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Thread: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

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    Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Hi There,

    I've heard that having concrete pool coping bricks on a fiberglass pool is a recipe for disaster. Our PB told us that he foresees a maintenance problem down the road with loose bricks. Despite this advice, I still want to go ahead because I really dislike the look of the fiberglass neck (or whatever it's called) showing around the perimeter of the pool after it is installed and know I won't be happy with this look. We like the look of Artistic Pavers bricks, as they have coordinating radially cut bricks to work with the round spa.

    We will have a large deck surrounding the pool in poured concrete with concrete pavers laid on top. Not 100% sure on the pool water cleaning system, but I think it is a copper ionizer set up. The pool will be installed about 200 feet from the sea, so salt spray is pretty constant as well.

    Here are my key questions:

    1. What construction method is best to secure the coping bricks?

    2. What type of mortar, grout and adhesive products are best for this type of job (all will be purchased in the US)?

    3. What about expansion joints? What is needed for a hot climate?

    4. How to make the gap between the curved top of the fiberglass pool and straight underside edge of the brick coping look good?

    5. Are coping bricks shaped like an L recommended instead of straight ones due to their ability to cover the gap?

    6. What else did I not think of??

    I'm hoping that the gurus on this site have some good construction or maintenance tips for me as we undertake this process.

    Thanks so much for reading this and any advice or experience you can share.

    warm regards,


    Northern Lights
    IG Fiberglass pool, SunPools Montego Bay 11x26 with 8' round spill spa. New construction project. Pool and supplies purchased in US, pool to be installed in Cayman Islands.

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    A suggestion:

    Why not a cantilever concrete deck? Use rebar or fiberglass matting and that way the concrete deck sits atop the beam of the pool and slides. Its not attached to the pool. The subbase must be fully compacted and level with the top of the pool beam or neck as you call it.

    Ways not to do it:

    Problems Due to Concrete Decks

    I agree with your pool builder attaching coping to fiberglass won't last long with to very dis similar materials in a hot climate with a lot of temp variation.
    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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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    A suggestion:

    Why not a cantilever concrete deck? Use rebar or fiberglass matting and that way the concrete deck sits atop the beam of the pool and slides. Its not attached to the pool. The subbase must be fully compacted and level with the top of the pool beam or neck as you call it.

    Ways not to do it:

    Problems Due to Concrete Decks

    I agree with your pool builder attaching coping to fiberglass won't last long with to very dis similar materials in a hot climate with a lot of temp variation.
    This^^^ cantilevered concrete..nothing looks worse than the exposed rim of a fiberglass pool... Screams out bathtub. In your climate though I wouldn't foresee a problem with paver coping by someone in the know. Or maybe an 18" poured ,cantilevered ,broom or stamped finish band around the whole perimeter.
    Kris
    14x26 rectangle vinyl liner pool . 1.5 hp 2 speed tri star pump, 2 aqua genie skimmers , no main drain. 175 sq ft star clear cartridge filter. 200,000 btu hayward heater Tf-100

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    A suggestion:

    Why not a cantilever concrete deck?
    Thanks for the suggestion - I really appreciate your reply. We have already purchased rough tumbled concrete paver bricks that look kind of like natural stone. I'm not sure how a poured concrete cantilever coping would look with our deck.

    Also, I haven't seen any that our PB has done, so I'm a bit leery about this option.

    I did consider a cantilever concrete coping and it is my second choice at this point.

    Thanks again,

    Northern Lights
    IG Fiberglass pool, SunPools Montego Bay 11x26 with 8' round spill spa. New construction project. Pool and supplies purchased in US, pool to be installed in Cayman Islands.

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    This^^^ cantilevered concrete..nothing looks worse than the exposed rim of a fiberglass pool... Screams out bathtub. In your climate though I wouldn't foresee a problem with paver coping by someone in the know.
    Kris[/QUOTE]

    Hi Kris,

    Thanks so much for your reply. Yes, I prefer my bathtubs in the bathroom where they belong!!

    Do you have any suggestions on specific products to use to apply the coping to the fiberglass rim? Or other go-to products that will be needed? I understand that mortar should not be applied to the fiberglass and only to the concrete border surrounding the pool perimeter.

    The coping bricks I would like to use are Shellock from Artistic Pavers. We were thinking the 4"x8" size would be best to minimize grout lines around the curves of the pool, but maybe a longer brick is better because more of the back portion will be mortared? I really don't know. The bricks are very dense, not porous, if that makes any difference to the bonding material choice. No doubt some bonding materials perform better than others.

    The temperature variation in the Caymans is not extreme, so that is at least helpful - no danger of freezing! In summer temp ranges from 75F as a low to 91F as a high.

    If you have done this sort of thing before, do you have any tips you can share?

