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A variety of pool decking options are available with an even greater variety of pricing and performance. You can choose from natural stone, concrete, composite materials, wood, brick, rubber and more.
One of the greatest concerns surrounding pool decking is safety. Nothing can dampen a pool party’s mood faster than someone slipping and falling on slippery decking or burning their feet on sun-scorched pavers. But not all surfaces are created equal — in particular, natural limestone stands apart.
There are many misconceptions about residential pool pavers that cause some contractors and homeowners to second-guess if natural limestone is the right choice for their projects. We’ll address those concerns here and provide insights into why limestone pavers are actually an ideal choice for pool decking.
Misconception #1 — Limestone Pavers are Slippery
While most surfaces can become “slippery when wet,” the idea that limestone pool decking is inherently hazardous is a misnomer. The type of finish applied to limestone is probably the #1 determinant of how slippery it may be. Clearly, a highly polished finish can result in a slippery surface even when it isn’t wet, so it’s not recommended for exterior decking applications. An etched texture can be applied to exterior decking materials to help create traction while still maintaining the aesthetic beauty of the stone. If you already have a polished limestone floor in the interior of a home and want to create an extension of that look to the outside, a honed finish with an applied texture will provide the continuous flow of design you’re seeking, with an added measure of safety.
Misconception #2 — Limestone Isn’t Durable
Natural limestone materials have withstood the elements for millions of years, so to consider that a patio table being moved across pavers might result in its final undoing is a bit overstated. Limestone is one of the most durable and low-maintenance options available for pool decking. It can withstand extreme variations in weather and hold up against continuous use. The heaviest pool furniture or barbecue equipment is no match for properly installed decking, so dislodged tiles, cracks and repairs are of little concern. General care and maintenance are minimal and can help preserve the beauty and durability of limestone pavers for years to come.
Misconception #3 — Surfaces Can Be Hot
Unlike a concrete surface that absorbs heat and can fry an egg in the heat of summer (and your feet), natural limestone decking materials deflect heat and can actually have a cooling effect. Using lighter shades of stone, such as those naturally found in Eden-Valders limestone, will also result in cooler surfaces. Even on the hottest days of summer, limestone decking can remain cool to the touch, allowing you to walk or lie on the tiles comfortably.
Misconception #4 — Limestone Has Design Limitations
The designs used to create decking can result in the pool area being a featured showcase of a home. The beautiful tile shapes, rich colors and textures can be combined in innovative designs — from soft, curvilinear surrounds to bold and contemporary angles. And, for many modern lifestyles, the pool area isn’t just for swimming any more! Adding poolside stone features, such as outdoor fireplaces, seating areas, waterfalls and varying elevations, can transform what may have been a blank and boring backyard expanse into an inviting, jaw-dropping retreat.
Misconception #5 — It’s High Maintenance
Properly installed pavers may never need to be replaced. Unlike an entire slab of concrete, which is highly prone to cracks, individual pieces of limestone tile can easily be removed and replaced in the unlikely event that one does need repair. What if underground plumbing malfunctions or drain lines spring a leak? With an expanse of concrete, large equipment needs to be brought in to excavate the area, resulting in a huge mess and the likelihood of having your pool out of commission for an extended period of time as the repairs are made and new concrete is poured and cured. A patch job on concrete is noticeable and unsightly, and a complete replacement is expensive. With tiles, however, you can remove only those units needed to make underground repairs and replace them without leaving any hint of disruption. The long-term cost savings and lower maintenance needs of limestone far outweigh the risks of using concrete and other sub-par materials.
From the ancient springs of Hierapolis to modern-day suburban pools, limestone has been a perennial go-to construction material for pool decking for good reason. Put aside your misconceptions and see how the beauty and lasting quality of limestone can enhance your next backyard pool project. Contact Eden-Valders Stone today to explore the many options.