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Thread: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

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    Question Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    Hello all,

    I'm trying to decide on which pebble finish to use on my pool renovation project. I have a few bids from different pool companies and each is quoting different manufacturers for their pebble finishes that they install and the cost varies considerably between the quotations. Are these three manufacturers about the same in quality of their pebble finishes or is there one that's better than the other? All offer lifetime warranty but Pebble-Tec is the most expensive out of the quotes I've received so far.

    Also, does anyone have knowledge or the all glass bead finishes like Pebble-Tec's Beadcrete or Stonescapes' Jewelscapes products? These glass bead finishes are the priciest of their product lines but I'm concerned that the glass beads may have a tendency to come loose from their cement substrate and "shed" over time with brushing, given that the glass beads are smoother than the embedded pebble aggregate. It seems to me that the smoother glass beads may lose their adhesion and come loose over time...but that's just my thought...no hard evidence to back that up. One thing one contractor told me though was that Beadcrete warranty doesn't cover the glass beads coming loose. That doesn't make much sense to me that the most expensive pool finish wouldn't warranty adhesion problems with their product. I think that contractor was trying to sell me the Jewelscapes product that they install since they don't install the Beadcrete product line.

    I'd appreciate any information and/or experience people have with which pebble finish is the better quality...if there really is any difference between the three manufacturers.

    Thanks,
    Kevin
    My pool/spa: 14k IG, Pebble-Tec Tahoe Blue interior, Zodiac Caretaker in-floor cleaning system, Aquabot Turbo robotic cleaner, 3HP Pentair Intelliflo VS pump, Pentair Clean & Clear 200sf cartridge filter, Circupool RJ-45 SWG, TF-100 test kit, Hayward Heat Pro HP2100TCO heat pump, Fiberstars 6004 metal halide illuminator with four 150-strand fiber optic lights.

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    Tucker020's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    I'll let the more experienced folks weigh in on who does what better. My builder uses Stonescapes. I inquired about the "Touch of Glass" option, and boy are they proud of it. It was going to be $1600 just to have a bit of the glass mixed in. Not necessarily a budget breaker, but I couldn't imagine the cost of an entire Jewelscapes finish. Super impressive stuff though.

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    Re: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    I'm no expert, but I think from what I've read here they are all pretty comparable. I think PT may have a bit longer lifespan before refinishing is needed. It's really all in the application and who is doing it. If you want the bead "look" without spending all that money, PebbleTec has an option of adding in their Luminous Beads to at least PebbleSheen, and I would assume PebbleTec also. That could be another option. You can find them on their website under Finishing Touches.

    But mainly, whatever finish you choose, it's all about how it's applied. Good luck!
    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

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    Re: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, in the Stonescapes products I'm considering the Tropics Blue finish with the "3 bags" Touch of Glass option. The cost difference to "upgrade" to the Jewelscapes product is about $4k more. I'm concerned about the all-glass finish possibly de-laminating from the cement substrate quicker than natural pebbles would. Perhaps my concern is unfounded but I'm thinking that smooth glass beads may not have as good of adhesion as the more porous pebbles would have over time. I could be over-thinking this but that my technical "analytic" personality coming through!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you for the feedback Marla. Much appreciated!
    Kevin
    My pool/spa: 14k IG, Pebble-Tec Tahoe Blue interior, Zodiac Caretaker in-floor cleaning system, Aquabot Turbo robotic cleaner, 3HP Pentair Intelliflo VS pump, Pentair Clean & Clear 200sf cartridge filter, Circupool RJ-45 SWG, TF-100 test kit, Hayward Heat Pro HP2100TCO heat pump, Fiberstars 6004 metal halide illuminator with four 150-strand fiber optic lights.

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    Tucker020's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    We are down to Midnight, Tropics, or Tahoe. Builders daughter has Tropics and daughters friend has Tahoe. So we will be looking at those this weekend. Logic is sound on your concern about the glass not having as much grip than a porous stone would. I'm sure someone will chime in. 1 "cheaper" option that still looks good is the abalone shells.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    Pebbletec is the industry leader. They train and certify all installers and only certified installers can get it. So, city to city, Pebbletec will be more consistent, better applied and last longer. If the same company that installs Pebbletec also installs a different brand then you eliminate the certification as a variable.

    Generally speaking all pebble finishes are about the same. It is all about the installation and water chemistry management. Properly installed and cared for pebble finishes can easily last 25+ years. Poorly installed and managed pebble finishes could fail in a few years and look bad the first day.

