Concrete decking surface options?


Well-known member
May 26, 2007
Benton, La
I have had several PB come out for quotes so far and it seems if they use some sort of surface that is meant to be cooler, they swear it makes a HUGE difference. On the other hand, those who do not and use regular type concrete, exposed pebble or whatever, they say it the cool stuff isn't worth the money.

First hand experiences? What do you think...


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

I have no input on the "Cool Deck" types of products, but I do want to say that I will never have exposed aggregate . It will burn the skin off the bottom of your feet if you run across it... :p

I am not sure why, but it is much hotter than plain stamped concrete..

I think the problem with the Cool Deck products is that it peals off over time, but since I don't have it, I'd wait for some owners to chime in with their input...


Jim R.


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
My pool deck is a simple acid etched finish (it's rough like fine grit sandpaper). Poured and smoothed concrete would be too slippery for a pool deck. Stamped concrete can be very nice, but it too can be slippery. Exposed aggregate, as Jim says, can get incredibly hot. CoolDeck is essentially a brand name of several popular acrylic overlays on concrete. Surface prep is HUGELY important for the longevity of the surface and it's not universally ok to use. For example, I would not use it in a climate where you get freeze/thaw cycles or else your risk delamination. In your area of Louisiana, I would be very weary of using it as I could easily imagine it getting moldy from the high humidity (it's an acrylic surface, like paint). Here in the desert, it works out fine because it's very dry.

I think you'd have to ask you prospective PBs to give you some references that are a few years out (like pool's built 5+ years ago) with the KoolDeck material and ask those homeowners what they think of it. Initially, everything looks awesome on a pool....but time will tell on what truly lasts.


Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Feb 22, 2009
Perfection, NC
Stamped concrete can be finished with texture to reduce the slipperiness, plus there are coatings that will give a better foot grip. They do have to be renewed periodically, but that sure beats a fall.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2013
We are not in a really hot climate up here in Chicago but we have a stained stamped concrete. We seal it ever 3 or 4 years and have shark bite grit added to it to help in the slipperiness. Pretty maintenance free.


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 24, 2014
A hot deck is a disaster I know someone that puts towels down because it gets so hot. I have techo block INCA pavers that gets warm but does not get too hot, and a marble coping that doesn't even get warm in 95 degree weather. The problem with marble or travertine is that it can get slippery.


LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
Cool Deck and textured acrylic are two different things. Cool deck is porous, it stains easily, is more likely to peel. It is also cooler than the much more durable textured acrylic coatings. They are often confused because, although textured acrylic can be made to simulate almost any surface, the most common finish is the Spanish lace, which looks like cool deck. Other than a very slight difference in the surface sheen the two would look identical, but they do perform different.

I have had textured acrylic coated decking for 12 years. Maintaining it properly does require touching up any cracks or chips and re coating the color top coat every few years.That seals it, prevents water getting under and peeling, and renews the wear surface. I have done the complete deck once and it cost me $150 or so for material and one day to finish. After 12 years, the deck looks just like the day it was first put in. All in all, I'm very happy with my choice.


Well-known member
May 25, 2017
Southern NJ
I have stamped concrete that is colored a medium gray. It is not slippery at all and never gets too hot. PB said it's the sealer that makes 'em hot and slippery. BUT I'm in NJ, where the high 90s is as hot as it gets ... Guessing it gets hotter where you're at.

Neighbor has some sort of cool deck coating on his concrete that I absolutely hate. It's rough on your feet -- will cut them to pieces if you walk around long enough without shoes -- and it's starting to flake off after about 10 years.


Bronze Supporter
Jun 4, 2016
sacramento, ca
I have exposed aggregate (pool came with the house) and it gets painfully hot. When the sun is shining and people are swimming I make a point to have a spray hose laying around to cool the surface down. Or practice my cannon balls and splash the water on the surface.