Pool deck ideas: 11 looks for surrounding a swimming pool
Plan the perfect sunbathing spot for your plot with these pool deck ideas – from modern looks to rustic styles
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Planning your pool deck ideas is just as important as planning the pool itself. Not only does a sturdy surrounding help to define the zone, but it's practical too, providing a safe access point and a space for your sun loungers.
The deck around your pool also plays a big role in the overall look and feel of the area, whether you're opting for a composite design with matching railings, rustic timber boards, or a sleek and contemporary style.
There are lots of options to choose from, so if you're planning a big garden makeover and are factoring pool ideas into the equation, we're here to help. We've rounded up plenty of looks for you to peruse, to get you inspired for your own backyard haven.
11 sleek and chic pool deck ideas for your backyard makeover
Whatever backyard style you're going for, you're bound to find something to inspire in our edit of pool deck ideas.
1. Surround a decked space with greenery
Want to get back in touch with nature? Surrounding timber decking ideas with plenty of greenery is a winning approach – whether that's ornamental grasses, structural shrubs, or a selection of small trees for a woodland feel.
We're big fans of this scheme, where a wooden walkway leads the way to a relaxing oasis that's clear of clutter. The orderly lines of the natural material underfoot contrast well against all the foliage, while the pared-back furniture ties into the set-up beautifully. We love the circular shape of the pool, too.
2. Add stylish railings to an elevated deck
Decks are ideal for terracing a space and making the most of a sloping plot, or even elevating the view as seen here. However, you'll need to consider decking railing ideas to keep things safe.
This smart design offers a well-defined boundary and complements the tone of the composite deck underfoot, too. And speaking of the deck, note how the boards are set diagonally, which draws the eye and adds an extra element of interest to the zone.
Here, pavers are used for the immediate surrounding of the pool, known as the coping. These add a pleasing contrast in texture and tie in with the textural stone wall nearby, which hosts a luxurious fire pit.
3. Pair warm-toned timber with a round pool
A circular pool is perfect if you're looking to relax rather than swim laps. Neatly defined by a concrete border and then narrow planks of natural, almost red-hued timber, this space would transport anyone to the tropics, especially with that backdrop of foliage.
It's a great approach if you're looking for pool landscaping ideas that feel a little more laid-back. Add plenty of sun loungers and a parasol or two and you've got the perfect set-up for a pool party.
4. Light it up when night falls
Adding decking lighting to your pool's surroundings will allow you to take a nighttime swim safely – and what could be better than enjoying a peaceful dip beneath the stars?
For a sleek finish, install recessed designs that will look subtle by day yet provide plenty of light when darkness falls. Use them to illuminate nearby steps too, as shown here, for extra style and safety points.
A sturdy deck can also be the base for a show-stopping pergola – the perfect place to shelter from the sun after a swim. We like the combo of textures underfoot in this set-up too – that curved concrete edge offers a striking yet smart contrast.
5. Go for non-slip styles with a decorative twist
If you're looking for pool deck ideas that create a naturalistic, laid-back vibe, then timber might be the way forward. However, it can be more slippery than composite designs.
To give your space a helping hand in the safety department, be sure to choose a non-slip material that has plenty of grooves for grip. Or, opt for slippery deck solutions such as non-slip inserts, like the decorative border spotted around this pool.
And if you think it might feel rough underfoot, think again. For many products, 'feeling the non-slip aggregate with your hands can feel course to sensitive fingers, however, when walking across with harder skin on the soles and balls of your feet, it is like walking across any other surface,' says Mike Nicholson, Managing Director at Gripsure (opens in new tab).
6. Pair pale decking with a pergola for elegant style
This scene is full of Mediterranean charm. We think it's the ideal space to spend a relaxing afternoon poolside, with a glass of something chilled in hand.
The pale decking looks beautiful alongside the crisp blue water. And, we like how the color scheme is mirrored in the nearby choice of cushions. Add in some of the best garden furniture and a sturdy pergola overhead and an elegant space like this could be yours.
7. Create an open-plan feel
Embrace modern garden ideas by opting for narrow planks in an understated gray tone that go right up to the edge of your pool. The result feels clean and contemporary, and works well for an open-plan scheme like this.
