Is Concrete the Best Material For A Pool Surround?

Regardless of whether you’re renovating or resurfacing your existing pool area, or installing a brand new one, it’s important to consider all your options for pool decking materials.

Selecting a Pool Surround Material

A range of materials are suitable to be used for pool surrounds and homeowners should be sure to evaluate each material’s benefits before committing to an installation. Factors such as visual appeal, design capabilities and overall performance of the material should be carefully considered prior to a project commencing.

Pavers & Tiles

Pavers and tiles are a popular choice amongst pool owners due to their durability and varied design. Numerous types of stone and similar materials are utilised to make tiles and pavers including sandstone, marble, porcelain and travertine. This provides the homeowner with great flexibility and an abundance of options to choose from. Selecting a material that isn’t slippery when wet is crucial, and some sealers may be required to protect the visual appearance of the pool surround over time.

Wooden & Composite Decking

Decking is generally used as a complimentary material to standard pool surround materials such as concrete or tiling. Decking is an ideal choice for homeowners wanting to create a natural appeal for their pool area. Composite decking is a highly popular choice in modern day applications due to its natural look but low maintenance properties. While a greater financial outlay is required initially, composite decking provides long-term savings through reduced maintenance costs.


Decorative concrete is another popular choice for pool surrounds, predominantly due to its visual appeal and versatility of design. Many homeowners opt for an exposed aggregate application, with the flecks of stone and textured feel major selling points. Poured concrete can be an affordable option when compared with alternatives such as tiles, mainly due to the reduced labour requirements of the installation.

Types of Concrete Pool Surrounds

With many different types available to homeowners, concrete is an extremely popular choice to be installed for pool surround applications. The versatility of concrete in regard to its design capabilities allows for a multitude of eye-catching bespoke and unique projects.

Exposed Aggregate

For homeowners seeking a slip resistant surface, exposed aggregate concrete is an ideal choice. The presence of aggregates within the concrete creates a finish that is textured and highly customisable. Exposed aggregate is also a type of decorative concrete that is extremely visually appealing and aids in the creation of a feature area within the home.

Honed Concrete

Honed concrete is a type of exposed aggregate concrete that achieves an even, smooth surface – while still retaining non-slip qualities. The honing process involves the grinding of the concrete surface until it becomes smooth. The concrete is then treated with diamond tooling ensuring a flat and even appearance. Honed concrete has grown in popularity and is utilised for external flooring, as well as walls.

Liquid limestone

For homeowners looking for an affordable, yet decorative product that retains the qualities of its more expensive alternatives, liquid limestone is an ideal choice. Liquid limestone is created by mixing cement and crushed limestone to create a smooth material that is versatile in its application possibilities. Liquid limestone is ideal for pool surrounds as it is a slip-resistant surface that can be poured into any shape.

Benefits of Concrete Pool Surrounds

When deciding on a material to be used for your swimming pool area, it is important to consider a range of factors including budget, safety, maintenance and durability. While there are a range of alternatives to concrete pool surrounds, few of them are able to offer the same advantages – particularly in terms of design versatility.

Surface Temperature

Concrete is an extremely comfortable surface for bare feet on hot days, particularly when coloured and textured correctly. Compared to alternatives such as tiles and composite decking which are extremely hot to touch when exposed to direct sunlight, concrete utilised in pool surrounds is often wet, making the temperature not as noticeable. Some sealants and toppers for concrete applications are also used to lower surface temperatures. This is an important consideration for homeowners in Perth as the Mediterranean climate brings dry, hot summers and a majority of blue skies year-round. Due to these conditions, Perth residents spend much of their time outdoors, making the most of their pool and outdoor areas.

Slip Resistance

As an area that is generally wet, the importance of having a slip-resistant surface is paramount for a swimming pool surround. All pool surround materials can become slippery when they are wet which poses a safety risk, but there are ways to increase the traction of concrete surfaces, without reducing their visual appeal. The use of decorative concrete including exposed aggregate and liquid limestone, as well as the application of clear grit sealers allows for a textured surface that is still eye-catching.


While pool surrounds made of pavers, natural stone or brick carry great aesthetic appeal, they can be costly due to the labour required to individually place each component. Concrete is a far more economical choice due to the reduced labour requirements, and its versatility allows for the replication of natural stone and paver finishes through concrete stamping and colouring. Tight budgets can be worked around by incorporating numerous types of decorative concrete together to create a one-of-a-kind design.

Design Options

Decorative concrete provides homeowners with great flexibility regarding design options, including the size, shape, colour and surface treatment of a pool surrounds. From plain and coloured concrete, to exposed aggregate or stamped concrete – concrete is by far the most versatile material utilised for pool surrounds. Decorative concrete can also be mixed and matched within a pool area, allowing homeowners to install a design that is completely unique to their home.

Ease of Maintenance

While tiles, pavers and decking are all durable surfaces for pool surrounds, they all require a higher level of maintenance when compared to concrete. Tiles, pavers and bricks can all shift over time requiring replacement or relevelling, while the joints between each individual unit needs to be refilled with sand to prevent weed growth. Decking needs to be treated regularly and is prone to splitting, splintering and warping over time. Poured concrete eliminates these risks and the need for most maintenance tasks.

It is recommended that all concrete pool surrounds are resealed initially after twelve months. This is due to the presence of chlorine and salt content within a pool’s water. These substances can break down the sealant far more rapidly than general concrete applications. Once the concrete has been resealed initially after a year, a reseal schedule of between three and five years can be upheld.

Terrastone’s Decorative Concrete Pool Surrounds

Terrastone Architectural Concrete are Perth’s premier decorative concreters and we are truly enthusiastic about creating custom pool surrounds that fit your home perfectly, bringing your outdoor area to life. Throughout our years of experience, we have fostered relationships with the top pool companies in Perth and have worked closely with countless clients to create the pool of their dreams.

Our access to the best decorative concrete products in town allows for the creation of a finished product that is completely unique to your property. We work collaboratively with you to deliver a solution that is the perfect fit for your home.

Contact the Terrastone Architectural Concrete team for a no obligations consult and learn how we can help transform your space today!

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