Your pool deck is both an aesthetic and a functional landscaping element. It creates a smooth visual transition from your pool to the rest of your garden or backyard, covering the bare dirt to create usable space around the pool.
If you want to enjoy long days lounging by the water, your pool deck makes it possible. You can even expand your deck with enough backyard space to accommodate poolside furniture or a dining area.
The material you select for your lawn’s hardscaping can make a big difference in appearance and practicality. This guide highlights the seven best types of pool deck pavers.
Poolside Pavers 101
Before you jump in and start perusing pool decking, it’s essential to understand a bit about pool deck planning. When creating a plan for an inground or above ground pool, we have to calculate the pool’s footprint and the deck in advance.
The minimum recommended pool deck width is usually four feet. This width allows enough space for walking and for placing some lounge chairs. Keep in mind that your pool deck will take up a fair amount of space in your yard, so it’s crucial to choose your pool deck material with care.
What to Consider When Selecting Pool Deck Pavers
Choosing pool deck material requires more than simply selecting the one you find the prettiest (although aesthetics are a factor). Here are the key points to consider:
- Safety: The decking material should not get slippery when wet.
- Comfort: People usually walk around pools barefoot. Ensure the material isn’t uneven, bumpy, coarse, or rough.
- Heat: The sun can heat pool decks quickly on summer days. Select a heat-reflective material, which will keep the surface cooler.
- Longevity: Prioritize materials resistant to chemicals, algae, acid, mildew, mold, and frost, ensuring durability.
- Blending: You don’t want your pool deck to stick out like a sore thumb. Choose decking that blends with other hardscaped or paved areas in the yard. Check out these backyard pool ideas for ideas on how to create a streamlined design.
- Incorporating other features: For larger pool decks, consider whether the material needs to accommodate other elements, like an outdoor grill, firepit, or spa.
Finally, consider how you will integrate any safety fences or barriers into the pool deck’s design. Many states have laws requiring pool barriers to prevent kids from drowning or getting hurt. There are also often regulations defining necessary positioning, minimum barrier height, and types of materials allowed.
The Seven Best Types of Pool Deck Pavers
Now that you know what to look for in paving material for pools, you can start considering your options. There are many choices available beyond basic concrete pavers. We are focusing on natural stone products, which meet the criteria described above.
Natural stone is slip-resistant, comfortable, and heat-reflective. It’s also long-lasting and easy to integrate with other hardscaping features, like walkways. That said, natural stone is a broad category, and there are still many options to choose from.
Below, we break down the best choices for your pool deck design:
Travertine is waterproof, durable, sturdy, resistant to heat and frost, and slip-resistant. You also can choose from many beautiful design options and colors. Travertine is a type of limestone and has a few other qualities that make it a top choice for pool decks:
- The light-colored stone is heat resistant and refracts sun rays.
- Similar to limestone, travertine is highly porous, allowing air to pass through and avoid overheating.
- High porosity also means that water is absorbed quickly, preventing dangerous pooling that can lead to slips and falls.
Finally, the stone’s natural veins, grains, and fissures create unique patterns, meaning no two pool decks will be identical. You can also choose from many colors and designs.
Granite is an extremely hard and tough stone, making it a durable option for your pool deck. You can add an anti-slip surface finish (tumbled, honed, flamed) for added security. It’s also low-maintenance, sparing you time and stress in terms of upkeep. Granite comes as a cut stone or irregular shapes, making it usable for both pool decks and as patio pavers.
An igneous rock, granite is quarried all over the world and is readily available. You can recognize it by its grainy pattern. Granite won’t split or crack and will stand up to high loads. However, granite can be pricey, especially if you want it in rare colors like pinks and blacks.
If you want an exquisite and extravagant pool deck paver material, marble is the clear front-runner. Carrera white marble is a beautiful choice and can make your entire pool area more sophisticated. Although very pretty, marble is not the most practical option, as it tends to get slippery when wet, creating a safety hazard.
Additionally, marble is expensive and challenging to maintain outdoors. Marble is likely better for indoor pools, which aren’t subjected to the harsh natural elements like snow, wind, and rain that outdoor pools and spas face.
Slate is another popular natural flagstone option for pool decks. It provides great texture to reduce slippage and is exceptionally resistant to unpredictable weather. When properly installed and maintained, a slate deck can last for decades.
This flagstone comes in large slabs. Flagstone typically appears in grey shades, but a diversity of other colors are available to choose from, including dark blacks, greens, blue-greys, and red. Slate is also often used in other hardscaping elements like paths, so it easily blends into your existing landscape design.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock with a grainy look and attractive patterns that create a color-changing effect. Limestone’s anti-slip finish and porosity make it a safe choice for pool decking, as it will prevent water buildup and slipping.
Limestone is also very resistant to both heat and cold — another reason it’s a great pool deck paver choice. You won’t have to worry about burning your bare feet on hot summer days: The stone will remain cool despite the sun’s rays.
Coral or fossiliferous limestone is a naturally beautiful material that makes for stunning pool deck paving. Coral is comprised of bits of compressed sandstone or limestone, coral, and shell fossils. When examined up close, it’s possible to see all these tiny elements come together. Also called Coralline fossil, this material is incredibly slip-resistant.
Coral is notable because of its ability to withstand extreme weather conditions and pressure; It even holds up against saltwater. You can expect a coral pool deck to stand the test of time, even after prolonged exposure to chemicals and pool water.
Quartzite is even harder than granite, making it one of the toughest pool deck pavers you can choose. This rock is sturdy and durable, coming in various colors, including off-white, beige, brown, and light gray.
What makes this stone particularly astounding, however, is the rich texture it provides. The unique grains and veining on each stone add a uniqueness that you will appreciate if you want to make your pool deck truly one-of-a-kind.
The Final Word on the Best Pool Deck Pavers
There is no one right answer when asking the question, “what is the best pool deck paver?” It will vary depending on your preferences. Some people may prioritize factors like price point, for example, while others may find aesthetic appearance or safety more significant. The great news is that there are many natural stone paver options to choose from for your pool deck design. Work with the professionals at Architectural Landscape Design, and you’ll surely find something that suits your style.