Choosing the right material for my pool deck
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:
• The pool is in-ground or above ground
• Maintenance constraints
• Local climate
• Persopnal circumstnaces (active social life? children?)
Keep in mind all these aspects to be able to make a wise decision regarding your situation. Your contractor generally offers you solid advice, but we compiled a list of materials for you to look at, with their strengths & weaknesses.
Stone is one of the most luxurious and expensive materials for pool decks. Its beauty simply can’t be replicated. But for stone to keep its beautiful aspect, it must be protected from harsh chemicals and weather. Natural stone will last for centuries and it has a wide color variation to choose from. Natural stone comes in two styles, all offering a unique look.
For a rugged and traditional look, choose flagstone. For a geometrically perfect look, you may prefer artificial stone. Repairs can be easily made by replacing individual stones. However, installation is labor-intensive and stone decks require resealing at least 3 times a year. Grout maintenance is important when temperature changes are extreme. Note that water from a salt water pool will cause the stone to chip. Therefore periodical sealing of the stone is necessary to protect its looks.
Concrete decks have been around forever. They are cost-effective and enable homeowners to design a pool deck according to personal preferences while avoiding blowing a budget. To enhance its appearance, you can taint it or stamp it. Texturing concrete will help you create a less slippery surface. Concrete pool decks can be customized with various designs and patterns. Build a concrete deck is not complicated and they cost less than natural stone. On the downside, installation needs to be done in just a day because it is difficult to find the same color match. Concrete eventually cracks and repairs are easily noticeable. Lastly, concrete retains 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 it stays considerably cool under the feet. Note however that discoloration is possible with travertine just like it is with concrete. It is a highly popular option among homeowners, owns a consolidated look, is offered in many patterns, and is skid-free. Discoloration doesn’t comes in quickly, and most importantly this versatile stone withstands extreme temperatures. Installation is again labor intensive, so cost can run out of control.
Artistic pavers may be a good choice as they have the natural look of real stone. They resist salt corrosion, they are not slippery and their color is not sensitive to chlorine. 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 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. Pavers come in many colors and shapes and their surface feels rough on hands.
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