Building a terrace around your swimming pool
A nice swimming pool deserves a nice terrace, or ‘plage de piscine’ (pool beach) as the French say. There are many possibilities for creating the terrace around the swimming pool. Be careful to choose the right surface meterial, suitable for use by the pool. The sun terrace next to the swimming pool should not slip when it becomes – inevitably – wet, nor should it become uncomfortably hot. Furthermore, walking with bare feet should be comfortable around the pool. So we rather advise againt gravel or pebles, also because the little stones tend to wind up in the water. Let’s look at the different options and the pros and cons.
Concrete Pool Terrace
A concrete terrace may be easy to make, but it has several disadvantages. First, it is quite complicated to make a large surface of concrete without cracks. At least, we do not see many masons in France who can manage this. Just look at the terraces and walkways around many existing houses in France: you’ll always see cracks. You have to apply enough expnsion joints (joints the dilatation) to concrete so that the material can work, but then it may still go wrong. Concrete is also always a bit porous, and when water freezes, it maight lead to fissures. In addition, the pores are liable to stain the concrete. A dropped glass of red wine gets immediately absorbed and remains visible. Anyhow, you understand, we are no big fans of concrete.
Terracing of natural stone
Natural stone is relatively pricey, but can give a particularly luxurious appearance. Please try to pick a hard stone that is not too calcareous or porous. Otherwise, you will have the same problems as with concrete: freeze damage and stains. By the way, natural stone is a material that can be used to make many more object, especially if you find a good stonemason in Burgundy. Think of benches, tables, raised flower beds or a beautiful fountain or gargoile.
Wood terrace around the pool
Especially with the modern treatment methods, there are wood types with a particularly long life, perfectly suited for laying a terrace around a swimming pool. Please make sure to buy quality wood because nobody wants a terrace that splits or gives of shards and splinters. You will often walk around the pool with bare feet. The quality of the craftmanship while laying the terrace is also important. Use sufficient transverse slats on a pebble or gravel surface so that the wood is always stable and dry. Because no matter how well you treat it, it is still wood and therefore subject to rot and fungi. Keep your wood dry and hard!
Artificial turf around the terrace
A daring choice, but increasingly used: artificial turf! We don’t recommend normal, natural grass around the pool. When it is being mowed, grass gets blown into the basin and you also keep moving sand and dirt from the edges into the water. Especially when the grass near the bath begins to suffer from chlorinated water and changes into mud pools with some sad sprouts. With artificial turf you do not have that problem. And today there are artificial turf mats that can not be distinguished from real grass. You actually have to kneel and smell or bite to notice the difference. There is even artificial turf with a mossy under layer. Good quality artificial turf is durable and does not discolour. It is easy to lay and you can find artificial turf mats from 20/30 euros per m2.
Decorate a terrace with ceramic tiles
If you can not choose between concrete, natural stone or wood, how about a terrace with ceramic tiles? They have outdoor tiles nowadays that are the spitting image of wooden planks, concrete tiles or natural stone tiles. Ceramics have a number of important advantages. It is a very hard material that does not require any maintenance. Moss does not attach to it and a dropped glass of wine does not make a permanent stain. Ceramic tiles remain colour-proof for years and you can pick tiles with an anti-slip coating that does not wear off. It’s an aesthetically attractif, low-maintenance and durable solution.
Additional benefits of ceramic tiles
Modern ceramic tiles are 2 cm thick and therefore self-supporting. This means that they no longer have to be glued to a flat concrete surface. You can let them float on so-called ’tile supports’. Just like with a wooden terrace, your terrace with ceramic tiles will be raised with a free space below which you can use for electric and water pipes.
May we build your terrace?
Would you like to – together with one of our experienced gardeners – explore the possibilities of a terrace with or without swimming pool at your first or second home in Burgundy? Contact our professional pool builders in Burgundy to schedule an appointment. We have an English translator available if you wish.