Decking around your outdoor pool is more than just an aesthetic choice that takes your home from a level 5 in impressiveness to an 11! Decking allows you, your family, and your friends to enjoy sunbathing and cooking outside without having to walk on dirt and mud, tracking it behind you wherever you go, even into the pool water. Pretty messy and uncomfortable. The question then isn’t should you get decking around your pool, but what kind of decking surface you need.
Textured surfaces with low-heat retention are the best materials for pool areas for their non-slip gripping capabilities and burn prevention while being under direct sunlight. Composite decking will prevent the growth of algae while the stones in stone or concrete pavers are entirely waterproof.
Keep reading below to find out more about decks that prevent any slipping, will stay cool, what the big deal is about “composite decking,” and who can help you with all of this.
Non-Slip Deck Surfaces
The non-slip capabilities of your deck will depend on the amount of texture the surface of the material you choose has. Around a pool, you don’t want so much texture that you’re scraping your feet, but not so little that everyone just, well, slips. That would defeat the whole purpose.
When it comes to non-slip options, my crew and I at TNT have often used textured candidates like,
- Composite decking
- Stone patios
- Concrete patios
- Ceramic tiles
Composite decks are more slip-resistant than traditional wood options and will even prevent slippery hazards such as algae from building, thanks to the material.
The next non-slip option you have is stone. Stone, granite, or sandstone pavers (to name a few) have naturally textured surfaces that are beautiful and resist fading from the sun.
Patios paved with stone or colored and textured concrete will give you the wonderful and safe textures you want, is completely water-proof, and like wood comes in a wonderful variety of shapes, sizes, and colors so that you can really complement the architecture of your home and make your pool area something special.
You might not have expected ceramic tiles to make it as a non-slip option. After all, ceramic tiles have been traditionally much smoother than any other material, but today include non-slip options. Ceramic tiles are very commonly seen as the border around the pool so that it’s easier for you and your guests to climb in and out of the pool, but there are other benefits too.
Just like the composite, ceramic tiles resist the growth of mold, mildew, and unhealthy bacteria, accomplished thanks to the fact that the water can’t be absorbed into the tile, and with nowhere to hide from the sun, is forced to evaporate.
Pool Deck Materials That Stay Cool
In addition to non-slip surfaces, you should consider materials that won’t burn you after climbing out of the pool. Some materials will have high-heat retention, they will absorb heat, store it, and build up the heat they are absorbing until it’s completely inadvisable to walk barefoot on the decking or patio. So what are the pool deck materials that actually stay cool, or at least don’t burn you?
Materials That have Low-Heat Retention
Concrete pavers made with precast concrete are an excellent patio material if you don’t have much shade around your pool area. Materials like concrete and brick have high thermal mass, which means the heat will neither escape or be absorbed easily; it takes a long time to heat up these materials, but once the heat from the sun is taken away, it also takes a long time for them to cool down again.
Which Materials Retain a Lot of Heat?
Most composite decking options retain a considerable amount of heat, but this is not usually a problem for residential properties like yours because there is almost always enough shade from trees, overhangs, and various covers that will keep the decking from getting too hot.
TimberTech does have a composite option, called Azek, that is 30 degrees cooler than competing boards and 40% more slip-resistant, which makes it a fantastic option for getting a well-functioning deck.
Are There Any in-the-Middle Options?
Your everyday wood timber is actually a good in-between option in heat retention but will require much more maintenance to avoid hazards like splinters, warping, and just fading. Wood can get really hot, but even several hours directly under the sun won’t burn anyone. But keep in mind that putting wood decking next to a pool will require a lot of maintenance like restaining or refinishing way more often to keep the moisture out.
Regardless of which material you choose, a common rule-of-thumb is that the darker the color of the material around your pool, the more heat it will absorb, which means the hotter it will feel on your poor feet.
Composite Decking Around Pools
Many decking materials are prone to damage, such as water damage or termites, around your pool if not properly cared for. But that includes a lot of work! Just think of the layers of sealing and resealing you could look forward to doing. These are a couple of reasons why it’s often better to choose a material that resists the wear and ruin that decking is prone to. Enter composite decking!
Composite decking, instead of being composed of everyday lumber, is a composite – that is, made up of various elements – where the elements are wood fibers and plastic film mixed together with bonding agents.
What you get is a beautiful, water-proof, durable deck around your pool because composite decking is much more durable than the standard lumber option. You can even boast about how environmentally friendly your deck is since it’s made of old, recycled wood and plastic and won’t have to be replaced as quickly as traditional options.
Just know that different composites will require different levels of maintenance. High-grade composites require the least amount of fuss. Timbertech is renowned for their composites that are not only high-grade but look the most like wood that can be fashioned into numerous patterns and sophisticated designs. We should know. We use them a lot here at TNT Home Improvements.
What Material is Best for Above Ground Pools?
Above-ground pools can be a real eyesore with their cheap-looking walls, so building decks are a very nice solution to that problem. However, above-ground pools do require a little more attention to detail with decking material than ground-level pools.
You need to consider how much decking or patio you want. Do you want a combination deck, a side deck, or a full-surround deck around the pool? These options and the material you really want or need to use around it will significantly influence the cost of the project.
The best material for above-ground pools still needs to be water-resistant at least, resistant to weather changes, durable against everyday wear, and beautiful to behold. These reasons are why I would suggest composites or Redwood planks. Pavers and concrete patios are very nice, but it isn’t practical to use these materials for above-ground pools.
Again, composite decking is naturally elegant, sturdy, resistant to the weather, and you won’t have to worry about routine maintenance.
Maybe the biggest thing you’ll have to decide is whether you want your deck done professionally or not. There are plenty of hidden costs DIY deckers don’t necessarily know about, such as fencing as per state regulation, or even how the pattern of your deck affects the cost of materials.
Are you located in the Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming areas? You’re in luck! Give us a call today at (970) 663-2868 or visit our decking services page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment for a free consultation with us. Together, we’ll discuss your pool project and make your dream deck a reality that will last you for years to come.