Once you’ve decided on the type and size of your pool, the next important decision is what type of decking you want to put around it. There are many material options to consider that will impact on the look and feel of your backyard oasis. Factors such as cost, usage, size, and appearance are all important to consider when designing and building your deck. Regardless of the type of material you decide on, getting the size right from the beginning is ideal. In terms of materials and construction costs, it’s cheaper to add square footage during the initial construction than later on. You’ll also avoid issues that arise with matching material colors and patterns.
Standard Stamped Concrete
Stamped concrete is exactly what it sounds like, it’s concrete that’s stamped or textured to look like patterned stone. Stamped concrete is ideal if you want to match the look of any house colour or texture, and can be patterned to create a less slippery surface. Pricing will vary depending on the size, amount of labour involved, and the complexity of the design.
Don’t Forget to Brush
Another affordable pool deck finish is brushed concrete. Like stamped concrete it pretty much describes itself and is a fairly affordable option. Basically, concrete is poured and then as it dries is manipulated with brooms, brushes, sponges, trowels, and other tools to create a slip-free textured finish.
Elegant Flagstone Pool Decking
Flagstone creates a very beautiful natural look and is a popular design element for gardens, walkways, and pool decks. With a fair selection of natural colours available, flagstone can work with just about any colour scheme or design. A Flagstone finish can provide an elegant and high-end look that completes the natural design of your backyard paradise. It has natural anti-slip properties with a slightly rough, but not abrasive, texture.
The downside of flagstone is the material and installation costs. It’s fairly labor intensive to install, and because it’s a porous stone it requires a sealant to protect it from pool chemicals and other spills. Additionally, darker shades of flagstone can become quite hot in the sun over the course of a day and could lead to mild burns on your feet.
Exposed Style, Exposed Aggregate
Like flagstone, an exposed aggregate finishing has a natural looking finish. It involves pouring a concrete base and then topping it with small gravel or crushed stone. The crushed stone top is then washed to expose the many colors and shapes in the little crushed rocks, while creating a light texture. Exposed aggregate is a very affordable option for poolside decking because of its simple installation and affordable materials. While it has a very complementary and natural look, exposed aggregate can be hard on the feet and can heat up just like flagstone.
Wood is one of the most affordable and easy options for completing a pool deck. If you have the necessary skills, you can avoid contractor costs and have all the materials delivered to your home. Wood is fairly easy to manipulate and can be customized to work in almost any situation. Although the initial cost of wood is lower, its main drawbacks are the side effects of exposing it to water over time. Continued exposure to the elements, and constant soaking and drying around the pool can lead to warping, cracking, and rotting. The lifespan of wood is limited in comparison to other decking options, and can lead to short-term issues like termite infestations. There are more expensive options like wood composite, which is a combination of wood fiber and recycled plastic, that will last much longer.
Generally, the type of decking you put around your pool and throughout your yard is your choice, but knowing the options, and the benefits and pitfalls of each option is essential to making an educated decision.