With summer coming, and the heat of the dog days of summer around the corner, nothing beats having a pool at this time of the year. Some of you may be considering having a pool installed, and those who already have one may be considering revitalizing the patio decking around the pool. So, what is the best decking around a pool and what are some factors to consider?
First, we must take into account the style of pool you have or want to have – is it an above ground or inground pool? As you are aware, an above ground pool sits on the ground on a prepared base and can be 4 to 6 feet above grade. Framing to support the best decking around a pool would be created by a wood or steel framing structure. In the past the only decking options for an above ground pool were either wood or composite – but are these really the best decking around a pool? Wood is problematic and requires regular maintenance, and it is easily susceptible to staining due to either the chlorine or salt in the pool. Over time wood will crack, split and splinter which is not fun on your feet or bums sitting around the pool. Composite decking requires less maintenance than wood, but gets very hot, is also susceptible to staining and can be very slippery when wet.
Thanks to some very innovative products such as; SilcaGrate, Paverdeck and Paverdeck Plank the best decking around a pool is now stone pavers, interlock stone, or porcelain tile. Design possibilities are endless, and you can turn your above ground pool deck into a beautiful maintenance-free stone deck. These innovative stone decking products are also the best decking around a pool that is semi in-ground.
When it comes to inground pools, it has been typically thought that the best decking around a pool was either poured concrete or interlock stone. The concrete is typically either brushed or stamped with colour added. There is an old saying – “there are two types of concrete in Canada, cracked and gonna crack”. Thanks to our harsh winters and multiple freeze-thaw cycles, concrete is very susceptible to cracking unless there are multiple expansion cuts put into it, which frankly can ruin a stamped concrete pattern making it unsightly. This hardly stands up as the best decking around a pool!
If your concrete cracks, develops significant chips, stains or if repairs need to be made to any pool lines buried under the concrete pad and you have to cut through the slab – fixing to it will be next to impossible. Not to say the concrete won’t be able to be patched, but you will never be able to match the colour, brush or stamped pattern of the original concrete pore.
The best decking around a pool really is interlock stone, bricks, pavers or porcelain tiles. If an area becomes stained or damaged, you can easily replace those stones. If repairs need to be done, stones can be lifted up, the area dug out, and items fixed. Once completed the stones can be replaced and everything looks as it was originally. In certain cases, you will have a concrete sub slab installed directly around the pool supporting the stone. This is not a problem because it can be cut out to access the problem area and patched with new concrete. Since it will be covered with stone afterwards there is no issues about trying to match the existing concrete.
For inground pool decks, in order to use the best decking around a pool, there are some innovative products such as Silca SoilGrid and Gator Base which help stabilize the base preventing shifting and settling of any of the pavers or porcelain tiles. These products can easily be removed and then reinstalled if any repairs are needed.
With the many options and styles of stones or porcelain pavers available you will be sure to find the perfect fit for the best decking around a pool.