Pool Deck Ideas – The 4 Main Choices

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Imagine if there was a secret tool that could take your poolside adventures to the next level? One that people living near water have been enjoying for ages. It turns out that just such a secret does exist – a deck. Decks have been a staple of waterside life for ages now. But it’s a relatively new, and invaluable, addition to home pools. The fact that it’s a fairly new concept for home construction means that there’s a multitude of pool deck ideas to experiment with. And you’re about to find some of the best ideas to make your outdoor living space the thing you always dreamed of.

Initial Considerations

It’s tempting to just jump right in and start putting together deck ideas. But it’s important to begin by laying out what you have to work with and your overall budget. This is especially true if you’re planning on new construction for not just a deck but a pool as well. A pool loan calculator can be an invaluable tool to properly weigh your financial consideration, knowing what you can afford to pay per month will help shape what you are willing to spend on your total pool project. If you’re planning on both a new pool and a new deck then it’s also a good idea to consider both concepts in isolation and as part of the overarching swimming pool cost.

You should consider how much you want to spend on the entire pool experience and which parts of it should receive what overall percentile of your available budget.

Keep in mind that there are a number of other factors that can raise or lower the overall cost of a pool project. For example, there are many pool fence ideas to choose from to work alongside your pool and deck to create an even more enticing outdoor space. How your pool setting is framed will affect what direction you want to go for decking, for example a pool with a view and glass fencing is very different to one that is surrounded by vegetation or walls. But some fencing options can be surprisingly costly in terms of both installation and maintenance. It’s also important to consider the question of how long does it take to build a pool when you’re thinking about financing. Long-term construction means additional costs over time. You should consider all of the following points within the larger context of your pool financing situation and your unique backyard environment.  

small pool deck used as a feature
Using different decking materials can allow you to make a deck a striking design feature.

Materials Choice Frame The Scene

The feel of any given piece of art is in large part created by the materials used to make it. A watercolor just wouldn’t feel the same if created with different paint. Likewise, the feel of a pool deck is in large part created by the materials used to construct it. Consider how the sturdy feel of concrete creates a different impression than the natural earthiness of wood. As you look at the materials used for pool decks, consider how they’d work with both your pool area and your desired feel for the experience. What kind of mood and feelings are you hoping to evoke as you and your guests sit on your pool deck? What do you want to feel under your feet when you’re walking across it?


Wood is the classic choice for a deck. Most early pool decks were constructed with first-generation hardwood. But over time people have realized just how much of an earthy connection wooden materials provide. This has led to a lot of experimentation with eco-friendly concepts like recycled wood and hard-wearing composites.

wood decking being installed
Wooden decks need to have proper drainage to ensure water does not pool and rot the wood.

Type of wood

The type of wood you choose for your deck will have a huge impact on the overall look and feel. Hardwood is, of course, the classic choice for a deck. This is in large part because they boast a combination of looks and environmental resistance. A mahogany deck will look just as amazing as mahogany in any other part of your home. And it will also provide built-in pest resistance and lower cost for upkeep. And the same goes for other hardwood options like teak. However, hardwood options also tend to have a higher initial cost. Just as you pay more for hardwood floors you’ll pay more for a hardwood deck.

But softwoods like cedar and pine can also look amazing and are a more budget-friendly option. This is especially true if you treat your softwood deck with high-quality wood oil. These oils can bring out and maintain the natural beauty of your deck. You should also think about the environment around your deck. Wood automatically brings a naturalistic feel to an area. So if you have plant-based fencing, such as hedges, wood might be a solid choice to complement it.

To stain or abstain from treatments

man stain a pool deck
Typically a deck will need to be restained every 1-2 years but your local climate and deck use can affect this.

You should also think about whether you want to stain your wood deck. There are some benefits to the process. A stained wooden deck will weather the elements better than an unstained one. However, this often isn’t to the extent that people assume. The process doesn’t fully cover the entirety of the wood’s surface. The protection helps, but not as much as you’d think. It is more important to be using a pressure-treated wood that has protection infused into it from the mill. Staining also needs continual renewal on a yearly basis. Many deck owners find that they actually appreciate the natural changes to their wood deck that can come from exposure to the elements. You should consider whether that might be true for you or if you’ll be using stains.

aged silver decking
Some prefer to let their decks age naturally and ‘silver’ out.

