The Perfect Material for a Truly Special Environment

Explore the best solutions available and give you some advice on how to clean and maintain your pool deck tiles

The Perfect Material for a Truly Special Environment

The pool is a truly unique area of the home: a place for relaxing and having fun with friends and family. On weekends and summer evenings it becomes the heart and soul of domestic life. Undoubtedly a significant financial investment, but one that pays off in terms of well-being and conviviality.

For this to remain a worry-free environment well into the future, it’s important to choose the right cladding, not only for the pool, but above all for the pool deck flooring. Let’s take a look at the main solutions for the latter of these applications:

  • Many people like stone because of its natural appeal, which has always been associated with the element of water. There are many types to choose from, but it’s best to avoid darker shades as they tend to absorb heat. Furthermore, all natural stone requires careful and regular maintenance because it can get stained, scratched, and even change colour. It can also be quite expensive.
  • Wood is another natural material, with a warm and inviting feel. However, it must be treated to make it rougher and requires constant maintenance. It must be treated regularly with appropriate sealants to withstand water and sunlight.
  • Porcelain stoneware is undoubtedly the most suitable material for non-slip pool deck flooring. In addition to being resistant to water, frost, stains, sunlight, and chemical products, it offers a wide range of looks (primarily stone, cement, and wood) and colours to choose from, as well as surface finishes designed specifically to increase grip and minimise the risk of slipping. Furthermore, various special pieces are available, such as drainage grates and finishing elements for the pool edge.

Stone effect stoneware pool tiles, collection Bioarch

Pool Deck Flooring: How to Choose the Right Tiles 


Which are the right tiles to use by the pool? The right ceramic surface to use by the pool is more than just a matter of taste. Of course, personal preferences matter, such as a preference for a wood effect or a stone effect, or for warmer or cooler colours. However, there are several factors to keep in mind before choosing pool deck tiles.  Let’s take a look at the two most important ones:

  • Slip resistance. Wet surfaces expose one to the risk of slipping. This is why pool deck tiles must meet precise anti-slip requirements, established by international regulations. In Europe, the standard evaluates the grip of a walkable surface, giving it a score that ranges from R9A to R13C. For example, Panaria’s exterior finishes have a slip-resistance rating of R11C, with the exception of the 20 mm thick product of the Pierre des Rêves series, which is R12C.
  • Durability. Load-bearing capacity is not the sole concern, considering the many stresses that a pool deck floor is subject to. The tiles must also be frost-resistant and impervious to chlorine, saltwater, and sunlight. Additionally, they should be resistant to scratches and most commercially available detergents.

Finally, let’s consider some other useful and practical tips:

  • We recommend seeking out installers with proven experience, who are familiar with this particular application context and use the highest quality adhesives and grouts.
  • Before choosing tiles, it’s important to carefully measure the pool deck.
  • It’s a good idea to request some samples of the selected tiles so you can see them in person and evaluate how they look once placed into the overall environment.
  • Avoid overly dark tiles because, as mentioned earlier for natural stone, they retain heat and could make it uncomfortable to walk barefoot around the pool edge.

Ideas for the Pool: The Most Popular Looks


The ceramic market offers many solutions that respect the requirements we mentioned. Thanks to technological advancements, modern manufacturing processes make it possible to produce porcelain tiles that mimic any natural material with truly astonishing realism. Not only that, but it’s possible to create textures with a perfectly natural appeal, but which do not exist in nature. In this way, by using porcelain stoneware, you can give your pool exactly the look you desire, even maintaining continuity with the entire architectural design while also enjoying the benefits of its exceptional technical characteristics.

Now let’s review the most popular looks for the pool deck:

  • Stone-Look Porcelain Stoneware

Faithfully reproduces the appearance of natural stone, like Burgundy limestone, Lecce limestone, or slate. Thanks to a combination of character and its natural look, expressed in elegant textures and in bold and contrasting graphics, this product is increasingly popular for paving both indoor and outdoor environments.

  • Wood-Look Porcelain Stoneware

A look that emulates the most popular woods with exceptional realism, retaining their warm and inviting appeal, but offering enhanced durability and practicality. Porcelain stoneware recreates the characteristic knots, varying grain patterns, and subtle changes in colour of wood planks. Thanks to these qualities, wood-look stoneware is also perfect for exterior spaces.

