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Turning above ground pool deck ideas into a reality will benefit your plot in more ways than one.
They're super practical, for starters. Every pool needs a nearby space for a couple of loungers at least, and a deck will provide a sturdy base that's perfect for the job. And if you install a larger deck, you can turn your pool area into a social hub complete with BBQ, fire pit, and a dining set – the ideal setup for a summer pool party.
The other major plus point of building a deck around your above ground pool is the aesthetic appeal. The best above ground pool ideas blend harmoniously into their surroundings, and a sleek deck will help these features do exactly that.
10 above ground pool deck ideas to elevate your outdoor swimming space
If you've perused our decking ideas, you'll know that there are so many looks and styles that can be achieved with this landscaping feature. We've rounded up some of our favorite ways to combine them with an above ground pool, to help inspire your own backyard update.
1. Soften the scene with a flowering shrub
Adding greenery to your pool landscaping plans is always a good idea. It'll instantly soften the scene, add color and texture, and in some cases, it can boost the privacy levels, too.
If you're integrating your above ground pool with a deck, adding a larger shrub to one side, as seen here, will help to visually blend the two structures together. Our list of best summer flowering shrubs will help you choose a show-stopper. Plant one of the best winter flowering shrubs nearby, too, for added interest all year-round.
Alternatively, you could opt for tall, ornamental grasses around your pool – they will cocoon the space in greenery and don't require much maintenance.
2. Keep it modern with a cladded wall around your pool deck
There are all kinds of decking color ideas to choose from, but we're big fans of this rich timber tone for a natural yet contemporary vibe.
It ties in beautifully with the tropical-style planting and blue-hued pool. And we especially like how the fence behind has been cladded in a matching material – it's a simple yet effective approach for a sense of cohesion and style.
A couple of modern chairs and smart black step railings complete the scene with a minimalistic flair.
3. Go for ultimate indoor-outdoor living with a garden building nearby
A pool, whatever its size, is a great place to retreat after a long day for a soothing soak in the fresh air. So why not go one step further and add a deck cover and garden building – that way you'll have a destination point dedicated to relaxing that can be used throughout the seasons.
Take this stylish setup, for instance. With concerts that sometimes take him to other countries, university music professor Mas Sugihara got the itch to do something creative in his Houston backyard when lockdown curtailed traveling. When his girlfriend, Elizabeth Conley, persuaded him to modify a steel shipping container house, a galvanized pool was fitting. The 4x2 tank he bought several years ago wasn't roomy enough, so they stepped up for an 8-footer.
They hired a contractor to build decking that connects the container house, a pergola, and a pool, all detached from the main house. The tank is accessible via deck steps, or the container unit's framed sliding glass doors. If Mas and Elizabeth aren't in the pool, they can sit on the deck with their feet in the water. Mas recently added a submersible pool light, which he says elevates the mood at night.
'I like how the pool brings people together and is a nice casual feature when we host during Houston's heat,' says Mas, adding, 'Although I must admit, when I'm alone, it's also just a nice way to cool off after a bike ride or working in the garden.'
4. Choose cool gray tones for your above ground pool deck
This smart deck in its light gray hue is the perfect choice for this scene. It effortlessly merges with the home's exterior due to its modern aesthetic, and accompanies the concrete pool beautifully, too.
A look like this calls for minimal decking decorating ideas. Just a few statement potted plants and some comfy seating – also in gray – is all it needs. Meanwhile, grasses and gravel around the pool add a welcome shot of greenery and texture.
5. Add stylish deck railings
If you're adding a deck around your above ground pool, chances are you will want to install a decking railing to keep everyone safe. But they don't have to be an eyesore – there are all kinds of chic designs available that will only add to the look of your space.
Here, a glass-paneled design separates the steps, allowing people using the pool to enjoy the open views. The tall, slatted fence around the back of the deck, meanwhile, adds a modern edge as well as privacy and shade.
6. Decorate the sides of your decking
This gorgeous design by Kate Gould is the perfect example of how an above ground swim spa can be seamlessly integrated with a deck so that it doesn't dominate the space.
