Why Limestone May Not Be the Best Choice for Your Pool Deck
Fredercik M. Hueston StoneForensics.com
When it comes to creating a stunning poolside oasis, choosing the right materials for your pool deck is crucial. While limestone may seem like an attractive option due to its natural beauty and timeless appeal, it’s important to consider the practicality and long-term durability of this stone. In the following article I will discuss why the use of limestone on a pool deck might not be the best idea and offer some alternative choices for a more suitable poolside surface.
Slippery When Wet
One of the primary concerns with using limestone for a pool deck is its slipperiness when it gets wet. Limestone is a porous stone that can become extremely slippery, making it a safety hazard, especially for children and the elderly. Pool decks are prone to getting wet, and having a slippery surface can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. To ensure the safety of your pool area, it’s essential to choose a material that provides better traction.
Prone to Stains and Discoloration
Limestone is a relatively soft stone that is susceptible to stains and discoloration from various sources, including pool chemicals, sunscreen, and even natural debris like leaves and grass. The porous nature of limestone allows these substances to penetrate its surface, leaving unsightly marks and blemishes that can be challenging to remove. Maintaining the pristine appearance of a limestone pool deck can be a constant battle, requiring regular cleaning and sealing.
Another drawback of using limestone on a pool deck is its limited longevity, especially in a harsh outdoor environment. Over time, exposure to sunlight, moisture, freeze-thaw cycles, and saltwater from pools can cause limestone to deteriorate and weaken. This deterioration can lead to surface pitting, chipping, and cracking, requiring costly repairs or even complete replacement. If you’re looking for a long-lasting pool deck solution, limestone may not be the most cost-effective choice.
Higher Maintenance Requirements
Limestone pool decks demand a higher level of maintenance compared to some other materials. Regular sealing is necessary to protect the stone from moisture and stains, and frequent cleaning is essential to prevent the buildup of dirt and algae. These maintenance tasks can be time-consuming and add to the overall cost of owning a limestone pool deck.
Susceptible to Spalling from Saltwater Pools
Limestone is particularly vulnerable to spalling, a process where the surface layer of the stone flakes or chips away. The salt content in pool water, especially in saltwater pools, can accelerate this deterioration. Over time, the constant exposure to saltwater can lead to unsightly and potentially hazardous surface damage, further highlighting the unsuitability of limestone for pool decks.
Alternatives to Limestone for Pool Decks
If you’re reconsidering using limestone for your pool deck, there are several alternative materials to consider:
Travertine: Travertine is a natural stone that even though it is a limestone it offers better slip resistance and durability. It’s a popular choice for pool decks due to its attractive appearance and ability to stay cool underfoot.
Concrete: Stamped or stained concrete can mimic the look of natural stone while providing a more customizable and slip-resistant surface. It’s also generally more affordable than natural stone options.
Porcelain Tiles: Porcelain tiles are available in various styles and designs, offering excellent slip resistance and low maintenance. They are highly resistant to stains and discoloration.
While limestone may have its aesthetic appeal, using it for a pool deck may not be the most practical choice due to its slipperiness when wet, susceptibility to stains, limited longevity, higher maintenance requirements, and the risk of spalling from saltwater pools. When creating your poolside retreat, it’s crucial to prioritize safety, durability, and ease of maintenance. Considering alternative materials like travertine, concrete, or porcelain tiles can help you achieve a beautiful and functional pool deck that will stand the test of time.
Note: there are many types of limestone, and many are not suitable for a pool deck, however there are some limestone that may hold up well. I would suggest you consult with a stone expert before choosing stone for your pool deck.