Backyard pools are a popular feature in many Australian homes. Given the outdoor leisure culture in the country and the enduring popularity of the pool, it is important to take into consideration various aspects of design covering everything from the pool basin to the surrounding decking for safe enjoyment of the pool.

Slip resistance

Pool surrounds must be planned, designed and installed carefully to ensure safety for pool users. Given the constant presence of water, it’s important to choose a slip-resistant surface for the surround to prevent slips, trips and falls. Remember this rule when choosing the material: the smoother the surface, the more slippery it will be when wet.

Aesthetic considerations are also important for pool surrounds; the chosen material should not only have a non-slip finish but also be able to retain its original appearance in the outdoor area. If you are choosing timber, the non-slip finishes should not obscure the natural grain and colour. Pool decking is also available with clear non-slip finishes that contain rubber particles and provide excellent slip resistance without altering the material’s appearance.

DecoDeck from Decorative Imaging comes with a high non-slip rating of P5 for pool and spa surrounds, thanks to the Super Durable marine grade powder-coating containing fine rubber particles that ensure a subtle, high performance non-slip surface finish. DecoDeck remains safe and stylish even when wet.

Chemical resistance

Pools and spas are kept clean using a range of chemicals in the water. Since the decking is constantly exposed to this treated water, the surface is likely to face degradation unless it has chemical resistance. Materials selected for pool decking must also be resistant to corrosion caused by chlorine or high salinity beachfront environments.

When specifying a pool decking material, it’s important to confirm its durability since the deck will be constantly exposed to moisture. The ideal decking material will be resistant to water damage and will not bloat or rot when exposed to moisture. Among all decking materials, aluminium offers excellent resistance to moisture as it is immune to twisting, warping, splintering, and rot.

Bushfire resistance

Many regions across Australia are at risk of bushfire. When specifying pool decking in bushfire-prone areas, non-combustibility is a necessary requirement for the decking material and substructure. Aluminium is the perfect alternative to timber in these environments as it will not ignite when exposed to flames or radiant heat.

Bushfire resistance is also a key consideration when designing the pool deck: AS 3959 – Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas sets forth the requirements for designing decks in high risk BAL 40 and BAL FZ environments, including the closure of all gaps between planks using a cover strip and the use of a steel or brick substructure.

DecoDeck offers a BAL 40 and BAL FZ solution that combines the beauty of timber with the durability of fire-safe aluminium.

Fencing height

All pools in Australia must be fenced, with the fence separating the pool from the main residence. According to regulations effective since 2010 in NSW, pool fencing must be at least 1.2m high, with a maximum 10cm gap between the bottom of the fence and the finished ground level. Vertical bars in the fence must be spaced no wider than 10cm, and horizontal climbable bars must be spaced at least 90cm apart.

For more details, consult the Pool Safety Barriers guide produced by Sutherland Shire Council on behalf of 12 major NSW local councils.


Decorative Imaging’s pool decking product, DecoDeck combines the warmth and textural richness of natural timber with the strength and durability of aluminium to set a high bar for aluminium decking systems. Closely replicating the look and feel of natural timber decking, DecoDeck is recommended for a range of outdoor living applications. A finely detailed Super Durable DecoWood wood grain finish gives the DecoDeck the look of natural timber. A choice of 24 DecoWood finishes including Silky Oak, Weathered Timber and Casuarina broadens decking design options.

The high performance 2.5mm thick DecoDeck is resistant to corrosion and approved for use in bushfire prone areas rated up to BAL-FZ. All DecoDeck products are available Australia-wide and supplied with a 12-year warranty in accordance with AS3715 Metal Finishing – Thermoset powder coating for architectural applications of aluminium and aluminium alloys.