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Covering a Pool with a Deck: Are Slats and Vinyl Pool Covers Better?


When the sun sets on another day by the poolside, the decision to cover your swimming pool catches attention, encouraging the debate between traditional wooden decks and the contemporary alternatives of slats & vinyl pool covers. 

It’s a choice about more than mere aesthetics; it’s about striking the perfect balance between safety, durability, and the smooth integration of style into your outdoor oasis. 

So, In this blog post by Designer Pool Covers (Cape Town), you will unravel the distinct benefits and drawbacks of wooden decks, slats, and vinyl pool covers, guiding you toward an educated choice. 

Keep reading to discover the three best pool covering choices, focusing on why slats and vinyl pool covers might be the superior solution. 

From durability & maintenance to safety & aesthetics, we’ll guide you through the pool of options, helping you pave the way to a covered swimming pool that matches your lifestyle and preferences.

Understanding Different Pool Cover Options

Selecting the right pool cover is crucial to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of your pool area. Among many choices, understand the various materials and their distinctive features to make an informed decision.

Overview of Common Pool Cover Materials

Pool covers serve as protective shields and as design elements that contribute to the overall beauty of your poolside oasis. 

The choice of material plays a pivotal role in determining the cover’s durability, maintenance requirements, and aesthetic appeal. 

So, in this section, you will explore three prominent pool cover materials: wooden decks, slats, and vinyl covers.

Wooden Decks

Wooden decks are a classic choice if you’re looking for a harmonious blend of functionality and style. These covers provide a sturdy shield against debris but offer a warm and natural aesthetic. 

With diverse wood options available, each with a unique charm, wooden decks can be customized to complement the existing architecture or landscape design. 

However, it’s vital to consider the maintenance demands associated with wood to ensure long-lasting appeal.


Slat covers are a practical option for a modern and streamlined pool appearance. These covers consist of interlocking slats and can be adjusted to control sunlight and ventilation. 

Slats offer a sleek & minimalist look, ideal for contemporary pool designs. Additionally, slats provide excellent insulation, preventing heat loss and minimizing water evaporation. 

The adjustable nature of slats allows for customized coverage, allowing both aesthetic preferences and practical needs.

Vinyl Covers

Vinyl covers are versatile and budget-friendly solutions for swimming pool protection. These covers have various styles, from simple floating covers to more advanced designs. 

Vinyl is known for its durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions, ensuring long-term functionality. Moreover, the option to incorporate vibrant colors and patterns allows you to infuse a touch of personal style into your pool area. 

While vinyl covers excel in affordability & customization, they may require occasional replacement to maintain optimal performance.

Comparative analysis of each Material’s Features

Covering a Pool with a Deck vs slats vs vinyl pool covers

Pros and Cons of Wooden Decks for Pool Covering

Wooden decks are a popular choice for covering pools, with a mix of aesthetics and functionality. However, they come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Wooden Decks

Aesthetics and Natural Appeal: 

One of the primary attractions of wooden decks is their timeless beauty. A deck enhances the overall look of the pool area, providing a warm and natural ambiance that complements outdoor surroundings.

Sturdy and Durable: 

Wooden decks are known for their strength & durability. When properly constructed and maintained, they withstand heavy foot traffic and resist environmental factors, ensuring a long-lasting pool covering solution.

Disadvantages of Wooden Decks

High Maintenance:

Despite their durability, wooden decks need consistent maintenance. Regular sealing, staining, and repairs are essential to preserve their appearance & structural integrity. Failure to maintain the wooden deck can lead to deterioration over time.

Susceptibility to Weather Damage:

Wooden decks are susceptible to weather conditions like rain, sunlight, and extreme temperatures. Without proper protection, these environmental elements can cause warping, cracking, or fading, needing repairs and replacements.

Cost Implications:

While the initial cost of installing a wooden deck may be relatively high, the long-term maintenance expenses can add up. The need for regular treatments & repairs can make wooden decks a more expensive option compared to alternatives.

