There are many different things to consider when you own a house with a swimming pool or are having one built. One of the most important factors is the type of material you’re going to use for the pool decking.
How long will it last? How much maintenance will it need? Will it be slippery and dangerous when wet?
These are all valid questions that you’ll probably be asking yourself.
In this guide, we’re going to take a close look at the many benefits of wood plastic composite (WPC) decking for swimming pools. We’ll also examine the other options to help you understand why we believe composite decking is the best choice for you.
The Main Benefits Of Composite Decking Around A Pool
There are many reasons why composite decking is the ideal choice of decking material for your swimming pool. It’s already one of the most popular types of decking materials and its usage is only increasing.
So, let’s take a look at some of the main reasons you should choose composite decking as your pool surround.
Composite decking is ultra slip-resistant
One of the most important qualities that you’ll be looking for in a swimming pool deck is slip resistance. Pool decking is naturally going to be getting pretty wet, which can be hazardous depending on the decking material that you choose.
Although no decking is 100% slip-resistant, our composite decking is the closest you can get. It has a textured, anti-slip finish that provides traction even when wet. Our Clarity composite decking board has a PTV value of 53 when wet and 88 when dry, far exceeding the standard rating of 36 set by the EN 15534 standard.
Composite decking is water-resistant
Composite decking absorbs far less water than natural wood decking. This is because it’s manufactured using wood fibres and recycled plastic. The wood fibres are coated with plastic polymers, which reduce their water absorption and protect the boards from warping and rotting.
Composite decking lasts a long time
The materials that are used to make our composite decking also give it longevity. It is better at withstanding severe weather changes than other types of decking without the need for it to be treated.
As the weather changes, natural wood expands and contracts quite significantly. However, the plastic polymers in composite decking greatly reduce its contraction and expansion rate, making it longer-lasting. It’s also very resistant to mould and rot.
Composite decking needs very little maintenance
Composite decking is very low maintenance and doesn’t need to be treated, stained, painted or sanded to maintain its longevity. Other materials, such as natural wood, require regular maintenance to prevent them from rotting and splintering, but composite decking only requires an occasional clean and we would always suggest a light jet wash.
Composite decking looks great
Composite decking comes in a wide variety of different colours such as charcoal, graphite and spiced oak. This makes it easy for you to choose a look that matches your garden or home without the need for any painting.
It also has a sleek, modern aesthetic that can give your garden a contemporary look when fitted around a pool.
Composite decking is eco-friendly
As composite decking boards are made using 100% recycled wood fibres and plastic polymers they are very environmentally friendly. No trees need to be felled in order for composite decking to be made.
The fact that composite boards don’t need to be varnished or stained also reduces their environmental impact as no toxins are released into the environment during maintenance.
Are There Any Downsides?
As with any decking material, there are some downsides to using composite swimming pool decking. However, these minor cons must be weighed up against the many pros of using this material for your pool decking.
The up-front cost of composite decking is higher than for some other materials, such as natural wood, due to the labour needed to produce it.
However, you will almost certainly save money over time as it requires very little maintenance so you won’t have added expenditure for treatments. This will also likely increase your home’s resale value as it has a long-lasting improved look. Installing composite decking is quicker than laying paving, money can be saved on the labour element.
The longevity of composite decking also means that it won’t need to be repaired or replaced for a very long time which will save you money in the long term.
One slight downside of composite decking is that it’s very difficult to alter the colour of the boards if you change your mind once they’ve been fitted. This shouldn’t be an issue as long as you carefully consider the colour of the boards that you choose for your pool.
There are many different colours available, and you should have no problem finding one that looks great in your garden.
As with any material that gets wet and sits in the sun, composite decking is likely to fade slightly over time. Generally, the darker colours tend to fade a little more than the lighter colours.
Fading is typically caused by factors such as high footfall, weathering and exposure to UV rays. When used to build a pool deck, several of these factors will naturally be increased.
However, composite decking is very UV-resistant due to the plastic polymers that it’s made with and will only fade slightly during its lifespan. Our Forma and Grande technology is UV stable and is guaranteed to 5 delta E.
What Are The Other Types Of Swimming Pool Surrounds?
Although composite decking is definitely the best choice, there are other options when it comes to building decks around your pool. The other popular materials are stone, wood decking, ceramic tiles, plastic decking, and aluminium decking.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these other materials to give you a better idea of why composite decking is the right material for your pool.
- There are many different types of stone to choose from, which means there is a large price range.
