With summer around the corner, your poolside will soon become one of the most used space in your home. Now is the perfect time to think about installing or upgrading your pool deck. For many years, pool decks had all been done in plain, poured concrete, but now there are many other options to choose from.
When choosing the best type of deck, there are a few questions to ask: How slip-resistant is it? Will it be able to withstand continuous exposure to water, as well as heat and the chemicals used in pool cleaning? How reflective is the material to heat? (Will it be too hot to walk on barefoot?) How easy will it be to clean and maintain? How long will it last? These are all points to consider, not to mention the cost of materials and installation.
This is still a commonly used material because it’s inexpensive, slip-resistant and customizable. Concrete can be stained in a variety of colors to match your existing space, and can be stamped to create custom patterns. It’s a durable material, but not as strong as real stones. The biggest downside to concrete is that it’s prone to cracking; things like tree roots, earthquakes, cold climates and eventual wear can all cause cracks to appear. If the concrete does crack, your options for fixing it will be very limited. It will most likely need to be broken up and re-poured, and even then matching it to the existing floor will be hard.
When it comes to wood, there are actually 3 choices. The first, hardwood or softwood, is what’s considered to be “real” wood. It will look, smell and feel like real wood. The natural warmth that wood provides will be present and it will really make your pool space look beautiful. The main problem with real wood is that it’s expensive and requires constant maintenance. Wood that isn’t cared for will split, crack and lose its color.
The next option is pressure-treated wood. This is wood, usually pine or fir, that has been treated with preservatives which make it more resistant to rotting and cracking. It’s cheaper than hardwood, will last longer and doesn’t require as much maintenance. However, it won’t look as nice as wood, is prone to warping and contains chemical preservatives.
The last is wood-polymer composite, or simply “composite.” It’s an environmentally friendly alternative that combines plastic and wood fibers. It’s weather and stain resistant, won’t rot or splinter and doesn’t require much maintenance. However, composite can get very hot, isn’t as slip-resistant as wood, is prone to mold and mildew and does show signs of aging after a few years. Also, some don’t like the look of it and prefer natural wood.
Stone decks offer a wide variety of shapes, colors and sizes. This is the best option if you have a natural-looking pool or are incorporating waterfalls and boulders into your design. The most common stone choices are flagstone and travertine. Both will reflect heat well and are very durable. Maintenance is low and your pool space will last for decades. However, stone will be more expensive than other options.
Pavers are the perfect choice for an affordable, natural-looking and long-lasting deck. Unlike concrete, pavers can move without breaking or cracking and last for many years. If a stone does become damaged, it can easily be taken out and replaced with a new one. If you ever need to do any work on underground pipes or other utility issues, you don’t need to totally destroy your deck to get to it. Simply take out the stones and then put them back afterwards. You can get paving stones in a wide assortment of colors and shapes to perfectly fit your home. It requires very little maintenance and the stones won’t fade or wear out over the years.
Let us help you design and build the perfect pool deck or complete pool space. Fill out the free estimate form to speak with one of our designers, or call us at: 818.244.4000