Decked Out: All About Pool Decks for Inground Pools

Inground swimming pool with tile deck

If your new inground swimming pool is going to be a masterpiece, it’s going to need a good frame. A pool deck does the job of framing your pool by complementing its appearance while also providing a functional space for people to walk and sunbathe. Pool decks for inground pools come in many different forms. You should start thinking about what kind of deck you want when you first start planning your pool, so that everything blends nicely.

When pondering inground pool decks, some of the things you’ll want to mull over are: 1) materials, 2) size of the deck, 3) placement and orientation. To help give you some ideas, here’s an overview of some of the main issues involved.


Obviously, the materials you use for your pool deck should match and complement the appearance of your pool. However, they should also help your pool blend into its surroundings. If your pool is situated close to your house, the deck might run right up to the back door – in which case, your deck planning should take into consideration the colors, shapes, and materials of your home’s exterior. On the other hand, if your pool is set off from the house, your deck should help it blend seamlessly into your backyard.

Some of the popular materials for pool decking are concrete, flagstone, brick, granite, and travertine. Each has its pros and cons, along with different pricing that could seriously impact your budget. In addition to their appearance, be sure to factor in practical issues about the different options. If children or older people will use your pool, you may want to place priority on material that is slip-resistant. If the area is heavily exposed to the sun, look for something that doesn’t heat up too much in sunlight.

Photo showing a concrete pool deck
Concrete pool decks are popular for all sorts of inground swimming pools, both private and commercial.


If you don’t have a lot of space in your backyard, then your options for deck size will obviously be limited. However, if you have ample room, make sure your deck is large enough to accommodate loungers, safety equipment, and any other items you’ll want to have handy.

Also think about the amount of traffic the pool is going to get. You’ll need enough space for people to comfortably walk around the pool. While someone getting involuntarily bumped into the pool might seem like comedy gold, it gets old quickly.

Finally, keep in mind the purpose of your pool when deciding on the size of your pool deck. If it’s all about the swimming, then a smaller pool deck might serve you just fine. However, if it’s more about lounging and entertaining, you’ll want a larger pool deck – perhaps even one that’s oversized compared to the pool you have.

Photo of a small pool with a large wooden pool deck illustrating point on pool deck sizing
The size of the pool deck doesn’t always match the size of the pool. In fact, it often makes sense to install a larger deck with a smaller pool.

At the same time, as with pool sizing in general, it’s possible to go overboard on an inground pool deck. Your pool will naturally be a major part of your life when new, but as time goes by, it may fade somewhat into the background. Make sure you leave room in your backyard for all the other activities you and your family enjoy.

Placement and Orientation

The pool itself should get as much sun exposure as possible. However, your deck should have areas that are sunny and areas that are shady, giving people options to stay comfortable no matter the weather. At least, that’s ideal. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, your options may be limited.

For aesthetics, your deck should be oriented toward whatever is most scenic or attractive in your yard. If you have an unobstructed view of nature, or some creative landscaping you want to draw attention to, you should have the deck oriented so that people will tend to be facing that direction. In other cases, having the deck oriented toward your house may be the best option.

Photo showing good pool deck orientation with chairs facing a scenic view
It’s great to be able to enjoy a pleasant view while you lounge by the pool. That’s one reason pool deck orientation is so important.

Making the Decision

This has been a quick overview of some of the main options when it comes to pool decks for inground pools. You’ll find so many more possibilities once you dive in and start doing your own research.

Fortunately, you’re not alone in your quest for the perfect pool deck. If you have a good pool contractor – and you’d better – then you’ll also want to ask their advice. They have a lot of experience at pool installation, and may have some ideas you hadn’t thought of. Ultimately the decision is yours, but you’ll make a better choice if you absorb a lot of information and keep an open mind.