The Case for Slats as a Pool Cover Option

Slats could be a great choice for covering your pool. They are low-maintenance, add some extra safety, and you can also personalize them to match your style. But, like anything, the following are their pros and cons that can help you decide if slats are the right fit for your pool.

Benefits of Slats

Low Maintenance:

Slats offer a low-maintenance option for pool covers. Their design & material make them resistant to various environmental elements like debris, leaves, and UV rays. 

It results in less time and effort spent on cleaning and maintaining the pool, allowing for a more enjoyable and hassle-free experience for pool owners.

Enhanced Safety Features:

Slats offer pool safety by providing a sturdy & reliable barrier. These covers are designed to support the weight of an average adult, preventing accidental falls into the pool. This safety feature is especially essential for families with children or pets, offering peace of mind and reducing the risk of accidents.

Customization Options:

Slats offer a range of customization options. Pool owners can choose from various materials, colors, and designs to match the aesthetic of their outdoor space. It enhances the visual appeal of the pool area and allows for the integration of slats into different architectural styles.

Disadvantages of Slats

Initial Cost:

Installing slats as a pool cover can be relatively pricier when compared to other cover options. While the long-term benefits may outweigh this initial expense, potential buyers need to factor in the initial investment when making a decision.

Installation Complexity:

Installing slats can be more complex compared to simpler pool cover options. This complexity may require professional installation to ensure proper functioning and effectiveness. The installation process may involve precise measurements and adjustments, adding to the overall cost and time investment.

Limited Thermal Insulation:

Some slat designs may offer limited thermal insulation and affect the pool’s temperature retention capabilities. So, pool owners in colder climates may need to explore additional heating solutions to maintain water temperature during cooler seasons.

About Vinyl Pool Covers

Vinyl pool covers have gained fame for their numerous advantages, making them a preferred choice for pool owners.

Advantages of Vinyl Pool Covers

Durability and Longevity

Vinyl pool covers offer exceptional durability and longevity. These covers are designed to withstand the elements, providing a robust protective barrier for your swimming pool. This material also resists damage from UV rays, harsh weather conditions, and chemicals commonly found in pool water, ensuring a long-lasting investment.

Easy Maintenance and Cleaning

Vinyl pool covers have low maintenance requirements. Unlike some other cover materials, vinyl is resistant to mold & mildew, reducing the need for frequent cleaning. Additionally, the smooth surface of vinyl makes it easy to clean, requiring minimal effort to keep your pool area looking pristine.

Energy Efficiency and Temperature Regulation

Vinyl pool covers are energy efficient and help regulate the temperature of the pool water. These covers act as insulators, preventing heat loss & reducing the need for excessive heating. This material also saves energy and extends the swimming season by keeping the water at a comfortable temperature.

Variety in Design and Aesthetics

Pool owners like vinyl covers for the diverse variety in design and aesthetics they offer. Whether you prefer a sleek & modern look or a more traditional style, vinyl covers offer a range of colors and patterns to complement your pool area. This versatility allows you to choose a cover that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.

Disadvantages of Vinyl Pool Covers

While vinyl pool covers have many advantages, it’s essential to consider potential drawbacks before making a decision.

Limited Weight-Bearing Capacity

Vinyl pool covers have a limited weight-bearing capacity. These covers are not designed to support heavy loads like the weight of a person or large objects. This limitation requires extra caution to be taken to prevent accidental damage to the cover, and it may not be suitable for situations where weight-bearing is a critical requirement.

Initial Cost

The initial cost of vinyl pool covers is higher compared to some alternative options. While the long-term durability and benefits may offset this initial investment, budget-conscious pool owners might find the initial cost a factor to consider when choosing a pool cover.

Susceptibility to Punctures

Vinyl covers are susceptible to punctures from sharp objects. Care must be taken during installation & use to avoid situations where the cover could be punctured, leading to potential water leakage and diminished effectiveness.

