No pool would be complete without a deck but before you start planning out a design, take a moment to consider which materials you want to use. There are many options on the market but the two most popular choices for pool decks are concrete and pavers. So, which is the better option for your pool deck, and which will cost you less?
Generally speaking, stone pavers are more expensive than concrete. The average price for concrete is $12-$18 per square foot whereas the average price for stone pavers is roughly $15-$25 per square foot. However, there are a few factors that can affect the price of both concrete and stone pavers, for example, the type of concrete or stone, the size of the pavers, and the pattern you choose.
Understandably, though, there are some pros and cons to each material. In this guide, we’ll discuss the overall cost of using concrete and stone pavers to build a pool deck before going through a few of the advantages and disadvantages.
Stamped Concrete – A Lower Upfront Investment
Installing a pool is never a cheap process but if you want to cut back on the cost of your pool deck, stamped concrete may be your best option. Unlike individual pavers, a stamped concrete deck is built by pouring a single slab of concrete and then stamping it with a design. This adds texture and color to the concrete which can make it look like stone, brick, or tile.
The main advantage of stamped concrete is that it is significantly cheaper than using stone pavers. After reviewing national samples, the average price for stamped concrete stood at around $12-$18 per square foot which is significantly lower than the $15-$25 per square foot price tag of stone pavers. In addition, stamped concrete is less labor-intensive to install which means that you can save even more money on installation costs.
However, the main downside of stamped concrete is that it is not as durable as stone pavers. Over time, the concrete can crack and the color can fade. In addition, if the concrete is not properly sealed, it can be easily stained by pool chemicals or dirt.
So, if you decide to go with stamped concrete, be sure to hire a professional who has experience with this type of concrete. A poorly done stamped concrete deck can look cheap and uninviting.
Pavers – A More Durable and Attractive Option
If you are looking for a more durable and attractive option for your pool deck, stone pavers are the way to go. Pavers are individual pieces of stone, brick, or concrete that are installed in a specific pattern. The most common type of stone pavers are made from brick, clay, or stone.
The main advantage of stone pavers is that they are very durable. Pavers are less likely to crack than concrete and they can last for decades with proper care. In addition, stone pavers come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and shapes which gives you more flexibility when designing your pool deck.
However, the main downside of stone pavers is that they are more expensive than concrete. Currently, the average price for stone pavers stands at around $15 to $25 per square foot (depending on the material) whereas the average price of unstamped concrete is just $6-$10 per square foot.
In addition, stone pavers are more labor-intensive to install which means that you will have to pay more for installation. Another downside of stone pavers is that they can be difficult to clean. Dirt and debris can easily get trapped between the pavers which can be difficult to remove.
So, if you decide to go with stone pavers, be sure to hire a professional who has experience with this type of material. A poorly done paver deck can be very dangerous and it can also void your warranty.
Which Material will Cost More in the Long Term?
Before you make your decision, take a moment to consider the long-term costs of owning a pool. Although pavers may initially cost more up-front, it’s important to remember that durability directly corresponds to the average maintenance cost of owning a pool.
As we mentioned before, stamped concrete is less durable than stone pavers. This means that, over time, concrete can crack and fade. In addition, concrete is more susceptible to erosion than stone since the material is naturally more porous. Therefore, if you choose stamped concrete for your pool deck, you will likely have to replace it sooner than you would if you had chosen stone pavers.
In addition, stone pavers are less likely to be damaged in bad weather. If a storm comes through and knocks over a tree, for example, the pavers will likely go undamaged. However, if the same thing were to happen to a stamped concrete deck, the concrete would be more likely to crack. So, in the long run, stone pavers are more durable and require less maintenance than stamped concrete.
To put this in terms of numbers, the average lifespan of a stamped concrete deck is around 10-15 years whereas the average lifespan of a stone paver deck is 30-40 years. During that time, you could spend as much as $500 per year on concrete repairs and as little as $100 per year on stone paver repairs. Therefore, pavers are likely the better investment.
Which Should You Choose – Pavers or Concrete?
Now that we’ve gone over the pros and cons of each material, it’s time to make a decision. So, which should you choose for your pool deck – pavers or concrete? The answer to this question depends on a few factors.
First, you need to consider your budget. If you are working with a limited budget, stamped concrete is likely the better option since it is significantly cheaper than stone pavers. If you have a bigger budget or you are looking for a more durable option, stone pavers are the way to go.
Pavers are more attractive and they last longer than concrete. In addition, pavers add value to your home which is always a bonus if you are planning on selling in the future.
The bottom line is that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between pavers and concrete. It all depends on your personal preferences and your budget.