8 Tips for Styling Your Pool Exterior With Pavers

C.E. Larusso
Written by C.E. Larusso
Updated April 7, 2022
Girls sitting on side of pool
Photo: AzmanL / E+ / Getty Images

Your paver style should go as hard as your hardscape

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The hardscaping surrounding your pool serves a functional purpose—providing a safe, slip-free surface from which your family and friends can access the refreshing water. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t also look good. 

Pavers are among the least expensive pool deck materials, but they are also often among the most stylish, coming in a wide array of materials, shapes, colors, and textures. Like the pavers in a driveway or walkway, these rectangular slabs fit together to form a smooth  surface and define the appearance of the pool area and its transition to the surrounding landscape. Here’s what to consider when selecting pool deck pavers to create a stunning hardscape design before you contact a local pool designer or swimming pool remodeling pro.

1. Understand the Differences Between Paver Materials

Manufacturers produce pool deck pavers in many different materials, each with its own pros and cons for both form and function. 

  • Basalt: Made from durable natural stone, basalt pavers offer an unusual texture and a unique finish.

  • Bluestone: Available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, these natural stone pavers look sleek and uniform and can be used to create a more elaborate design.

  • Brick: Brick pavers provide a classic look while remaining durable and affordable.  Watch out: they can get very hot in the summer sun.

  • Clay: Clay pavers are easy to customize and to maintain, plus they’re available in an array of neutral shades. 

  • Concrete: Highly versatile and exceedingly durable, concrete pavers can be customized in any size, color, or shape. 

  • Granite: Granite pavers are another non-slip natural stone that comes in grayscale shades that you can mix and match in handsome combinations.

  • Limestone: One of the world’s most common building materials, limestone makes for earthy-looking pavers that match with coping of the same material.

  • Sandstone: Sandstone pool pavers are inexpensive, durable, and available in a wide variety of shapes. They also come in a range of light earth tones that naturally resist the heat of the sun.

  • Travertine: Travertine is easy to clean and resists freeze-thaw cycles, plus it’s available in beige and grayish tones.

2. Let The Landscape Take the Lead

As you weigh the pros and cons of different kinds of pavers, think about how the pool area sits within the context of your yard and your house. Choose pavers that enhance your outdoor area’s natural beauty and complement the look and feel of your landscape design. 

For example, brick pavers might not be the best choice for a minimalist, modern home, which might be better served by the industrial quality of concrete pavers. 

3. Create Contrast With A Stunning Focal Point

A newly installed swimming pool
Photo: Reimar / Adobe Stock

While some pool decks blend seamlessly with their environment, others catch the eye by emphasizing the contrast of the crisp, blue pool water—in the same way that patio pavers can reshape your landscape. Shape is often the major factor, with the pavers taking a sharp, geometrical rectangular form or a flowing, organic oval. Don’t be afraid to be playful, but ensure you think deliberately about how the deck fits within your overall design. 

4. Mix and Match Your Pool Exterior

If you’re feeling torn between pavers and another style of pool decking—like poured concrete or tile—or among different styles of pavers, don’t forget that you can create a stylish pool area with mixed materials. Create striking patterns or a sense of variety by combining different shapes, textures, and materials.  

5. Opt for a Light Color Scheme

The warmest months are the busiest for your pool area, and your deck will absorb heat from the beating sun all day. No matter how tempting it might seem to establish a sleek look with a dark-colored deck, you don’t want your pavers to burn sensitive feet and scare your guests away. 

Light paver shades and materials like limestone and marble offer the best protection against the sun. More absorbent colors and materials like brick, granite, or bluestone are best kept as accents in pools that receive direct sunlight. Don’t forget that the pavers will get darker when they’re wet. 

6. Think About the Visual Effect of Different Paver Sizes

A swimming pool with mountain view
Photo: Scott Van Dyke / Corbis Documentary / Getty Images

Pavers come in a wide range of sizes, and your size choice will play a big role in the impression made by your deck. Smaller pavers create a dynamic sense of visual interest, breaking up the space and entertaining the eye. Larger pavers impart a more organic, spa-like feel, giving the deck a smooth, sophisticated sheen.

7. Play With Paver Shape

There are pavers in almost every shape imaginable—and even where existing options fail, you can always get custom designers produced. Square and rectangular pavers are the traditional choice, but in recent years, long, wood-style planks have come into vogue. Manufacturers also sell bundles of pavers in three different shapes so that you can create a unique pattern for your home. 

8. Don’t Forget to Reseal

Whatever the style, pavers need a penetrating sealer or surface finish to resist staining, fading, and damage from threats like spilled food and drinks, algae, pool chemicals, and patio furniture. To maintain the appearance and lengthen the lifespan of your pavers, make sure to reseal them every three to five years.

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