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What can we use to make our pool deck not burn feet?

By Paige Cerulli Created: February, 2018 - Modified: July, 2023

There's nothing better than spending a hot summer day by the side of your pool. It's the perfect place to lounge, keep an eye on the kids, and just soak in the sun. But homeowners and pool facility owners alike face a common issue: How to keep pool decks from getting hot.

If you've ever made your way across the pool deck in the middle of a sunny summer day, you've likely encountered the problem. Bare feet and hot pool decking don't make a great match. At best, the experience is an uncomfortable one. At worst, you or your kids can end up with burnt feet.

Luckily there are a few ways to avoid this situation, and it all comes down to choosing a pool decking that doesn't get hot.

How to Choose Temperature Stable Pool Decking

Temperature stable pool decking is one excellent solution to a surface that gets too hot in the summer sun. Temperature stable flooring is specifically made so that it doesn't get uncomfortably hot (or cold) underfoot. These products are a great investment for any home or commercial pool space.

LonDeck Sol Vinyl Flooring has CoolTouch technology which reflects the sun's rays and decreases the surface temperature of the floor up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit! This is a top choice for commercial installations of outdoor pool decks such as at hotels, resorts, and waterparks.

How to Cope With Hot Pool Decking

If you can't change the pool decking product that's already been installed, that's okay - we have some solutions for you, too.

Add New Pool Deck Flooring That Does Not Get Hot

Start by identifying the problematic areas of your pool surround - are there particular spaces that are frequently hot, or areas that see high traffic and need the most attention? Investing in a product to cover those areas can help to keep them more comfortable and safer, while saving you the expense of needing to remove the existing flooring to replace it with another flooring.

We offer a number of products that can be installed directly on top of a hard, flat surface, like your existing pool surround. Consider purchasing outdoor flooring tiles in a light color, to install on top of your existing flooring. The lighter color won't absorb as much of the sun's heat as a darker-colored product will, so the flooring will stay cooler.

Heronrib Wet Area Safety Matting serves as a thermal barrier, creating a comfortable walking surface even on hot and sunny days. This matting can be rolled out and does not need to be glued or attached. Roll out over concrete, wood-plastic composite decking, and other surfaces to create a safer floor for bare feet.

Keep in mind that you'll want any product you choose to have particular qualities if it will be used around a pool:
  • Comfortable: Choose a flooring that is comfortable under bare feet. Look for something that is forgiving, and ideally a product that offers fall height protection to help minimize injury in the event of a fall.

  • Waterproof: If you'll be using flooring around a pool, you need it to be waterproof. If water repeatedly is absorbed into a product, it will damage the flooring and shorten its life. This can also lead to mold and mildew issues.

  • Designed for drainage: Standing water will happen almost immediately if you choose a flooring product that isn't designed to provide plenty of drainage. Look for a perforated tile or a tile that is designed to help channel water away from the surface, maximizing safety.

  • Traction: Any product you consider must be designed to maximize traction. Look for a product with a textured surface that will provide grip, even when it gets wet.

  • UV stable: When choosing flooring to be used outdoors, look for a UV stable option. The sun's rays can fade and degrade the quality of flooring, but products with UV protection are made specifically to withstand the demands of outdoor use.

At Greatmats, we offer many tiles that can be temporarily installed without the use of any adhesive. These tiles can help to make your pool surround more comfortable, making for a cool pool deck rather than the uncomfortably hot surface that you're currently dealing with.

If budget is a problem, keep in mind that you don't necessarily need to cover your entire pool deck with a new product. Instead, you can create a path around the pool and leading from the pool to popular areas, like the pool shed or the stairs to your yard or home.

If you're not crazy about the idea of a path but are still working within a tight budget, remember that you can always add on to your path later on if you choose a tile product. This is one of the major advantages of using tiles; your flooring doesn't have to be permanent, and you can reconfigure and add to the flooring later on simply by purchasing additional tiles.

Providing Shade Will Keep Your Pool Deck Cool

When dealing with hot pool decking, a low-cost alternative is to create a way to shade part or all of the deck area. There are plenty of cost-effective, simple ways to do this.

The most basic way to create a shaded area to prevent hot pool decking is to invest in large patio umbrellas. You might also find that an awning or small tent works for your needs.

If you're looking for something more permanent, then you'll need to identify the areas that receive the most sun and need the most shade. Planting a line of tall, dense shrubs or trees can create a natural, attractive barrier to the sun, so your deck stays cool for most of the day. Keep in mind, though, that the sun will move, so a shade barrier that's adjustable may be the best.

If you shop around a bit, you'll find that there are all sorts of alternatives, including shade sails that stretch across your pool and the deck. Some pool owners opt to build covered outdoor spaces for lounging that lead directly into the pool. A small cabana may be the perfect in-between option to create a cool pool deck, depending on your space and your budget.

Want the ability to adjust your shade as the sun moves throughout the day? Retractable shade canopies or retractable enclosures may be the perfect solution. These adjustable options allow you to shade the surface during the hottest times of the day, but you can then retract the shade so you can soak up the sun as the day cools down. You can also retract these barriers on cooler days when you want more sun and warmth.

Finding Happiness With Your Pool Decking

Want a cool pool deck that's comfortable underfoot? There are many ways to achieve that, even if you already have a deck installed. From the simple, low-cost options of installing a new temperature stable pool decking directly on top of your existing deck, to the more elaborate options of retractable canopies, you'll have plenty of choices.

If you would like to discuss decking options for your pool surround, please give our excellent customer service team a call. We would be happy to discuss the different products with you and can help you decide which product is right for your needs so you can start enjoying your pool again.