    I can't comment on glass bead vs pebble.

    Spend the money for a great installer and manage your water chemistry, it will pay back decades.

    More here, Ten Guidelines for Quality Pool Plaster
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    Re: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    From everything I've seen and read, quality-wise they're all pretty similar. As has already been stated here, the biggest difference is the installation. If the application is done well and water chemistry is maintained, it should last a very long time.

    I thought about going all glass, but it was just too expensive. I started out with Stonescapes mini pebble, and I was quoted $1100 for one addition of glass beads. I wanted three bags, so it was going to cost me an extra $3300.00 over my initial quote. At that price, it put me in a higher end price range, so I went with Wet Edge Prism Matrix...that comes with about 35-40% glass beads and abalone, and only cost about $1000 more than the Stonescapes would have. And Wet Edge won't warranty their product without certified installers either. I only bring that up because if you're going to go with a custom mix, take a look at some higher end finishes that may be very close to your custom mix that you'll like better.

    I remember all-glass used to have issues with beads coming loose, but they used to be more round. They've changed them over the years to make them more irregular shaped to help them stay in better. I have no firsthand experience with it, but I think there are a couple of folks on here that have all-glass. Good luck with your decision!
    My renovation completed March 2016; 16 x 32 IG gunite play pool, ~14,000 gallons; Wet Edge Prism Matrix Indigo Blue; Pentair 5G Color LED Light w/controller; Hayward EcoStar SP3400VSP VSP; Hayward SwimClear C5030 cartridge filter; Hayward Swimpure Plus (Aqua Rite) salt chlorinator system with T-15 cell; Maytronics Dolphin Deluxe 4 DX4 robot cleaner.

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    Re: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    The glass bead pools use a modifier that is added to the mix, without it the glass beads will fall out of the matrix. When they were first on the market some installers tried cutting corners with the modifer, I have not heard of these problems for many years. If it is in your budget go for the glass. Lastly, regardless of the brand find a good installer. Picture of glass bead pool just because.


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    Re: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    Quote Originally Posted by mooveebuff View Post
    From everything I've seen and read, quality-wise they're all pretty similar. As has already been stated here, the biggest difference is the installation. If the application is done well and water chemistry is maintained, it should last a very long time.

    I thought about going all glass, but it was just too expensive. I started out with Stonescapes mini pebble, and I was quoted $1100 for one addition of glass beads. I wanted three bags, so it was going to cost me an extra $3300.00 over my initial quote. At that price, it put me in a higher end price range, so I went with Wet Edge Prism Matrix...that comes with about 35-40% glass beads and abalone, and only cost about $1000 more than the Stonescapes would have. And Wet Edge won't warranty their product without certified installers either. I only bring that up because if you're going to go with a custom mix, take a look at some higher end finishes that may be very close to your custom mix that you'll like better.

    I remember all-glass used to have issues with beads coming loose, but they used to be more round. They've changed them over the years to make them more irregular shaped to help them stay in better. I have no firsthand experience with it, but I think there are a couple of folks on here that have all-glass. Good luck with your decision!

    My Build Thread 16' X 33' Freeform 3.5' - 6' depth 8' Round Spa StoneScapes Midnight Blue Mini Pebble Noble Tile - Pietra Lavica (Lipari) Tile Oklahoma Flagstone Philips Hue Color LED's in Light Poles Hayward Tri-Star Hayward Sand Filter Hayward Navigator E-Command 4 control panel w/ remote 725 sqft washed aggregate decking

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    Re: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    Quote Originally Posted by lasvegaspools View Post
    The glass bead pools use a modifier that is added to the mix, without it the glass beads will fall out of the matrix. When they were first on the market some installers tried cutting corners with the modifer, I have not heard of these problems for many years. If it is in your budget go for the glass. Lastly, regardless of the brand find a good installer. Picture of glass bead pool just because.

    Sent from my SGP561 using Tapatalk

    What color is this surface? I know you're discussing the glass beads, but I'm curious on the pool surface.

    Thanks,
    Brian (Frisco, TX)
    2016 18,250 Gallon IG, Spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS, Pentair Master Temp 400k, , EastyTouch 8/ScreenLogic Surface: Pebblesheen Blue Surf with Abalone, Travertine Coping and Pavers. 3 LED in Pool 1 in Spa. New Frisco, TX Pool Build

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    Re: Pebble-Tec vs. Stonescapes vs. CLI pool finishes

    Water blue from the original formula from beadcrete


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