Surrounded by tropical plants, the garden has a jungle-like vibe. And we love how the side of the decking has been decorated with metallic discs and a modern water feature that incorporates Corten steel and other coppery tones.
With a pergola overhead for sheltering from the midday sun, sculptural seating, and a fire pit, this is a space that's practical as well as stylish.
7. Paint a bright backdrop
The garden wall or fence behind your setup can be transformed into a seaside mural, a tropical paradise, or, like in this scheme, a vibrant desert scene. If you're not feeling so confident with the paintbrush, you could try out a stencil instead, or simply paint the backdrop in bold, block colors.
It's one of our favorite budget-friendly deck ideas for above ground pools and only requires a few pots of exterior paint and a touch of creativity. Finish the space with a few on-theme potted plants (such as the cacti used here) and a couple of sun loungers.
8. Opt for a mini deck for your above ground pool
You don't have to install a huge stretch of decking for your above ground pool if you don't have the space or the budget.
A small deck can define the zone, help blend the pool into your garden, and provide a stylish and easy way to get in and out.
Adding a glass fence and gate will keep pets and little ones out when unsupervised without blocking light or the views of your yard when enjoying the water.
9. Cozy up the deck with a fire pit
When Jason and Heather Kanzia bought a house in Bartlett, Illinois, it came with an older 18-foot swimming pool. They used it for two years before having it removed due to rust and damaged side walls. Still, they liked the idea of owning a pool to use in the summer. One thing was for certain though: they didn't want to take the time and effort to care for another large one, even if it was shiny and new. The leaves and branches that dropped from nearby trees made cleaning a nightmare. With only four months to enjoy it, an above ground stock tank pool made perfect sense.
One of Jason's friends hauled the big tank to the Kanzias' home in his snowmobile trailer. An old 18-foot solar cover was resized to fit the 8-foot pool. A friend gave them a saltwater system and the Kanzias bought a pump and a propane water heater. The pool was then wrapped with bamboo fencing from Home Depot.
Posts and wood from an existing deck that was demolished with the old pool were used to build a smaller, level deck for the stock tank. With a colorful outdoor rug and plenty of seating, it provides a place for relaxation before and after taking a dip. And the deck fire pit keeps everyone cozy when temperatures drop.
The size is ideal for the Kanzias children, ages 3 and 5. 'I’ve gotten more enjoyment from this pool than the few years we had with the larger pool,' says Jason.
10. Keep it simple with cushions
Cheryl Holcombe, a home preservationist, enlisted her brother to assist in hauling a stock tank to her Knoxville, Tennessee, home. He also helped level the ground, drill holes for hoses, and pour a small concrete pad for the equipment.
Cheryl bought an Intex saltwater system from Amazon to purify the water, which she finds a low-maintenance way to go after three years. The pump and filter run for an hour each day, and occasionally, she needs to add more salt, like after heavy rains.
She hired a friend to build a yellow pine half-circle sun deck. Kitted out with cushions, it provides space to lounge beside the water without the need for deck furniture.
Cheryl enjoys looking out her windows and watching the sun reflect on the water. 'I also love having a great excuse for friends to gather and spend time together,' she says.
What is the best material to use for an above ground pool deck?
When choosing any pool deck, it's crucial to pick a material with safety in mind. 'High slip-resistance is an important consideration,' says the experts at Millboard (opens in new tab). After all, the boards are bound to get wet underfoot, so be sure to choose decking with an element of grip. There are lots of composite styles that factor this in.
Durability is also key. Millboard suggests opting for a wood-free composite decking, as any timber fibers within boards will swell up when wet, causing the boards to deform.
'Opting for a timber-free board will also mean there is no risk of splinters in bare feet,' they add.
So, if you have the budget, wood-free composite may be the better choice for your plot. If you do stick to timber though, keep it in top condition by cleaning it and applying a protective stain regularly, and look to add some slippery deck solutions.
The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.
- Lisa Hallett Taylor Freelancer writer
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