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Thread: Travertine Underwater?

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    Travertine Underwater?

    During a major pool remodel I've added some interior and exterior features:

    Attachment 45007


    My question relates to travertine pavers (1.25" thick). I know they would be bad news along the waterline, for which I plan to use regular pool tile. I would however like to use travertine along the steps within the pool, where the stone would be continuously underwater. The interior pool steps, the exterior steps, and the coping would all be the same travertine rounded-edge 1,25" thick coping... which I think would be a very cool look.

    Travertine Steps Sketch_Page_1.jpg

    After installing them, I would grout all the little holes and pock marks in the travertine surface using non-sanded grout.

    Also wondering:
    1) if I would need to bed these in pool plaster / marcite type material, of if they could be bedded with simple flex bond thinset.
    2) anything stoppping me from doing the whole horizontal surface of the raised sun deck in travertine?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice!

    Here is another angle on that pool:

    DSC_0044.jpg

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    I would seal any submerged stone, and any travertine stone near the water, prior to installation using a dip coating method and a sealant like Dry-Treat 40SK. Talk to your stone mason sub about it (if they are familiar with sealants).


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    I've never seen a pool with stone stepping like that...cool idea!
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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    Look at this thread

    Can I use Travertine Tile in my Pool?

    Two other problems:

    1. Travertine is a natural material. It comes from various quarries. You can never know exactly the chemical makeup of the Travertine you install so you can't really predict what will happen.

    2. Most Travertine is somewhat pouris. More home for algae and other stuff. Will degrade faster.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    No idea but want to learn with you.

    I would like to see a picture of your tanning ledge. That looks very interesting!

    Kim
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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    I would seal any submerged stone, and any travertine stone near the water, prior to installation using a dip coating method and a sealant like Dry-Treat 40SK. Talk to your stone mason sub about it (if they are familiar with sealants).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk,16k gal SWG pool (All Pentair), QuadDE100 Filter, Taylor K-2006
    Wow that Dry-Treat 40SK is $235 a gallon! Do you have experience with that- is it really worth it? What is this "dip coat method" you describe prior to applying that expen$ive sealant?

    The product instructions seem to suggest I should be using it on the coping also (I'm using a salt water chlorinator). I wasn't planning on doing that, having read a great deal of experiences that it isn't necessary, and the problems with efflorescence.

    I also though about sealing the stone it with epoxy, however epoxy would result in a slippery surface and is generally not UV stable, and will yellow. I would also worry about it peeling off later.

    My stone mason is likely yours truly, along with a hired helper. My past attempts to hire experienced craftsmen in this area (east central Florida) have resulted in nothing but misery. I'll probably do the stone and tile work myself and then hire a plasterer to come screw up my pool.



    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    Look at this thread

    Can I use Travertine Tile in my Pool?

    Two other problems:

    1. Travertine is a natural material. It comes from various quarries. You can never know exactly the chemical makeup of the Travertine you install so you can't really predict what will happen.

    2. Most Travertine is somewhat pouris. More home for algae and other stuff. Will degrade faster.

    I did a lot of searching and have read that thread already, but thank you. I'm not sure that the information there applies because I'm not (and would not) use travertine along the waterline. Only above and (considering) below the waterline.

    I thought about the porous nature of the travertine too, and though/hoped it would be minimized or eliminated by floating over all the exposed surfaces with a color-matched non-sanded grout to fill all the little holes and pock marks. This is also what they do to get "premium grade" travertine tile flooring.

    I've seen photos of many pools with different kinds of natural stone below the waterline. What I can't seem to find is how well those experiments held up over time.


    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    No idea but want to learn with you.

    I would like to see a picture of your tanning ledge. That looks very interesting!

    Kim
    Thanks! Obviously I'm trying to be creative here. This old 1970's pool was originally a simple 20'x40' rectangle with a 9 foot deep end and a diving board. It had three layers of plaster, two layers of waterline tile, and precast concrete coping. All were looking pretty bad when I started this project. I couldn't find anyone to price chipping out all the old plaster, only to remove what was loose and then re-coat a fourth time. I didn't like that much so I did it myself (with labor help). The raised area was built with block and formwork, and became the dumpster for all the old plaster that was chipped out. It fit just about perfectly, after which I capped it with a concrete slab for about 10"-12" of water depth over the deck, and then built the steps and the large seat facing the deep end. Besides a tanning and drinking deck, the shallow area will also be good for our very young two kids. I'm not sure what angle you're looking for but I inserted some more photos into the link below:




    MORE POOL PROJECT PHOTOS HERE
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    Yep, Dry-Treat 40SK is considered one of the industry top products for stone sealing. It's a water-dispersed alkoxysilane-based sealant (actually an emulsified dispersion) that deeply penetrates porous stone and other materials and, when it dries, the silane reacts with the surround stone material to form strong, covalently bonded silicon dioxide chains. It's like impregnating the stone with glass - you can see the MSDS HERE and a patent describing siloxane-based sealers HERE. Yes, it is expensive but so are some of it's competitors such as Prosoco brand products or DuPont sealers.

