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Check Out These Awesome Above Ground Pool Deck & Landscaping Ideas

Have you decided to install an above ground pool in your backyard? Congratulations! You're sure to enjoy years of fun and relaxation in your very own outdoor living space.

Many above ground pool owners wonder if they should build a deck for their above ground pool. It’s not necessary since you can enjoy your above ground pool from the perimeter. However, above ground pool decks mean more room to lounge and relax around the pool while keeping a watchful eye on swimmers. Additionally, including a deck gives your backyard a finished look and provides safe walkways for guests.

What kind of deck should I build for an above ground pool?

When it comes to building a deck for your above ground pool, it’s important to decide what style of deck you’d like. The style of deck you choose is determined by the type of pool you have (above ground vs. semi-inground), your preferred decking material (do you want composite, wood, aluminum?), the features you want (hot tub, lounge chairs, etc.) and your budget. Let’s explore your options and find the best fit for your backyard by discussing the four main above ground pool deck styles in detail:

  1. Full-surround Decks
  2. Side Decks
  3. Combination decks
  4. Decks for Semi-Inground Pools

Full-Surround Decks for Above Ground Pools

As the name suggests, full-surround decks surround your above ground pool perimeter and hide the walls. Full-surround decks are large in size so you can add all the fun features you want – outdoor furniture, grills, hot tubs and more! This type of decking comes to the top of your above ground pool, creating a flush appearance. Full-surround decks are often connected to the home for easy access, safety and a streamlined look. Wood is one of the most popular decking choices, but other fantastic options for your full-surround deck are composite or PVC.

Here are some full-surround above ground pool decks that are sure to inspire your backyard build:

Gray composite decking
Gray composite decking makes the perfect place for lounge chairs or an outdoor kitchen. Pic from Flickr
Full-surround perimeter deck
This full-surround perimeter deck looks fantastic with two earth tones. Pic from Pinterest
Full-surround wood deck
This full-surround wood deck surrounds a large oval above ground pool. Pic from Pinterest

Side Decks for Above Ground Pools

Side decks are smaller than full-surround decks and fit to one side rather than surrounding the perimeter. Side decks are fantastic options when space or budget is a concern, or when you’d like to have room for a small seating area to watch over the kids. Wood is a popular choice for a high-end look, but PVC, aluminum and composite are other excellent weather-resistant options.

Get inspired with these amazing above ground pool side deck ideas:

Large oval above ground pool
Large oval above ground pool with wood side deck looks rustic and beautiful. Pic from HGTV
Large side deck with white perimeter safety fencing
Large side deck with white perimeter safety fencing protects swimmers and neighbors.
A rich wood side deck
A rich wood side deck and colorful landscaping gives this backyard a joyful bucolic feel. Pic from HGTV

Combination Decks for Above Ground Pools

Looking for something with a little more pizzazz than the full-surround or side deck? Combine styles for a custom look. Combination decks are limited only by your imagination. Some ideas are multi-level terraced decks or using a bridge to connect expansive areas!

Here are some of our favorite combination decks:

This outdoor living space combines a small side deck
This outdoor living space combines a small side deck with a large patio for a multi-level look.
Connected side deck to a brick patio
This backyard connected their side deck to a brick patio to create this expansive combination deck. Pic from Pinterest
combination deck
This amazing combination deck blends a small composite side deck, paver patio and gravel walkway. Pic from Pinterest

Decks for Semi-Inground Pools

Optimum Pools can be installed inground, above ground or semi-inground. Semi-inground pools are perfect for sloped yards and can create an exceptionally dynamic effect in your backyard. Let’s say you have a semi-inground pool and want to build a deck. What are your options? Your sloped backyard actually works in your favor here because you can create an expansive full-surround deck or cool-looking multi-level deck. Another idea is to build a side deck, leave the walls exposed and landscape with your favorite plants.

Scroll down for some gorgeous semi-inground pool deck ideas.

Semi-inground pool with a vanishing edge
This semi-inground pool has a vanishing edge that creates an incredible optical illusion. Pic from Maytronics
Concrete pool deck with semi-inground pool
This concrete pool deck complements the shape and design of the semi-inground pool. Pic from Pinterest
Semi-inground pools
Semi-inground pools like this one are perfect for sloped, hilly backyards. Pic from Houzz

What is the best material for an above ground or semi-inground pool deck?

