A very important piece of an inground pool installation is creating the pool decking, which is an integral part of the entire focal point that is the pool. Pool decking is the surface installed around the perimeter of your pool that creates a space for poolside furniture or areas to relax out of the water. A beautifully constructed pool deck enhances the visual aspect of your backyard. Pool decks can be made from many different materials, but concrete has benefits that others don’t.
Even though we don’t install pool decking at Prestige Pools of NC, we are in a knowledgeable position to provide useful information that will help you when deciding what kind of concrete decking you want for your inground vinyl pool.
Benefits of Concrete Pool Decking
Concrete pool decks are often considered the best pool deck material relative to safety, maintenance, temperature of the surface, versatility of appearance, and cost. Concrete for decking has clear benefits when compared to other materials.
Pool Deck Safety
We all want our pool users to be safe. Being resistant to slips is at the top of the list. There are no non-slip pool deck surfaces, but you can take steps to reduce the slippery quality. When you use concrete, you can have the surface textured to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. Another option is to add slip-resistant additives in the sealer. With this option, you will need to reapply sealer to maintain the slip-resistance.
Temperature of the Pool Deck Surface
Concrete is comfortable for bare feet on hot days when it is textured and colored properly. Other materials such as pavers soak up the sun and become extremely hot to the touch.
Concrete Pool Deck Maintenance
Concrete is fairly low maintenance. Caring for a concrete pool deck requires brushing and spraying off the surface periodically to prevent staining. You should have the surface resealed every few years to protect it from chlorine and sunscreen as well as other pollutants.
Many Options for Appearance
You can customize the appearance of a concrete pool deck to suit your style. A variety of looks can be achieved using stamped concrete, exposed aggregate, and stained concrete. Stamped concrete will give the appearance of brick, cobblestone, pavers, and more. By staining your pool deck surface, you can get a style that coordinates with the aesthetic of your landscape and yard. Many colors are available.
Cost of Concrete Pool Decking
Long-term, the cost of a concrete pool deck is one of the least expensive options. For example, natural stone is costly and there is an additional cost for labor if you are having someone lay the stones. Alternatively, if you try to go with cheaper materials, you will need to replace them in a few years. A concrete pool deck, when cared for properly, will last for decades.
Coping Edge Options for Concrete Pool Decking
If you decide on concrete for the pool decking, you will need to then decide on the shape of the coping edge. The coping edge is the edge that surrounds the shell of the pool and protects it. This piece safeguards the shell from damage or cracking by keeping water and debris from getting behind it.
The coping edge needs to be durable, safe, comfortable, and have visual appeal. Concrete coping has the advantage of fitting any style and is more affordable than natural stone. Concrete for the pool coping comes in two varieties: (1) poured concrete that is poured into place and (2) precast concrete coping.
Poured concrete involves the use of a mold that is placed around the entire edge of the pool. The concrete is then poured on site in order to obtain a seamless appearance. Poured concrete is solid and durable and can be in a variety of colors to match the coping with your deck. Poured concrete will make a smaller pool appear larger. Installation, however, is expensive and is labor-intensive.
Precast concrete coping comes in prefabricated blocks and a variety of textures, patterns, and colors. This is the least expensive option. The blocks are installed around the pool using mortar and caulking between each section. You can combine precast concrete coping units in different colors, giving you more design opportunities.
Three Styles of Coping Edges
The three styles, or types, of coping edges are cantilevered, bullnose, and rolled-edge. The type you choose depends on your personal taste and the appearance you want. All coping needs to be smooth and without any sharp edges that could cause scratches or injuries to pool users.
- Cantilevered coping edge is also called “square-edged” because it has a straight finish.
- Bullnose coping edge has a flat surface with a rounded edge with a softer look.
- Rolled coping edge is a flat, smooth finish with the edge turned up at the end.
Questions to Ask a Concrete Pool Decking Contractor
Getting a reputable and experienced concrete pool decking contractor is of utmost importance. Asking carefully chosen questions will help to ensure that the contractor you choose is a good match for your project. Ask questions that will help you eliminate inexperienced and lower-quality contractors. Here are ten critical questions to ask before you choose a contractor for pool decking.
1. “Do you specialize in pool decking?”
You probably want a contractor who has pool decking as their specialty so they are very experienced. The pool decking is a very important part of creating the pool and the aesthetic for the entire space. You don’t want a contractor who just does this every once in a while.
2. “How much experience do you have?”
Using websites like Angie’s or Home Advisor to look up reviews is a good place to start, but also ask about the depth of the company’s experience to get a full understanding of capabilities and knowledge.
3. “Have you worked with other pool contractors?”
Given the specialized nature of the work, the concrete contractor needs to have experience with a variety of pool contractors. The two processes – building the pool and creating the pool decking – should work hand-in-hand. A background with more than one pool builder creates a depth of experience in being able to handle any issues that arise.
4. “Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?”
You should only use a contractor who has a license to do the work, is bonded, and is insured. Having the proper license means that the contractor has completed the necessary state licensing requirements. Being bonded means that the contractor has purchased a surety bond from a third party so that the surety company is liable for debt, default, or any other failure on the contractor’s part. This means that it’s the contractor’s fault when something goes wrong and you aren’t on the hook for damages. When a contractor is insured, the company is backed by an insurance policy that covers certain claims or incidents. In other words, the insurance the contractor has purchased covers expenses in the event of a necessary project remediation.
5. “Do you have a portfolio of pictures from previous work?”
It’s a good idea to see the kinds of work the contractor has done in the past. This will show you their abilities and also give you ideas for what they can do for you.
6. “Can you provide references?”
If the contractor can’t supply pictures of their work, getting references with contact information is imperative. You need to either see what they have done in the past from a portfolio or hear from actual customers the quality of work they experienced.
7. “If I get my own coping done, will you pour the concrete decking?”
If you think you may do the coping yourself, you should ask the contractor if they will then pour the concrete decking. Some will, and some won’t. Many contractors want to do both so they control the quality of work.
8. “What decking options are available?”
You will probably want a contractor who can give you options for the concrete decking that you can select from. Can they do broom finishing, stamped, or colored?
9. “What is your coping price per linear foot and your decking price per square foot?”
It’s always a good idea to get an idea of the cost of the work. The average cost of cantilevered concrete coping could be $18-$22 per linear foot if it isn’t included in a standard package.
The cost of getting decking around your pool can be anywhere from $8.50 – $12/ per square foot.
10. “Do you have a written contract you typically use and do you guarantee your work in writing?”
You will need to have an agreement in writing regarding project expectations and responsibilities should any problems arise during or after the project with the quality of work or the amount and type of work.
Concrete Decking Contractor Recommendations When you Choose Prestige Pools of NC
When you choose Prestige Pools of NC for in-ground vinyl liner pool installation, we will recommend a list of concrete pool decking contractors we have worked with in the past. Our goal is to make it seamless process when selecting a concrete pool decking contractor. When you are ready to learn more about a vinyl liner pool for your home in Clayton, Raleigh, Coats, Garner, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Middlesex, Wendell, Zebulon, or the surrounding areas, call us at 919-779-1003 or contact us through our easy-to-use form below.