Choosing the right material for my pool deck

Swimming pool decks add charm to your home and selecting the right materials to build them is important. Your picks will be guided by a number of factors:

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

• Budget

• Maintenance requirements

• Local climate

• Durability

• Beauty

• Persopnal circumstnaces (active social life? children?)

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

Natural Stone

Stone is one of the most luxurious and expensive materials for decks. Its appeal simply can’t be replicated. But for natural stone to keep its beautiful aspect, it is important to protect it from harsh chemicals and the vagaries of weather. Natural stone 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, choose flagstone. For a symmetrical look, you may prefer dimensional stone. Repairs can be easily made by replacing individual stones. However, installation is labor-intensive and stone decks require resealing every season. Grout maintenance is important 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 Pool Decks

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 preferences while keeping a low budget. To enhance the look of concrete, you can add color or add a stamped design. Texture will help you create a slip-resistant 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 match the colors of batches of concrete. 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 considerably cool under the feet. But 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 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 resist salt corrosion, they are not slippery 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 are well adapted to 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 hands.

Learn more about building an inground pool.