The right pool deck around your swimming pool can really bring the entire environment together. Whether you want a simple raised wood deck or something a little more elegant with stone or pavers, there are lots of deck designs and options to choose from. Below, I break down a bunch of different deck styles and give you some design inspiration and tips about the deck installation process.
Here are some of the primary considerations you want to take into account when deciding between pool deck options.
First and foremost, you want to make sure your pool deck matches your personal style and the style of your pool and surrounding landscaping. Your pool deck can stick out like a sore thumb if there’s a mismatch. I cover some of the main style options in more depth below.
Climate & Heat Reflectivity
Different pool deck materials and colors will be better for different climates. A general rule of thumb is the darker the color, the hotter it will be on your feet during the summer heat. Stone, tile, and brick will also be hotter on your feet, while a concrete pool deck typically has much lower surface temperatures.
Safety is a key consideration when searching for the right pool deck. If your kids are going to be running around a slippery pool deck, they need to have at least some traction (although I wouldn’t recommend running). Tile is typically the most slippery surface. If you’re worried about slipping, I recommend using a textured concrete finish.
Obviously, the cost will play a significant factor depending on your budget. Flagstone and paver options are typically more expensive than a wood deck or poured concrete. You can also mix it up to get the style you want for a price you can afford. Check out some mixed-grass and paver-style options in my design inspiration below.
You want your pool and pool deck to last for a long time. Generally, your stone and concrete options will be the most durable. Wood and tile are typically going to wear out quicker.
Types of Pool Decks
Here are the most common types of materials used in pool decks.
- Poured concrete – Popular and affordable, with lots of color and style options for either a broomed, stamped, or textured finish.
- Wood – Low cost and typically a popular choice for raised decks and above ground pools.
- Composite wood – Like wood, made from plastic synthetics, but with lower maintenance.
- Stone – Durable, stylish, natural look. Tons of sizes, shapes, and colors to choose from.
- Pavers – Bricks made from stone or concrete, typically lots of styles, color, and size options.
- Tile – Smooth, modern look. Go for unglazed tile (glazed is too slippery).
Each has its benefits and drawbacks, and as I mentioned above, some homeowners will choose to go with a mixture of these materials.
Pool Deck Design Ideas
This is one of my favorite pool decks that I’ve built. Modern, elegant stonework blends nicely into the natural landscaping around it. Dark stone makes the white furniture pop very well.
The jaggedness of this stone pool deck reflects the mountainside that it sits on. I loved building this pool.
A much lighter stone paver that is easy on the kids’ feet. I built this pool for a family in the North Carolina mountains.
I built a simple and elegant pool deck many years ago that matches the classic columns around the house.
Here’s a closer look at the same swimming pool from the other side.
Here is an excellent example of how small stone pavers can go a long way in a pool deck—one of my favorite pools I’ve built.
Here is another look at a mixed pool deck with pavers, this time with a lot more grass on one side. I built this pool for a client years ago.
I used Ipe wood around most of this pool deck, with stone pavers directly around the freeform pool.
This photo features a pool I recently built for a customer who has a house along a river. I love this wood deck that pushes right up against the house. It fits well with the elegant stone coping around the pool.
The mostly wood deck next to the natural stone coping surrounding this pool I built is a cool touch.
A lighter stone pool deck that compliments the greenery well. I really enjoyed building this pool.
Another elegant stone pool deck I built for a customer.
Here’s a unique take on mixing two deck styles. I installed wood decking around the lounge chairs to reduce the heat exposure to your feet that you would experience with stone.
Basic pavers for a project I did on a golf course a long time ago.
I had to install several layers of decking using different materials for this project. It turned out very unique.
Here is a great example of that mixed pool deck I discussed earlier—nice use of grass and stone pavers.
A more traditional above ground pool deck for an above ground swimming pool.
Here is a great example of brick, stone, and wood used around the pool deck to create a unique walkway and look.
Lots of exposed brick and poured concrete here, giving off a neat Mediterranean vibe.
You’ll notice more of a cobblestone finish in the bottom right corner of this photo.
This deck uses huge stone pieces to create a cool look unique from many other paver installations.
And for my last example, a very natural look with loose pebbles and larger stones.
Installing a Pool Deck
If you’re building a new pool, you need to consider the pool deck in the initial design phase. Bring some inspiration to your pool builder, and they should be able to craft something unique that really fits the environment you want to create.
Pool deck remodels are a bit trickier. If you simply want to update your current wood finish or pavers, that work is typically relatively easy to accomplish. However, if you’re looking to change materials entirely, that will be pretty costly. I recommend waiting until you need to resurface your pool as well to knock it all out together.
Need Help Building Your Pool?
I offer design consulting services to help you build your ideal pool. I'll work with your contractor, create build-ready designs and specs, and much more.
And that’s about it for swimming pool decks. Also, be sure to check out the rest of my pool design ideas. Have questions? Shoot me a message.