Ah, the joy of summer! As the sun’s rays beat down, what’s better than a refreshing dip in the pool?
Well, stepping onto a beautiful, naturally paved deck afterwards.
So, you’re thinking about adding a pool deck? Or perhaps rejuvenating an old one?
Natural stone might just be your best friend for pool decking!
But, with so many options which one do you choose?
In this article “Slate Vs Sandstone Pool Decks”, I will cover everything you need to know to decide which option is the best one for you.
I will also list the alternatives to these stone options.
I will cover the following :
- Alternatives to Consider: Most popular materials (Travertine, Limestone, bluestone, flagstone)
Importance of choosing the right material for pool decks
When deciding to build a pool deck, while that shimmering water in the swimming pool is the main attraction, there’s more to think about.
Have you given thought to the pool deck?
You know, the area surrounding your pool?
It’s not just about looking good, but it has a big say in the whole vibe, safety, and practicality of your pool zone.
Think of it this way: just as we decide over the design of the tiles inside the pool or its shape, the type of material of the deck is equally deserving of that attention.
Imagine this: A sizzling hot summer day, and your deck burns your feet.
Or maybe it rained, and the deck is now a slippery nightmare.
The material you go with dictates all these experiences – from the temperature of the surface under the blazing sun to the traction when it’s wet.
Plus, let’s talk about upkeep and how it holds up over time.
The last thing we want is your stunning pool being overshadowed by a deck that’s chipping away or gets dangerously slick.
So, when thinking over that perfect choice for your pool, remember the deck is equally important.
Understanding Natural pavers
So, have you noticed a lot of pools going for natural materials lately?
Natural pavers, especially, are becoming a big hit.
They not only look elegant but are also super practical.
Each stone is unique, and many are naturally slip-resistant—perfect for pool areas.
That is why they are a popular choice of pool designers for deck materials.
While there are other options, I’ve seen how satisfied folks are with these natural pavers.
As you think about your pool, consider that the deck is key.
It sets the stage for your pool, and with natural pavers, it’s both stunning and functional!
Their unique and elegant appearance ensures no two decks look the same.
Moreover, they’re durable, typically slip-resistant, and some varieties remain cool under sunlight, offering comfort for bare feet.
With relatively simple maintenance and the added advantage of being environmentally considerate, natural pavers can enhance not only the aesthetics but also the value of a property.
Slate Pool Decks
Slate is a type of stone that falls under metamorphic categories. it is known for its fine grain and layered appearance.
Its dark tones, from deep blues, muted greys to dark blacks.
Slate pavers make every deck sophisticated and give a touch of modern look.
It complements both classic and contemporary architecture seamlessly.
Advantages of Slate Pool Decks
Durability: Slate pool pavers are one of the best choices when it comes to durability.
In winter months, your stone decking will withstand harsh weather conditions.
Slate is frost resistant which makes it an excellent option.
Unique Color Variations: The charm of slate lies in its range of variety of colors, from deep grays to vibrant blues.
Every piece tells its own story, ensuring your pool area has a distinct flair.
Safety First: Given that pool areas get wet, the naturally textured surface provides a non-slip surface.
This makes slate a great option for pool deck material.
It’s less slippery, which is great for avoiding those unintended splashes.
Chemical Resistance: Pools have chemicals; it’s a fact.
Thankfully, slate stands strong against discoloration and degradation, even with regular exposure to treated pool water.
Considering all these points, slate patio pavers truly offer both aesthetic appeal and practicality for pool decks.
Disadvantages of Slate Pool Decks
Flaking: Over time, slate can have this thing called “spalling” where bits might flake off. This could lead to an uneven surface or a change in its appearance.
Heat Absorption: Remember, slate usually comes in darker colors. That means on really sunny days, it can get quite warm underfoot.
Cost: Depending on where it’s from and its quality, slate can be a bit pricier than other options. Especially the high-end stuff or those from specific regions.
Upkeep: Slate needs a tad more TLC in the outdoor space.
This could be regular sealing or just general maintenance to keep it looking sharp.
Sandstone Pool Decks
Sandstone pavers are a very good choice.
Sandstone is this beautiful sedimentary rock made from compacted sand.
What’s lovely about it is the natural beauty and the range of colors it offers—from soft beiges and yellows to bolder reds and browns.
Its grainy texture not only feels great underfoot but also adds a warm, inviting touch to pool areas.
Plus, with its array of colors, it tends to match well with different architectural styles, making your pool space both elegant and cohesive.
Advantages of Sand Stone Pool Decks
Natural Vibes: It has these earth-toned colors that meshes really well with the outdoors.
Choices, Choices: Loads of patterns and various colors to pick from.
Easy Peasy Installation: It’s generally simpler to work with than some other stones.
Natural Grip: This natural stone pool deck will be be kind of slip resistant due to its porous texture.
Disadvantages of Sand Stone Pool Decks
Weather Wear: It can show signs of weathering over time in extreme weather conditions.
Toughness: Not quite as sturdy as some other natural stones. Not recommended for high-traffic areas and continuous use.
Maintenance Alert: Absorbs water, so watch out for potential algae.
Stain Watch: Can pick up stains, especially from those pool chemicals.
Alright, diving into the costs of slate versus sandstone for pool decks:
Average Installation Costs:
Slate: Generally, slate tends to be pricier when it comes to initial installation.
Depending on the quality, origin, and where you live, you might be looking at anywhere from $10 to $30 per square foot (or even more for premium grades).
Sandstone: Sandstone often comes in as a more budget-friendly option.
