Pool Owners Guide to Above Ground Pool Decks: Types, Materials, & Tips to Remember

Want to know about above ground pool decks? This article will teach you how to plan, build, and maintain your deck so you don’t have any problems. Read more here.

Building an above-ground pool deck is a true labor of love. From sourcing the materials to assembling or installing it, there’s tons of work that goes into making your above ground pool deck the best it can be. 

But if you’re not prepared for what you’re about to undertake, things can get tricky quickly! So whether you’re building from scratch or searching for some pointers on building a pool deck, here’s everything they don’t tell you about building above ground pool decks.

3 Types of Above Ground Pool Decks

Above Ground Pool Decks View from the Top

Full-Surround Decks

Typically used around the pool’s perimeters, this style is the most popular choice for pool owners. The design of full-surround decks is usually rectangular, square, crescent, and round. The size varies depending on the dimensions of your pool. It can be large enough to anchor the pool ladder and provide space for lounge chairs, a picnic area, and a grill.

These above ground decks are generally circular in design, and they are built so that the inner border of the deck is as close as possible to the swimming pool. You may also access the pool from any direction while keeping its boundaries hidden.

Side Decks

Above Ground Pool Side Decks

Side decks are smaller than full-surround decks and built on one side rather than the entire above-ground pool. Side decks are an excellent choice when space or money is limited, or you need to have a modest seating area to keep an eye on the youngsters.

Wood is a popular choice for a high-end aesthetic, but aluminum and tiles are also good decking options when building an above ground pool deck.


Looking for something truly unique? To create a one-of-a-kind appearance, you can mix and match styles. You are only limited by your own ideas when it comes to building decks. Multi-level terraced decks and bridges are some excellent ideas to connect large areas.

If you plan to connect your above ground pool deck to your porch or another deck, this is a good choice. However, keep in mind that creating a deck in this manner will cost significantly more because you will be paying for the construction of more than one style. 

Above Ground Pool Deck Materials

The materials of your deck are one of the most crucial decisions when it comes to building an above ground pool deck. This affects the lifetime of your deck and, of course, your budget.

Wood Deck Choices

Pool Wood Decks

Wood decks provide natural beauty, elegance, and luxury for homeowners who want to add man-made aesthetic value to their homes. The beauty will remain for many years if you use the right wood and maintain your deck. Wood decks are also very durable when built correctly because they are resistant to warping. 

However, “Wood does have some drawbacks, though. Over time, the stain will fade under ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. And if you don’t take good care of a wood deck, it will eventually start to become weak, warp, and rot” Matt Giovanisci, founder of Swim University®. 

Here are some of the most favored wood deck choices for pool owners:

Pine: A durable and natural wood that’s more resistant to warping, pine is a go-to decking material for many homeowners. As it ages, it tends to get darker and darker. It has a beautiful weathered look and is also very easy to maintain.

Redwood: This wood species come in various colors and vibrates beautifully under the bright sunlight of your pool deck. Redwood is highly durable and resistant to warping, but it can be more challenging to maintain than other types of wood decking.

Cedar: A type of softwood found in the northern United States, cedar provides your deck with just the right amount of durability while still maintaining its natural beauty.

Balau: The balau wood comes from the Philippines and is prized for its dimensional beauty. Balau is beautiful, robust, sturdy, durable, and water-resistant, so when it comes to the best option for decking, balau wood leaves no box unchecked.

Ipe: The fibrous wood of the ipe is perfect for pool decks because it resists warping and insect infestation. It is also resistant to water spots, making it a good choice for pool owners who have kids and pets.

Concrete Deck 

Pool with Concrete Deck

A concrete deck is the second most popular choice for pool owners. It comes in different types, including stamped and colored concrete. This is an ideal choice for pool owners who want to combine form and function into one material. Although it’s expensive to install, the cost of upkeep is very minimal.

Since concrete has a solid surface, through time, it could crack over time. Another thing to bear in mind is adding texture to get a slip-resistant finish. Taking care of your concrete above ground pool deck includes refinishing the surface and fixing or patching broken and fading areas.

Tile Deck

Tile Deck and the Pool Edge

When it comes to the choice of above ground pool decking materials, Wood is always a popular choice. But you can also consider using tile for your deck. The tile deck gives a nice texture to the pool area and also adds some visual appeal at the same time. It also provides you with a slip-resistant finish.

Several unglazed tiles have matte finishes, which mimic the appearance of a real stone. While a tile deck can withstand cold temperatures, the grout needs replacement every few years. The downside of choosing this tile deck option is the cost.

Paving Stones Deck 

wet black slippers from the pool on a paving stones

Paving stones are often used for above ground pool decks because they are available in various sizes, shapes, textures, and colors.

There are two types of stone pavers: natural and man-made.

Natural pavers are more expensive than manufactured stone, but it all depends on the style you want to create. The most popular styles are brick, cobble, tumbled, slate, flagstone, marble, granite, and travertine.

Here are a few benefits why pavers are becoming the go-to option for many pool owners;

  • Resistance to fading.
  • Non-skid and non-slip surface.
  • Low maintenance (ease of repairs – you can easily remove and replace the pavers like legos).
  • Decrease chances of staining.
  • Offers lifetime warranty on breaking and cracking.
  • The price is like stamped concrete.
  • Hundreds of patterns, textures, and colors to choose from.

Aluminum Deck

Aluminum is a lightweight material resistant to cracks, mildew, insects, warping, and corrosion. While it is lighter than the other decking materials mentioned above, it is really more durable and stronger.

Aluminum decking is an excellent alternative if you’re searching for a long-lasting, low-maintenance above ground pool decking solution.

Tips to Remember if You’re Planning to Build an Above Ground Pool Deck

Use Measurement when Building Pool Deck

Factor the Cost of Curves

The cost to build a curved decking is higher compared to the cost of square and rectangular designs.

Consider the Slope

Above ground pool decks made of poured concrete, tile, brick, or pavers require a slight incline to allow water to drain correctly. (Water drains away between the boards of wood decking, eliminating the need for a slope.)

To prevent filthy water, leaves, and other debris from washing back into the pool, the slope should be one-quarter inch per lineal foot and slope away from the pool.

Consider Adding a Channel

Install a channel drain if you have a large above ground pool deck that stretches from your home to the poolside. This will collect water and direct it away to the side of the deck or away from the pool, especially on rainy days.

The Foundation Well

The key to a long-lasting above ground pool deck is a sound foundation. Every excavation needs poured concrete, pavers, bricks, and base sand or gravel. You may also use tiles over a similar substrate, but still, tiles are great in the concrete substrate. Wood, on the other hand, needs a floor joist foundation.

Bottom Line

These decking materials are some of the most crucial choices when it comes to building a pool deck. It can have a huge impact on the lifetime of your deck and, of course, your budget.

We hope this guide to building a pool deck has been helpful and will help you in your plan to build a pool deck. Below are more pool articles that you will definitely find useful. Check them out!

And to read more pool articles, click here.

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About the author

Maria Anderson

I am an arts and design lover. My passion are swimming pools and gardening. Follow me in our family project ThePoolPassion.com where we want to help everyone to make their dream pool become reality.

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