Keystone Kool Deck, manufactured by concrete company Mortex, serves as a topping for swimming pools, patios and other outdoor areas with regular foot traffic. As an alternative to acrylic concrete products, Kool Deck offers a lower surface temperature and a higher resistance to natural expansions and contractions. Like any other patio product, Kool Deck comes with a share of upfront and related costs; it is ultimately up to the homeowner to decide whether the costs outweigh the benefits.
As of June 2011, Mortex's top-of-the-line Kool Deck offering, Kool Deck Elite, retails for a market price of $28.99 per 50-lb. pre-mixed bag. Standard Kool Deck, known as Keystone Kool Deck, comes at a slightly lower cost. Professional contractors at Backyard by Design estimate that Kool Deck costs roughly $3 to $4 per square foot when installed over existing concrete. Kool Deck comes in various colors – ranging from Aqua to Aztec Gold to Mauve – but prices do not vary per color.
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In addition to supplies, you will need a variety of tools if you choose to install Kool Deck yourself. If you don't have a 5-gallon bucket on hand, that will run you about $5. You will also need at least one dash brush, a tool that costs about $10 a piece at 2011 prices. For creating the mottled texture of Kool Deck, a pattern blade trowel is essential. These implements come at a cost of about $10 to $25. Finally, you will need a viscosity cup, used to ensure proper consistency, which retails for $5 to $10.
According to Mortex, Kool Deck takes one day to install. Though you can install Kool Deck on your own, the home improvement show "Rosie on the House" says the process is far more difficult than installing an acrylic coating. If you opt to use a concrete installer, the price per square foot may rise as much as $5. According to Backyard by Design, Kool Deck often requires retouching within two to seven years. Touch-up kits run from $25 to $50, plus the cost of labor if needed.
In contrast to the alternatives, Kool Deck is a relatively affordable topping option. For instance, tile, slate or flagstone can run up to $10 or more per square foot, while epoxy stone, natural stone and polymer modified cement finishes go for anywhere from $5 to $11 per square foot. However, staining or painting concrete costs only about a nickel to a quarter per square foot.