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Thread: Pool replastering Questions

  1. #1
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    Pool replastering Questions

    Hi,

    I am planning to refinish my 28,000 gal 40x20 gunite pool and need your assistance with a few questions.

    Plaster:

    I am leaning towards Florida stucco's florida gem series of quartz plaster. http://www.floridastucco.com/subcate...p?CategoryID=2
    * How much better is this product over regular marcite? Is it worth the 40% premium?
    * If you have used it in your pool, how do you like it ? What do you not like about it?
    * How does it compare with their other brand crystal gem ?
    *How does Florida Gem compare to DiamondBrite?

    Tiles

    I would really like to use glass 3/4 tile but the PB says I may have to deal with pop outs and is suggesting 6x6 tiles?

    * Does 3/4 glass tiles require any special application process
    * If you have used 3/4 glass tiles in your pool for 3+ years, have you had any of the glass tiles pop out.
    * Recommendations for good glass tile supplier? Anyone buy tiles from an ebay supplier?

    If you have been through a gunite pool refinishing project please share your experience.

    Thanks
    22,500 Gallons
    18x36 Feet Vinyl
    Zodiac Clearwater LM3-24 SWG

  2. #2
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    The quartz plaster looks an awful lot like the 3M product which 3M has just dropped, as they could not make a go of it. My take on the 3M (and probably any other similar product) is that it is 1. Blotchy, 2. Rough, 3. No longer lasting that regular plaster (except for the quartz crystals), 4. More expensive than plaster (as you already know), and 5. You will not be happy with it! I have always refused to offer the 3M (I work for an applicator) and am happy that 3M is calling it quits! It was always over sold and we had very few happy customers. My advice would be to save your money on this.

    Glass tile is absolutely fine if the installer knows what he is doing and uses the proper materials. It must be a tile specifically listed as being able to handle pool water chemistry, and different thinset material (as well as colors) may be needed. Tiles that pop out are poor installation issues, plain and simple. Check Lightstreams, Oceanside Glasstile, Walker Zanger, PebbleTec tile for ideas, to name a few. As with most things, you get what you pay for, and I would be extremely diligent on ordering tile off of eBay (not that I have anything against eBay!) to make sure it will work in a pool.

    Hope that helps!

    Bruce

  3. #3
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Bruce,

    Thanks for the information.

    Is blotchy and rough an issue with all aggregate plaster?

    What is your opinion of colored plaster? Is there any product that offers a longer lasting finish than marcite?

    Thanks
    22,500 Gallons
    18x36 Feet Vinyl
    Zodiac Clearwater LM3-24 SWG

  4. #4
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    You're welcome!

    Which aggregate are you considering? Since everything is subjective to the individual's taste/perception, I suppose an aggregate finish could be considered rough or blotchy, or it could be a poor quality job that really is rough and blotchy! As I mentioned, I have never gotten behind the 3M (or similar) product, but I am a huge fan of PebbleTec (I have PebbleSheen in my pool, and get no complaints on roughness or blotchy appearance. I am very picky, and my P-Sheen is one of the first ones done in my area and still looks great nearly 8 years later.). There are a lot of knock-off products out there that are just junk, and I often hear complaints about them. Most often it is because of poor finishing or just inexperience in applying the finish.

    Colored plaster changes only one thing in a pool; appearance. It does not add any longevity to the product, nor does it make the pool any more fun! If you have hard water conditions in your area, the finish can appear mottled, as the calcium will be more pronounced against a darker background than it will against white plaster (since calcium is white). Some people like the "lagoon look" that this mottling gives, but I think it makes a pool look old from the start. Again, taste/perception!

    There are quartz products (Scotia White, for example) that seem to add strength and longevity to regular plaster, and some folks use additional additives (see MetaMax, for example) to try and buy some life. I have to wonder though if it is really a value or not; I'm a bit of a skeptic and have to be shown real results to back something like this!

    My opinion (for whatever it is worth!) is that a typical plaster pool should give 10 years of service if properly maintained, in today's formulation. Exposed aggregate (PebbleTec) pools have not, in my experience, broken down and needed to be re-done since they arrived in the US in the mid-80's, so we do not know how long they will last. Somewhere in those time frames sits the answer to your question as to finish is best for your pool!

    Hope that helps! In the end, a quality applicator (go see some of his work and talk to some of his customers) will pay off in the end. Check the BBB and State Contractors Board to see how long he has been in business and if he has any complaints. A little times spent learning now will pay off in the end!

