Your pool may be the main attraction of your yard, but it can look very barren without a lush green lawn surrounding it. Sadly, many pool owners find out the hard way that pool water can kill grass. Furthermore, grass is a magnet for various pests and debris, including algae and mud.
While there are other natural pool surroundings other than grass, such as flagstone or brick pavers, they are hard to maintain if you have a rowdy household with children and pets.
A great alternative to grass as a pool surrounding is astroturf – fake grass around your pool – that not only looks just like the real thing, but it is much more long-lasting and requires little maintenance. Turf can keep your pool area clean, is slip- and chemical-resistant, great at draining water so that there is no pooling, and just as good looking as natural grass.
So, can you put artificial grass around a pool? There are many reasons why you should consider doing so. Keep reading on to learn about why fake grass around your pool is better than the real thing, as well as learn about some of the other pool deck options and why they also pale in comparison.
Common pool deck materials
Just a heads up, I’m saving the best for last, but for now let’s go over why the other options are not as great as astroturf.
For most things, the general consensus is that natural is better than artificial. So when it comes to surrounding your pool with a lush green lawn, most people default to wanting to use natural grass instead of turf.
However, natural grass may not be all it is touted to be. First, it requires upkeep. You will have to do many chores such as mowing it, watering it, fertilizing, pulling out weeds, and so on. When mowing grass, there is a concern that grass clippings can make their way into the pool.
Furthermore, grass attracts insects such as ants (who love to feast on roots), various bugs that will make their homes in blades of grass, rodents, particularly moles, and other pests.
Additionally, grass is dangerously slippery when wet. You don’t even need to be running to slip on grass.
We wrote in another article that the occasional splash of chlorine or salt water will not kill grass, but over time they could. There is also a risk of chemicals (e.g. pesticides) seeping into the pool water, and chlorine and salt seeping into the grass roots.
An alternative is to pave the surrounding area with flagstone or brick pavers. This can look aesthetically pleasing and creates a more stable surface than grass, but is expensive. The thicker the surface, the more it will cost you.
If you want a more even surface but want an inexpensive option, concrete is a better choice, especially for building walkways leading to and from the pool. You can find concrete that you can stamp so it looks like flagstone or brick, but it will be harder to maintain this look.
A problem that is common to flagstone and concrete is that they can get sizzling hot when exposed to sunlight on a hot summer day. It can get hot enough to burn your feet and melt your slippers or rubber shoe soles.
A wooden pool deck also looks great, but it requires a lot of upkeep; staining, painting, etc. Wood is also susceptible to warping and rotting when exposed to moisture, which is of course unavoidable if it is located next to a pool.
Why you should choose astroturf
All of the options mentioned above can get slippery when wet. You may have told your children not to run around the pool. However, a slippery surface is slippery even if you’re walking. Plus, kids are likely to forget during the excitement of play, and a slip can lead to serious injuries.
If you want to keep slipping to a minimum, then consider putting turf around the pool. Fake grass can get wet, but won’t become as slick as concrete or bricks. As soon as you set foot on it, you can feel the ample grip you have and how safe it feels even when it’s wet.
Furthermore, turf is much softer and less likely to cause any serious injury should someone still slip and fall on it. It can be the difference between hurt pride or an actual injury if you fall on any other surface.
Since the other surfaces can get so hot, pool goers are likely to wear shoes or slippers to and from the pool. The shoes can end up becoming tripping hazards that make it more likely for someone to fall.
If safety is your number one priority, you should highly consider putting fake grass around your pool.
Keeps the area clean
Concrete and bricks can get really hot, so you and your kids may head to the grassy part of your lawn when you are exiting your pool. As you do so, you are bringing a lot of water out of the pool with you, and it’s dripping all over the grass, creating muddy areas.
Natural grass is much dirtier than turf because you can track in grass clippings, mud, leaves, and so on, creating a mess in your pool. If you want your pool to stay clean for longer, artificial grass is a better option compared to real grass.
When artificial grass gets dirty, as it inevitably will, all you need to do is quickly hose it down. This can save you plenty of time and hassle.
Natural grass attracts insects, especially if it is very moist. The more bugs there are near your pool, the more likely bugs will get in your pool. If you don’t want to swim with bug corpses or spend a lot of time skimming them out, consider having fake grass instead.
Resistant to chemicals
Chlorine and salt can kill grass in large enough concentrations. The chemicals used to sanitize your pool can also kill grass. Conversely, if you need to use fertilizers and weed killers on your grass, these chemicals can make their way into the pool.
Regardless of which chemicals are spreading where, artificial grass solves this problem because a) it is resistant to chemicals, and b) you don’t need to use chemicals on it. That makes it a healthy and safe option compared to real grass.
Water will splash out of the pool and onto the nearby surroundings and that is something that you have to accept.
When grass gets sufficiently wet, it cannot drain properly, resulting in puddles and mud. When water gets on bricks or concrete, it can also make puddles, creating slipping hazards.
Artificial grass, on the other hand, is designed with drainage capability in mind. You don’t have to worry about water pooling up on fake grass. Cannonball and splash away!
It looks good
This last point is up for debate as it is highly subjective, but I think that turf can look as good as natural grass.
In your mind, you may picture the turf of old which resembles a green plastic mat more than grass. You’d be surprised at the advancements made since turf was introduced. Nowadays, it is difficult to tell the difference unless you’re specifically looking for it.
Keep in mind, fake grass looks the same year round. It will never turn yellow or brown and die. No mowing is required, as it will never grow. You also never have to water it to keep it green. Turf stays looking fresh all year long and provides so many benefits (outlined above), so I highly recommend putting astroturf around your pool.