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What Is the Best Material for Pool Deck?

Friday, March 15, 2024

Whether you are looking to add a new pool or repair an existing one, you will see different types of pool decks. Decking around your pool can make it look like it belongs in your yard and provide you with a safe place to walk when your feet get wet.

Solid surfaces such as concrete or stone are typically used around above-ground pools, but man-made materials such as composite decking are rapidly gaining popularity. Most people with above-ground pools have raised decks made of wood planks, composite decking material, or PVC decking.

We’ll cover the most common pool decking materials and talk about the pros and cons of each. Work out which pool decking is best for your needs in your context.

Important Considerations for Pool Decking

The main purpose of a pool deck is to provide a safe place for people to walk around the pool, as well as a place to dine or lounge poolside. The surface of the deck material should be textured so that it does not slip when wet.

On the other hand, pool decks should be smooth to the touch so that walking barefoot will be more comfortable. The best deck material will not absorb a lot of heat from the sun, so the pool deck will be cooler.

All of the following are important things to consider when building a pool deck.

Anti-slip properties

The surface of the deck should feel smooth but also have enough grip to prevent it from becoming slippery when wet. To create a safe area by the pool, man-made materials such as concrete pavers and composite decking are textured. For some decking materials, you may need to keep applying a non-slip coating.


Surface Temperature

Pool decks can get so hot from the sun that you can burn your bare feet. PVC decking is made entirely of plastic and retains less heat. In addition, for composite decking or wood decking, choosing a lighter color can also be effective in lowering deck temperatures.

Maintenance and Service Life

Materials that do not require much maintenance are more cost-effective over the life of a pool deck. Most pool decks require regular scrubbing to remove dirt, pollen, and mold. However, different materials may require different levels of additional maintenance.

For example, composite decking boards only need to be pressure washed once a year. Concrete pool decking, however, needs to be scrubbed regularly and recoated by a professional every few years. A well-maintained pool can last 30 to 50 years, so choose a pool decking material that will last for many years.


When planning a budget for a pool deck, the final cost will depend on a number of factors. Such as the material used, the method of installation, the long-term maintenance costs, and the service life. For example, stone costs more than concrete. However, if you want artistic concrete, then concrete may not be the cheapest option.

Composite decking is more expensive than natural wood decking, but it lasts longer and requires less maintenance. So they save you money in the long run because you won’t have to buy new deck boards.

Once you know which features are most important to you, it’s time to take a closer look at outdoor deck trim materials.


Different Types of Pool Deck Materials

The most common way to lay an above-ground pool deck is to build a deck using wood, composite, or PVC deck boards. Composite deck boards are also used more often around above-ground pools because they don’t require much maintenance.

Composite Decking

Recyclable plastics are mixed with wood fibers to make composite decking boards. composite decking has excellent water and mold resistance. Composite decking material is more suitable for pool decking than wood decking.

On the other hand, most composite decking manufacturers, such as COOWIN, Trex, and TimberTech, also offer their customers capped composite decking, which has a polymer shell wrapped around a core material. These polymer shells provide better protection. As a result, capped composite decking is resistant to color fading, mold, and water damage.

Due to the way it is manufactured, composite decking boards come in many different colors and woodgrain effects. When properly installed and maintained, composite decking can last up to 30 years or more. Therefore, capped composite decking is more suitable for building pool decks.

Most pool owners agree that because composite decking lasts so long and requires little maintenance. Therefore the extra construction cost is worth it.


PVC Decking

PVC decking is a man-made item made from recycled plastic polymers and new plastic polymers. Because it is made of polymers, PVC decking looks a lot like wood and has more colors than other decking materials.

Earlier PVC decks suffered from wear and tear, heat buildup, and surfaces that were too slippery. But the latest TimberTech’s PVC decking solves these problems. It has better polymer properties and adds a real wood surface texture so the boards won’t slip.

Because it doesn’t contain any biomaterials, the PVC material lasts a long time and won’t harbor bugs or mold. In addition, PVC planks are cooler in the summer than most other types of decking. Despite its high price, PVC is a good choice because it can last for decades.

Wooden Decks

Wooden decks are very popular among people who have above-ground pool decks because they are cheap and easy to build. However, wood requires regular maintenance to prevent deterioration, splitting, and the growth of mold that can make the surface slippery. Pressure washing and surface treatment of wood once a year will remove dirt and mold and prevent UV damage. Wood decks typically last only 10 to 15 years, making them one of the least expensive decking options.


