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Best pool surrounds

Wednesday 18th September 2019 by Anthony Abbott

The best surfaces for pool surrounds


Check out our complete guide to the best surfaces for your pool surround. We look at the design, the look and of course the important safety aspects to consider.


When you have gone to the expense of a swimming pool for your home, you will want to make sure it is not just the water that looks inviting.

It’s also about getting the pool surround right too so you have a welcoming and relaxing area around the water where family and friends have a space where they can socialize, as well as swim.

But it’s not just about the aesthetics – you will also want to make sure that the area is safe and free from any hazards that could put users at risk of injury, or worse. If you have areas of mold or paving areas that have cracked or broken tiles, these don’t just look awful, they are trip hazards too. 

So whether you are installing a brand new pool or upgrading an existing one, think carefully about the surround, one that combines practicality and style with the all-important safety aspects.  

First, a few things to consider.

Ideally, you want to choose a surface that is non-slip to eliminate the risk of trips and falls, but also smooth and accessible for users.

Think about how easy it will be to maintain. You don’t want to be spending hours on cleaning when you could be enjoying a relaxing dip. Where a pool is outside you will want the surround to be cool underfoot and offering UV protection to prevent discolouring.

It is important to try and create a seamless look too, by hiding drain areas for example, which can also remove another potential trip hazard. Finally, don’t forget to think carefully about colour combinations as it is likely you will want a pool surround area that complements your property’s colour palette and doesn’t clash. 


Pool surrounds – the options


Tiles or paving stones

With a stunning array of colour choices, as well as textures, tiled pool areas have traditionally been the favoured option. You can create a variety or patterns and either use a single colour, or several in combination. Tiles cut to different sizes can also create an interesting and striking finish. Natural stone and slip resistant ceramic tiles are available, but one of the more popular choices is porcelain, which is tough and durable in terms of weather resistance and also has great slip resistant properties.


Concrete surrounds

Another popular and traditional choice for pool surrounds, concrete is slip resistant, as well as tough and durable. It doesn’t have to look bland either with a variety of colour and texture options, many of which can make concrete look like more expensive materials, such as wood, slate or stone.


Composite decking

The increasingly popular, more contemporary solution – composite decking is a viable alternative to the more traditional pool surround options and can create a real stunning, modern look.  Slip and stain resistant, composite decking won’t rot or warp like wood and is resistant to algae and infestation making it a leading contender for your pool surround. Here at Harbron Home Improvements, we offer products from one of the market leaders in this field, Millboard who are putting even conventional composite board in the shade.

Most composite products are a mix of plastic and wood fibres, but Millboard only use timber to make the mould for their decking which is made from tough resin and mineral stone. It is designed to look exactly like wood – but will easily out perform it.   


Resin pool surrounds

Another specialty of Harbron, the versatility and unique features of resin make it one of the most popular choices for outdoors and indoor swimming pool surrounds.

Cost effective, with a 25 year life span, resin pool surrounds are fast to install. As long as the base is safe and structurally sound, it can be laid to many existing surfaces without excavation or groundworks.

Resin bound means a seamless finish too, with no loose stones. What’s more, resin keeps its cool too – even in direct sunlight, so is ideal for bare foot users around the pool.

With a stunning range of colours and textures available you can personalise your design, even incorporating patterns, motifs – and even company logos into the finished surface. It’s the perfect material to camouflage unsightly drains and filters too, making it an ideal choice for pool surrounds.


 Always think pool safety too!

 Whatever your final option for a pool surround is, remember to ensure you make the area as safe as possible for users, particularly young children. It maybe necessary to install gates and fencing as part of your pool area, as well as ensuring surfaces are anti-slip and non-abrasive. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Think about introducing rules for pool users too, so they know what to do to keep themselves as safe as possible. These may include no running, diving or pushing near the water and young children are forbidden from going into the water unsupervised.

For non-swimmers and very young children always use appropriate life jackets or buoyancy aids too. Make sure both adults and children stay well away from drainpipes and fit anti-entrapment devices to stop them getting trapped by suction action.