All About Swimming Pools Daily

Pool Deck Cover or Swimming Pool Cover: What's better?

May 21

Pools are an expensive business. To reduce costs and improve safety, an increasing number of homeowners are turning to covers for swimming pools. They're simple yet cost-effective – minimising heat loss, cleaning costs, and more.

Yet, the average pool cover isn't always as pleasant to look at as the pool itself. The result is a competitor to swimming pool covers: the pool cover deck. Unlike pool covers, it's not made of fabric or textiles – it's a solid sliding deck cover that completely covers up the swimming pool. These solid safety covers are even strong enough to support furniture.

But which is better: swimming pool covers or pool deck covers?

In this article, we'll be exploring the pros and cons of each to decide what's best to protect your pool.

Pool deck cover or swimming pool cover: What's the difference?

Confused by the terms? It's easy to misunderstand the difference between these two types of pool cover. Let's define our terms:

Pool deck cover is a hard decked surface that slides over the pool. They come in various shapes and styles; some even include a retractable turf pool cover. What they all have in common is that they're made of hard material that can be walked on – often wood – and have a better overall appearance.

Swimming pool covers, on the other hand, are primarily a soft textile, like vinyl, which can be rolled up or rolled out over a pool. There are various types:

  • Thermal blankets are designed to trap heat in your pool and prevent dirt from getting in. They reduce your pool heating bills and chemical usage.

  • Child and pet pool safety covers are firm fabric covers supported by metal struts that prevent anyone from falling into the pool. They're generally strong enough for someone to fall on or walk on; they cannot support large numbers.

  • Slatted automatic pool covers are a hybrid of textile covers and pool deck covers. Made from a series of floating slats, they insulate the pool and keep it clean. Still, they're not as strong as sliding deck pool covers.

Pros and cons of sliding deck pool covers

Sliding deck pool covers are generally mounted on wheels and are slid over the pool. Because they're so firm and stable, they're among the most reliable pool covers available.

Here are the key benefits:

  1. Solid and safe. The primary benefit of sliding deck pool covers is that they form a stable barrier between the pool and the surrounding area. They are, therefore, among the safest pool cover options. When closed, they're too heavy for a small child to move (especially with locks), preventing them from falling in.

  2. Usable space. The pool deck cover provides extra space for outdoor furniture. When the pool cover is in place, better quality pool deck covers can be used to stand on. You can host guests and more on top – without ever affecting the pool underneath.

  3. Save money. Like all pool covers, they'll save you money in reducing heat loss. They also protect your pool from dirt and debris falling in, minimising the volume of chemicals your pool needs as well as the loss of water evaporation.

  4. Look nice. The most common reason people choose a pool deck cover is that they're seen as the most attractive option. You'd never spot a pool deck cover when it's open – it looks like a raised decking area: perfect for sun loungers.

Nothing is perfect, however. Solid safety covers, despite their benefits, come with some significant downsides:

  1. Expensive. Pool deck covers are by far the most expensive pool cover option, ranging from $25,000 to $75,000 – compared to the most expensive automatic pool covers at around $22,000. Most of the benefits can also be gained with much cheaper pool covers – meaning the only real advantage is its attractive appearance.

  2. Complex installation. Pool deck cover installation involves a significant amount of work fitting rollers for the deck to slide along. In addition, they're rarely compatible with large or unusually shaped pools – as you'll need double the area of your pool to accommodate the pool deck cover.

  3. Take up space. Because the pool deck cover slides out next to your pool, you can't put any ornaments or outdoor furniture obstructing its path. It, therefore, significantly reduces your outdoor space – and they involve more weight.

Pros and cons of swimming pool covers

Whether you've got an automatic pool cover or just a piece of PVC material, swimming pool covers come in all shapes and sizes.

The key upsides of a swimming pool cover include:

  1. Affordable. In contrast to solid pool safety covers, even automatic pool covers are inexpensive, ranging from $12,000 to $22,000. Meanwhile, simple thermal blankets can be only a few thousand dollars or less.

  2. Energy savings. Thermal and slatted pool covers significantly reduce heat loss from an entire pool. These energy-saving safety covers also reduce water evaporation and debris entering the pool – so cleaning costs are also minimised. Our energy-saving pool covers are for you if you're worried about shrinking carbon footprints.

  3. Simple to fit. Our textile or automatic pool covers can be created for any pool size or shape – and they're easy to store. While unsymmetrical pool shapes can't benefit from an automatic pool cover, all other types are suitable. Even residential-sized pools can fit a swimming pool cover.

  4. Attractive. Contrary to popular belief, our designer pool covers look stunning covering any pool. We honed our design to ensure a crisp, finished look in keeping with any property.

Here are the downsides of swimming pool covers:

  1. Less solid. Even a slatted pool cover won't support more than one of two people. They're designed to be safe, not a stable standing surface. As a result, swimming pool covers are less versatile than other firmer designs.

  2. Not as long-lasting. While our soft pool covers are designed for longevity, they're not long-lasting compared to solid deck pool covers. Solid vinyl covers can last around ten years; sliding deck pool covers will last more than a decade.