It typically ranges between $10 to $20 per square foot, but this can fluctuate based on factors like quality and sourcing.
Long-term Maintenance Costs:
Slate: In terms of maintenance, slate requires little maintenance but not without its needs.
You’ll occasionally have to reseal it to prevent water and chemical damage.
While sealing isn’t hugely expensive, if you’re going for professional application, costs can add up over the years.
Sandstone: Sandstone might require a bit more love to keep it looking its best in terms of test of time.
one of the features of natural stone products is they are porous,
Sandstone is not water resistant, so sealing is essential to make sure there is no potential staining and algae growth.
This means you might be resealing more often compared to slate, which can increase long-term costs.
In summary, while sand stone decks may have a more appealing upfront cost, consider the long-term care and associated costs when making your decision.
Both stones have their merits; it’s all about what fits best with your vision and budget.
(Note: The prices mentioned are ballpark figures and can vary based on multiple factors like location, labor costs, and market fluctuations.
It’s always a good idea to get local quotations to get a more accurate sense of potential expenses.)
It’s essential to understand the steps and considerations for a successful installation.
Let me break this down for you:
Proper Foundation and Preparation:
For Both Slate and Sandstone:
- Sub-base: A well-prepared, compacted sub-base is crucial. Typically, this involves a gravel or crushed stone layer that ensures proper drainage and a stable foundation.
- Leveling: Before laying the pavers, ensure a smooth and level surface to avoid future settling or shifting.
- Weed Barrier: It’s a good idea to have a weed barrier cloth underneath to prevent weeds from growing between the pavers.
A penetrating sealer works best for slate. It not only protects the stone but also enhances its natural color without adding gloss.
Given its porosity, a high-quality sealer that offers protection from both water and UV rays is recommended. This will prevent fading, staining, and water absorption.
Professional Installation vs. DIY:
Benefits: Hiring professionals means you’ll get expertise, faster installation, and often a warranty for the work. It ensures that all aspects, from foundation prep to sealing, are handled correctly.
Pros: It can save on labor costs and offer a sense of personal accomplishment.
Cons: It requires a significant amount of time, research, and physical effort.
There’s also the risk of errors, which can lead to long-term issues or higher costs down the road.
Recommendation: If you’re not familiar with such installations, it might be worth considering professional help, at least for the critical stages.
A halfway approach could be prepping the base yourself and hiring pros for laying and sealing.
Remember, a well-laid pool deck not only looks fantastic but also ensures safety and longevity.
Whether you choose slate or sandstone, correct installation and maintenance can make all the difference in getting the best value for your investment.
Maintenance and Care
Maintaining the pristine appearance of your pool deck, whether slate or sandstone, is crucial.
Let’s talk about the recommended care for each:
Regular maintenance : Use a mild detergent and water with a soft brush or mop.
Avoid acidic or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the slate’s surface.
Deep Cleaning: For tougher stains, you might consider a slate-specific stone cleaner available at most home improvement stores.
Routine Cleaning: A gentle brush with soapy water works well. Sandstone is porous, so avoid letting any substances sit for too long.
Deep Cleaning: Specialized stone cleaners can be used for deeper stains. Again, avoid acidic cleaners.
Durability and Longevity
Here is a table comparing the two stones:
Heat Resistance Properties
Alternatives to Consider: Most popular materials
Do you know about travertine?
It’s a distinctive type of limestone primarily sourced from regions like Italy, Turkey, and Mexico.
This stone has held its appeal since the days of ancient Rome.
A few notable characteristics include its non-slip texture, making it ideal for wet areas such as pool surrounds.
Additionally, it remains relatively cool underfoot, even on sunlit days with high temperatures.
Travertine offers a broad spectrum of colors, ranging from neutral ivories to vibrant coral reds.
It’s a kind of sandstone with this striking blue-gray color that designers absolutely love.
What’s great about it is its sophisticated look that can really uplift any outdoor area.
On top of that, it’s super durable, handling lots of foot traffic and the elements without a hitch.
And a bonus? It stays cool, so even on those really hot summer days, it’s comfortable to walk on.
It’s typically found in these unique, irregular slab shapes and comes in so many different colors.
The cool thing is, every slab is one-of-a-kind.
You can use it for a bunch of stuff, like pathways, patios, or even around pools.
And the best part? It has this organic vibe that just blends right into natural settings.
It’s this sedimentary rock, mostly made up of calcite, and it’s perfect for anyone after a sleek look.
Limestone has this refined, elegant texture that’s really consistent.
And color-wise? You’ve got choices, from dark grays to these soft, creamy whites.
Another big plus is how well it stands up to extreme weather changes – it just seems to take on whatever Mother Nature throws with style.”
Porcelain pavers are this cool landscaping option that’s been catching on for luxury pool decks.
Made from top-notch porcelain (synthetic materials) , they’re super durable and look great anywhere.
The best part? They don’t stain easily and can handle all sorts of weather, from frost to blazing sun.
Plus, they come in so many styles, even ones that look like natural stone or natural wood.
You can design your dream pool patio with a personal style.
And trust me, they’re a breeze to take care of! Really low maintenance.
Is slate more expensive than sandstone?
Typically, slate can be pricier due to its unique characteristics, but costs vary based on region and quality.
Which is more stain-resistant, slate or sandstone?
Slate, due to its dense nature, generally offers better stain resistance than sandstone.
Do these pavers get too hot to walk on during summers?
While all stones can get warm, lighter shades of sandstone remain comparatively cooler.
How often should I reseal my pool deck?
Every 2-5 years is recommended, depending on the material and usage.