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Thread: Materials for Tiling

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    Materials for Tiling

    Am considering tiling my diy pool (my-self-build-ferrocement-pool-t28358.html) and have been weighing up the likely costs and have a few questions if anyone could help please.
    Have been told that tiling on its own does not waterproof a pool. If epoxy grout is used, is this still the case?
    Due to the high percentage of metal and relatively thin cover of mortar over it, a sealant or waterproofer seems imperative unless
    epoxy grout combined with the tiles will provide a suitable barrier.
    If not then a waterproof membrane is going to be needed. Have been advised that a Styrene-Butadyne-Rubber waterproofer would be best.
    The Epoxy sounds like it is very difficult to use by the inexperienced and is very expensive. Cement based worries me for longevity etc and may cause a build up of calcium on the tile at water level which cant be got off without sand blasting (apparently).

    Does anyone know what would be the best combo for cost/longevity/ease of application ( I am a reasonably proficient tiler).
    I know there are also issues of tile backing meshes and tiles suitable for pools etc.

    thanks
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    AlanH's Avatar
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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    I can't provide a direct answer to your question but am interested in this post since I'll be using tile in the pool I'm about to build as well. Here are a few things I've found in my research in this area.

    In my neck of the woods (Nicaragua) tile is a very popular finish. I've seen good jobs and bad--the good standing up for years with no problems and the bad requiring the draining of a 70K gallon pool within a year to re-tile parts of it and tiles are still breaking away. I've used tile (1" mosaic) myself for shower basins/surrounds and fountains and have had no problems nor apparent leaks or seepage. In the course of buying materials, reading up on tile installing, having talked with professional installers and installing myself, the one thing that always came to the forefront was to follow the tile manufacturer's instructions (not the store where you may buy it) for installation/thinset/mortar/grout. For instance, when tiling our fountain, the recommendation was to add a latex additive to the grout to to increase its' durability, flexibility (yeah, really) and impermeability. Having been associated with the fiberglass boat building industry for a number of years and the use of epoxies in laminates, glues and finishes I cannot (IMHO) imagine using an epoxy grout.

    Glass tiles (1" mosaic or similar) and porcelain tiles are virtually impermeable ("regular" clay tiles are not--characterized by a glazed finish over a cream to reddish/brown bisque). Some of the most luxurious and expensive pools in the world are finished with glass or porcelain tile. I've included a few a few links below that I have come across in my research but have not yet spent a lot of time reading through. I have no affiliation with any of these sites, they were just useful to me personally. The Paola Benedetti site has an interesting blog on glass tiles if you scroll down a bit. You may find some his archived blogs useful as well. The Kolorines site (Mexico) has some incredible examples of tiling in pools and quite an informative FAQ and tech support page. The John Bridge Tiling Forum had (as I recall) a post about somebody using Laticrete Hydroban as a waterproofing under tile.

    http://watershapes.blogspot.com/
    http://www.m-v-m.mx/kolorines/kolorines_eng.html in english
    http://www.m-v-m.mx/kolorines/kolorines_esp.html in spanish
    http://www.johnbridge.com/vbulletin/...archid=4734860
    "I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." (R. Frost); 12.5K gal; 18'x72" round joined to 10x16x18" oval; vinyl liners; ferrocement-like wall panels; perimeter wet edge; fountain and cascade; Pentair Dynamo 1hp 2 spd; Pentair CC75 filter; Pentair no-lube valves. My build here.

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    Thanks for your reply.

    here's a tip from an old pool tiler I spoke to: get a sample of the tiles you are planning on using, put them in water for 24hrs. If the glue used to attach the mesh is suitable for pool use ie, it doesent dissolve in water, then it will stay attached. If not, it will come apart.
    I just did this and despite the tiles coming from a reputable specialist who assured me they had never had a problem with their adhesive/mesh, within a few hours the mesh had come off.
    This is a major cause of pool tile failures. The glue on the back of the tile is often a thin film meaning when you apply the tile adhesive, it sticks to the thin film of mesh glue not the tile. The mesh glue then dissolves and as the tile adhesive isnt stuck to the actual tile, it comes off.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    The mesh is just to hold them in position while you glue them to the concrete with adhesive. Here in Portugal glass mosaic is always used and without any epoxy glue or grout and will usually last 10 years before needing regrout. I have tried Sika 105 waterproofing compound but found it delaminated. A good pool tile glue and grout should be sufficient.
    Self built 5500 gallon bare concrete (temporarily) pool with limestone coping, Pentair Swimmey 1/2 HP pump, Triton sand filter with DE, Simpool peristaltic muriatic acid pump with pH sensor and Monarch SWG. Home made solar heater with Pentair Compool control panel and 3 way valve. 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, 2 returns, 2" plumbing, Hayward auto fill valve.

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    Apparently it depends how much mesh glue there is on the back of the tile and what type. If there is a film of glue, the tile adhesive dosen't get onto the tile, only onto the mesh glue and if that mesh glue is the type which dissolves, then that is apparently a common cause of tiles falling off.
    Article from Splash Magazine: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cac ... K57mW-bB25

    From what I can make out Sika Seal 105 is a crystalline forming product (plus modified polymers: not sure of what). I was advised by 2 construction product manufacturers not to use crystalline forming or acrylic or pva products in a pool. Also none of these membranes are meant to remain uncovered in a pool environment: they are meant to be tiled over etc before filling with water. I notice that you haven't tiled yet so that may be a reason for your de-lamination.
    Also polyurethane membranes should not be used as tile adhesive dosen't adhere well to it. Styrene Butadene Rubber products are, according to them, what should be used.
    For my application, waterproofing will be essential. Laticrete's S.B.Rubber based
    Hydroban is apparently used on pools before tiling so I may well use that. http://www.laticrete.com/Portals/0/data ... ds6630.pdf
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI_6S8mS8GQ

    PS: over here in Oz the better and more expensive pool tile mosaics come from your part of the world (Spain etc) and their backing is likely to be better quality. Over here those European mosaic tiles are very expensive. More affordable pool mosaics over here come from Asia where the backing material is possibly less of a priority, which might explain why there are fewer probs wth pool tiles in Portugal.
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    While in the Laticrete site did you check out the following manual - "Tiled Swimming Pools, Fountains and Spas Technical Design Manual"? Although with an obvious focus on Latitcrete products it is the most detail source of information I have found to date on the issues being discussed in this post and for tiled swimming pools in general.

