes in a diverse range of color patterns, and is skid-free. Travertine does not discolor rapidly, 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 are a good option as they have the natural look of real stone. They are salt resistant, they are slip-resistant and chlorine does not impact their color. 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. They are affordable to install and durable, and they won't crack when installed properly. Repairing 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 polymeric sand or a pre-emergent weed killer. The color and design patterns are many and their surface feels rough on hands.

More information on inground swimming pool.