Getting the right pool surround is crucial. A proper pool surround should be smooth, not slippery, cool on the feet, and durable.
Of course, the main question,
What kinds of material fit those requirements?
Come dive in with us as we explore the best materials for your pool surround!
Pool Surround Options
There are a multitude of pool surround options that you can choose from, including:
The best pool surround material for you depends on your needs and budget. Let's look at the costs, pros, and cons of these various material types.
Standard concrete is one of the most inexpensive options, costing anywhere from $2 to $5 per square foot.
However, while concrete is affordable, it will require careful maintenance over time, as it is prone to cracking.
Stamped concrete is a step up from standard concrete, mimicking the look of slate, brick, or stone without the additional costs.
A manufacturer will take regular concrete and stamp it with unique patterns.
When made by a professional, it looks very realistic.
You can purchase stamped concrete for about $5 to $15 per square foot.
For something similar, we recommend looking into exposed aggregate as well. This pebble-like finish is solid and slip-resistant, making it one of the most popular choices for pools. With so many colors, sizes, and finishes to choose from, aggregate is terrific for those seeking out customization.
A paver surface is very similar to poured-in concrete. However, these are small pre-cast pieces of concrete made with durability and slip-resistance in mind.
In many ways, these mimic the look of brick or natural stone.
A paver surface can be completely customized in terms of shapes, size, and color.
Expect to pay anywhere from $8 to $25 per square foot.
While natural stone can cost almost double the price of the two materials above, it is excellent for those who want to create a beautiful, durable, and low-maintenance surround. Typically, you'll pay anywhere from $15 to $30 per square foot.
The types of stone you can choose from include travertine, sandstone, bluestone, limestone, and slate.
If you're looking to create an entertainment area in your surround, decking is the best choice.
The cost of decking depends heavily on the type of wood you use. For example, pine decks typically cost around $15 per square foot, while redwood typically costs around $30 per square foot.
However, while a wood deck is durable and attractive, it requires far more maintenance than other decking options.
You can go with composite decking if you want the same attractive look with a bit more durability, which comes with the higher price tag of $30 to $40 per square foot.
A tile surface will vary quite widely in terms of price. Expect to pay anywhere from $1 to $40 per sq ft for standard tiles. Do note that luxury tiles can easily end up costing up to $100 per sq ft.
While tile is a BEAUTIFUL swimming pool surface choice, it is the least durable compared to the other options on the list.
If you have heavy furniture or equipment next to your swimming pool, you'll want to take extra caution not to break your tiles.
Plus, tile can get hot on the feet and is one of the most slippery options out there.
If you're trying to increase your property value, tile is terrific. But if you want an option with longevity, we recommend looking elsewhere.
What Is The Best Material To Use Around a Pool?
One of the first things you should consider when looking for swimming pool surround material is your budget.
Once you have your budget in mind, consider how much time you have to spend on maintenance. For example, a deck is an attractive option when paired with lovely landscaping, though it requires far more maintenance than natural stone.
How Much Do Pool Surrounds Cost?
Pool surrounds vary depending on the material, labor, and pool size. On average, you should plan on spending anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 on a surround for your swimming pool.
Make sure to shop around with various contractors and compare price quotes.
Our Pool Deck Resurfacing Cost guide covers wood decking, concrete, acrylic, pavers and tile, so no matter which direction you're headed in, its a good idea to get a ballpark figure now of what you'll pay to keep your pool surround well maintained in future years.