    Bruce

  5. #5
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    My opinion (for whatever it is worth!) is that a typical plaster pool should give 10 years of service if properly maintained, in today's formulation. Exposed aggregate (PebbleTec) pools have not, in my experience, broken down and needed to be re-done since they arrived in the US in the mid-80's, so we do not know how long they will last. Somewhere in those time frames sits the answer to your question as to finish is best for your pool!
    Hey Bruce, just to clarify, are you saying that you know of PebbleTec pools that are ~20 years old and still going strong, without needing to be refinished? In other words a PebbleTec pool finish will last twice as long as typical plaster if both are applied and maintained correctly?
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  6. #6
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Beez
    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    My opinion (for whatever it is worth!) is that a typical plaster pool should give 10 years of service if properly maintained, in today's formulation. Exposed aggregate (PebbleTec) pools have not, in my experience, broken down and needed to be re-done since they arrived in the US in the mid-80's, so we do not know how long they will last. Somewhere in those time frames sits the answer to your question as to finish is best for your pool!
    Hey Bruce, just to clarify, are you saying that you know of PebbleTec pools that are ~20 years old and still going strong, without needing to be refinished? In other words a PebbleTec pool finish will last twice as long as typical plaster if both are applied and maintained correctly?
    I can say that I probably know of pools that are close to 15 years old that still have PebbleTec in place and in good condition, but that is as long as I have been in the industry. I do know that P-Tec arrived here from Australia in the mid 80's, and, since I work for a PebbleTec applicator I feel that I get good information on the product. I speak with PebbleTec ownership on a near monthly basis, so I would say that my relationship with them is good, and they should have no reason to mislead me.

    Prior to my current employment (where I have been for the past 6 years) I was employed by one of the the (arguably!) best pool builders in the area. I learned to build while I worked as a superintendent for them, and then went on to designing and selling pools for them. Currently I am in the backyards of pool owners 5 days a week, three appointments a day, so I see a lot of failing pool finishes! I have yet to go to a pool that was done in PebbleTec and seen one that needed to be redone. I can tell you that I have redone 2 P-Tec pools over the years (because the new owners wanted a different color!), and that stuff is tough to get off!

    So, long story short (sorry!); yes, I do believe that a P-Tec pool will last twice as long as typical plaster, and maybe much longer. Check back with me in 12 years for a report on how mine looks and we'll see if my thoughts are correct!

    Bruce

  7. #7
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    So, long story short (sorry!); yes, I do believe that a P-Tec pool will last twice as long as typical plaster, and maybe much longer. Check back with me in 12 years for a report on how mine looks and we'll see if my thoughts are correct!
    Bruce, thanks for that priceless information! You understand that I'm not questioning your judgement? It's that I will be refinishing my pool in the next couple of years as well, and before I do I'd like to get all the pertinent info I can!

    Now, the next logical question is: Does the P-Tec finish cost twice as much as typical white plaster? I know it sure looks twice as good...

    I hope I'm not hijacking this thread...seems like this is relevant to the OP's original question...
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  8. #8
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    yes, I too am curious as to the what pebble tec/pebble sheen costs per sqft?
    22,500 Gallons
    18x36 Feet Vinyl
    Zodiac Clearwater LM3-24 SWG

  9. #9
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Happy to try and help, bcorrie and Beez, and, no, I don't feel that you are questioning my judgment I can get a little opinionated, but I try to see through the hype of anything and present it as factually as I possibly can. I gain nothing by trying to provide information other than assuming ( ) that I am offering a little guidance in a non pressure way, in an effort to help you make the right decision for you.

    P-Tec and Sheen cost slightly less (in my area) than twice the cost of plaster. Some of the cost is due to the price of the material, some of it is installation costs above plaster, and some is probably the plaster company knowing that they will never plaster your pool again so they build a little extra in!! I'm sure pricing will vary from state to state and city to city, but it will always be more than plaster.

    Do your homework, keep asking questions, go see some pools that the plaster company that you are considering has done, talk with their customers, check the BBB and Contractors State Licensing Board and don't go with the low bid! Call a few quality pool builders and see who they use to finish their pools. That should point you in the right direction!

    Bruce

  10. #10
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Happy to try and help, bcorrie and Beez, and, no, I don't feel that you are questioning my judgment I can get a little opinionated, but I try to see through the hype of anything and present it as factually as I possibly can. I gain nothing by trying to provide information other than assuming ( ) that I am offering a little guidance in a non pressure way, in an effort to help you make the right decision for you.
    Thanks again, Bruce! You are a valuable contributor to this forum, and I hope you are here in 12 or so years to update us on your pool finish!


    Dave
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  11. #11
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Beez
    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Happy to try and help, bcorrie and Beez, and, no, I don't feel that you are questioning my judgment I can get a little opinionated, but I try to see through the hype of anything and present it as factually as I possibly can. I gain nothing by trying to provide information other than assuming ( ) that I am offering a little guidance in a non pressure way, in an effort to help you make the right decision for you.
    Thanks again, Bruce! You are a valuable contributor to this forum, and I hope you are here in 12 or so years to update us on your pool finish!


    Dave
    Thank you for the compliment, I appreciate it! Just trying to help in my own small way........

