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What is the Best Material to Use Around a Pool?


Installing a pool in your backyard is a major decision. It will require frequent maintenance, and the installation cost can be expensive. On the other hand, a pool, regardless of its size, has the potential to transform your property.

Of course, it can only achieve that goal if you make sure you get everything around it right. That includes a patio area you can use to dry off and enjoy the sun after a swim or while watching your kids play.

Which, in turn, leads to an important question: what is the best material to use for a deck around your pool? To answer that question, it makes sense to first look at the characteristics and quality any material that goes around your pool needs to possess.

5 Characteristics that Materials Around Pools Have to Possess

Tastes differ, and so does the area in which you’re building a pool surround or patio. Still, regardless of your individual preferences and situation, here are 5 characteristics to look for in any material you use around your pool.

1) Slip Resistance

Chances are you will be walking on the deck after getting out of the pool. As a result, any material you use needs to be slip resistant in order to avoid potentially dangerous accidents. You need your pool surround to be both beautiful and safe.

2) Easy on the Feet

How pleasant is the material to walk on before or after taking a swim? Answering that question requires considering both how pleasant the material itself feels on your feet, and how well it retains heat. Neither wood splinters nor a hot surface during a sunny day should be a concern.

3) Water Resistance

Naturally, the area around your pool will be exposed to plenty of water. Whether it’s kids splashing or simply an adult climbing out and grabbing a towel, that water will sit on the surface until it is clean or evaporates. Will it damage that surface? Will it cause rotting and warping? If so, the material you use may not be ideal.

4) Installation Cost

As mentioned above, a pool is a major investment. Put simply, you should not have to spend more on the surround than the pool itself. Any material should be relatively good value for money to ensure you have plenty of budget left over for the main attraction.

5) Ultra Low Maintenance

Finally, ultra low maintenance should be a key component for any material around your pool. The pool itself will require significant and frequent attention; as a result, it’s easy to forget taking care of everything around it as well. Look for materials that require little to no work for maximum efficiency.

What is the Best Material to Use Around a Pool?

With the above criteria in mind, let’s examine each of the most common options to answer the central question: what is the best material to use around a pool?

Poured Concrete

This option is relatively cheap, and pleasant on the feet. However, most poured concrete can become extremely slippery when wet. Adding a non-slip coating can reduce that risk, but will increase the costs and add a maintenance regime. In addition, solid concrete can crack when the temperatures fluctuate in certain climates.

Concrete Pavers

Pavers eliminate the cracking risks of solid concrete, and some come with slip-resistant surfaces as well. However, installation is more complex, which raises the price. The look isn’t also necessarily modern, which might not be a fit for your home’s style. Insects and weeds between the pavers in the joins can also be a cause of concern as well as the porosity of the pavers.

Natural Timber

Wood looks great, and comes in plenty of options to fit every need. However, one of two things will happen: left untreated or not maintained, it will soak up the water and even cause splinters on bare feet. To prevent either, natural timber requires very frequent maintenance and refinishing that can become both cumbersome and costly.

Spray-on Coatings

For some pool decks, it makes sense to finish the surface using spray-on coating. This coating is usually a mixed cement product, which is textured and protects against the heat on sunny days. But the product requires an underlying deck, adding to its cost. The look of the coated deck will be modern and industrial and may date quickly.


This pool surround option can look beautiful, especially if you carry the same tile from the inside to the outside. But don’t be blinded by its looks; for your pool, a number of problems tend to occur. Tile gets slippery, and can also get hot during sunny days. More exclusive options can also get more costly than almost all of the above materials. Tiles outdoors will also require a maintenance regime to ensure longevity.

Capped Composite Decking

Finally, we come to what might be the best option for your pool. The capped composite decking offered by NexGEN is not just price-effective, but also fulfils the other requirements outlined above. Our product is slip-resistant, and will not heat up during warm days. Splinters are not a problem either.

Here’s a blog post outlining 5 reasons why you should use capped composite decking around a pool.

Maintenance is another major advantage of composite decking. Or rather, the lack of it. Our product comes with a worry-free 25-year stain and fade warranty, which means that no matter the conditions, it will remain in top shape. And unlike some other composite products that can sustain mould or mildew damage, ours is guaranteed to be protected against either. In other words, capped composite decking is the perfect product to use around your pool.

If you decide on composite decking, use our free and instant pricing calculator!

Still unsure? See our guide to the best composite decking in Australia.

Contact Us

Adding a pool to your property is a major investment, and you need to make the right choices. Contact us to learn more about our capped composite product, and how it can help improve the decking area around it to allow for maximum enjoyment.

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