The deck of your pool is a structural necessity, but it can also be a visual asset to your landscape if well-constructed. The most common types of pool deck material include pavers, stone, tile, wood, composite decking, and good old fashioned concrete.
Each has its pros and cons for both aesthetics and functionality.
This is a wonderfully attractive option for pool decks, as pavers come in a broad array of colors, and sizes. They are usually laid in an interlocking grid, but can also be placed mosaic-style in larger areas.
Pavers, made from stone or concrete, are laid atop a sand or concrete base, and are cured before installation. This means the foundation and the bricks themselves bear minimal risk of cracking over time. While they are a more expensive option, their durability makes up the difference with virtually no repair costs.
Stones are visually even more versatile than pavers, offering a more organic look with their mismatched shapes and sizes. They create a smoother surface than pavers, yet still offer a slip-proof walking area.
Stones for pool decking are typically laid into a foundation of concrete, and any subsequent cracking is easily addressed with spot-repairs. While it is perhaps the most expensive option for pool decking, some would argue that tile stones are also easily the most stylish.
Tile pool decking creates a cleaner, more classical look, while still providing the benefit of reduced repair costs. Custom-cut tiles can be used for rounded edges and more ornate patterns.
Perhaps the best thing about tile is the easy installation. It can be laid into concrete like stones or pavers, but it can also be fastened with grout. Just be sure you’re using untreated tiles, to create a slip-free surface.
Not only is this the best looking material for above-ground pool decks, it is among the least expensive materials to use. It creates a natural aesthetic that blends well with woodsy landscapes, and many timbers often give off a nice fragrance as well.
The downside is that wood needs more maintenance and upkeep, by far, than any other material on our list. If your porch deck needs to be refinished every year or two, your pool deck needs refinishing at least yearly to prevent water damage.
This is a nice alternative to wood decking, as it still offers the same aesthetic, but with a bit more longevity. Composite woods includes synthetic materials that protect the timber from the elements while maintaining the grainy appearance of traditional wood.
Due to the manufacturing process, composite wood is notably more expensive. However, it will last longer, and will require far less maintenance than its counterpart.
Concrete is the classic default for pool decking, and is also the least expensive. More modern installation processes include “stamped” concrete that offers a more textured surface, sometimes resembling that of tiles or stones. You can also get it stained, which further enhances the aesthetic beyond the drab grey “community pool” appearance.
Despite the fact that concrete is inexpensive and easy to lay, there is one drawback that can eventually lead to subsequent costs. The fact that a concrete deck is singular, rather than consisting of several connected pieces, makes it somewhat more prone to cracking. While you may not face this expense for years to come, it is something to consider with regard to your rainy day savings.
Pavers are made from stone or concrete, provide a great slip-proof surface, and can be laid in a variety of colors and patterns.
Stone is equally versatile and slip-free, with a more organic feel from its randomized shapes and edges.
Tile offers a similar yet more sophisticated look to both stones and pavers, and is easier to install.
Wood is a natural and inexpensive option for both inground and above ground pools, but needs more maintenance and upkeep than its counterparts.
Composite decking provides the same look as wood, but with more longevity, if you’re able to shoulder the up-front cost.
Concrete is the most common and least expensive material, yet it comes with more color and texture options than in previous decades.