It used to be that every backyard swimming pool
looked just about the same, because everybody relied on the same product,
Keystone Kool Deck, to keep the deck around the pool comfortable under bare
feet. In fact, if your pool deck was built before the mid-1990s, it’s
probably covered with that familiar mottled-beige concrete.
acrylic is becoming even more popular than Kool Deck because it’s easier to
install and maintain. Here are the pros and cons of each:
Keystone Kool Deck was invented by a Tucson company, Mortex, in 1962 for
use as a surface coating over concrete swimming pool decks, walkways and
patios. Applied to freshly poured concrete, Kool Deck creates a colored,
textured concrete surface that the manufacturer says is as strong as the
Kool Deck Pros:
lowers the surface temperature of concrete by around 20 degrees, more
than any other deck material. It withstands thermal expansion and
contraction better than concrete. Is fairly easy to clean.
Kool Deck Cons:
It is more complicated to install than acrylic, so it takes someone
trained specifically in the use of that deck topper. If you go with Kool
Deck, make sure your installer is trained and experienced in applying this
specific material. It fades under the very hot sun, so its color is hard to
match if you have to patch it up during a repair. It must be applied to
freshly poured concrete before the concrete cures in order to bond properly.
An alternative to Kool Deck is a thin coat
of acrylic or polymer concrete, usually a mixture of modified acrylic resin,
Portland cement and sand, applied over plain concrete to give it a texture.
It can be fashioned to look like
flagstone, Saltillo tile, brick and even Kool Deck. It can be acid-stained
or custom-textured for a unique look around the pool.
may be applied to
new or old concrete. It is usually finished with a solvent-based sealant
that makes it stain resistant and easy to clean.
When textured, is cooler than plain concrete, but not as cool as Kool
Deck, can cost up to twice as much as Kool Deck