    Thanks again for your suggestions! I really appreciate the expertise on this forum!

    warm regards,

    Northern Lights
    IG Fiberglass pool, SunPools Montego Bay 11x26 with 8' round spill spa. New construction project. Pool and supplies purchased in US, pool to be installed in Cayman Islands.

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Unfortunately I don't have any experience in your situation. Only suggestions. If your pb is experienced with fg swimming pool construction he may in fact be correct. I would talk to other contractors , either stone/paver contractors or fg pool builders to get their take. I would imagine it's not much diff than brick or stone pavers placed atop a vinyl liner pool wall, which has a 5" wide steel or polymer top edge. I can see a lot of potential for problems doing it on a fg pool just in that there already so hyper sensitive to backfilling properly it seems. Combine that with the already finicky nature of individual coping bricks is why I prefer poured concrete.
    Kris
    14x26 rectangle vinyl liner pool . 1.5 hp 2 speed tri star pump, 2 aqua genie skimmers , no main drain. 175 sq ft star clear cartridge filter. 200,000 btu hayward heater Tf-100

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    I'm not going to say it won't work but it's a difficult problem. Different surfaces, different expansion rates different heat retention.

    Crazy idea Laticrete high bond masonry veneer mortar. Very very sticky stuff that will in my experience bond anything. But it's not designed for this application and it's not cheap.

    I just don't see that bond lasting for any appreciable time
    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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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Quote Originally Posted by Kmaz View Post
    Unfortunately I don't have any experience in your situation. Only suggestions. If your pb is experienced with fg swimming pool construction he may in fact be correct. I would talk to other contractors , either stone/paver contractors or fg pool builders to get their take. I would imagine it's not much diff than brick or stone pavers placed atop a vinyl liner pool wall, which has a 5" wide steel or polymer top edge. I can see a lot of potential for problems doing it on a fg pool just in that there already so hyper sensitive to backfilling properly it seems. Combine that with the already finicky nature of individual coping bricks is why I prefer poured concrete.
    Kris
    Thanks so much for your advice Kris! Even if you don't have direct experience with this, it's great to discuss problem with others who know so much more than me.

    One good thing, our PB is very experienced with FG pools, and they are installed beautifully, level and perfect when he is finished with the job. I will follow up with our deck paver and pool coping companies to get their ideas.

    Appreciate everything you have said.

    warm regards,


    Northern Lights
    IG Fiberglass pool, SunPools Montego Bay 11x26 with 8' round spill spa. New construction project. Pool and supplies purchased in US, pool to be installed in Cayman Islands.

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    I'm not going to say it won't work but it's a difficult problem. Crazy idea Laticrete high bond masonry veneer mortar. Very very sticky stuff that will in my experience bond anything. But it's not designed for this application and it's not cheap.

    I just don't see that bond lasting for any appreciable time
    Thanks so much for the Laticrete suggestion. I think I will follow up with them and ask about the product you suggested or if they have any specific products that they would recommend. Buying something more expensive, if it works, is a good trade-off for me. When I do a search for suitable products on the internet, most of what I've found is products available in Australia, not the US, so this Laticrete suggestion is helpful!

    What are your thoughts on size of brick? Do you think I am safer going with a larger brick (4x12 instead of 4x8)?

    Thanks again for your ideas. I really appreciate it!

    warm regards,


    Northern Lights
    IG Fiberglass pool, SunPools Montego Bay 11x26 with 8' round spill spa. New construction project. Pool and supplies purchased in US, pool to be installed in Cayman Islands.

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    This product sounds promising. Don't know if any PB on this site has used Sika products or this one in particular. Acrylic resin sounds similar to fiberglass to me.

    Sika UltimateGrab polyurethane adhesive.

    • Excellent adhesion on all cement-based materials, brick, ceramics, glass, metals, wood, epoxy,
      polyester, acrylic resin, and plastics.
    • Flexible to allow movement between substrates
    • Waterproof and water immersible after cure.
    • Interior/Exterior
    IG Fiberglass pool, SunPools Montego Bay 11x26 with 8' round spill spa. New construction project. Pool and supplies purchased in US, pool to be installed in Cayman Islands.

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    DSC_2736_1996.jpg
    Won't you have a concrete skirt to glue down too as well as the fiberglass rim?
    11K gal, fiberglass, 1 HP Hayward tristar pump, cartridge filter, Aqua Plus SWG, 3 MagicStream Laminars

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Quote Originally Posted by equinn01 View Post
    DSC_2736_1996.jpg
    Won't you have a concrete skirt to glue down too as well as the fiberglass rim?
    Yes, we will. I assume the project will look something like that. I had heard that mortar should not go on fiberglass, so I was thinking that the mortar would be used to attach the back portion of the brick, but something was still needed to attach the front of the brick on top of the fiberglass.

    Is 4x8 coping bricks a good size to use for this application? Our pool is small, only 26' x 11'.

