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Thread: Pool decking options

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    Pool decking options

    Hi, this is my first post.
    I've never owned a pool and we are in a planning/design phase for our first, inground pool.
    I'm leaning over to fiberglass option due to easy maintenance, but that's whole other topic.

    All pool builders include some decking as it's a code requirement.
    All that's included in the proposals is a basic, brushed concrete.
    I read few reviews, blogs and websites about decking options and pros/cons of each.

    I live in New Mexico and it gets hot in the summer. The redish dirt/sand that's native to New Mexico is sometimes too hot to walk on bare footed.
    I think I would like to get something nicer than concrete product, even if it's stamped concrete.
    I think red flagstone would be too hot; maybe I could test the lighter color ones but now that summer is over, it's too late to do first hand (foot) testing.

    I'm considering the cooldeck product and the likes.

    An a different option, has anyone ever used the poured rubber products?
    I don't know anything about them from performance, cost, etc. standpoint.
    Quick google search brought up this website, and I requested additional information, but wanted to know if anyone has first hand experiance: http://www.pebbleflex.com/aquaflex.html

    I think this is similar/same stuff that I saw local waterpark use for 'beach' area and it did stay cool. My opinion of cool surface could be skewed by the fact that many, many people were constantly running in and out of walkin pool and were splashing cool water on the surface of the deck making it cooler.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Pool decking options

    Welcome to TFP!
    that's the first I've seen the "pebbleflex" product...looks pretty nice, but I have a hard time believing it's that durable. Here in Tucson, I have 2' of kooldeck and then red-brown concrete pavers outside of that. The kooldeck is hot but walkable in summer; the pavers will literally burn the bottom of your feet. This is dry, so it's got to be just the color of the material making the difference.

    I bet a light color stamped concrete would be OK, or a light flagstone. My kooldeck is badly flaked wherever water touches it (not just salt water from the pool, hose water does it too), but I think that is due to poor application rather than necessarily a problem with the product.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Pool decking options

    KoolDek works but it stains easily and isn't very durable. I used a vinyl coating on my deck. It's ten years old now and has held up well, even with a salt pool. It should be recoated every few years, but I've only done it once. It took a couple gallons of the product and one afternoon to roll a coat on and it was just like new again. Not quite as cool as KoolDek but a very close second. You can have it tinted and textured to mimic any surface. HERE is the product I Have.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Pool decking options

    Thanks for replays and suggestions.
    I'll talk to pool builder and see what he recommends.

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    Re: Pool decking options

    Travertine pavers are the best application for your environment. I live in South Texas and had over 3,000 sq. ft. put in. I can walk bare foot all day long

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    Re: Pool decking options

    If you are using or would ever use a SWG, I would avoid using any natural stone. Stone and salt do not get along well. Some stone is more resistant, but eventually salt will erode any natural stone. As my pool builder said: "Salt or stone, pick one but you can't have both". That's why my salt pool has a deck that is concrete coated in vinyl, and there's no natural stone anywhere near my pool. I'm watching as my neighbor's waterfall erodes away.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Pool decking options

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    If you are using or would ever use a SWG, I would avoid using any natural stone. Stone and salt do not get along well. Some stone is more resistant, but eventually salt will erode any natural stone. As my pool builder said: "Salt or stone, pick one but you can't have both". That's why my salt pool has a deck that is concrete coated in vinyl, and there's no natural stone anywhere near my pool. I'm watching as my neighbor's waterfall erodes away.
    Salt pool with travertine decking, flagstone coping, flagstone retaining walls - no issues. Lots of aluminum furniture too, isnt salt supposed to rust that out too
    28000 gallon IG pool, 3.5ft - 8ft deep, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Interior, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Pentair Quad DE 100 filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS, Whisperflo 3hp (water features), A&A Max in floor cleaning, Pentair Easytouch 8 Automation, Screenlogic II, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, Pentair Intellichem with acid injection via stennar pump, 9'x7' spa with Infiniti edge

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    Re: Pool decking options

    Flagstone is a relativly soft stone and is easily damaged by salt. I have several neighbors who have flagstone decking than is flaking and eroding due to exposure to their salt pools. It's even more of an issue here in the desert where there is repeated exposure to the salt without any frequent rains to wash it away. Travertine is much harder and more resistant, but in time any natural stone is subject to salt damage.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Pool decking options

    Quote Originally Posted by jamcha02 View Post
    Salt pool with travertine decking, flagstone coping, flagstone retaining walls - no issues. Lots of aluminum furniture too, isnt salt supposed to rust that out too
    Aluminum shouldn't have any problems with salt; uncoated iron/steel is what you have to worry about. Sometimes, you can get natural stone that isn't negatively affected by salt, but it's hard to know a priori if you have good materials or not. Only time will tell.
    23' x 37' IG 18.5k gallon SWG w/ raised spa, Build Thread -->Here
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    JayBauman's Avatar
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    Re: Pool decking options

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    Flagstone is a relativly soft stone and is easily damaged by salt. I have several neighbors who have flagstone decking than is flaking and eroding due to exposure to their salt pools. It's even more of an issue here in the desert where there is repeated exposure to the salt without any frequent rains to wash it away. Travertine is much harder and more resistant, but in time any natural stone is subject to salt damage.
    The problem isn't the salt water, it's what happens to the salt once the water evaporates. In solution, sodium chloride has an extremely tiny molecular size so it can occupy small spaces that water might penetrate in your natural stone surfaces. The salt crystalizes upon evaporation, and these crystals take up more space than the dissolved salt does. This expansion in size can break up small parts of your stone surface. After enough times, you may start to see your stone start to crumble away.

