8 Most Popular Materials For Pool Deck (With Photos)
DECEMBER 14, 2023
The swimming pool is the best place for unwinding, exercising, spending time with loved ones, getting inspiration, and holding parties. While a good swimming pool can perfectly commend any property, the covering of a pool deck can either enhance or detract from its enjoyment. The more carefully you pick the material for your pool deck, the better it will serve you.
The most common pool decking material options include rubber, concrete, wood, pavers, stone, brick, tile, and composite. Even though some might seem objectively better than others, it is crucial to remember that each has advantages and drawbacks. Only considering all the pros and cons and looking at your specific situation (size and design of the pool, weather conditions, etc.) can help you pick the best choice for your pool.
What Should You Consider Choosing Pool Deck Surfaces?
When choosing the most suitable surface for above-ground or in-ground pools, there are several important factors to consider. From safety and maintenance convenience to comfort and its environmental impact, the surface you choose will impact the feel and enjoyment of your pool. Here are a few of the factors to consider when selecting the pool decking material:
- Safety. The surface should be slip-resistant to minimize the risk of falls and injuries.
- Durability. Your decking surface should be sturdy enough to withstand direct sunlight, harsh weather conditions, pool chemicals, and heavy foot traffic. Even exposure to water might damage the surface, so it is crucial to consider how durable your pool deck surface material is.
- Comfort. The surface around a pool should be smooth and absorb heat, as it can be highly uncomfortable for bare feet.
- Maintenance. The pool deck surface should be easy to clean and maintain.
- Aesthetics. The surface of your pool must naturally fit into the design of the pool and the surrounding area.
- Cost. The cost of the material and installation should be within your budget.
- Environmental impact. Consider the ecological effects of the materials used, such as whether they are eco-friendly and can be recycled.
Top 8 Swimming Pool Deck Materials
Lately, rubber has become one of the most popular pool decking options. It might be explained by how comfortable the texture is, simultaneously providing slip resistance. In addition, rubber can fit into almost any interior or exterior design, as rubber is highly versatile and can be made in various colors and textures. Moreover, the rubber surface is relatively eco-friendly and made from recycled materials.
Rubber is considered one of the safest materials for pool deck surfaces, as rubber surfaces will not become slippery when wet, so the risk of accidents is significantly reduced. Moreover, even if you slip and fall, rubber can absorb shock excellently, being a soft cushion. While they are relatively low-maintenance, rubber surfaces are also quite easy to install and highly resistant to mildew, mold, and staining, which other surfaces suffer from. In addition to that, rubber pool decks are not affected by cold weather that much, remaining flexible and crack-resistant even in sub-zero temperatures. In addition to that, rubber remains flexible and crack-resistant, so you will not face a situation when your pool location requires seasonal maintenance.
The main downside of rubber pool decks is solely aesthetic because they tend to fade and discolor over time.
It is vital to realize that although installing a rubber decking for your pool is expensive, it is sure to be cost-efficient, considering that it does not require a lot of repair or maintenance. Statistically, an average rubber-covered pool deck can last at least ten years.
Due to its affordability, durability, and versatility, concrete has been the most widely used material for pool decks in the last few decades. They complement any design in various colors, finishes, and patterns. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can opt for traditional poured or stenciled, stained, or stamped concrete, imitating various textures, from stones or brock to sand or salt.
Concrete is a relatively low-maintenance surface material that can last many years if given proper care. In addition to that, concrete also remains slip-resistant when wet if you go for a brushed or textured finish. Moreover, decorative concrete can complement any design due to its various finishes.
The main con of a concrete pool deck is its response to outside factors, as it tends to get quite hot when exposed to direct sunlight. Additionally, concrete cracks and becomes stained over time, resulting in costly repairs.
It is hard to sum up the cost of concrete pool decks, as it varies based on the finish and design. Generally, though, it is still one of the most affordable options.
Its beauty and versatility have made natural wood one of the go-to options for any pool deck. Having a wood decking for your pool patio is a sure way to give a touch of elegance to your outdoor space. In addition to that, wooden decking can be customizable, allowing them to match any design style perfectly.
