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Thread: How level should waterline tile be?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Livermore, CA
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    6

    How level should waterline tile be?

    I am in the midst of an owner-build that started last November. My pool is 65’ long, 10’ wide lap pool with a raised hot tub at the end.

    After our waterline tile was installed we had a lot of rain that filled the pool with a few feet of water. I noticed that the waterline seemed a little higher at one end of the pool. This concerned me, so I checked the level of the waterline tile, first with a homemade water level and then ultimately with a laser level.

    It appears that the waterline tile is not level. From one end of the pool to the other (65') the level appears to vary 5/8” to maybe 3/4”. This wouldn’t be so bad if I were using a 6x6 tile, but our tile is a pattern that is four tiles high, each tile being 1.5” tall. The variation from one end of the pool to the other is approximately half the height of one tile. I am concerned that this is going to drive me crazy once the pool is complete and filled with water.

    I told my tile guy about my concerns and, of course, he says it is within industry standards. I told my plumber about this, and he says that it is not acceptable and the industry standard is more like 1/4”.

    My dilemma is whether to fix this now or just finish the pool. If this is a problem, it will be much cheaper to fix it now than after the pool is plastered and filled. So basically I am looking for opinions and recommendations. How level should waterline tile be? Is this within industry standards or should I fix this before proceeding?

    Thanks in advance!

    IMG_5901.jpgIMG_5899.jpgIMG_5906.jpg
    10'x65' lap pool, raised spa, bluestone coping, St Martin Quartzscapes
    Pentair equipment (cartridge filter, Intelliflo XF pumps, salt cell, Easytouch 8), Raypak 406a Heater
    Deck jets, Colorcascade bubblers
    Coverstar automatic pool cover

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    2,769

    Re: How level should waterline tile be?

    As you have discovered the water will always be level.

    And as your plumber told you the industry standard is 1/4". That is not to difficult to achieve with a laser level in the middle of the pool. Now i will say a 65' long pool is long but the tile should be level. One of the reasons tile is generally done before coping is so the tile crew can finish level the top of the bond beam so the tile line is level.

    Oh another point -- I don't put too much trust in the basic HD laser level. They are too easy to knock out of level.

    This is something you want to fix now before coping and plaster. You will notice this after plaster.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    6

    Re: How level should waterline tile be?

    Thanks for the fast reply! The main reason we had to do the tile first was because we are installing an automatic pool cover with a concealed track (visible in the pics). The install order is tile, track, then coping.

    I agree that it needs to be fixed, but I have to admit that isn't what I wanted to hear. While I hate the idea of tearing out the tile and redoing it, I need to accept that reality and press forward. The good news is that 1/3 of the pool is dead level and then it starts to go off near mid pool and then tapers off linearly. The bad news is my tile guy is out of the picture. He said it is within industry standards and won't even come out to look at it again. So much for backing your work!
    10'x65' lap pool, raised spa, bluestone coping, St Martin Quartzscapes
    Pentair equipment (cartridge filter, Intelliflo XF pumps, salt cell, Easytouch 8), Raypak 406a Heater
    Deck jets, Colorcascade bubblers
    Coverstar automatic pool cover

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Houston tx
    Posts
    2,494

    Re: How level should waterline tile be?

    Are you doing this OB? If not, then call your PB and let him know.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oops! I see in your first post you said OB! Find another tile person to see how much it would cost to fix. Have you paid him yet?
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Livermore, CA
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    Re: How level should waterline tile be?

    Hi Maria

    I am doing this OB and unfortunately I noticed the issue after paying him. He refuses to do anything about it, and said the tile is "in full compliance". He told me to call the license board and have them mediate the issue. While I may do that, I don't want this to cause further delays in my project.

    I also want to get this behind me and get in a more positive place with the project rather than a court battle. Once I get the tile fixed, I can install coping, plaster and fill!

    Thanks again for the reply.
    10'x65' lap pool, raised spa, bluestone coping, St Martin Quartzscapes
    Pentair equipment (cartridge filter, Intelliflo XF pumps, salt cell, Easytouch 8), Raypak 406a Heater
    Deck jets, Colorcascade bubblers
    Coverstar automatic pool cover

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: How level should waterline tile be?

    CCSLB takes months. Call them and they will send an investigator to inspect. But take lots of pictures and keep going. Give the pictures to the CCSLB investigator and he will write a report and try to work a settlement. It bothers me that he knows how the system works hes had a complaint before.

    You did the order correctly. One of the things the tile guy should do is level the bond beam to within 1/4".
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    6

    Re: How level should waterline tile be?

    Thank you for the sound advice. I have some tile guys who are going to come out to confirm my measurements. I already filed a formal complaint with the CCSLB. I will call them and see if they can send an investigator before we tear out the tile.

    More than anything I appreciate the validation that this is indeed a problem. I wasn't sure if I was being too picky and I was having a hard time finding anything that definitively stated the industry standard.

    While this is a hassle, I am just glad I noticed it soon enough to do something about it. Fixing it would have cost a lot more after plaster and fill.
    10'x65' lap pool, raised spa, bluestone coping, St Martin Quartzscapes
    Pentair equipment (cartridge filter, Intelliflo XF pumps, salt cell, Easytouch 8), Raypak 406a Heater
    Deck jets, Colorcascade bubblers
    Coverstar automatic pool cover

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