Customers often ask us about concrete pool decks versus paver pool decks. You only need to go as far as your concrete driveway in Florida to find out which is better. One constant is that new construction will always settle, and when concrete settles, it cracks under the strain. Pavers in this regard are superior because they are not tied together with grout or cement, thus will not crack.
What about my pavers sinking?
Your paver deck is only as good as its foundation. There are 3 options when you build a pool deck:
HYDRO JETTING/DIRT COMPACTION
Dirt is water-jetted around the pool and then compacted
Advantages: Cost Effective
Disadvantages: Over time you may have pavers sink due to watershed
Concrete Road base/Base Rock
Dirt is water-jetted and compacted around the pool. Then 3 to 4 inches of gravel is layered on top of the compacted dirt.
Advantages: Superior drainage, handles settling more effectively than dirt only
Disadvantages: Slightly more expensive than normal compaction and water-jetting
Concrete Sub Deck
A concrete slab is poured and pavers are set over the slab.
Advantages: Pavers will not settle
Disadvantages: Drainage, mildew and algae. When it rains there is nowhere for the water to go, and it becomes trapped in the cracks of the pavers. This will cause mildew and mold.
Expensive – Will cost as much as the decking itself to lay down.
Type of Pavers
Brick pavers are primarily made of a mixture of the raw material: clay and shale. These materials are set into molds and fired at up to two thousand degrees at the manufacturer’s plant. This process makes them ideal for heavy traffic and pool deck applications.
This means brick paver colors have a deepness and warmness about them because they contain the natural color of the clay and shale materials this means they will retain their color for a long time. Brick color offerings are many and varied, from light to moderate to darker tones. There are many sizes to you to choose from and different sizes are sometimes combined to form patterns.
Natural Stone Pavers
Stone pavers, like the name suggests are made from natural stone. They are made from a variety of minerals that have been formed over thousands of years. Stone pavers are considered by many to be the “premium products” because of their look and feel. Stone pavers have a higher acquisition cost since they have to be dug out of the earth at stone quarries and thus will be higher priced than brick and concrete pavers. These pavers are also typically cooler on your feet.
There are a number of other products out on the market made from a combination of natural and composite materials. There are too many to list but one that we currently use and recommend combines actual sea shells in the paver to not only give you a natural look but also give you the cooling properties of the natural stone pavers