The hot summer months are quickly approaching, and while you’re enjoying the outdoors, you might be thinking about installing an above-ground pool in your backyard.
Having a pool means having more space for entertaining. When summer arrives, you can lounge and relax on your pool deck or go swimming.
What a delightful treat! But there is one thing to think about: what is the best material for above-ground pool decks?
Pressure-treated wood decking was once one of the most popular building materials.
It was commonly used not only for outdoor decks and exterior cladding but also as a pool deck.
Of course, it must be waterproof and corrosion-resistant when used as a pool deck.
After installation, wood decking requires regular maintenance, such as painting and other maintenance work.
As a result, an increasing number of people prefer strong, durable, and low-maintenance composite decking.
So, what is the distinction between these two types of decking?
Traditional Wood Decking
Depending on the type, traditional wood decking has different properties, advantages, and disadvantages.
The common types of wood decking are briefly introduced below.
Pressure-treated Pine Decking
One of the most popular types of wood decking is pressure-treated pine decking.
It has the advantage of being the cheapest and easiest to obtain. This type of wood decking is available at any nearby construction store.
However, because pine is a softwood, it is susceptible to rot, mold, and insect infestation, requiring regular maintenance such as painting and sealing to extend its life.
Furthermore, in areas with large seasonal temperature changes, pressure-treated pine decks go through repeated cycles of thermal expansion and contraction. This has the potential to warp or crack the outdoor deck.
People typically walk barefoot on top of the pool deck. A cracked or splintered pine deck is unsuitable for human use.
As a result, pressure-treated pine decking is unsuitable for a pool deck.
Decking Made of Cedar
This is a softwood deck as well, but unlike pine, cedar has some natural resistance to mold and decay.
When it gets hot, cedar decking will eventually mold and rot.
In addition to having a better rot resistance than pine decking. When used as a pool deck, cedar decking suffers from the same drawbacks.
For example, the deck surface is prone to cracking or crumbling and must be sealed with a waterproof sealer on a regular basis.
To extend its life, regular maintenance is required. Overall, cedar decking is unsuitable for pool decking.
Decking Made of Hardwood
As the raw material for hardwood decking, trees such as IPE are commonly used.
These hardwoods are commonly resistant to decay, mold, splintering, and slippage.
They are also long-lasting, with a low-maintenance lifespan of 25-30 years.
Unlike hardwood decks, pressure-treated pine or cedar decks can last for 15-20 years with proper maintenance.
Hardwood decks must also be maintained on a regular basis.
Except for regular cleaning of dirt and debris from the surface, they are relatively simple to maintain.
Another thing you should do is oil the hardwood on a regular basis to keep it from fading due to UV light.
Oiling a hardwood deck not only keeps the wood looking good, but it also improves the texture of the deck’s surface.
Of course, there are some drawbacks to using hardwood decking for a pool deck.
Hardwood, for example, is heavy and difficult to transport and install.
Most notably, hardwood decks are three times more expensive to install than pressure-treated pine decks.
Poured concrete is also a popular pool deck material because it is long-lasting and resistant to water.
You can have the concrete surface brushed to improve its slip resistance.
Even if the concrete has water in it when the brushed surface is finished, swimmers will not be able to walk barefoot and slip.
Concrete pool decking has the advantage of being able to be poured into any shape you desire, whether it is a curve or a geometric pattern, and it can be done quickly.
Furthermore, the cost of pouring concrete is low.
The disadvantage is that you must hire a professional to install it because concrete can begin to set in minutes.
If you don’t handle it properly, you might have to break it and start over.
The second disadvantage is that the concrete may appear monotonous and unappealing.
Pavers Made of Precast Cement
Precast cement pavers, like poured concrete, are a good alternative to poured concrete.
This material is prefabricated in a variety of geometries, including squares, rectangles, and octagons.
The variety of geometric shapes allows for more creative surface pattern design. In addition to the single color of poured concrete, precast cement pavers can be ordered in gray or earth tones.
Although this material is more convenient than poured concrete, it has some disadvantages.
The cement pavers may sink if not properly installed on a bed of excavated sand or gravel.
This results in an uneven pool deck surface, making it impossible for people to properly use their outdoor pools.
Materials for Composites
One of the primary benefits of composite decking is that it requires very little upkeep.
This is one of the primary reasons why composite deck boards are the most widely used pool decking material.
Additionally, composite materials are resistant to moisture, rot, and warping, which is critical.
This is due to the fact that pool decking is frequently exposed to water. Furthermore, composite wood decking is stain and fade resistant.
It does not fade easily, even after prolonged exposure to UV rays, ensuring the pool deck’s appearance.
While composite decking boards are more expensive than pressure-treated pine decking, they are less expensive than hardwood decking.
They are, however, less expensive than hardwood decking.
And because composite deck boards require little to no maintenance, you not only save money on post-maintenance costs.
It also gives you more time to enjoy the outdoors. The composite material’s strength and durability allow it to last for at least 25-30 years.
You can even enjoy your pool deck for longer if you use it correctly.
PVC decking is another popular pool decking material. It is resistant to rot, mold, and moisture, just like composite.
There are, however, some distinctions between PVC decking and composite decking.
When there is water on the deck’s surface, PVC decking can have a slippery surface, which can be dangerous to people walking on it.
While PVC does not need to be maintained on a regular basis, it can chip or crack in cold temperatures.
It is not a good idea to use PVC decking as a pool deck if you live in an area that experiences cooler temperatures during the season.
Composite decking is better suited for pool decks because it combines cost, performance, appearance, and longevity.
Of course, you must still select the appropriate decking material based on your specific requirements.
Summer is quickly approaching, so get started on your outdoor pool deck project so you can enjoy your outdoor life.