Comparing Materials for Pool Decks

Swimming pool decks add appeal to your home and therefore, selecting the right materials to build them is important. Your picks will be guided by a variety of considerations:

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

• Budget

• 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 private pool. Your pool contractor generally offers you sound advice, but here is a list of materials you can consider, with their strengths & weaknesses.

Flat Stone

Natural stone is one of the most luxurious and expensive materials for creating a pool deck. Its appeal simply can’t be replicated. But for stone to keep its beautiful aspect, it has to be sealed and protected from harsh chemicals and the vagaries of weather. It has a long lifespan 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 precise and neat look, you might want to look at engineered stone. Repairs can be 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 important when temperatures vary wildly in your area. Note that water from a salt water pool will cause the stone to chip. Therefore periodical sealing of the stone is absolutely required to protect its appearance.


Concrete decks have been favored by homeowners for a long time. They are affordable and enable homeowners to design a pool deck according to personal preferences while avoiding blowing a budget. To enhance the look of concrete, you can add color or add a stamped design. Texture will help you create a less slippery surface. The good thing about concrete pool decks is that they can be customized with various designs and patterns. They are very easy to install is not complicated and they cost less than natural stone. Conversely, installation needs to be done altogether at a single go because it is difficult to find the same color match. Concrete will crack sooner or later and repairs are easily noticeable. Lastly, concrete retains 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 like it is with concrete. It is a stone of choice among homeowners, owns a consistent look, comes in a diverse range of color patterns, and is not slippery. 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 needs to be kept in mind.

Artistic Pavers

These pavers may be a good choice as they have the natural look of real stone. They are salt resistant, they are not slippery and chlorine does not impact their color. They are not prone to algae growth especially when they are sealed. Pavers are well adapted to all types of meteorological conditions. 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 feet.

More information on pool decks.