The Best Poolside Material: Natural Stone and Pavers
The area around your swimming pool can typically become the focal point of your backyard. In saying that, it is also imperative that the poolscape area is well installed and maintained so that it stands the test of time and is also safe for your family and friends to enjoy.
If we look at the history of swimming pool decks, traditionally most in-ground decks were made from concrete. Though concrete is a sturdy material, new materials like natural stones and porcelain pavers have attracted popularity.
So in today’s article we will share the five key points to consider when choosing the right material for your poolscape.
What to Consider When Choosing the Right Material
As with any home improvement project, considering the overall aesthetics and style of your backyard (and home), is the best starting point. So prior to selecting the specific materials you want to install, we recommend thinking about the colours, tones and other style related aspects to your backyard such as plants, furniture and architecture. Once you have come up with the draft idea of how you want everything to look, it will be much easier to find the materials and complete the installation process. Also, your final product will integrate nicely with the rest of your home.
As your pool is going to receive a lot of foot traffic, it is very important to choose a sturdy material. When choosing your material also consider how much maintenance it requires, the costs associated with this maintenance, how often it needs to be maintained and if the material will be able to withstand prolonged contact with water. For example, some materials like sandstone are prone to erosion and not ideal as poolside pavers.
As poolscapes are typically wet areas, it is extremely crucial to choose materials that are able to handle water and are not slippery when wet. Some questions to consider are: do you live with small children or elderly people who are more prone to having a slipping accident? Do you like to host parties with many guests where safety is an important consideration? These are all very important questions to evaluate when choosing the right poolside material so that once your pool is installed you can enjoy it safely.
4. Heat absorption
Pools are usually used in the summer when temperatures are high and the sun shines constantly. Any material left directly underneath the sun will eventually get hot. However, some materials get hotter than others and so you want to be mindful when choosing a poolscape paver because you don’t want yourself, your family or your friends to hurt their feet while walking on the stones. The rule of thumb is that the darker the stone, the more heat it absorbs. Lighter colours reflect heat and are therefore cooler underfoot.
Another important consideration for your poolscape is installing pool coping. Why? Because coping separates the swimming pool shell from the surrounding surface area and in doing so helps protect the pool structure by stopping water from getting behind the pool shell. It’s important to think about whether you’d want the pool coping of the same material as the one you’re using at the edge of the pool or if you want to contrast it with something different.
Now that you are better acquainted with what to consider when choosing your poolscaping stones, feel free to check out the 5 things to consider when choosing pool tiles here.
Let’s continue and check out how to use natural stone for patios and paths.
Natural Stone for Patios and Paths
Stone is a beautiful, natural-looking material with extremely versatile properties, meaning that it can be installed for various purposes including patios and pathways. Natural stones are unique in that they really enhance any outdoor landscape. They have enough texture to be slip-resistant and are available in a wide array of shapes and sizes; such as square, rectangle, triangle, and irregular – which makes them versatile enough for any purpose and location.
Along with this, there are plenty of stone varieties to choose from including sandstone, limestone, granite, bluestone, cobblestone and many others. The one downside of installing natural stone for your patio or pathways is that some stones easily absorb water which can be a problem for erosion and many others are dark in colour, which makes them prone to absorbing heat rapidly and becoming hot underfoot – a huge issue for Australian homes where our summers can reach excessive heats. Another important consideration with natural stones is maintenance. Here is an article with some tips for cleaning natural stone pavers.
Pavers for Paths and Patios
If you are looking for an alternative paver for your patio or pathways that resembles natural stone but is more durable, we strongly recommend considering porcelain pavers as an alternative! Compared to a concrete substitute, porcelain pavers are designed to resemble cobblestones, granite, tile, and even traditional bricks.
Due to the technology with which they are made, they are also extremely sturdy which also makes them very versatile. Porcelain pavers also come in many different materials, sizes, shapes and colours, providing an infinite number of styles and pattern combinations for your poolside. If installed and sealed correctly with a permanent border or frame, they will sit stably and not shift.
Other paver materials for poolside patios include stone and aggregate. As they are able to move with the ground, pavers are quite durable and resistant. They are also less likely to crack in comparison to concrete and if you need to replace any stone in case of damage, it is much easier to do.
If you have any other questions about poolside materials regarding safety, heat absorption, and durability, reach out to our expert team at Armstone. We have over 10 years worth of experience in this field and have helped thousands of customers turn their dream poolscape into a reality. We would love to help you too!
Alternatively, feel free to browse our products here.