Additional considerations

You should keep in mind that chlorine can damage wood. And proximity to water can also be an issue if there’s improper drainage. You should also consider whether or not the type of wood you’re using is renewable. Finally, wooden decks have all the issues you’d typically associate with wood. For example, splinters can be an issue on old decks which does not mix well with bare feet.


Composite decks utilize a mix of polymers and wood fiber to create something that provides the benefits of both at the same time.

Most aspects of a composite deck will differ on a case-by-case basis. Different construction methods can provide a huge difference in how composite materials look, feel, and maintain over time. But in general, you can assume that a composite deck will visually match the larger environment while also acting as a slip-resistant surface that stands up to the elements.

Composites are generally seen as a good material to work with if you want a wood aesthetic without as much need for upkeep. It typically fits into the same types of design options that you’d find with wood. For example, creating a more natural feeling with lots of plants, hedges, and sunlight. And, like wood, composite decks are usually environmentally friendly.

composite deck in wooden style
Composite decks can have the appearance of wood but with none of the disadvantages of having a natural material.

Additional considerations

Most people don’t give a lot of thought to the feel of the ground beneath their feet. But this is an important part of deck ownership. Composite materials provide a great combination of solid support without the risk of splinters that you find with traditional wood. Additionally, you can find non-slip composites that make it even easier to safely go from pool to deck without needing to worry about slipping and sliding.

One of the most significant benefits of a composite deck is the amount of choice you have. You can find composites in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors making it the ideal choice to meet almost all design ideas you can think of.

The wide selection makes it easy to fit the material into any deck concept you might have in mind.

cross section of a composite deck
Composite decks are durable and strong, made to outlast their wooden counterparts.


If your pool is already surrounded by hard surfaces then a concrete deck can provide a smooth visual transition.

One of the most important elements of concrete is its longevity. Time, weather, and even shoes won’t take much of a toll on a concrete deck.

When considering concrete you are limited to using it with traditional pools as it is not a suitable option for above ground pools. 

concreate pool deck with pattern
Concrete pools have the advantage of being able to add patterns to their finish to suit the look you are going for.

Style and Aesthetics

When you hear the word concrete you might not envision a very comfortable design. But, contrary to those expectations, you can fit concrete into a wide variety of different aesthetics. And this is even more true when you start looking into resurfacing products. A concrete coating can align a deck with almost any design philosophy you could imagine. This can include any color of the rainbow along with different textures such as a non-slip surface. Coatings can even keep sunlight from heating your concrete deck too much during those hot summer days.

Additional considerations

When taking in concrete pool deck ideas there needs to be one additional consideration. You’ll need to make sure that the deck has a method to provide water runoff. Whether through natural inclines or an in-slab drainage system you don’t want to have the possibility of puddles forming which accumulate dirtiness and algae.


tiles around a pool
Tiles are popular for many due to the large variety of choices there are in design and colors.

Pavers, tiles, and bricks are also strong contenders for a pool deck. At the same time, you should also consider them as a possible secondary or tertiary addition to your design. For example, imagine red brick elements set against softer colored clay tiles. Or how that might work within a larger context of a concrete foundation. Likewise, brick and clay tiles can act as a set path to lead within a larger patio structure.

Putting It All Together To Create the Perfect Deck

You now have the main elements needed to make your pool deck ideas a reality. The last step is to combine your budget, ideas for an ideal deck, and chosen construction materials into a singular whole to find your perfect solution. You should think about how it’d actually feel to sit on a deck born from those elements. To watch friends and family enjoy themselves from a comfortable seat in your backyard oasis.

If you would like more design ideas for other elements of your pool project these may interest you:

This blog is based on information available at the time of publishing and for the purpose of sharing information with the public related to swimming pools and projects that can be financed through Viking Capital. Although we strive to be complete and accurate, it is not information that is verified or maintained. It should not be relied upon for making financial decisions. An investment such as a swimming pool is significant. Viking Capital recommends consulting with a financial professional regarding your financing decisions and with pool professionals regarding pool options. To learn what financing options are available for you today, please apply with Viking Capital and you’ll receive your free loan consultation. Click Here to Apply.

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