  • Cement-Look Porcelain Stoneware 

This is a type of flooring and wall cladding that faithfully reproduces the look of natural cement, with its characteristic raw appearance, its imperfections, and its colour variations. Thanks to its outstanding technical characteristics and modern industrial aesthetic, it has become an increasingly popular choice for both indoor and outdoor design.

Stone effect stoneware pool tiles, collection Pierre des Rêves

Stone effect stoneware pool tiles, collection Pierre des Rêves

Safe, Practical, and Durable Pool Deck Flooring? All the Benefits of Porcelain Stoneware


We’ve already mentioned the benefits of this material. Now let’s take a closer look:

  • Durability. As mentioned, non-slip porcelain stoneware for pools is an extremely durable material. For an extra level of durability, it’s often available in a 20 mm version, designed for the most challenging outdoor flooring.
  • Stability of textures and colours.  Porcelain stoneware does not fade even after years of exposure to UV rays. In fact, during the manufacturing process, the pigments that create the surface textures become an integral part of the tile.
  • Frost-resistance. Stoneware is resistant to frost and changes in temperature, a fundamental characteristic for outdoor floors.
  • Non-absorbent. The manufacturing process makes the raw materials so compact that the high firing temperatures almost melt them. This is why porcelain stoneware is virtually non-porous, a characteristic that prevents it from absorbing water.
  • Easy to clean. This non-porous quality also makes stoneware exceptionally easy to clean; dirt, grease, and spilled liquids are unable to penetrate beneath the surface.

Is Non-slip Pool Deck Flooring Difficult to Clean?


Given the roughness of certain outdoor surfaces, one might wonder if non-slip porcelain stoneware will inevitably become dirty and lose its original beauty. Not at all, for the reason we just mentioned above. But how does one clean a surface with the level of grip required for outdoor flooring?

Technically, after a thorough post-installation cleaning, porcelain stoneware can be cleaned with water (preferably warm) and a high quality microfibre cloth, especially if done regularly. But it can also be cleaned with steam, pressure washers, and floor cleaning machines. Occasionally, a neutral detergent and abrasive sponge can be used. In the case of coffee, wine, and oil (or other greasy substances), it’s best to act promptly using specific cleaning products.

Panaria provides a manual dedicated to cleaning porcelain stoneware. In it, in addition to many practical tips, you can find the most suitable detergents for every type of dirt, stain, or substance.

Stone effect stoneware pool tiles, collection Via Maestra

Stone effect stoneware pool tiles, collection The Place

Multi-format Pool Deck Tiles


Finally, let’s take a look at an aesthetic option that is very popular among architects and designers, especially when it comes to exterior flooring: multi-format laying. A multi-format floor is created using multi-format modular tiles. Collections like Via Maestra and The Place offer this solution in two very different wood-looks.

Via Maestra blends various natural materials and offers this modular product for both interior and exterior surfaces, with solutions ranging from two to four formats. Meanwhile, The Place combines Vals stone and marble quartzite to create a visually striking stone-look product. The outdoor formats are smaller than those of Via Maestra, but the thickness increases from 9 to 12 mm.

Searching for Inspiration? Take a Look at These Collections


Now that you know what to pay attention to when choosing pool deck flooring, it’s time let yourself be seduced by the collection that best suits your aesthetic taste. Here are some suggestions to help you navigate the Panaria catalogue:

  • The Pierre des Rêves series offers an intensely mineral texture and a wide range of natural, fresh, and elegant nuances.
  • Frame is characterised by its natural colouring, finely calibrated scratches, and dynamic shading that come together to create a varied and beautiful stone-look.
  • Via Maestra combines the texture of various stones, creating an original and harmonious blend that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
  • What if the pool deck could convey the same visual warmth as wood, but with the practicality of non-slip porcelain stoneware? The Borealis collection offers an oak-look tile with a seductive tactile component that highlights its natural feel. It comes with an exterior finish in both traditional thickness and a 20 mm thick version, each with an R11C slip-resistant coefficient.
  • Meanwhile, La Matière offers a Mediterranean-inspired take on a cement-look product, embracing the traditional texture of pigmented raw earth.

Stay up to date with our newsletter!

Get news, updates and tips on the latest trends.