Paving a swimming pool area presents a range of distinct challenges. You need to choose pavers that aesthetically complement the area, while also being practical and functional. Good poolside paving should be non-slip, have good resistance to water, be UV stabilised and be able to withstand the salt and chemicals commonly used in swimming pools.
There are plenty of great paving options to choose from including travertine, granite, bluestone pavers, concrete and more. But breaking down the options can be challenging.
To help, we’ve created a list of some of the best poolside paving materials.
Travertine is an earth-toned limestone that is incredibly durable and weather resistant. In fact, travertine is so useful as a building material that it was even used to create parts of the Roman Colosseum.
Nowadays, it is often used as a pool paver due to its natural non-slip surface. Additionally, it is able to withstand Australia’s extreme hot and cool cycles throughout the year. This makes it ideal for any type of outdoor use. Sealed travertine is also quite easy to clean. You just use a damp mop to sweep any dirt or debris off the surface.
In terms of aesthetics, travertine features a timeless hazy pattern on its surface. It adds a flair to your poolside without the risk of being too loud and distracting. It’s understated look goes well with many modern poolside designs.
Since it’s a porous stone, you need to be careful about spilling acidic fluids on it. If you spill vinegar or orange juice on your travertine pavers, it can leave a stubborn stain on the surface. Regular sealing will help to protect the surface from acids and other chemicals.
If you’re not too fussed about premium materials, then concrete is the paver for you. Concrete is cheap and can withstand a considerable amount of damage and weathering.
Concrete comes in various styles. In terms of looks, it’s versatility and flexibility is unmatched. You can choose the thickness, the texture and the colour. Polished or sealed concrete can be great for the poolside as it’s waterproof and can be finished with a non-slip surface.
However, concrete can be prone to fading and if you have a sealed concrete surface, it will need to be re-sealed every few years.
Bluestone is a type of sandstone that’s dense, durable and beautiful. It can withstand extreme weather conditions and heavy foot traffic. Of course, it is also non-slip. Bluestone ideal for pools, patios and verandahs.
If you’re after a simple yet premium look, bluestone is a great paving choice. It starts off with a rich blue tone and then, over time, transitions into a sleek grey. It can be cobbled or installed as tiles. In terms of shape, the stone can be cut into any design that you like, giving you aesthetic flexibility.
All of these things come at a cost, however. Bluestone is one of the more expensive types of paving available. The material itself is costly and the installation isn’t cheap either. Additionally, since it’s a natural stone, it will have to be sealed regularly.
Granite comes in different shades of greyish earth tones. Its trademark speckled surface is sure to add a sense of luxury and style to your poolside. If you want, you can even use it as accents to your flooring.
Strength and durability is what granite is known for. It’s non-slip, scratch resistant, non-combustible and can withstand heavy foot traffic. Also, unlike travertine, granite is stain resistant, making much easier to clean. This is the reason granite is often used in kitchen benchtops.
However, the stone’s hardness is both a blessing and a curse. Granite’s density makes it extremely heavy and difficult to process, transport and install. All of this increases granite’s price tag.
Limestone is another popular building material that was used in many man-made wonders. This includes the pyramids in Egypt, the Sphinx and the Pathernon. Its light colour is versatile and goes well with modern home designs. It can also be manufactured into different types of bricks and blocks.
It’s a non-slip surface that can withstand foot traffic and extreme weather conditions. Beside pool paving, limestone is also used as wall cladding and retaining walls.
The good news is, unlike the other stones that we’ve mentioned, limestone is cost-effective. It will give you that natural stone aesthetic without having to fork out too much cash.
On the downside, many types of limestone are quite porous and can be prone to moisture damage without regular sealing and maintenance.
Now that you know your options, it’s time to make a decision. When choosing a paver, consider your budget, your style preferences and practical needs. Keep these three factors in mind and you should be able to choose a paver that’s right for you.