The decking material you choose for your above ground or semi-inground pool deck will impact the look and feel of your backyard as well as maintenance costs over time. Now that you’ve seen some of the different styles of decking, let’s dive into the different types of decking materials to find one that works for your backyard.

  1. Wood Decking
  2. Composite Decking
  3. PVC/Plastic Decking
  4. Aluminum Decking

Wood Decking

Real wood decking is a timeless, luxurious choice for its natural beauty, rustic appeal and durability. It’s also inherently anti-slip, making it an excellent choice for around the pool. Wood can be measured to your exact specifications, allowing you to customize your design. Wood’s natural qualities may eventually cause it to warp, splinter or rot. However, using pressure-treated wood or adding a wood stain or paint can minimize some of those problems.

Wood side deck
This wood side deck fits perfectly against the pool and provides a seating area for parents to keep a watchful eye over swimmers. Pic from Pinterest

Composite Decking

Want the look of real wood with easier maintenance? Composite decking is a blend of wood fibers and plastic, combining the strength of wood with the durability and longevity of plastic. Composite decking makes a great choice for around the pool because it won’t warp, attract insects or splinter.

Composite decking
Composite decking is available in many earth tones and resembles real wood. Pic from Decks ‘R Us

PVC/Plastic Decking

Another key player in the category of durable, rot-resistant decking options is PVC or plastic decking. Plastic decking is designed to look like natural wood so you can enjoy a beautiful-looking deck with minimal maintenance. Additionally, PVC or plastic decking is resistant to stains, insects and splintering, ensuring a safer environment for around the pool.

Small PVC side deck
Small PVC side deck allows for easy entry and sunbathing around the pool. Pic from Pinterest

Aluminum Decking

If you haven’t heard of aluminum decking, that’s because it’s an uncommon but fantastic decking choice for pools. Aluminum is lightweight, resistant to cracks, mold, insects, warping and rust. While lighter than the other decking materials we listed above, it is actually stronger and more durable. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, low-maintenance above ground pool decking solution, aluminum decking is an outstanding choice.

Aluminum durability, longevity, and stain resistance
Why is aluminum a great choice for above ground pool decks? Durability, longevity and stain resistance are a few reasons! Pic from Pinterest

Above Ground Pool Landscaping + Patio Ideas

Don’t want to build a deck for your above ground pool? Want a more natural, organic look in your backyard? Instead of opting for a deck, consider enhancing the area around your above ground pool with a patio or landscaping. Above ground pool patios and landscaping differ from decks in that they are ground-level with all walls of the pool exposed. Here are the five main types of above ground pool patios:

  1. Gravels and Rocks
  2. Plants
  3. Tile and Stone
  4. Brick
  5. Concrete and Pavers

What is the best thing to put around an above ground pool? Let’s analyze each option to determine which one is right for your outdoor living space.

Gravels and Rocks

It is recommended to keep grass away from your above ground pool because you will have to trim the edges with a weedwhacker. This could cause damage to the walls of your above ground pool. Prevent this headache by forming a gravel or rock perimeter. Most above ground pool designs that are ground-level should have a gravel or rock ring surround. The type of gravel or rock you select is not important, giving you freedom to be creative and find a product that looks great in your backyard.

Above ground pool with gravel ring perimeter
Above ground pool with gravel ring perimeter
Light gray gravel with slab steppingstones
Light gray gravel with slab steppingstones creates a lovely path to this round above ground pool. Pic from Pinterest
Landscape lights in the gravel ring
Look at how amazing the addition of landscape lights in the gravel ring looks in this backyard!

Plants

Enhance your ring of gravel or rock with plants. Be sure to select plants that are pool-friendly (for ideas, check out our Best Plants for Around the Pool guide)! For a more structured look or for areas with colder climates, potted plants are a great solution. Hedges and bushes are perfect to conceal panel walls, but just make sure they don’t grow too large. Otherwise you’ll end up spending more time cleaning leaves out of your pool than enjoying it. We recommend taking a similarly cautious approach when landscaping with trees.

