Limestone vs Travertine Pool Deck | A Comprehensive Comparison

Pool decks are an essential part of any backyard oasis. They enhance the look and feel of your pool area, making it an inviting space for relaxation and entertainment. When it comes to pool deck materials, limestone and travertine are two popular choices among homeowners. In this article, we will compare the properties, costs, and suitability of limestone and travertine for pool decks, helping you make an informed decision for your pool project.

Limestone vs Travertine Pool Deck | An Overview

Limestone vs Travertine Pool Decks are both natural stones formed from calcium carbonate. While they share similar origins, they differ in their appearance, texture, and durability. Limestone is a sedimentary rock, known for its earthy, classic look. It is available in various shades of beige, gray, and brown. Travertine, on the other hand, is a type of limestone formed in hot springs and limestone caves. It boasts a unique, eye-catching pattern with natural holes and a range of colors, from ivory to walnut.

Cost Comparison | Limestone vs Travertine Pool Decks

In general, travertine tends to be more expensive than limestone due to its unique characteristics and visual appeal. However, prices can vary depending on the quality, finish, and supplier of the stone. It is essential to balance your budget with your aesthetic preferences and the functional requirements of your pool deck when making a choice.

Limestone: Pros and Cons for Pool Decks


  • Aesthetically appealing: Limestone offers a timeless, elegant look that can complement various architectural styles.
  • Durable: When properly sealed and maintained, limestone can withstand years of use and weather exposure.
  • Easy to shape and cut: Limestone is a relatively soft stone, which makes it easier to work with and shape according to your design preferences.


  • Porous: Limestone is a porous material, making it susceptible to staining and damage from water, chemicals, and freeze-thaw cycles.
  • Requires regular maintenance: To ensure longevity and prevent damage, limestone needs to be sealed regularly, especially in a pool environment.
  • Can be slippery when wet: Limestone’s surface can become slippery when wet, posing a safety risk around pools.

Travertine: Pros and Cons for Pool Decks


  • Unique appearance: Travertine’s distinct patterns and colors make it a popular choice for homeowners seeking a visually striking pool deck.
  • Resistant to heat: Travertine remains relatively cool to the touch, even on hot days, making it comfortable for barefoot use.
  • Naturally slip-resistant: Travertine’s porous surface and textured finish provide better slip resistance compared to other natural stones.


  • Higher cost: Travertine is generally more expensive than limestone, which may be a consideration for those on a tight budget.
  • Regular maintenance: Like limestone, travertine requires regular sealing to protect it from damage and staining.
  • Holes and cavities: Travertine’s natural holes can collect dirt and debris, requiring more frequent cleaning.

Which is Harder: Limestone or Travertine?

Limestone and travertine have similar hardness levels, with both stones being relatively soft compared to other natural stones like granite or marble. However, travertine is typically more resistant to wear and chipping than limestone due to its higher density. This makes travertine a slightly more durable choice for pool decks, although both materials require proper sealing and maintenance to ensure longevity.

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Is Limestone Slippery When Wet?

Limestone can indeed become slippery when wet, which can be a concern in pool environments. The smooth, polished finish of limestone, combined with its porous nature, may create a slippery surface when exposed to water. To mitigate this issue, consider using limestone with a more textured finish, such as honed or tumbled, to provide better traction and slip resistance.

Disadvantages of Building with Limestone

While limestone is an attractive option for pool decks, it has some disadvantages. Its porous nature makes it susceptible to staining, damage from pool chemicals, and freeze-thaw cycles, which can cause cracks and deterioration over time. Additionally, limestone requires regular sealing and maintenance to protect it from these issues. Finally, limestone’s potential slipperiness when wet can pose a safety hazard around pools, especially for children and the elderly.

The Best Deck Material Around a Pool

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the best pool deck material, as it depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Both limestone and travertine are popular choices for their unique appearance and natural beauty. However, travertine has some advantages over limestone in terms of slip resistance and heat resistance, making it a popular choice for pool decks. Other materials to consider include concrete, pavers, and composite decking, each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

The Coolest Surface for a Pool Deck

When considering the coolest surface for a pool deck, travertine stands out as one of the top options. Its natural heat resistance helps keep the surface cool to the touch, even on hot summer days. This feature makes travertine an excellent choice for those looking to create a comfortable, barefoot-friendly pool environment. Other cool decking options include certain types of concrete coatings and lighter-colored pavers, which can also help reflect heat and maintain a more comfortable surface temperature.

