Exposed Aggregate Concrete for Swimming Pool Decks: Cost, Pros/Cons, and Types

Exposed aggregate is a popular choice for pool decks, patios, and walkways due to its durable and high-quality finish. It is a mixture of stones or gravel and concrete that is laid over the substrate, resulting in a rugged and textured appearance that enhances the beauty and sophistication of any outdoor space. Exposed aggregate is also water-resistant and provides a non-slip surface, making it an ideal option for areas prone to wetness and where safety is a top priority.

Is Exposed Aggregate Concrete Good Around A Pool?

Exposed aggregate concrete is a popular and durable choice for pool decks, providing an attractive and slip-resistant surface that lasts for many years with proper care and maintenance. It offers additional texture and traction compared to smooth surfaces like plain concrete.

exposed aggregate concrete pool deck

Moreover, exposed aggregate concrete is less likely to crack, chip or fade due to sun exposure and pool chemicals, making it a low-maintenance option. You can customize it with different colors, textures, and finishes to suit your pool area or backyard.

Is Exposed Aggregate Worth it?

Exposed aggregate concrete offers an attractive and durable option that can stand up to the elements and withstand heavy foot traffic. It is also a versatile option as it can be customized with different colors and textures to match any design aesthetic. Additionally, exposed aggregate concrete is low-maintenance and does not require sealing or staining like some other materials.

Pros & Cons:

Exposed Aggregate Concrete generates a natural textured effect by exposing the aggregate, or small stones, present in the concrete mix. Many pool owners choose this material for their pool decks as it offers several benefits.


  • Slip-resistant: Exposed aggregate concrete is an ideal material for poolside areas due to its natural slip-resistant texture, making it safe for wet use. The embedded aggregate stones add texture and grip to the surface, enhancing the material’s strength and durability.
  • Durable: It holds up against heavy use and wear and tear, making it an ideal choice for poolside areas. It is also UV-resistant, ensuring that its color won’t fade over time.
  • Customizable: It can be customized to match any home’s style, thanks to the variety of aggregate stones available in different colors and textures. The most common ones include:
    • Gravel
    • Crushed Stone
    • Basalts Black
    • Quartzite
    • Crushed Glass.
  • Low Maintenance: It requires minimal upkeep compared to other poolside materials. Regular brushing, washing, and occasional sealing are sufficient to maintain it.


  • Uncomfortable Surface: It can be uncomfortable to walk on for long periods due to the small aggregate stones embedded in the concrete. It may cause pain if walked on for extended periods.
  • Higher Cost: Although Exposed aggregate concrete is generally more expensive than traditional concrete, its durability and low-maintenance benefits make it a worthwhile investment in the long run.
  • Difficult to Repair: Repairing exposed aggregate Concrete can be challenging, requiring specialized tools and knowledge, making it best left to professionals. In some cases, replacing the entire concrete slab may be necessary to fix any damage.
  • Vulnerable to Staining: Exposed aggregate concrete is more vulnerable to staining than traditional concrete due to its porous nature. The open surface of the aggregate allows liquids and moisture to penetrate the concrete, making it susceptible to staining from oil, grease, food, and other liquids commonly found in outdoor environments. Removing stains from Exposed Aggregate Concrete may require specialized cleaning products and techniques.

How Long Does Exposed Aggregate Last?

The lifespan of exposed aggregate concrete depends on several factors, such as weather conditions and installation quality. Proper maintenance and care can extend its lifespan for up to 30 years or more. Regular sweeping, cleaning, and resealing will maintain its appearance. Moreover, proper drainage around the pool deck can prevent cracking or damage caused by moisture, reducing the risk of costly repairs.

Is Exposed Aggregate Around Pool Slippery?

Exposed aggregate surfaces around pools can be slippery when wet, even though the texture of the surface is typically rough. The irregularities caused by the combination of stones and sand can create extra grip or give way to less traction, making it difficult to determine how slippery a pool deck may be. To ensure safety, it is recommended that special non-slip coatings be applied to exposed aggregate surfaces around pools. Alternatively, the aggregate can be sealed with an acrylic sealer. This will provide more traction when walking on the surface and reduce the risk of slipping and falling.

Exposed Aggregate Pool Deck Cost:

The cost of exposed aggregate pool decks varies depending on the size, shape, and type of aggregate. Usually, quartz is more expensive than pea gravel, but it is also more durable and slip-resistant when wet. Some exposed aggregate pool decks require a special sealer, increasing the cost. Labor costs also vary depending on installation difficulty. Typically, a professionally-installed exposed aggregate pool deck costs from $3 to $15 per square foot.

Exposed Aggregate Pool Deck Ideas:

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