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Know your pool deck options

The pool deck is an essential part of your swimming pool installation or renovation. While the pool itself may receive the majority of your attention, taking the time to carefully select the right decking materials is just as important.

Not only does your pool deck act as an enhancement to the beauty of this water feature, it also provides a social setting where people may linger, and should include important safety features.

When selecting your new pool deck materials, take time to consider several important details:

  • The integration into the overall look of your outdoor space
  • Heat absorption and retention
  • Water absorption and slickness when wet
  • The way the deck materials feels under bare feet
  • Cost
  • Maintenance

Natural Stone

Natural stone allows homeowners to enhance their pool and poolside areas, creating a sleek, streamlined look that has become synonymous with striking sophistication. Travertine, slate, and flagstone are examples of classic, natural stone pool deck materials that have enjoyed years of popularity among Canadian homeowners from coast to coast.

To retain its beauty, natural stone requires yearly sealing is required to protect the porous stone from the damage chlorine and natural weather erosion can cause.

Hardwood Decking

Hardwood pool decking creates a striking backdrop for the sparkling water in the pool itself. However, it is important to select an incredibly durable wood species that has the ability to stand up to moisture.

Many homeowners with a fondness for wood pool decking have turned to exotic hardwood species, due to their resilience and longer lifespan. In fact, some of these exotic hardwoods, such as Ipe, Cumaru, and Massaranduba are known to last 20 years or more.

It is important to note that exotic hardwood can be quite costly, and is one of the most demanding pool decking options to install and care for.

Poured Concrete

Poured concrete has been the choice among backyard pool enthusiasts for generations, due to its innate durability and resistance to both chlorine and salt. Naturally slip-resistant, concrete is a safe option for swimmers and sunbathers of all ages.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete has the strength and versatility of traditional concrete surface applications, adding a decorative twist.  A large rubber stamp is used to impress designs into the wet concrete, allowing contractors to replicate the look of more expensive materials.

According to Impressions Concrete and Coatings, concrete stamping is the ideal choice for more affordable pool decking. “The biggest advantage to stamped concrete is the variety of appearances and colours combined with the durability of concrete.  Concrete stamping provides unlimited design opportunities such as aged cobblestones, brickwork, flagstones, slate tile, marble, granite, wood, or just about any natural surface.”

Concrete Pavers

Concrete paver stones are precast concrete blocks that come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colours and styles. They provide the look of natural stone and can be easily arranged around curves and along garden edging. This allows homeowners to enjoy incredible flexibility in design. Since they are an essential part of your hardscaping puzzle, paver stones are also easily replaced, if one becomes cracked or damaged in any way.


pool deck

Source: Trex

Adding composite decking to your poolside area provides the look of natural wood decking, without the threat of splintering or rot. Composite decking has a low water absorption rate, making it virtually non-slip, and is resistant to mold and mildew.

Composite decking is an inherently-green, pool deck material, since it is primarily composed of recycled wood and plastic.

Rubber Safety Surfaces

pool deck

Source: Ruboroc

One of the most exciting pool deck surfacing options is rubber. While rubber, safety surfaces have been a staple on splash pads and at water parks for a while now, their entry into the residential market is relatively new.

Rubber surfacing allows for optimal poolside safety, which is a high priority for families with small children, and for seniors as well.

“Rubaroc® [rubber safety surfacing] is skid-resistant when wet, much like your bath mat which makes rubber safety surfacing perfect for wet deck applications.” (Rubroc)

Rubber safety surfacing combines polymer resins to create a non-slip surface that’s more comfortable underfoot than traditional pool deck surface materials. It is also available in unlimited colour combinations, making it easy for homeowners to add a personal touch to their backyard pool.

Switching to rubber surfacing is easy, since the product can be applied over top of anything from concrete to brick, wood and other solid substrate materials.


To learn more about pool deck materials, pool renovation, installation and more, be sure to browse our extensive library of backyard pool and spa information, or scan the listings of swimming pool contractors, here on

Featured Image: Cedar Springs Landscape Group

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