    Do you attach your coping bricks with mortar or adhesive? or a combination? We will also use a bull nose coping brick like the one pictured. Is there any issue with an ugly gap between the brick and fiberglass, which is visible from when you are inside the pool?

    Thanks so much for your photo. It is really helpful!

    warm regards,


    Northern Lights
    IG Fiberglass pool, SunPools Montego Bay 11x26 with 8' round spill spa. New construction project. Pool and supplies purchased in US, pool to be installed in Cayman Islands.

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    The coping is done with adhesive, sorry I don't remember the brand. The inside gap is just a bead of clear silicone caulk. I'll try to get a shot of it and post, its not too bad, I really don't notice it.
    11K gal, fiberglass, 1 HP Hayward tristar pump, cartridge filter, Aqua Plus SWG, 3 MagicStream Laminars

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    My FG pool with cantilever coping....nice and clean lines

    12 x 26 Viking FG IG, Bermuda Model, 3 1/2' to 5', 7000 Gallons, Diamond Series Maya, Hayward 1 1/2 HP Maxflo VS, Hayward Stay Clear Plus Cart Filter C17502(S), Hayward Aqua Rite SWG w/T3 cell, Color Changing FIBERSTAR Lighting, Aqua Bot Supreme Robotic cleaner, Brushed Concrete with CCI Liberty Tan color, Taylor K-2006 test kit, Armor Foundation penetrating concrete sealer(lifetime warranty).

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Quote Originally Posted by rmturner54 View Post
    My FG pool with cantilever coping....nice and clean lines

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
    Your pool is gorgeous! Thanks for sending the pic with the poured cantilever deck. Looks really well done with clean lines. Definitely an option for me to consider for the coping. We will use tumbled cement pavers for the deck.

    warm regards,


    Northern Lights
    IG Fiberglass pool, SunPools Montego Bay 11x26 with 8' round spill spa. New construction project. Pool and supplies purchased in US, pool to be installed in Cayman Islands.

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Thanks.. and good luck.

    12 x 26 Viking FG IG, Bermuda Model, 3 1/2' to 5', 7000 Gallons, Diamond Series Maya, Hayward 1 1/2 HP Maxflo VS, Hayward Stay Clear Plus Cart Filter C17502(S), Hayward Aqua Rite SWG w/T3 cell, Color Changing FIBERSTAR Lighting, Aqua Bot Supreme Robotic cleaner, Brushed Concrete with CCI Liberty Tan color, Taylor K-2006 test kit, Armor Foundation penetrating concrete sealer(lifetime warranty).

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    ⬆We also have cantilever coping. Good luck with your decision!

    12,000 gallon Blue Hawaiian 'Hamilton' fiberglass IG 15x34 freeform, Pebble Beach finish, Pentair Clean & Clear 100 filter cartridge, Pentair SuperFlo 1.5HP pump, Stenner pump, Raypak 266k heater
    8/2015 pool build photos TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    We are getting a fiberglass pool installed at our house currently. My PB installed Portofino coping by Techo Bloc around our pool. The coping overhangs the fiberglass and is bonded to the pool beam and the concrete lock ring. Modern adhesives are quite impressive. Honestly, if they pop loose in the future I'll just glue them back down. I just don't like the look of most other options as much.

    I'll try to snap a pic tomorrow.

    ac
    20K gal, IG Fiberglass "Lifetime Pittsburgh", 1 1/2 HP TriStar pump, 525 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPlus T-15 SWG, Dolphin Oasis z5 Robot

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Here are pics of our coping (Techo Bloc Portofino in Baja Beige):







    Here is the adhesive the PB used:



    ac
    20K gal, IG Fiberglass "Lifetime Pittsburgh", 1 1/2 HP TriStar pump, 525 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPlus T-15 SWG, Dolphin Oasis z5 Robot

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    Re: Concrete Pool Coping Bricks and a Fiberglass Pool - Bad Idea???

    Quote Originally Posted by avc8130 View Post
    Here are pics of our coping (Techo Bloc Portofino in Baja Beige):

    Here is the adhesive the PB used:

    ac
    Thanks a million ac!! Really helpful to see your pics. I am leaning more towards the adhesive method as well. Like you say, if one pops off, shouldn't be too difficult to replace with a new bead of adhesive.

    I will look up the adhesive that was used for your project. I've also posted a question for the sales rep of the Sika adhesive that I posted about earlier, but haven't heard an answer yet as the suitability of that product for this job. When I do, I'll update this thread.

    Did you use the same SRW adhesive to attach the waterline tile, or was that a different method. I'm undecided about waterline tile at this point, don't know if it will be overkill on a small pool.

    I really appreciate everyone's helpful ideas and perspective. Thanks so much.

    warm regards,


    Northern Lights
    IG Fiberglass pool, SunPools Montego Bay 11x26 with 8' round spill spa. New construction project. Pool and supplies purchased in US, pool to be installed in Cayman Islands.

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