When dreaming of installing a new pool or remodeling an older pool, home owners don’t spend their time dreaming of the plumbing layout or how to run the electrical power. They begin by envisioning how they want the finished area to look. A big part of the finished look has to do with pool decking.
The decking is the entertainment area surrounding the pool. This includes any patios, lounging areas, and often leads to an outdoor kitchen. The most common types of decking are poured concrete, concrete pavers, and travertine pavers. Because this is the area right around the pool, homeowners want to be sure it is non-slip, especially when wet.
In North Texas, the soil generally tends to be clay which expands and contracts with the moisture levels. The Complete Backyard prefers to treat every project with clay soils using soil injections to minimize the amount of movement in your hardscape. Nobody wants to see their newly installed decking shift or heave in just a few years. However, even properly treated soil will still move slightly.
Let’s take a look at different types of decking common in Texas.
A lot of pool companies specialize in poured concrete decking. There are several options for finishes with poured concrete. There are stamped patterns to mimic the look of pavers or stones and even stains that can be added to the concrete to enhance your color choices. Poured concrete is the most budget friendly option, but stamping and coloring do add to the price.
Concrete pavers are also popular. While more expensive than poured concrete, concrete pavers have more flexibility in design. Installers can create patterns that aren’t possible with poured and stamped concrete. There are a variety of shapes and sizes which can be mixed and matched, as well as multiple color options. If a single paver chips or cracks, it can easily be replaced without the hassle of patching a large area of concrete. Also, if the soil under the pavers heaves or settles, the individual pavers can be pulled up and reset without needing to tear out the whole area. If concrete pavers do crack, they come with a lifetime material replacement warranty.
Travertine pavers are more expensive than concrete pavers with a high end look and feel. Nothing can beat the beauty of natural stone. Travertine is naturally non-slip making it an ideal choice for pool decking. Travertine pavers have all the advantages of concrete pavers (sizes, styles, and easily replaced) with a luxurious aesthetic. In addition to this, travertine can be cooler to the touch on hot summer days than other stones or concrete pavers. Travertine tiles and pavers will not fade in the Texas sun and are resistant to cracking in freezing weather.
What do I need to know when choosing my pool decking?
Before choosing your pool decking, decide on your budget. Once you determine what you can afford, stick to looking at options in your price range. Other considerations are safety (non-slip), maintenance and durability. You will also want to consider the style of your home. You want the decking and the pool to correlate to your house and to be a standout feature of your backyard. Choose materials for your decking so they complement your house, the coping around the edge of your pool, and any tiles installed in your pool and spa area. Think about what sort of feel you want for the area. Soothing and spa like? Contemporary? Modern? Rustic? The overall feel of how you want the finished space to look should direct the choice of materials you use.
I have an older pool with cracked decking. What can I do?
A pool remodel can turn an old underused pool patio into a feature highlight of your backyard. While it may be feasible to repair or patch cracked decking, many homeowners are excited about the possibility of a remodel, bringing in newer materials and completely updating the overall look.
Homeowners typically replace tile, coping and decking at the same time. This gives a greater flow of materials and unifies the remodeled space. If you are thinking about remodeling your existing pool, browse photo galleries to decide on a feel that’s right for you. Pay special attention to how the coping, tile, and decking relate to each other and to the surrounding landscape.
Remodeling also allows you to change the shape of your current decking. A bigger patio can expand your outdoor living space. This might include an enlarged space for outdoor dining, a fully functioning exterior kitchen, a fire-pit area, or more room for conversations in an outdoor living area. Think about how you want your yard to function and flow, then renovate with that design in mind.
No matter which material you choose for pool decking, be sure the installation contractor has experience with your product. Regardless how beautiful the concrete or paver is, if it is installed improperly the results will quickly show. Obviously you want the pavers to be installed flush with each other so there are no worries about stubbed toes or tripping. A professional installer will also be sure the area is graded properly so the water flows away from both your house and your pool.
Which kind of pool decking is right for you? The answer comes down to budget and aesthetics. If you need help choosing pool decking for either a new pool or for a pool remodel, contact The Complete Backyard today. We’d be happy to talk about options with you.