    With a saltwater pool, the safe bet is concrete-based materials (concrete, fired pavers, etc.) and not natural stone. You don't know how well it can tolerate the salt until it's too late.
    23' x 37' IG 18.5k gallon SWG w/ raised spa, Build Thread -->Here
    Wet Edge® Pearl Matrix®, Hayward® SwimClear™ 525 ft², Hayward® Goldline Controls® PS-8
    4x Hayward® TriStar™ pumps, Paramount PCC2000® ICS, TF-100 w/Speedstir

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    Re: Pool decking options

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario P View Post
    Hi, this is my first post.
    I've never owned a pool and we are in a planning/design phase for our first, inground pool.
    I'm leaning over to fiberglass option due to easy maintenance, but that's whole other topic.

    All pool builders include some decking as it's a code requirement.
    All that's included in the proposals is a basic, brushed concrete.
    I read few reviews, blogs and websites about decking options and pros/cons of each.

    I live in New Mexico and it gets hot in the summer. The redish dirt/sand that's native to New Mexico is sometimes too hot to walk on bare footed.
    I think I would like to get something nicer than concrete product, even if it's stamped concrete.
    I think red flagstone would be too hot; maybe I could test the lighter color ones but now that summer is over, it's too late to do first hand (foot) testing.

    I'm considering the cooldeck product and the likes.

    An a different option, has anyone ever used the poured rubber products?
    I don't know anything about them from performance, cost, etc. standpoint.
    Quick google search brought up this website, and I requested additional information, but wanted to know if anyone has first hand experiance: http://www.pebbleflex.com/aquaflex.html

    I think this is similar/same stuff that I saw local waterpark use for 'beach' area and it did stay cool. My opinion of cool surface could be skewed by the fact that many, many people were constantly running in and out of walkin pool and were splashing cool water on the surface of the deck making it cooler.
    Decking has many choices.
    I am in sunny Florida and chose travertine cause as Martin said its cool to the touch all the time. Acrylic decking/concrete is bound to crack due to expansion. With travertine it's very easy to pop a tile out and replace with a new.

    Travertine pros: cool all the time, looks great natural or sealed, easy to clean, smooth surface, minimal grout lines, no weeds.
    Travertine cons: price is higher, specifically select grade, if you do travertine this grade has the least amount of pitting throughout, too much pitting inhibits mold growth. When travertine is wet it is slippery.

    You can save quite a bit if you sub out your own brick pavers or travertine. My pool builder would have used same supplier. I was able to save on materials/labor over 50% . I know they ship nationwide and have great product.

    Although I liked the natural look of the stone it was chalky in its natural state. I decided to seal it which also protects it from the elements, wine and really brings out the shine and color, like waxing a car in addition it was important to add a product called shark grip for added texture cause the little ones like to run on the deck and this provides a little more textured grip. Here are 2 pics natural and sealed. Hope this helps...




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    Re: Pool decking options

    Here are a couple more




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    Re: Pool decking options

    Thanks TFP peeps.
    I talked to my builder today and talked to him about rubber decking as well as cooldeck.
    He said that rubber is way, way expensive.
    He also said that they used to do cooldeck products here in New Mexico when it first came out but said that they had a ton of issues in the winter.
    He told me that the cooldeck coating is thin and works great in areas like AZ, CA and TX. But he said that because of our winter freezing temperatures the coating ended up popping, peeling and chipping.

    He's strongly recommending concrete. He's charging $6.50 for broom brushed colored concrete and $8.50 for stamped.

    I haven't done stamped concrete in about 5-6 years, but I remember it being about 4-5 bucks. Does $8.50 sound right to you?
    Yes, I will call around and see what others are charging; I was just wondering if that sounded right to ones that have done it recently.
    Viking fiberglass Island Breeze II (16'x40'x8'); Pentair pump/filter/heater/chlorinator; IntelliTouch with iX+3; Autelis.

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    Re: Pool decking options

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario P View Post
    Thanks TFP peeps.
    I talked to my builder today and talked to him about rubber decking as well as cooldeck.
    He said that rubber is way, way expensive.
    He also said that they used to do cooldeck products here in New Mexico when it first came out but said that they had a ton of issues in the winter.
    He told me that the cooldeck coating is thin and works great in areas like AZ, CA and TX. But he said that because of our winter freezing temperatures the coating ended up popping, peeling and chipping.

    He's strongly recommending concrete. He's charging $6.50 for broom brushed colored concrete and $8.50 for stamped.

    I haven't done stamped concrete in about 5-6 years, but I remember it being about 4-5 bucks. Does $8.50 sound right to you?
    Yes, I will call around and see what others are charging; I was just wondering if that sounded right to ones that have done it recently.
    I'm in a hotter part of NM (Carlsbad) and have a combination of brown, tan, peach, and red sandstone. It is not too bad on the feet and I think it matches our desert environment better than travertine. (Our interior floors are Philadelphia travertine) I also had dyed and stamped concrete done for our patios (about 2500SF) last winter for $8/sf.
    36' x 18' 20k in ground, Finest Finish grey plaster, Pentair Tagelus 100D sand filter, Hayward Northstar 2hp pump, Jandy LRZ125EN heater, spill over spa, iaqualink controlled automation, Stenner chlorination, natural rock and flagstone coping, 1" glass mosaic waterline tile, SR Smith Vortex slide.

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