Six Ways to Enhance Your Pool Deck
Creating an inviting pool deck for dining, entertaining, sun bathing and playing is an exciting adventure. Use these tips from the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals to add just the right touches to make your outdoor experiences enjoyable.
- Decrease noise with fountains and waterfalls. Water features can add beauty and serenity to your backyard, and they also help to dampen the sounds of neighbors, passing cars, etc. Read about designing and building concrete water features on ConcreteNetwork.Com
- Add other outdoor activities by planning ahead to include room for other things you might enjoy doing while spending time near your pool deck. Some activities to plan ahead for might include a playground, mini basketball court, a putting green, or a tennis court. When designing the shape of your pool, think about any water games your family might enjoy. Choose a shape and depth that can accommodate two teams for water volleyball, or other similar pool games.
- Create an outdoor room by extending your living space to the outside. Design an area of your pool deck that can accommodate the barbecue, or perhaps an entire outdoor kitchen. Leave room for outdoor furniture and seating areas. Remember to include shade with an umbrella or a patio cover for times when you may want to escape from the sun. Separate dining and entertaining with a gazebo or other defined areas.
- Add lighting to bring your pool deck to life at night. Proper lighting can enhance your experience in the evening. Consider lighting trees for added effect. Other items eligible for lighting include architectural elements (pillars, columns, the rear façade of your home, etc), pathways to light walking areas, fiber-optics in your outdoor kitchen countertop, and of course multi-colored lights in the pool.
- Landscape for privacy and for atmosphere. Soften the edges of your pool deck with beautiful landscaping. You can also include hardscaping for walkways that complements your pool deck. Plants with greenery versus blooming plants are usually a better option. Be careful to consider what type of animals and bugs the plants you choose may attract. Add visual interest by choosing plants with variegated colors and texture. Plants can also create privacy by adding height and blocking out unwanted views.
- Create a safe environment by improving traction on your pool deck surface and by installing barriers. Even a
porous concrete surface can be slippery when wet, but decorative concrete treated with a color hardener or sealer
can be especially slick because water tends to bead up on the surface. There are several ways to improve the traction
of pool deck surfaces without detracting from the decorative appearance. These include the use of textured or exposed
aggregate finishes, putting down a textured overlay, or mixing a clear plastic grit into the sealer before it’s
Read more about Making Concrete Slip Resistant on ConcreteNetwork.Com.
Pool Deck Safety
In order to fully enjoy your pool deck and enhance your setting, it’s also extremely important to consider safety. The best way to reduce accidental drownings in residential pools is to construct a barrier or fence. The placement of this barrier should be considered in your deck design and layout. The CPSC handbook Safety Barrier Guidelines for Home Pools (PDF) recommends that the top of a pool barrier be at least 4 feet above grade and the maximum clearance at the bottom not exceed 4 inches above grade. You can also install alarms or motion sensors, or install a pool cover.