If you have big plans to install or renovate an in-ground pool, you'll need to think beyond that hole in the ground. Even once your pool is installed, your backyard won't really look complete without some thoughtful landscaping and a relaxing area around the pool to soak up some rays.
In fact, a well-designed pool yard will not only help you make the most of your new swimming pool but will add beauty and value to your property at the same time.
Natural stone is a popular material to use in and around pools. With so many options, it can help you achieve your desired look. That’s why we've put together some ideas, inspiration, and tips for choosing the right stone for your pool yard.
Reasons to Use Natural Stone Around a Pool
There are so many benefits of incorporating natural stone around a swimming pool. For starters, stone offers unrivaled durability compared to other materials, including concrete and wooden decking. By its very nature, stone is designed to hold up to the elements. Even if you live in an area that experiences a harsh freeze/thaw cycle, some stone remains resistant to cracking, pitting, and crumbling. But, it’s important to check if the stone you want to use will work for your application before purchasing it. For example, granite is a good choice for freeze-thaw areas, and several types of limestone work as well – a stone professional can help you figure out which option will work. It’s also important to remember that stone is not naturally waterproof and has pores where the water seeps in, so picking one that works for your specific application is important.
Stone is a very low-maintenance material. Unlike concrete or wood decking, you won't have to worry about refinishing, staining, resurfacing (like concrete), or sealing most options. And if you have a stamped concrete patio where there is shifting or movement, a crack can ruin the entire look of the patio. Plus, unlike a wooden deck, you won't have to worry about the potential of rotting or other common problems. If stones do need occasional care and maintenance, it’s important to get professional guidance before proceeding on your own.
Natural stone also makes a great material around a pool due to its slip-resistant qualities. While it's true that not all natural stone is slip-resistant, many types are. Even those that aren't naturally slip-resistant are often available with anti-slip coatings, making them ideal for use around otherwise slick pool areas.
Last but not least, natural stone is available in such a wide range of options that you can be sure to find one that suits your needs, budget, and style. Whether you're looking for something sleek and modern or something a little more rustic for your pool area, there's a natural stone out there for your dream pool yard.
Best Stone Options For Pool Yards
So, which stone is the best choice for you? Ultimately, this will come down to several factors that include your personal design taste, your budget, the climate where you live, and the availability of certain stones in your area. However, a few stone types are especially popular for use around pools, so we'll cover them here.
If you prefer a stone that's a little sleeker and more elegant looking, then be sure to explore granite as an option for your pool yard. While most people don't immediately think of granite when they think about exterior stone, the reality is that it's becoming a very popular option. Not only is it extremely durable and low-maintenance, but it's available in a wide range of finishes (including flamed, honed, and tumbled) to achieve your desired look.
Granite also holds up very well to water, making it a sensible choice for use around pool areas. And because it is available in a huge selection of styles, you can be sure to find the granite tile or slabs that best suit your tastes. Using granite around your pool is a great way to add an air of luxury and elegance that will make your neighbors envious!
If you’re looking for an affordable option for your pool patio, bluestone is an excellent option, especially if you live in the Northeast. It also comes in various colors (earthy browns and greens, plus cooler blues and grays), a bunch of finish options (natural cleft, flamed, tumbled), and random rectangular or mosaic patterns. The only real downside of bluestone is that it can get hot during the summer months, so it might not be the best option if you’re looking for a cooler surface to walk on.
Looking for a stone that's as durable and functional as it is beautiful? Travertine pavers are desirable choices around pool decks for a number of reasons. For starters, this stone doesn’t retain heat; due to its naturally light color and light-reflecting properties, it can be exposed to the sun for long periods without getting too hot. This makes it ideal for use around pools, preventing pool decks from getting too hot for bare feet.
Depending on the finish selected for your stone, it can also have some slip resistance. For example, travertine is naturally porous, absorbing water quickly without allowing for mold or algae growth, and comes in many finishes including honed, tumbled, sawn, and more, which will work great around pools.
If you're looking for a natural stone that will help you create a more elegant and understated look around your pool, don't overlook limestone. This sedimentary rock boasts a monochromatic look that many homeowners enjoy and comes in a variety of colors from cream to gold, gray, and charcoal.
Limestone is also very resistant to changes in weather and temperature, making it a popular choice in areas that see extreme climate shifts throughout the year. However, whether limestone is suitable for a project depends on the climate (check with a stone professional to confirm). It’s also a bit temperamental when it comes to maintenance, so check with a stone professional on how to best care for your limestone.
You can’t go wrong with quartzite if you want to create a one-of-a-kind patio or walkway. Because of its durability, strength, and hardness, it’s perfect if you experience extreme weather conditions. It also comes in silvery, gray, and gold hues and contains beautiful flecks of mica throughout, giving it a sparkling appearance in the sun. Similar to granite, it requires less maintenance and upkeep, so it’s a good option if you’re looking for something that will last long term.
Ready to Beautify Your Pool Yard?
The durability, beauty, and versatility of natural stone make it an excellent choice for your pool yard. Whether you're looking for something more rustic or prefer a sleek and modern look, there are plenty of stone options to choose from. Once you've decided on the stone(s) that you wish to use in your pool deck design, the next step is to find a reputable stone supplier in your area. From there, you can begin browsing slabs in person and making the final decisions for your project! It won't be long before your pool yard is completed, and you can enjoy it all summer long.