Limestone and Travertine vs Other Paving Options for Pool Decks

Pool decks are a crucial component of any backyard swimming pool setup, contributing to both the aesthetics and functionality of the space. Limestone and travertine are two popular natural stone options for pool decks, but there are several other materials worth considering. In this article, we will compare limestone and travertine to other popular paving options for pool decks, including concrete, pavers, and wood or composite decking.

Limestone and Travertine Key Features

As we previously discussed, limestone and travertine are both natural stones with unique appearances and characteristics. Limestone is known for its classic, earthy look, while travertine boasts a distinctive pattern and color range. Both materials require regular sealing and maintenance but offer an elegant, natural look for pool decks. Travertine is generally more slip-resistant and heat-resistant than limestone, making it a popular choice for pool environments.

Concrete Pool Decks

Concrete is a versatile and cost-effective option for pool decks. It can be finished in various ways, such as brushed, stamped, or stained, to create different looks and textures. Concrete is durable and low-maintenance, but it can become slippery when wet and may crack over time due to ground movement or freeze-thaw cycles.

Pavers for Pool Decks

Pavers are a popular choice for pool decks due to their versatility, durability, and ease of installation. They come in various materials, such as concrete, brick, or natural stone, and are available in an array of colors, shapes, and sizes. Pavers offer excellent slip resistance and can be easily replaced if damaged. However, they may require regular maintenance, such as sealing and weed control, to maintain their appearance and functionality.

Wood and Composite Decking for Pool Decks

Wood and composite decking materials offer a warm, inviting look for pool decks. Wood options, such as cedar, redwood, or tropical hardwoods, are known for their natural beauty but require regular maintenance, including staining or sealing, to prevent decay and weathering. Composite decking, made from a blend of wood fibers and plastic, is a low-maintenance alternative that resists rot, warping, and splintering. However, both wood and composite decking can become slippery when wet and may be more susceptible to damage from pool chemicals.

Comparing Pool Deck Materials: Pros and Cons

  • Limestone and Travertine:
    • Pros: Elegant natural appearance, unique patterns and colors (travertine), heat resistance (travertine), slip resistance (travertine)
    • Cons: Regular sealing and maintenance, higher cost (especially travertine), can be slippery when wet (limestone)
  • Concrete:
    • Pros: Versatile, cost-effective, durable, low-maintenance
    • Cons: Can be slippery when wet, prone to cracking, may require professional installation
  • Pavers:
    • Pros: Versatile, durable, slip-resistant, easy to replace damaged pavers, wide range of materials and designs
    • Cons: Regular maintenance (sealing, weed control), installation may be labor-intensive
  • Wood and Composite Decking:
    • Pros: Warm, inviting appearance, natural beauty (wood), low maintenance (composite), resistant to rot and splintering (composite)
    • Cons: Regular maintenance (wood ), susceptibility to damage from pool chemicals, potential for slipperiness when wet.

How to Choose the Right Pool Deck Material

When selecting the right material for your pool deck, consider the following factors:

  • Budget: Determine your budget and choose a material that fits within your financial constraints. Concrete and pavers are generally more affordable than limestone, travertine, or wood/composite decking.
  • Aesthetics: Consider the look and feel you want for your pool area. Natural stones like limestone and travertine offer a timeless, elegant appearance, while concrete and pavers provide more design flexibility. Wood and composite decking create a warm, inviting atmosphere.
  • Maintenance: Evaluate your willingness to perform regular maintenance. Natural stones require sealing and upkeep, while wood decking needs staining or sealing. Concrete and composite decking are lower-maintenance options.
  • Safety: Prioritize slip resistance, especially in a pool environment. Travertine and pavers generally offer better slip resistance than limestone, concrete, or wood/composite decking.
  • Climate: Consider your local climate and how it may affect your chosen material. Freeze-thaw cycles, for example, can cause cracking in concrete or damage to natural stones. Wood and composite decking may also be affected by humidity and temperature changes.


Limestone and travertine both offer unique benefits and drawbacks as pool deck materials. While travertine is generally more expensive, it provides better slip resistance, heat resistance, and durability compared to limestone. However, limestone’s classic appearance and lower cost may still make it an appealing choice for some homeowners. Ultimately, the decision between limestone and travertine will depend on your individual preferences, budget, and priorities. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each material, you can create a beautiful, functional pool deck that meets your needs and enhances your outdoor living space.

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Mark Cullen
Mark Cullen
I have many qualifications and certificates in construction, such as City & Guilds, CPCS and CITB. These are the highest standards of training and competence in the industry. Whether you need help with plumbing, carpentry, bricklaying or any other trade, I’m here to help you succeed.

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