Pool Deck Design: Ideas, Inspiration, & Considerations

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.

Main Considerations

Here are some of the primary considerations you want to take into account when deciding between pool deck options.

Style

First and foremost, you want to make sure your pool deck matches your personal style and the style of your pool and surrounding landscaping. If there’s a mismatch, your pool deck can stick out like a sore thumb. 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 be hotter on your feet as well, while a concrete pool deck typically has much lower surface temperatures.

Slip Resistance

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.

Cost

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.

Durability

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 that blends well into the natural landscaping around it. Dark stone makes the white furniture pop very well.

A lighter stone pool deck that compliments the greenery well.

The jaggedness of this stone pool deck reflects the mountainside that it sits on.

A much lighter stone paver that is easy on the kids’ feet.

I built a simple and elegant pool deck many years ago that matches the classic columns around the house.

Here is a great example of how small stone pavers can go a long way in a pool deck—one of my favorite pools I’ve built.

Photo credit: Belgard

Here is a great example of that mixed pool deck I talked about earlier—nice use of grass and stone pavers.

Photo credit: Barry Block

Here is another look at a mixed pool deck with pavers, this time with a lot more grass.

I used Ipe wood around the majority of this pool deck, with stone pavers directly around the freeform pool.

A more traditional above ground pool deck for an above ground swimming pool.

Photo credit: HGTV

I love this wood deck’s deeper tones that push right up against the house.

Photo credit: California Redwood Association

Here is a great example of brick, stone, and wood used around the pool deck to create a unique walkway and look.

Photo credit: Habitissimo

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.

I like the all-wood deck in this photo that contrasts well with the house.

Here’s a unique take on mixing two deck styles. The designer installed wood decking around the lounge chairs to reduce the heat exposure to your feet that you would experience with stone.

This deck uses huge stone pieces to create a very cool look that is unique from many other paver installations.

Photo credit: Design de Decor

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 really need to think about 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 make some updates to 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.

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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.

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