The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a surround is that the surface needs to be as nonslippery and cool as possible.
Wood and Stone: Premium woods and stones are often the most expensive option. A premium stone patio can run between $20-$35 per square foot. Low-end wood decks requiring little support will average $17-$18 per square foot.
Woodlike Decks: Vinyl, Trex and other wood-substitute products are becoming more popular --especially for their minimal maintenance requirement. Vinyl runs approximately $23 per square foot and $36 per linear foot for the railing. Recycled decking products, such as Trex, average $19 per square foot.
Brick: Bricks will average $13 per square foot for a basic non-mortared pattern. More complex designs and bricks set in a mortar base will run closer to $20-$25 per square foot.
Concrete: Typically the most economical choice for a pool deck averaging $4-$7 per square foot. Exposed aggregrate and brush finishes are the most popular styles. Stamped concrete is also very popular, offering a variety of color and design choices. This method tends to run about $12-$15 per square foot.
Cement Coating Products: This choice is popular if you have an existing concrete patio. A layer of product is spread on top of the existing surface. These products average $7-$10 per square foot depending on the color and design.
Outdoor tiles: Typcially more suitable for milder climates, tile can create a very dramatic effect. Be sure to choose a non-slick, outdoor tile suitable for your climate. Prices can vary tremendously.
Grass: While a minimal patio surround is needed, grass is a viable alternative around a pool. It is cool and slip-resistant. Keep in mind that when cutting you want to avoid grass clippings in the pool.