If you’re in the process of looking for a company to build or remodel your in-ground pool, no doubt you’ve carefully researched and thought about different construction options for your pool. But, did you know that the pool deck is just as important to consider as the pool itself? We’ve been helping families select and install the perfect deck material for their pools for over 34 years.
The pool deck surrounds, complements, and protects the swimming pool. It is also the area where you will ultimately spend most of your time when outside enjoying your pool. Don’t make the material selection for your new or resurfaced pool deck an afterthought: Learn about the five best materials used today for deck surfacing — and which is right for your project.
1. Acker-Stone Pavers
Unlike plain poured concrete, acker-stone pavers add a distinct touch of elegance to the overall look of a pool space. These pavers can be manufactured with a variety of looks and finishes such as stone, slate, and tumbled finishes to mimic the look of many types of natural rock for a fraction of the cost. Besides their pleasing appearance and overall aesthetic versatility, Acker-stone pavers have a huge durability advantage over concrete as they rarely develop cracks. They are also more stain resistant and easy to repair if a chip or crack does happen. Although they are generally more expensive than standard concrete up front, their durability spreads that extra investment across a longer time period. Acker-stone pavers also have the advantage over concrete of being slip-resistant when wet. They also tend to stay cooler than poured concrete.
2. Travertine Pavers
Travertine, which is a kind of limestone, has been used as a building material since ancient times. Not every pool company offers travertine as an option, but it happens to be a superior choice for a pool deck. Travertine pavers come in many different sizes, patterns, and hues. They are often distinguished by their pitted holes and wavy patterns that resemble those of marble. The different-size pavers available allow pool companies to create unique decorative tiling patterns. Many pool owners prefer travertine for its classic look of sophistication just as much as its durability and resistance to many different types of weather. Travertine nicely complements custom “natural” yard features like waterfalls and boulders. Larger paver sizes such as 12×24 off a clean crisp look on more modern designs. The material is also slip resistant and stays cooler to the touch than many other decking options.
3. Concrete Pavers
Concrete pavers are manufactured in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be made to look like stone or brick. These types of pavers are made to interlock without grout in the joints, so they are water-permeable and thus a great choice for pool decks. The sheer variety of sizes, colors, and textures means that concrete pavers look good with nearly any type or shape of pool. Concrete pavers are a smart choice for buyers who want something with a classier look than poured concrete but whose budget may not allow for the higher cost of natural stone pavers. These pavers will absorb heat more so than other paver projects.
4. Acrylic-topped Concrete
Concrete is probably the most common material used to create pool decks, but its two main drawbacks are its tendency to crack over time and the fact that it absorbs and radiates heat so readily. Acrylic topping offers a solution to both of those problems. It’s applied as a liquid to the hardened concrete, and when it dries it forms a protective coating that makes the underlying concrete more resistant to cracking and heat. Acrylic coating also offers better wet traction than basic concrete, so it makes concrete pool decks safer for walking. Acrylic can be applied by a pool company to your existing concrete, requiring no demolition, so it’s a great choice for remodeling an older pool deck on a budget and in a much shorter time.
5. Porcelain Pavers
Porcelain pavers are our most versatile decking surface option. Outdoor porcelain pavers are similar to indoor porcelain tiles, only thicker and more durable. These pavers are available in various interpretations of stone and wood and in multiple sizes, including planks and large modular shapes, to create outdoor spaces with latest style trends, including cohesive indoor/outdoor designs. Porcelain pavers typically come in 12×24 or 24×24 size and can be used on almost any surface out of the water. They are the ultimate material finish for a modern design. Due to their size and cut, these look best on a geometric pool design versus a curvy, freeform look. They are going to be the decking option with the highest price point but the lifetime warranty can make the investment worth the price.
Pool Deck Options
Any of the materials discussed in this article would make a great choice for your pool deck. It really comes down to your budget and the look you’re after. If you’d like to see and experience these deck options in person, check out one of California Pools & Landscape’s four Arizona showrooms. We’ll be happy to help you choose the perfect material for your dream pool deck.