Planning a Pool Patio: Sizes and Materials

The hardscape surrounding a pool is referred to by a variety of different names: pool patio, pool deck, pool decking, and pool surround, just to name a few.

Whatever you call the space around your pool, odds are, you’ll spend more of your time on the pool patio than in the pool! Whether you’re throwing a pool party or just lounging in the sun, your pool deck is likely to see the most action. That’s why making the right decisions when it comes to size and material of your pool surround are critical to your overall enjoyment of the area.

Size

If you’re building an in-ground pool, you’ve probably already dropped a pretty penny on the labor that goes into it and are looking to cut costs elsewhere. If you want to get the most out of your pool, fight the urge to save money by skimping out on the pool surround.

For a lot of pool owners, their number one regret is that they underestimated how much time they would spend poolside (but not actually in the pool) and didn’t make their pool patio big enough.

If you’re wanting to surround your pool with furniture, that takes up space! And if you’re planning on having friends or family over, you need to leave enough room for people to maneuver.

Here are a few good space estimates to keep in mind when planning your pool deck[1]:

Based on those numbers above, a 12’ x 24’ rectangular pool with a seating area, a small dining area, and a couple chaise lounges, you’re looking at needing a patio somewhere between 1,080 square feet and 1,430 square feet. That gives you plenty of space to lounge poolside!

Now if you’ve run the numbers and found that your dream pool deck is just not in the budget, don’t get discouraged. It’s possible to tackle your pool patio in stages if it’s planned for in advance.

Whether you’re building the whole kit and caboodle now, or you’re building it in phases, it’s important to know just how much space you’ll need for your pool deck.

Materials

Once you’ve determined how large your pool patio needs to be, you’ll need to decide what material you want to use.

Choosing a material isn’t just pure aesthetics. There are variety of criteria to consider, including:

Below, we’ve broken down the most popular materials according to cost and their pros and cons.

Poured Concrete

Pool Patio - Poured Concrete
"Oak Tree | 1303 Saint Andrews Edmond OK" by Bill Wilson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Poured concrete is one of the most popular pool decking materials due to its cost-efficiency. It comes in a variety of neutral colors and can be finished a number of ways (including smooth, brushed, or with aggregate) to match your personal preference. Concrete can also be stamped with designs to give more flair, if you’re wanting something other than a smooth surface.

Cost: Poured concrete is the cheapest option on our list, in terms of materials. It’s also highly cost efficient if you’re pouring a large pool patio. However, bear in mind that unless you’re an expert DIY-er, a concrete pool surround should be poured by a professional, which adds to the final cost.

Pros:

Cons:

Brick

Pool Patio - Brick

Brick (or clay pavers) have been around for centuries, are a beautiful, durable material for a pool deck. They are great for achieving a consistent or patterned look, and have wonderful color retention, so they won’t fade quickly.

Cost: If you’re going with true brick, which is made of clay, expect a higher price tag (clay pavers can cost 15% to 20% more than a similar looking concrete paver). Brick is among the more expensive options on our list.

Pros:

Cons:

Concrete Pavers

Pool Patio - Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers are extremely popular for hardscapes due to their variety of sizes, colors, and patterns to suit your personal preference. They also come in a variety of price points, depending on manufacturing method, making it easy to find a solution that fits your budget.

Cost: Paver costs are largely dependent on whether you purchase a dry cast concrete paver (like the paving stones you can pick up at a big box store like Lowe’s or Home Depot) or a wet cast concrete paver (like FireRock’s concrete pavers). Dry cast concrete pavers tend to be on the lower end of the scale, whereas wet cast concrete pavers tend to be closer to the price point of natural stone.

Pros:

Cons:

Natural Stone

Pool Patio - Natural Stone
"Rose Creek Estate" by Caviness Landscape Design is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Natural stones, such as flagstone, bluestone, and travertine, have long been a popular choice for hardscapes and offer a beautiful, natural look for your pool patio.

Cost: Natural stone tends to be among the pricier of pool patio materials available. Bear in mind that the price of using a natural stone paver will vary based on a few options, including type of stone and whether you a natural or more uniform look.

Pros:

Cons:

 

Whether you’re building a modest pool for your own enjoyment or want an extravagant pool where you can entertain friends and family, you’ll need to put the time and effort into thinking through the size and materials you want for your pool patio. And if you’ve done your job right, you’ll be able to enjoy your pool in the water and on the deck.

[1] Jason Hughes. “How Much Swimming Pool Patio Do I Need?,” River Pools, June 1, 2009, https://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/blog/how-much-swimming-pool-patio-do-i-need.

7 Pool Trends You Don't Want to Miss

Extravagant pools are no longer just things to be featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. With the boom of the luxury building materials industry, homeowners have more access than ever to great materials to build the pool of their dreams. With a little inspiration and creativity, you can create your own luxury pool that is sure to make your neighbors jealous. Here are our favorite pool trends to help get you started.

1. Unique Shapes

Unique ShapeFeaturing FireRock Clay Pavers

Don’t be square when it’s time to start building your pool. Plain rectangular pools, while popular, are boring. The easiest way to create a one-of-a-kind pool is to pick a unique shape. Choose something that fits your yard or something that reflects your own aesthetics.

2. Swim-Up Bars

Swim Up Bar"Swimming pool bar, Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel, Bangkok" by David McKelvey is licensed under CC BY 2.0

If you’re still in the beginning design phases of your pool, consider opting for a swim-up bar. If you plan on having adults over to swim, a poolside bar is a fun and easy way to keep the party going while providing that “wow” factor that is sure to make your friends jealous. And if a permanent bar isn’t in the budget, you can always opt for a moveable cart once your pool is built.

3. Flowing Patios

Flowing PatiosFeaturing FireRock Steel Pavers

Blending your patio and poolscape together is a great way to make your backyard feel even bigger and more impressive. Choose a material like pavers with a high solar reflectance index that can incorporate easily into both a patio and a pool deck. Using the same material throughout the entire space helps create a cohesive design that will let the beauty of your pool shine.

4. Fire Features

Fire FeaturesFeaturing FireRock Outdoor Fireplace

If you’re really looking to up the “wow” factor of your pool, think about playing with fire. More and more pool designers are installing fire pits or even fireplaces along the perimeter pool. It’s a great way to provide warmth and natural light while you swim as well as a striking visual element.

5. Water Features

Water FeaturesFeaturing FireRock Steel Pavers

If fire features aren’t your style, you can get a similar effect with waterfalls and fountains. Adding a water feature to your pool is an easy way to add dimension to your space. Plus, the gentle sound of running water can create a calming space for you to relax and enjoy your pool.

6. Colored Lighting

Colored LIghting"Pool" by David Mertl is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Another simple upgrade that you can add after your pool is built is colored lights. Whether you incorporate uplighting on the perimeter of your pool or use a colored bulb in your pool’s light fixture, colored lighting adds visual interest to your poolscape.

7. Plush Seating

Plush SeatingFeaturing FireRock Ore Pavers

What’s a pool without some poolside lounging? Budget now to buy comfortable chairs, benches or even a hammock. Investing in a few good pieces of patio furniture is an easy way to make sure people actually enjoy lounging poolside.

Whether you’re in the design phase of building your own pool, or just looking for a few ways to spruce yours up, these 7 pool trends are a sure fire way to take your pool to the next level