Environmental Impact

Some vinyl materials may have environmental considerations, especially during manufacturing and disposal. Pool owners who focus on eco-friendliness might want to explore alternative cover materials with lower environmental impact.

Selecting the Right Pool Covering Material

Selecting the rightCovering a Pool with a Deck pool cover material -

Verdict: Slats and Vinyl Pool Covers as the Superior Choice

When comparing the options for covering a pool, slats and vinyl pool covers get superiority over a wooden deck. 

The durability, longevity, energy efficiency, functionality, convenience, resilience, cost-effectiveness, and low maintenance requirements of slats & vinyl materials outshine the option of wooden decks as a pool covering material.

Ultimately, the decision to choose slats or a vinyl pool cover is driven by a commitment to multiple factors. 

The superior qualities, mentioned above, position slats and vinyl covers as the optimal choices for pool owners seeking a reliable and hassle-free solution for covering their pool, enhancing the overall enjoyment & sustainability of the swimming pool ownership experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I cover my pool with a deck?

Yes, you can cover your swimming pool with a wooden deck. Pool decks provide a versatile & aesthetically pleasing way to use the space around your pool. Constructing a deck over your pool can create an extended outdoor living area, offering a comfortable and functional space for lounging, dining, and entertaining. 

It enhances the visual appeal of your backyard and provides a safer and more stable surface compared to traditional pool covers. 

Additionally, it can be customized to suit your preferences in terms of materials, design, and features, allowing you to create a modishly integrated outdoor environment.

How to Cover a Pool with a Wooden Deck?

To cover a pool with a wooden deck, ensure a stable and level base, typically using a concrete pad. Install the support structure, such as treated lumber or composite materials, ensuring it is securely anchored to the ground. 

Lay the wooden deck boards across the framework and leave small gaps for water drainage. Install features like access points, railings, and stairs as needed. Apply a weather-resistant sealant or stain to protect the wood from environmental elements and extend the life of the deck. 

Lastly, regularly inspect and maintain the deck, addressing any issues promptly to ensure a durable and aesthetically pleasing pool covering that complements the outdoor environment.

What is the safest way to cover a pool?

The safest way to cover a pool involves a combination of a sturdy deck and a secure pool cover. 

A well-designed wooden deck with proper railings and non-slip surfaces enhances safety by providing a barrier around the pool, reducing the risk of accidental falls. 

Furthermore, a durable and properly fitted pool cover, such as one made of strong vinyl material or automatic slats, is essential to prevent unauthorized access and ensure the pool is securely sealed when not in use.

This dual safety approach, combining a strong deck structure with an effective pool cover, maximizes safety and minimizes potential hazards associated with pool areas.

Do Pool Covers Really Prevent Algae Growth?

When it comes to pool maintenance, pool covers and algae debunking are commonly discussed topics. Many pool owners wonder if pool covers truly prevent algae growth. Well, the answer is yes. By keeping the pool water covered, pool covers significantly reduce sunlight exposure, thus inhibiting algae growth. Therefore, investing in a quality pool cover is an effective measure to keep algae at bay and maintain a pristine swimming pool.

To Conclude – Wooden Deck vs. Slats and Vinyl Pool Covers

To conclude our exploration of the diverse world of pool coverings, it is evident that the choice between wooden decks, slats, and vinyl pool covers extends beyond the pool surface. 

It’s a decision that combines practicality with aesthetics, and safety with style. And when it comes to an optimal blend of durability, low maintenance, safety features, and customizable aesthetics, slats, and vinyl pool covers become the frontrunners, outshining the conventional appeal of wooden decks. 

Your swimming pool deserves more than just a cover—it deserves a modish extension of your lifestyle, a balance of tradition and innovation. So, let this blog post help you make a choice that protects your outdoor oasis but elevates it to a realm of enduring beauty. 

Thank you for joining this exploration with Designer Pool Covers (Cape Town) – one of the best pool cover companies in South Africa.

Happy swimming!