Hedges conceal the above ground pool wall
Hedges conceal the above ground pool wall panels without obstructing views. Pic from Pinterest
Ornamental grasses make excellent plants for landscaping
Ornamental grasses make excellent plants for landscaping around your above ground pool because they are low maintenance and require little to no water to flourish.
Small brick patio as a seating area
This homeowner landscaped around the above ground pool with plants but also included a small brick patio as a seating area.

Tile or Stone

Above ground pool patios made with tile or stone are classically cool and rustic. Opt to surround your pool with large-format tiles (non-skid or stone-look work best here) or stone slabs. Alternatively, lay a series of steppingstones from your home to your pool to form a walkway. Here are some of our favorite tile and stone above ground pool patio designs:

Medium steppingstones
Medium steppingstones provide a walkway from home to pool.
A safe walking area
Stepping slabs scattered around this above ground pool provide a safe walking area.
Rough-cut stone
Rough-cut stone surrounds this semi-inground pool. Pic from Pinterest

Brick

Looking for a traditional, old-world feel? The warmth and richness of red brick patios look fantastic in the backyard and provide a nice surface for hanging around poolside. Want to hide the walls of your above ground pool? Stack layers of brick around the perimeter of your pool to conceal the panels. Check out these cool brick above ground pool patios:

Multi-level brick patio
This multi-level brick patio features a raised planter for a beautiful country feel.
Sbove ground pool with brick patio
We love this above ground pool design with brick patio and seating area. Pic from Dunrite Pools
Red brick contrasts with the cool blue above ground pool
Red brick contrasts with the cool blue above ground pool. Pic from Pinterest

Concrete or Pavers

Concrete or pavers are a fantastic above ground pool patio choice when you want to conceal the pool panels and create a cohesive look in your backyard. Some companies now offer innovative hardscape pavers like porcelain pavers that resemble real wood. For a more classic look, opt for slab pavers. Or for rustic appeal, try a cobble design. Let’s explore some of the top paver patio designs for above ground pools:

gray paver decking
This gray paver decking looks fabulous against this above ground pool’s blue water. Pic from Dunrite Pools
Pavers concealthe walls of this semi-inground pool
Pavers conceal the walls of this semi-inground Optimum Pool.
Pavers enhance the beauty of this backyard above ground pool
Pavers enhance the beauty of this backyard above ground pool. Pic from Pinterest

Above Ground Pool Deck + Landscaping Tips

  • Sketch out your pool deck ideas and get input from family members. If you visit a home with an above ground pool and deck, write down some of your favorite ideas to keep for later.
  • Always build your pool first. Build the deck around the pool, not vice-versa.
  • Build your pool and deck within view of the home for safety.
  • Consider how much sun your deck gets when choosing a deck material. Some retain heat more than others.
  • Decks should not attach to the above ground pool. Instead, place the deck next to the pool and maintain a gap of no more than ¾ inch.
  • Instead of hiding your pool equipment or storage under the deck, make these important places easily accessible by building a small equipment and storage area near the side of your pool.
  • Mulching too close to the pool is not recommended. Mulch attracts termites which can eat away your above ground pool. Instead, add a small gravel or rock ring around the pool, then add your mulch.
  • Explore Swimmingpool.com Pinterest for more above ground pool deck ideas, above ground pool landscaping ideas and amazing pool designs.

Ready to build an above ground pool deck in your backyard?

Before requesting a contractor to draw deck blueprints, you’ll need this deck plan information:

  • Pool measurements. You need the diameter and height of the pool in order to calculate accurate deck dimensions.
  • Deck measurements. Include the height, width, and area measurements for each material.
  • Desired materials. Request the material you’d like your deck to be but remain open to suggestions from your builder. Oftentimes these experts can recommend solutions we may not have thought of.
  • Building codes. Get a contractor or building inspector to review your plans to make sure they follow required codes.

Once you have dreamed up your deck desires and hired a contractor to construct your vision, it’s time to enjoy. Lounge, sunbathe, and soak up time with family and friends—all poolside, thanks to your above ground pool deck.

Need a builder? Find one here.


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