An integral part of any swimming pool is the space that surrounds it. To maximize the full benefit a pool can provide, you should incorporate a pool deck that adds space for entertaining, dining, lounging and outdoor living. There are three basic decking materials to choose from: wood, composite wood and concrete. As far as design, you are only limited by your creativity, as you can use all three materials to build the pool deck of your dreams.
Wood Pool Decks
One of the most common materials used to build a pool deck is wood, especially for an above-ground pool. Choose from pressure-treated pine, cedar or redwood. Cedar and redwood will be far more expensive, but will last longer and provide a more natural look to the deck. One of the best design features that wood provides is the ability to incorporate elevation changes in an uneven landscape. If you need to build upward, as may be the case with an above-ground pool, you can create different levels of living space from the ground up to the water's edge. If you have to build down to the ground, you can design some living space that will create an elevated view to the water below. When dealing with an uneven landscape or an above-ground pool, wood gives you the greatest flexibility at the lowest cost.
Composite Pool Decks
Composite decking is a combination of wood fiber and plastic. It can be cut and shaped exactly like wood, so it has the same design attributes. Most composite decks use pressure-treated pine as the structural base to provide the necessary strength an elevated deck requires. The main advantages of using composite decking revolve around maintenance. It resists fading, mold and mildew build up and cracking and peeling far better than wood. Composite material is even more beneficial when it comes to pool decks, as it will not splinter, which often causes a problem with bare feet. The only real drawback to composite decking is its upfront cost, as it is more expensive than wood, but the long term benefits still make this composite decking an excellent choice.
Concrete Pool Decks
The most common material used for pool decks for in-ground pools is concrete. Many pool packages already include a standard 3-foot concrete deck around the pool in the price, as well as give you the opportunity to expand out from there. While creating your deck design is best done before the pool is built, you can still add living space to an existing one. There are several options when it comes to concrete decking. Patterned or stamped concrete allows you to create designs though out the decking so it does not look like one big slab. If you are not thrilled with plain gray concrete, it can be stained to almost any color. Another great option is concrete pavers, which are available in a number of different shapes and sizes. If you are looking to create the ultimate pool deck that will blend best with the natural environment and surrounding landscape, concrete is the way to go.
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