- Stone has a long life span and can last up to 25 years.
- It can withstand heavy weights, which means that large items and furniture can be placed on it without causing any damage.
- It tends to be fairly low-maintenance as it doesn’t need to be treated, sealed or painted.
- It has a natural look that can be aesthetically pleasing when installed in your garden.
- Stone is very prone to chipping and cracking, which means it needs to be repaired fairly often.
- Depending on your garden or pool area, there may need to be a lot of landscaping before it can be fitted. This is because stone needs to be installed on a flat surface.
- Installation can take a long time and usually costs quite a lot of money.
- It can only be installed at ground level and so isn’t suitable for above-ground pools.
- Due to its concrete base, stone is not an eco-friendly material when used as a pool surround.
Traditional wood decking
- Wood decking tends to be one of the more affordable options due to the relatively low price of timber.
- Wood decking has a natural wood look that many people find appealing. It can also be stained in a variety of colours.
- The installation process is fairly quick when compared to materials such as stone as it can be cut and shaped relatively easily.
- If you choose a good-quality wood like cedar or redwood it can be less prone to warping than other cheaper woods.
- Depending on the type of wood, this type of decking won’t last very long and may need to be replaced after 10-15 years.
- Wood decking can be really slippery when wet and can be very hazardous when used as a pool surround.
- It is very high-maintenance and needs to be painted and stained once a year. It usually also needs to be resealed and deep-cleaned annually.
- It is prone to scratching, staining, splintering, cracking and rotting. Especially if it’s not properly maintained.
- They come in a wide range of styles and colours.
- Ceramic tiles provide a nice, underfoot texture.
- They give a classic look that is commonly associated with swimming pools.
- They get very slippery when wet, which can be hazardous when the tiles are installed around a pool.
- They are very high-maintenance due to the grout that’s used to install them. The grout will need regular maintenance as it is prone to staining, collecting dirt and changing colour over time.
- Both the material and labour costs are high, meaning it’s expensive to install.
- Ceramic tiles are very prone to cracking and chipping and will need to be repaired frequently.
- PVC decking is easy to install as it’s fairly light.
- Like composite decking, it doesn’t require staining or painting, meaning it is fairly low-maintenance.
- It is resistant to rot and mould and lasts for quite a long time.
- It tends to be more expensive than composite decking.
- It can discolour easily if any PVC or rubber products are placed on it.
- It’s not eco-friendly as toxins are released into the atmosphere during the manufacturing process.
- It’s fairly low-maintenance and doesn’t need to be sealed, treated or painted. An occasional wash is usually sufficient.
- It tends to dissipate heat fairly well and warms up quickly so that it doesn’t feel cold underfoot. This is most beneficial for milder climates.
- It is generally long-lasting, and most aluminium decking comes with a 20-year warranty.
- It is durable and resistant to rot and mould.
- Aluminium decking is generally considered to be less aesthetically pleasing than composite decking and doesn’t usually compliment the look of gardens and pools as much.
- It tends to be more expensive than many of the other materials used to build a pool deck.
- As it’s metal, it can create an unpleasant sound when you walk on it or if something is dropped onto it.
- It often has a strange feeling underfoot when compared to other materials such as composite decking.
Can composite decking be power-washed?
Although composite decking requires little maintenance, you will still need to clean it occasionally. Fortunately, composite decking is very easy to clean and you can either power-wash it or scrub it down with warm water and soap.
Is composite decking prone to warping in the sun?
As it’s made with a mixture of wood fibres and plastic polymers, composite decking doesn’t warp when exposed to the sun for long periods. However, if it’s not properly installed, then it may sag or buckle over time.
This is usually due to incorrect amounts of spacing between the joints of the boards.
How long does composite decking last?
On average, composite decking lasts between 20 and 25 years. Unlike other types of decking material, it requires very little maintenance and washing it occasionally should be enough to make sure that it lasts for a very long time.
How often should I clean my composite pool decking?
Usually, you should clean composite decking around every 3-6 months to remove any mud, dirt and soil that has accumulated on the boards. If any fluids such as sun cream are dropped onto the boards then it’s best to wash these off quickly to prevent any staining from occurring.
There are many reasons why our composite is the best choice when it comes to swimming pool decking. It’s long-lasting, low-maintenance, eco-friendly, easy on the eye, slip-resistant and water-resistant.
Although the up-front costs may be slightly higher than some other materials it will save you money in the long term. Head to our product website today and make the right choice for your swimming pool surrounds!