There's nothing like relaxing by your very own swimming pool on a hot summer's day. But to really enjoy the experience, you'll need the right setup, and that could mean installing a deck around your pool. That deck could run the entire length of your pool or just run adjacent to part of it, and there are different pool decking materials you can work with. Here are some options to consider.
Concrete pool decking
The cost of a pool deck will depend on its size and the materials involved, but as a general rule, concrete is probably the most affordable option to use for a pool deck. You may assume that concrete can't look attractive, but that isn't the case. In the context of pool decking, it comes in a number of finishes, including stamped concrete, which can mimic the look of stone or tile. That said, concrete isn't the best choice for parts of the country that see extreme winters, as too much freezing could cause the concrete to crack.
Wood pool decking
Wood is another common choice when it comes to pool decking due to its affordability and classic look. But regular wood requires its share of maintenance, especially since it will be exposed to a fair amount of water sloshing out of the pool. You'll need to be prepared to stain and seal it regularly -- usually at least once a year.
Composite decking is designed to mimic the look of wood without all of the maintenance involved. The upside of composite is that it won't warp, splinter, or fade like natural wood will over time, and the upkeep involved is minimal. The downside is that composite costs a lot more than regular wood up front.
Stone pool decking
Nothing screams elegance like a pool deck made out of stone, and it's a material that's suitable for all types of climates. The benefit of stone, aesthetics aside, is that it's durable and requires little maintenance over time. The downside is that it can be expensive. If you're going to opt for stone decking, consider going with travertine, which is naturally slip-resistant and therefore appropriate for an area that's apt to see lots of wet feet.
Though more commonly found inside homes -- namely, in kitchens and bathrooms -- tile is another material to consider for a pool deck. The upside is that it's easy to install and doesn't require a lot of maintenance. It's also fairly affordable; generally, you'll spend less on tile than you will on stone. With tile, you can also choose from a number of design options, though keep in mind that you'll need to stick to unglazed tiles; the glazed type you'd typically find indoors is too slippery to be suitable for a pool deck.
What's the best choice for you?
If you're looking at having a pool deck constructed, you have plenty of options to choose from. To narrow things down, first ask yourself:
- What does my budget look like, and what material can I most easily afford?
- What material best aligns with my design preferences?
- How much maintenance do I have the patience for?
No matter what type of pool deck you land on, be sure to get quotes from different contractors before moving forward with one. The more research you do ahead of time, the more likely you are to pull off that project at a price point you're comfortable with.