Stone Pavers

Stone pavers, also called flagstones, give your yard and landscape a natural look. If you take care of them, they can last a lifetime. Stone is usually not slippery due to its natural roughness. However, once they are in a humid environment, mold and moss can grow on the stone, making it very slippery. Therefore it needs to be pressure washed on a regular basis.

Stone also absorbs heat, so even light-colored pavers are less likely to stay cool in the summer. Stone pavers cannot be used around above-ground pools as they need to be laid on already-prepared ground.

The price of a stone pool deck depends on where you live and the type of stone you choose. However, stone pavers are a high-end material that looks great with many other outdoor living materials.


Brick is another high-end material that looks great in classic homes and comes in many different colors and styles.

If you lay a brick pool deck on top of a sand bed, not only will it not be slippery, it will drain very well. Brick is a sturdy material that will last a lifetime, but it is labor intensive to lay. Due to the presence of water on the bricks, moss and mold can grow on them, thus making them slippery.

Over time, bricks can shift and weeds can grow on them. Regular maintenance and weed removal are very important, which makes brick one of the more expensive materials in the long run. Dark-colored bricks also absorb heat during hot summer days.



Tile is commonly used for pool decks, but requires non-slip items or sealing with something rough to keep it safe when wet. Cheap unglazed terracotta or satillo tiles are also an option, but they don’t work in cold places.

Outdoor porcelain tiles can withstand the cold and have a non-slip surface for areas around pools. Architects and designers love tile pool decks because they give the pool a smooth look from the inside out. Tile for outdoor use varies in price, making it an inexpensive option.

Decorative Concrete

Pool owners like stamped or artistic concrete because it is more durable and less expensive than stone. For above-ground pools, concrete can be molded into any shape. It can also be molded in the ground. By adding decorative textures, unique colors, and molded accents, stamped concrete can look like natural stone or brick.

Installers can add gravel or texturize the surface to prevent people from slipping. There are coatings that prevent the surface from absorbing heat, thus lowering the temperature. The right amount of concrete is placed in the right places so that it cracks along these grain lines.

However, concrete pool decks can be tricky to maintain. If the joints are in the wrong place or the base moves, cracks can form. To prevent the concrete from fading and weathering, it needs to be pressure washed and sealed frequently. However, beautiful concrete is probably the most popular pool deck material because it is inexpensive and lasts a long time.


Concrete Pavers

Precast concrete pavers are deck blocks made of concrete. Like bricks, they drain well and are laid on a bed of sand. In addition, they don’t slip like poured concrete. If you want to do it yourself, pavers are a cheaper alternative to poured concrete. Concrete pavers come in a variety of shapes and colors and look just like rocks.

Like bricks, concrete pavers need regular maintenance to keep weeds from growing between steps. If the roadbed shifts due to freezing and thawing, the pavers can move or sink, making them easy to trip over. Interlocking bricks can help prevent movement over time.

Paver blocks absorb heat, just like poured concrete, so they can get very hot in the summer. However, concrete steps are an inexpensive way to lay a pool deck that is durable and requires little maintenance.


As you can see, there are many things to consider before building a pool deck. Stone and concrete decks need to be sealed, patched, and repaired frequently. Wooden decks need to be maintained and repaired once a year. Porcelain floor tiles have a sleek, modern look and are easy to clean.

Composite decking materials and PVC decks may be a bit more expensive at first. But they can last for decades and only require cleaning and maintenance once a year. They are also highly resistant to heat and moisture.

Choose COOWIN for the best pool deck remodeling. We can provide you with the color and deck surface you need. No matter what your design needs are, COOWIN has the right composite decking boards for you. Check out our product guide to learn more about the composite decking COOWIN offers.

Composite pool decking

Pool Decking Materials Frequently Asked Questions

Which pool decking will not absorb water?

Since both composite decking material and PVC material have excellent water and mold resistance. So you don’t have to worry about mold, mildew, or rot that can occur with other natural materials such as stone and wood.

What is the coolest material for a pool deck?

High-quality PVC decorative decking is one of the coolest pool deck materials on the market, even in the heat of the outdoors.

All deck surfaces get hot in the sun because they absorb and retain heat. However, PVC decorative decking is made from modern materials that are cooler to the touch than natural materials and other composite decking products.

What color should I choose for my pool deck?

Lighter colors reflect more sunlight, while darker colors absorb more heat. Therefore, choosing a light-colored deck surface will keep the surface cooler by reflecting heat. If you walk barefoot on a dark-colored deck, it will feel too hot.

Light gray, white, or beige composite decking or PVC decking all reflect the sun’s rays and keep heat to a minimum. It will allow you to walk on your pool deck more comfortably.

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