Pool Deck Landscaping IDEAS
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Pool Landscaping

Pool Deck Landscaping IDEAS

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  • This modern pool is designed with strong lines accented by dark stained ipe wood deck bounded by concrete walls and coping. This tropical hardwood is also used to solve problems associated by under coping pool covers.
  • This rustic stone coping and the flagstone pool deck just behind are rustic and make this linear lap pool appear far more natural.
  • A good material for pool decks such as this limestone is dense, smooth to walk on and textured enough to be slip resistant. This light color keeps the deck cool enough to walk on during the long California summer.
  • To achieve permeable pool decks, slabs of stone or broken concrete combine with turf to create this verdant pool and landscape. A simple pool benefits most from more visually complex permeable paving design.

Pool decks have long been made of poured concrete, but this is changing with some contractors and in some regions. Issues related to concrete cracking and the complexity of repair is making this a less viable option than it was in the past. The emphasis on permeable paving is also driving changes here. Above all though, the use of unit paving in lieu of poured slabs has introduced some new materials to the pool deck world. Issues related to perimeter overflow pools and their small invisible gutters are also driving new ideas for exotic hardwoods such as ipe.

  • Good decking materials resist excessive heat absorption.
  • Good decking materials are easy on bare feet.
  • Good decking materials won’t become slippery when wet.

Most pool decking will fall into one or more of the material choices below. Some of these are highly variable with dozens of options, while others are more static. One reason for an increased interest in units rather than slabs is recent EPA regulations related to site runoff. Permeable pool decking that allows water to flow through is a requirement in areas where LEEDS regulations are in force. This has opened up a new approach to decks that utilize unit pavers of any size and shape, which shift naturally with the earth rather than cracking.


Traditional poured concrete deck with finishes: tinted concrete; stamped concrete; exposed aggregate; accent bands at expansion joints and edging. Prone to cracking in colder climates. Cost: low. Colors: many.


Stone paving may be laid on a poured concrete slab or larger flagstones laid on a compacted aggregate bed. Wide range of stone options excluding those which absorb excessive heat or are very dark in color. Permeable. Cost: high.


The introduction of exotic hardwoods such as ipe is a growing element of modern pools where the look and feel of a wood deck is a natural contrast to man made industrial materials. Wood is high maintenance requiring refinishing on a regular basis to maintain uniformity and color. Cost: medium to high.


Less popular than it was in the 20th century, brick remains a viable decking material preferred for historic houses or homes where brick is a strong architectural element. Use smooth brick that’s easy on bare feet. Cost: medium.