    Bruce

  12. #12
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    I have a gunite pool that has been painted about 20 yrs ago. The plaster-paint combination has lasted 30 yrs!

    Wish I knew how the previous owners got such a long life from that combo.

  13. #13
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by grasshopah
    I have a gunite pool that has been painted about 20 yrs ago. The plaster-paint combination has lasted 30 yrs!

    Wish I knew how the previous owners got such a long life from that combo.
    Welcome to the forum! You must be doing something right with your pool to obtain that kind of longevity.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    View of spiral galaxy in Ursa Major NGC6217 - Hubble Telescope 2009

  14. #14
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    I know its your competiton, but what are your thoughts on Stonescapes mini pebble. The guy who is installing it has a super rep as he was the same applicator that works with the three guys we found were the best in our area. Thanks in advance.
    18,900 Stonescapes Tahoe Blue xtra black, 8 jet Spa, Pentair inteliflo VS , Pentair FNS 60 DE, Inteliclor40, Pentair 400,000 Mastertemp heater, 3 spillovers powered by a Pentair 1 HP whisperflo pump, The pool Cleaner, 2 Intellibright color changing lights and 400 sq ft. of Heliocol roof mounted solar.

  15. #15
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by dykes26
    I know its your competiton, but what are your thoughts on Stonescapes mini pebble. The guy who is installing it has a super rep as he was the same applicator that works with the three guys we found were the best in our area. Thanks in advance.
    Sorry for the delay to respond; the wife took me to Yosemite for the week and I am just getting back!

    Yes, Stonescapes is some competition, but truly not much (at least in my area). It is only used by the guys that cannot get the "real" stuff and are buying it from one of the big (the largest actually) suppliers to the pool industry. In every report that I have heard back (from many trowelers in my area and others that I am friends with out of state) it is not a fun product to work with. Hard to trowel, hard to release evenly and hard to get the look most people expect.

    In the end, I always say that there are obviously options to PebbleTec, but you do get what you pay for. Rock and cement will always provide a better (longer lasting) finish that regular plaster, assuming it it properly applied. The advantage to the PebbleTec brand is that it is a company that will stand behind its product, they "grade" the rocks they use and source them from the same spot(s) instead of just buying rock and mixing it with plaster/cement, and they use a much more expensive dye that holds its color better than any other product I have seen. What this means is that if you need a patch at some point down the line (pool builder had some rebound in the shell which delaminated or steel too close to the surface, for example) you have a good chance of it matching. Not so with any other exposed rock product that I am aware of.

    I owned my PebbleSheen pool long before I worked for the company (not PebbleTec directly, but the plaster company I'm at!), and I could have used any finish available in my pool (I built it!). I have never once regretted using PebbleTec!

    Not sure if that is of any help, but it's my .02!!

    Bruce

  16. #16
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    This is an interesting and timely thread for me...I've been reading the forum to see what peoples thoughts are on replastering. I am in decision mode right now. I've got a 23,000 gallon pool that is very old. It needs immediate attention as the steel behind the plaster has rusted in at least two places. We drained the pool and are trying to make a final decision. Funds are tight. I was searching for a thread with the pro's and con's of different materials and didn't find anything. I am considering the following:

    - plain plaster.
    - hyrdrazzo.
    - a 3M product.

    I'd like whatever solution I end up with to last a bare minimum of 10 years.

    Any suggestion from some resurfacing experts?

    Thank you!
    looking for the bottom of my pool

  17. #17
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Plaster is not normally installed over steel.....there's too much flex. Are you sure you have steel walls?
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
    TFTestkits owner
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  18. #18
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Hi Dave,

    I should have been more careful with my words. It is about a 30 year old pool. It is gunnite / plaster (I believe). Isn't there a steel re-bar type of backing? There are a few spots where it has completely worn through to this and is rusting. I'm trying to get smarter on all of this stuff...but need some work. Thus spending a lot of time searching the forum...

    All the best,

    Billy
    looking for the bottom of my pool

  19. #19
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by mauidad
    I am in decision mode right now. I've got a 23,000 gallon pool that is very old. It needs immediate attention as the steel behind the plaster has rusted in at least two places. We drained the pool and are trying to make a final decision. Funds are tight.
    I'm not any kind of expert, but I will give my opinion based on the research I've done. If funds are tight, go with plain white plaster. With proper maintenance it will easily last 10 years and will get you past your current immediate needs.
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

  20. #20
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    Re: Pool replastering Questions

    Mahalo Beez. The funds are tight, but I want it to last. I'm thinking of doing the Hydrazzo. Sounds like the best long term bet without going all the way to Pebbletec. I spoke with a friend who builds high end custom pools and he said at this point he doesn't do anything but Hydrazzo in his new builds, including his own pool.
    looking for the bottom of my pool

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