Deck around Saltwater Pool


Jul 15, 2018
Detroit, MI
Hi there! I'm not sure if this is the correct area to post this question... hoping so. We have an above ground SW pool and we are getting ready to build a deck. We are either going to go with pressure treated wood or cedar - composite is not an option. I'm just wondering if anyone with a SW pool that has either a pressure treated deck or a Cedar deck can tell me the pros and cons from their experience.

My concerns with the pressure treated wood is that it's filled with chemicals. I'm also worried that it will splinter and warp quicker because it's a wet wood that then drys out.

My concern with cedar is that it's a softer wood. I'm worried that the saltwater will damage it quicker.

I have googled and googled and googled. While I have a lot of information, I'm missing personal experiences from pool owners. I want a deck that is going to last for a long time, and I want a wood that will hold up to saltwater.... my fear is wood that is so splintered that in two years no on will want to be on it in bare feet. I'd like something that will still be good 10-15 years from now (and I know we'll have to stain and seal every year).

Any thoughts and feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
Athens, GA - USA
We had a wooden deck around our last above ground pool. Just used pressure treated deck lumber with no problems. We did paint it though. Only regret was the color. It was too dark and was scorching hot on the feet! We had to splash water on the deck to cool it off enough to walk around. I think either choice would be fine. I doubt the salt would have any impact on either. I recommend sealing with a good deck stain though.

Have you already invested in your Frog system? That might be a good topic for another thread...
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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
Bedford, TX

The salt in a saltwater pool is about the same level as what is in your tears.. The Ocean is 35,000 ppm and a saltwater pool is only about 3,500 ppm.. You deck will not even know it is there..


Jim R.


Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Feb 22, 2009
Perfection, NC
As a retired deck builder I'll offer a bit of advice. 1. Use quality KDAT (Kiln Dried After Treatment) pressure treated lumber. There is no worry about chemical leaching or transfer, the EPA addressed that years ago. 2. Some manufacturers include a wax surface treatment to protect the lumber until it is installed and stained. A few drops of water will bead up if the wax is still present. The water will soak in if the wax has worn off. 3. Stain the wood with a quality stain immediately after the wax has worn off. I prefer a semi transparent oil based stain for appearance and durability. The two most damaging things to wood is water and sunlight. A quality stain will protect against both. Any salt that might show up from evaporation will wash off. You will have to restain in a few years, depending on traffic and wear. Restain BEFORE the damage becomes apparent. Vertical surfaces will last longer than horizontal ones. 4. Use screws or hidden fasteners to secure the decking. The framing lumber will be wet; as it shrinks nails will start to pop. Pounding them back in is akin to whack-a-mole but less entertaining. In southern climes cedar won't stand up to humidity, ymmv.