Continue the decking around the side of your home for a seamless sense of flow, or even match the style with your interior's flooring for a real indoor-outdoor-living vibe. Add a dining set, a corner sofa, and some fuss-free spotlights for a chic finishing touch.
8. Incorporate clever seating
Opt for a cohesive scheme for your pool area with a timber deck, timber garden steps, and even built-in timber benches cozied up with cushions.
The soft, natural tone of the wood in this space looks great alongside matching planters and a bright white exterior wall. But if you prefer something sleeker and more modern, then how about picking pale, non-slip porcelain paving instead?
9. Admire the view from a two-tiered deck
If you have the budget, consider leveling the space around your pool to create different zones. The immediate surroundings are perfect for a sunbathing spot, while a higher tier could be just the place to position a dining space or cooking area. And if you have kids, it's a great way to keep an eye on them while you entertain guests.
Use the same material underfoot to tie the spaces together. Or, opt for two slightly different yet complementary looks for a greater sense of definition between the zones.
You can find more tiered garden ideas in our guide.
10. Build a pool house for ultimate convenience
Have you browsed through our pool house ideas yet? They are a brilliant option for taking a pool space up a level as they provide a place to change clothes, entertain, or simply lounge when taking a break from the sun.
Surround with a sleek patch of paving opening onto smart composite decking to subtly divide the zones. We love the tree incorporated into this design too, for a welcome splash of greenery.
11. Go for durable pavers for a modern look
Timber or composite pool deck ideas not your style? There are plenty of alternatives. Concrete or stone paving can look super smart, are durable against the elements, and can be finished with a subtle texture to provide grip underfoot.
This space feels fresh and modern with the pale gray pavers offering a touch of industrial chic. We like how they tie together with the white wall and fringed parasol, while the planting alongside makes a modern statement.
What is the best material to use for a pool deck?
Whether you're going for a traditional sunken pool or an above-ground style, you will need to factor in safety as a priority when choosing the surroundings for your pool design.
'It's essential to choose a decking material that performs well around a pool,' says Karl Harrison, Trex Pro (opens in new tab) decking expert and founder of Karl Harrison Design (opens in new tab). 'The decking you choose should consider slip-resistance, performance, durability and longevity.'
Mike Nicholson, Managing Director at Gripsure, adds, 'Getting in and out of swimming pools and walking across a deck or other surfaces dripping wet is potentially dangerous as the water makes the surface slippery. As a solution to this, choosing a non-slip product can keep families and guests safe whilst using pools.'
Some may argue that composite is a better choice than timber when it comes to pool decking materials. It tends to be smooth yet grippy underfoot, without the risk of splintering. Plus, it requires less maintenance, won't absorb water, and, it 'has an impressive likeness to traditional hardwoods, with real woodgrain effects and colors, meaning it looks just as good as its natural counterpart,' as says Charles Taylor, Director of Composite Prime (opens in new tab). However, it is more expensive. If you do want to stick to timber, be sure to select a high-quality material – an exotic hardwood, or teak, for instance – which has been treated properly for the purpose and is less likely to warp over time.
Of course, you may prefer to opt for paving or even budget-friendly concrete around your pool instead. Both can look extremely stylish and can be very durable, but just be aware of the slip factor when wet.
How much does a pool deck cost?
Knowing how much landscaping costs is an important factor when planning an outdoor update, and budgeting for pool deck ideas is no exception.
According to HomeAdvisor.com (opens in new tab), the average cost to build a pool deck is $5,000 (the equivalent of £3,739) but can reach up to around $12,000 (approximately £8,973). However, there are many things that can increase or decrease this cost, such as the size of the space, the materials used, and whether you're surrounding an in-ground pool or an above-ground one (above-ground pool decks tend to be cheaper).
Paving, tiles, and wood can be the most affordable options for a pool surround, with composite, stamped concrete, and brick generally costing more. Don't forget to factor in the coping too – the ledge around the pool – if using. Usually, this is made of stone or concrete, and comes in at around the $30 and $50 (£22–£37) mark per linear foot.
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.
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