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Trends in Pool Deck Materials : Ask the Landscape Guy
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Trends in Pool Deck Materials

by Tim Sanford on 03/24/11

So the question I keep hearing from customers is "What materials can we use for our pool decking because we don’t want concrete!"  Finally people are looking for new, natural ways to surround their pools.  The old, cracked white concrete is out and has made way for all sorts of new natural (and some man-made) materials.  We are using everything from - bluestone to travertine to concrete pavers - it helps incorporate the pool into our customer's existing landscapes.  If you are looking for something beyond the old, boring white concrete, here are a few different pool deck materials to consider. 
  •  Concrete Pavers - One of the most economical pool decking materials is the paver.  Pavers come in a variety of colors, sizes and can be laid in many different patterns (with matching coping).  You will want to find something that compliments the style and color palate of your home and matches the other hardscaping you already present in your landscape.  The best part about pavers is they don't crack!
Pool with Paver Deck
Pool with Paver Deck
  • Brick - I think brick give a pool a very classy, old world look.  Similar to the paver, brick comes in several colors, but only one size.  These can be dry laid with sand in the joints or laid with mortar, whatever your preference.  One caution when using brick - make sure you choose one with a smooth finish, some brick can be rough to the touch - not good for tender feet.
Brick Pool Deck
Brick Pool Deck (photo compliments of River Pools & Spas)
  • Bluestone or Flagstone - One of my favorite natural materials to use around pools.  Bluestone gives the pool a touch of elegance.  I would use a random pattern with rectangular and square stones and use grout that will compliment the color hues of your home (tan or grey).  Bluestone is also surprisingly cool to the touch too.   I would stay away bluestones cousin, slate, it gets very hot under your feet and will be unbearable in the Virginia sun.   
Pool with bluestone deck
Pool with Bluestone Deck
  • Travetertine - Another natural stone that I am using more and more around pools.  This is a great natural material that comes in several colors and sizes (with matching coping).  You can dry lay an irregular pattern with this stone.  One word of caution - be sure to get a travertine for outdoor use, this will make it less slippery around the pool edge.  I know everyone thinks travertine can be slick, but it actually absorbs the water and makes the stone coarser so that you don't slip.
Travertine Pool Deck
Travertine Pool Deck
  • Slab Paver - Slab pavers are similar to concrete pavers, but are much bigger and give the appearance of bluestone.  They are still dry laid with swept sand in the joints, but they look more like bluestone than a paver.  If you love the look of Bluestone, but don't like the price tag, this may be an option.    
Slab Pool Deck
Concrete Slab Pool Deck

I also wanted to mention that if you have a concrete pool deck and are looking to jazz it up with another material, you can always overlay your existing pool deck with one of the materials listed above.  You don't even have to pull up the concrete; it can go right over the top!  An easy fix for a dated pool.  Check out our earlier blog on how to create a new look for your pool.

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