Choosing the right materials for the decking around your backyard swimming pool requires some serious thought. After all, pool decks have vastly different performance requirements than typical patios. In addition to being visually appealing, the surface to surround your swimming pool must be safe and easy on bare feet.
While the type of pool decking material you end up choosing will be influenced by a number of factors such as price, durability, and upkeep, the real kicker is that you have plenty of options to choose from. At Fujiwa Tiles, we want homeowners to get the most out of their pool. To that end, we are looking at eight of the most popular pool decking materials that will help you bring your dream pool to reality:
Concrete has been a popular material for swimming pool decks for decades—and for good reasons. If you want a fuss-free, low-cost decking option, you cannot go wrong with traditional plain, poured concrete. The most striking characteristic of concrete is that it can be customized in terms of shape (curves and geometric patterns are doable) to complement your home and landscape. If you want to up the visual ante of your pool even more, a step up from the traditional concrete is stained, stenciled, or stamped concrete, which can be customized to mimic stone, brick, and tile patterns as well as wood-grained textures. The major downside of concrete is that it tends to crack when exposed to heat and temperature changes.
Wood decking options are more expensive than concrete, mainly because wood is a product of nature and requires a great deal of upkeep, such as oiling, sealing, and waterproofing, every year. However, the premium is worth it if you want that classic wood aesthetic. Wood is also easier to cut, shape, and lay than other deck materials. Plus, it blends well with just about any outdoor décor.
3. Wood composite
One alternative to natural wood is wood-composite decking, which is a combination of high-density polyethylene and wood fibers and preservatives and binders. While wood-composite is more expensive than natural wood, it has the same look and feel and is far less susceptible to rotting as it is treated with preservatives.
Synthetic pool decking—made of recycled plastic and PVC (polyvinyl chloride)—is another popular alternative to natural wood, but it comes without any upkeep and weathering problems. Synthetic decks are the lightest, require the least upkeep, and usually last the longest of all decking options. Synthetic pool decks are also resistant to pest infestations and harsh weather conditions—a PVC deck can withstand constant exposure to the sun, water, and elements. They are also environmentally friendly as a significant portion of their composition is recycled plastic. The only negative is that this is the most expensive type of decking available.
Pavers are another popular hardscape material for pool decks as well as paths and patios. Concrete pavers are available in various materials—such as concrete, stone, or brick, with the first two being more durable—sizes, shapes, and colors, and can be made to look like cobblestones, granite, tile, or bricks. The critical advantage of pavers is that they need minimal upkeep and are easy to replace if a unit is damaged due to the materials’ low cost. Pavers can also be texturized to have a non-slip surface, and they do not crack or pool water. The disadvantage? Pavers necessitate a ton of prep work before installation—the ground must be perfectly level. Pavers also necessitate a permanent boundary to prevent shifting, which can be an unappealing design feature. They are also susceptible to color changes and stains. Not to mention the risk of weeds growing in the cracks and gaps between the units.
Stone does have a rustic and earthy feel to it. It is a good choice for a natural-looking pool that needs a rugged decking option. There are numerous types of stone decking available, and prices are often influenced by what is available in your region. Stone paving comes in many shapes and sizes, and the natural texture of the stone makes it slip-resistant. However, the stone is on the more costly end of the price scale.
Brick has a rustic and classical quality. They come in many colors and sizes, and they can be laid with sand or mortar or even on top of a concrete base. Bricks retain their color since they are made of natural materials and heated at high temperatures. Since they are not very absorbent, dirt and stains can be easily removed from bricks. All things said, bricks do have a penchant for moss and algae, and they can turn into slippery zones when wet, which is why regular maintenance is needed.
Tiles look amazing and can withstand both hot and cold temperatures. They are also easy to customize—you can customize them in any colors and patterns you want or go for decorative Watermark Mosaics for a one-of-a-kind look. Many ceramic tiles are rather pricey, but their visual appeal and user-friendliness more than make up for the premium. However, you are going to need to keep an eye on the grout between the tiles as it can get filthy over time.
When it comes to high-quality tile decking for your swimming pool, Fujiwa Tiles is a name you can trust. Each series of our Fujiwa Collection is created for superior quality, distinction, and appealing all-purpose styles. Contact one of our three offices today to learn more.