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Your tile should be applied as described in the tile application portion of the construction basics page. Additionally it is important to select a tile that is designed to be used in wet areas as well as the ability to withstand freezing temperatures and the elements.
For the pool deck area I prefer sand set materials. Sand setting pavers or travertine not only gives you a richer feel and aesthetic advantage but sand set materials can also move with the ground and unlike concrete you won’t have cracking or patching. Another advantage is for any reason you need to go under the deck area, you can simply pull up the pavers and reset them or add deck space in the future without having a patch or unsightly addition. It will go together seamlessly.
You can have a standard paver installed for about the same price as a concrete deck.
Shortcrete vs Gunite
The term generally refers to the basic application of either gunite (sand & cement) or shotcrete (sand, cement & larger stone aggregates), being applied pneumatically, transferred or conveyed through a hose and applied by pressure.
Although in some cases the PSI rating of gunite can be higher than that of concrete in the North Carolina soils & substrates concrete has performed better, has better tensile strength and better structural properties in my experience. The gunite procedure is more prone to failures in my opinion. The only real advantage to gunite is that it’s cheaper!
Coping & Stone Veneers
The most common is flagstone, followed closely by precast then brick and so on. All coping should be applied with the same principals as setting tile using a thinset or bonding agents to promote adhesion.
Any exposed edges on flagstone coping should be chiseled to give it a finished look and eliminate sharp edges. It is the most natural looking coping. Precast is custom casted to fit your pool, templates should be made to assure proper fit and finish. The edges of precast are typically smoother or less jagged than flagstone and will come in a variety of colors. Precast coping is typically more expensive than flagstone or brick. Brick coping is a more traditional or old school coping. These bricks are specifically designed for use as a pool coping with bullnose edges and smooth textures. Proper cutting of brick on corners or through any radius is a must for a nice, clean, custom fit & finish.
I recommend cutting every brick on radius exactly the same to make for a consistent brick size and grout joint sizes. So many times I have seen other companies that don’t cut these bricks and the grout joints and bricks vary in size. This looks sloppy and unprofessional
We use a product called pebbletec. It is classified as an exposed aggregate finish. Even though the stone aggregate is exposed, the stones themselves are rounded and not abrasive. The beauty of pebbletec finish is it’s greatest feature along with it’s 15 yr. warranty. Pebbletec comes in a variety of colors. Another product we are using is an exposed aggregate which is buffed with a buffing tool after it is applied to give the smoothest interior finish available in a concrete pool! I will tell you more about this via the blog or by appointment, as we are the only pool company currently offering this product. I want to keep this exclusive as long as possible.
Finally a traditional or basic plaster finish that can be done in color or white. It has a smooth surface but no exposed aggregate in it. It looks clean and is the least expensive of all interior finishe
It is my recommendation that all tile be applied with a setting material that includes a polymer bonding agent. When installing glass tile, it is imperative to use a thinset and grout that is specific for the application and contain polymers as well.
Pool Cleaning Options
Another good option is the Polaris 9300 series. These are electronic, computer driven robots that clean your pool. You can see them at polarispool.com
And finally there are cheaper pressure pool vacs that work okay, but you get what you pay for here.
Sealants & Waterproofing
Salt Water Pools
The way this system works is… Via salt in your pool water, passing water through titanium plates that give off a small electrical charge. causes the sodium chloride (which is salt) to divide. Once sodium and chloride divide the sodium remains the same but the chloride becomes chlorine. The truth is, it’s still a chlorinated pool. However the advantage is, (unlike a traditional chlorinator) the salt system renews the chloramines in the pool water (chloramines are expired chlorine molecules that have used their energy sanitizing, but remain in the water inactive. They will accumulate and this is what causes green hair, itchy skin, red eyes, chlorine smell, etc.)
The salt system renews these chloramines therefore eliminating all those undesirable side effects while producing chlorine to sanitize.