A swimming pool is a thing of beauty – a visual delight. Aesthetically exciting, it increases the grandeur of the villa, an apartment building or a hotel with the blue waters having a soothing effect on residents. So it is no surprise that homeowners and hoteliers are ‘designing’ a swimming pool these days and not just ‘building’ a pool in the garden or on the terrace. They want it to look as pretty as the interiors of their house, apartment or hotel.
The pool deck is where one can apply their creativity and do it up in exciting designs, shapes and colour. Material of the deck is important. What should you use? Plan carefully keeping in mind factors like cost, maintenance, durability and lifestyle.
Let us run through the choices and their pros and cons.
Concrete: Popular as a pool deck, concrete is durable, affordable and looks good. There is a vast choice in design – stamped, coloured, stained, rock salt finish or exposed aggregate. Disadvantage with concrete is that it cracks easily and sealers need to be applied every 2-3 years. If outdoors, concrete will be hot and slippery. To keep it non-slippery an anti-skid agent must be mixed with the sealer.
Wood: Wood decks are smart and appealing because of the colour of Nature in cedar, mahogany and redwood. However, regular maintenance is necessary to keep it splinter free. Water proofing must be given to protect it from ‘greying’ and preservative treatments to shield it from weather, insects and rot.
Pavers: Available in different colours and designs, pavers can either be concrete or brick. Generally low maintenance but weeds grow in between unless polymeric sand is applied every two years. Can be hot on the feet if outdoors.
Tiles: Tiles give a dramatic look to the deck! Glazed tiles are slippery so unglazed ones are preferred. Downside is that tiles cannot be used without proper sealing to prevent staining and water penetration.
Stone: Decks made from flagstone, slate, granite, travertine, natural fieldstone and bluestone are durable but expensive to install. Can be hot on the feet if outdoors.
Brick: Cheaper than flagstone, brick costs more than pavers. It is also rough to the feet because of the finishing. Since it retains temperature, brick is hotter than other materials.
Serpentine: The choice of modern builders, serpentine is durable and makes excellent decking for the pool – both outdoors and indoors. A maintenance free stone, it does not stain easily and looks elegant when surrounding a pool in the garden, in a hotel spa or on the terrace of an apartment building.
Serpentine is a blend of varied mineralogy and chemistry because of which it displays exceptional acid and abrasion resistance. The semi-polished and rough finishes provide an original look and feel. Serpentine is suitable for all outdoor and indoor settings because of its neutral grey shade.
Want a waterfall? Serpentine would be a great choice for the walls behind. Enjoy watching the cascading water reflected on the calm, stone wall!
Weigh the pros and cons well. You don’t want to make the wrong decision and rue it afterwards.