    You'd have to look up the process for dip-coating on the Dry-Treat website (they may also be able to direct you to a licensed installer). Basically you make up a large vat of the solution and then you take each stone you plan to use, dip it into the vat for a prescribed period of time, wipe away the excess and allow it to dry. I believe the process is repeated one or two times to ensure full penetration and sealing. After a few days, the stone is then ready to be placed and mortared in.

    I have to clean some efflorescence off my flagstone this spring so I have ordered Dry-Treat's EFF-ERAYZA product and, since my stone is already placed, I'll probably seal it using their Stain-Proof Original product.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    I used to spec "Silane 40" made by Lambert, which is also a alkoxysilane sealant (40% alkoxysilane in a water-based solvent medium) for my coastal parking garage decks (I'm a structural engineer). I wonder if it's the same stuff. Developers would never use something that is $200+ a gallon. Your product is also 40% alkoxysilane in a water-based solvent medium.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here is another one:

    http://www.bestmaterials.com/detail.aspx?ID=16483

    $135 per five gallons is a cost I could live with

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    Link didn't work for me.

    Yeah, I would expect a commercial developer to get a similar product much cheaper. I also expect that if you are stone mason using the product, you also can get it much cheaper. If you have a business-to-business supply channel you can tap, go for it. I'm all for saving money.

    Also, if you can find and use one of their licensed installers, then I believe they offer a 15 year warranty on the work. That's pretty good depending on the details of the warranty.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    That's weird, it works on my end. Here is what it is:

    Dropbox - Capture.JPG

    After thinking on this for a bit, the alkyloxysilane may be a good choice for a sealer but dip-treating it is a really bad idea. Silane makes the stone surface water repellant, meaning it would no stick to the bedding mortar very well, if at all. I would bed the stone first and then seal all the exposed surfaces.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    Quote Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
    That's weird, it works on my end. Here is what it is:

    Dropbox - Capture.JPG

    After thinking on this for a bit, the alkyloxysilane may be a good choice for a sealer but dip-treating it is a really bad idea. Silane makes the stone surface water repellant, meaning it would no stick to the bedding mortar very well, if at all. I would bed the stone first and then seal all the exposed surfaces.
    That makes sense.

    I wonder if their dip costing process is modified in a way to make mortaring possible. Or if there is a particular type of mortar that works better.

    I'm sure coating it after placement will be more than adequate. The point is to seal the stone and make it as hydrophobic as possible. That will help to keep out algae as you are on FL which seems to be more susceptible to black algae problems. Also, making it hydrophobic will reduce the chance of the stove surface bring a nucleation site for calcium scale.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    One thing that does bother me though is that the sealer you link to is for concrete and brick. Those surfaces are very different from travertine. Dry Treat does specifically say it is used for porous stone. So, before you go and buy a pallet of the MasterProtect stuff, you might contact them to see if it is usable on natural stone.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Travertine Underwater?

    Here is a link to a pool my PB built using PA Bluestone (a very dense stone) on the sun shelf. With this stone there is no sealing performed for a SWCG pool with excellent results. It is not uncommon for him to do this.

    The page also has other great pics of pools with stone below the waterline for inspiration.

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/2802199/...-pool-dc-metro
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    Re: Travertine Underwater?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    One thing that does bother me though is that the sealer you link to is for concrete and brick. Those surfaces are very different from travertine. Dry Treat does specifically say it is used for porous stone. So, before you go and buy a pallet of the MasterProtect stuff, you might contact them to see if it is usable on natural stone.
    I don't share that concern, mainly because they are the exact same chemicals. What one manufacturer markets their particular bottle of the stuff for doesn't have an effect on how the compound will behave. I do have some experience with alkyloxysilanes, and can't figure out why I didn't think to use that myself (yay forum). The only variables in those sealants seem to be 20% or 40% content, and water-based or solvent-based. I've used both on concrete parking garage decks at the Ron Jon Resort in Cape Canaveral, and other than the smells from the solvent based, I can't tell a difference. They both work well to this day, many years later.

    I do wonder if a sealant is even necessary for submerged stone, considering that submerged stone will certainly get wet anyway. The careful grouting of all pockmarks is certainly necessary, and I think I will do the 40% silane sealer anyway (can't hurt) after install and grouting, and before plastering. Guess I'll need to tape some tyvek or something like that over all my stone when the plaster monkeys come to do their thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoreswim View Post
    Here is a link to a pool my PB built using PA Bluestone (a very dense stone) on the sun shelf. With this stone there is no sealing performed for a SWCG pool with excellent results. It is not uncommon for him to do this.

    The page also has other great pics of pools with stone below the waterline for inspiration.

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/2802199/...-pool-dc-metro
    Thanks! Awesome pool you have there. Your post also inspired me to look more and I found something - I'm not the first person to do this:



    That pool is very close to the look I'm trying to get, except that I will do the top surfaces of the steps in stone also.

    Thanks everyone for all your replies and thoughts! Any and all comments are welcome!

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