For many years, the hardscape around swimming pools, which is called the surround or decking, had traditionally been concrete. There are good reasons why concrete proved popular. It’s easy to maintain, doesn’t get too hot, features clean, uncomplicated lines and comes in a variety of colors. But it can be a little boring.

That’s why there are numerous options today for surrounds that create an alluring and comfortable hardscape that enhances the beauty of your pool.

cape cod swimming pool

Before choosing a surround material, there are a few rules of thumb to remember. Most important, the material should be safe and not become slippery when wet. It should not be course or bumpy, and the surface should remain cool on hot days. (Remember those bare feet!) Finally, it is important to select a material that is resistant to algae, mold, mildew and frost.

cape cod swimming pool

A stone surround is one of the best options. Stone is sturdy, attractive and doesn’t become slippery. Travertine is a particularly popular choice because it’s a porous stone that doesn’t absorb heat, and it comes in many different colors, such as red, ivory, walnut and gold. Other terrific stone options are flagstone, slate, bluestone, limestone, sandstone, granite and coral stone. A big plus with granite is that it repels water, while sandstone is intense in color and limestone is able to tolerate extreme weather changes. If you’re seeking a dramatic aesthetic, flagstone is rich in earth-toned colors and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, so we can create just about any type of pattern your heart desires.

In recent years, brick surrounds have become popular. Brick is durable, easy to maintain and is available in colors other than terra cotta. One drawback is that moss will grow on cool bricks, which can make them slippery when wet.

Interlocking concrete pavers provide more flash than plain concrete and can be designed to resemble cobblestones, granite, tile or traditional bricks. They can also be easily replaced if one becomes damaged. Companies like Techo-Bloc and Unilock offer styles ranging from contemporary to country rustic, and polished casual to some with a European flair that will turn your surround into a statement maker.

For a truly sophisticated appearance, not much matches a wood surround. But there are obvious drawbacks. Wood requires seasonal cleaning, sanding and sealing, and there is always the painful possibility of splinters!

If choosing a tile surround, we’ll make sure it is graded to be slip resistant. Safe choices are an unglazed terracotta or a water-resistant porcelain. Pebble Tec offers a wide variety of smooth and textured tiles, including ones in steel blue, bronze and silver, and others that are frosted or translucent glass.

If you prefer a less structured look and want a cushion under your bare feet, you could choose grass as the primary “surround” with a minimal stone ledge running alongside the pool. Obviously, real grass means a steady diet of mowing, watering and, perhaps, fertilizing. It can also cause grass to be inadvertently tracked into the pool.

Regardless of whether you’re seeking the simplicity of concrete or the eye-catching visual of bluestone, Shoreline Pools can create a pool surround that fits your lifestyle.