Wooden surfaces have proven to be relatively slip-resistant, not to mention how good-looking they are. Due to its texture and physical properties, wood does not get as hot in sunny weather as materials like brick or concrete.
The main reason to repel from choosing wooden surfaces for pool decks is how much maintenance is required to keep them looking the best. Regular sealing and straining protect the wood from moisture, UV damage, and mildew. And if that is not enough, wood is prone to splintering, as it can often be damaged by chemicals used for the water. To sum up, in comparison with others, wood is not a durable material.
The price can vary depending on the specific kinds of wood you pick. High-quality materials like cedar or redwood are used and can be pricey due to their premium quality and natural texture. Moreover, it is crucial to consider the maintenance costs while choosing the wood and setting the budget for your pool deck.
One more popular pool decking material is pavers, which are appreciated for their durability, versatility, and seamless integration with various designs. They can be crafted from different materials, with stone, brick, or concrete pavers available in various sizes, shapes, and colors.
Pavers can provide a safe surface for wet feet, proving to be quite slip-resistant. Also, the maintenance and cleaning take little effort. Even if one piece gets damaged, it can be replaced individually.
It might be tricky to install pavers, as it requires profound preparation of the base surface – it must be even. Moreover, during the installation, the pavers must be cut to fit each other and the frame of the pool, extending the overall process. The issues continue after the installation, as stains can form with time, the color can change, and the interlocking pavers might grow with weeds.
The material is affordable, but the installation process can take much time and effort, resulting in quite a high price.
Like wood, natural stone is an aesthetic option that can fit almost any pool area. Moreover, they are available in various materials, such as granite, slate, and sandstone, and can be customized even further.
Stone pool decks are both slip- and heat-resistant, making them comfortable surfaces to walk barefoot. This way, maintenance and weathering issues are acceptable if your pool decking is stone.
If you pick certain types of stone covering, you will need to seal them for protection from moisture, UV damage, and staining.
Stone is one of the most expensive options.
Due to its classic and lasting looks, brick is among the most popular materials for pool decking. In addition, they come in various colors, sizes, and patterns while also being durable and having a lifespan of up to 25 years.
Bricks are relatively slip-resistant and do not accumulate heat, being a safe and comfortable surface for bare feet. It is also easy to clean and care for them.
Brick can be rough to walk on with bare feet. Also, if they get wet, bricks can be slippery and develop moss and algae, requiring regular cleaning and maintenance.
Compared to other decking materials, the price of brick is moderate.
Tiles are one of the most durable and versatile materials, available in porcelain, stone, or ceramics. Additionally, they are resistant to water damage and do not fade or stain, requiring minimal maintenance.
Tiles fit best to any style and design as there is an endless range of color and design options.
Glazed tile is extremely slippery when wet, so you should always pick the ones with a slip-resistant surface. Moreover, they may start looking grimy over time, so regular cosmetic maintenance is required.
Tiles can be pricey depending on your specific material, considering the cost of high-end options. Moreover, the price of installation can also be relatively high.
One of the recent choices for above-ground pools is a composite wood fibers and plastic deck. The material received in the end is quite weather-resistant, not prone to staining or fading. It is also relatively easy to select the best option for your design, as they come in various colors and patterns.
Composite decking is slip-resistant and immune to mold, mildew, and insects, making it the best choice for humid and wet environments. However, it is crucial to mention that these properties depend on how correctly it was installed.
Composite materials get hot in direct sunlight, making them uncomfortable for bare feed.
Composite is more expensive than almost any other option, including natural materials.
So What Patio Material Should You Choose For Your Pool Deck?
It’s important to note that all pool decking options have their advantages and disadvantages, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, it’s crucial to carefully consider your personal preferences and budget to select the surface that best suits your needs.
Certain materials may offer a stunning visual appeal but have a higher price tag and require regular upkeep. On the other hand, your decking material of choice can be durable but may need to align with your design preferences. In light of this, rubber seems an excellent choice for a pool deck material. It provides an appealing aesthetic, ensures safety, requires minimal maintenance, is environmentally friendly, and is cost-effective.