    Link: http://www.laticrete.com/homeowners/...n_manuals.aspx
    "I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." (R. Frost); 12.5K gal; 18'x72" round joined to 10x16x18" oval; vinyl liners; ferrocement-like wall panels; perimeter wet edge; fountain and cascade; Pentair Dynamo 1hp 2 spd; Pentair CC75 filter; Pentair no-lube valves. My build here.

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanH
    While in the Laticrete site did you check out the following manual - "Tiled Swimming Pools, Fountains and Spas Technical Design Manual"? Although with an obvious focus on Latitcrete products it is the most detail source of information I have found to date on the issues being discussed in this post and for tiled swimming pools in general.

    Link: http://www.laticrete.com/homeowners/...n_manuals.aspx
    Thanks for that: looks very interesting and comprehensive; might take a while to read!

    Spoke to Laticrete and they suggested their 335 Premium Tile Adhesive and their 500 series grout with their 1776 grout admix.
    Worked out one third of the price of similar Ardex products.

    Take a look here at one of the classiest websites I have seen: Bisazza mosaic tiles in Italy http://www.bisazza.it/
    Their mosaic installation manual is worth a look (again with a bias for their products but there is some useful info there): http://www.bisazza.it/bisazza_stage/fil ... co_eng.pdf
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    Yeah, the Bisazza site is something. Feel like I should be sitting back with a fine wine and candle lit dinner with it playing through in the background.

    Copied this off the 335 spec sheet:

    "Adhesives/mastics, mortars and grouts for ceramic
    tile, pavers, brick and stone are not replacements
    for waterproof membranes. When a waterproof
    membrane is required, use a LATICRETE
    Waterproof Membrane"

    Getting back to one of your original questions, when talking with Laticrete, did they mention the need for a waterproof/"anti-crack(stress)" barrier, such as HydroBan or their membrane product? When IS a waterproof membrane required?
    "I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." (R. Frost); 12.5K gal; 18'x72" round joined to 10x16x18" oval; vinyl liners; ferrocement-like wall panels; perimeter wet edge; fountain and cascade; Pentair Dynamo 1hp 2 spd; Pentair CC75 filter; Pentair no-lube valves. My build here.

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    In my case because the construction method is ferrocement, so there is lots of metal and the mortar cover over it isnt thick like gunite so a waterproof membrane is vital.
    From what I can make out it probably should always be done before tiling on concrete pools.
    These waterproofers arent cheap typically $1000 here, to do a smallish pool.

    PS: I notice that some of the code numbers for Laticrete products in the US are different to Australia so they would need to contacted to find
    equivalents/suitable products for your application, if you wanted to use their products.
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    If you are considering Laticrete, you could also check Thoroseal and Mulasticoat, which are similar. Lately we have been using Penecrete, which crystallizes and forms a waterproof seal.

    Just a couple more options! I also wouldn't worry about the mesh sticking to the tile, as that is not where the bond is. You do need to make sure the tile will handle pool water chemistry (chlorine and acid), though. Not all tile works in swimming pools!

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    If you are considering Laticrete, you could also check Thoroseal and Mulasticoat, which are similar. Lately we have been using Penecrete, which crystallizes and forms a waterproof seal.

    Just a couple more options! I also wouldn't worry about the mesh sticking to the tile, as that is not where the bond is. You do need to make sure the tile will handle pool water chemistry (chlorine and acid), though. Not all tile works in swimming pools!
    Have heard of Thorseal used successfully on ferrocement water tanks but it isnt available in Australia unfortunately.
    What are your thoughts on epoxy grout versus cement based in a heated salt water pool?
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    I don't think you'd have a problem with either grout, even with heat or a SWCG. Do you have Custom grout available there? They make a good quality product that gets used here every day. Here's a link if you want to take a look: http://www.custombuildingproducts.com/welcome.aspx

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    Custom Products appear to have a distributor here although they seem to make the products in Oz, possibly to a different recipe. http://www.ctaust.com.au
    They have Polyblend grouts http://ctaust.com.au/ProductList.aspx?Range=3
    The same name but the data sheets are quite different and I am not sure it is the same product.

    No Mulasticoat downunder that I can find.
    We have Metz, Laticrete, PCI/BASF, Ardex, Tam, Drizoro, Mapei, Parex Davco, Duram, Sika, Epimax, Crommelin, Bostik and Construction Chemicals.
    20 million people and its a much smaller market for products than the US which means less choice and higher prices esp if the product comes from Europe or the US.
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    Take a look at the Sika material. I've been impressed with a couple of their products (but I haven't used everything!).

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    Wasn't the same product at all just the same name. They only import their self levelling compounds. So their grout isn't available here.
    Is there something I should know about Laticrete.....?
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    Quote Originally Posted by pool250
    Is there something I should know about Laticrete.....?
    No, just trying to provide other options. It is a great product, but not the only one that would work by any stretch. Always good to have options.

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    Yes, thanks for your help. Strangely I may go with CTA who I hadnt heard of until I went looking for
    Custom Products in Oz.
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    I've actally tiled about 20 pools, only once did I get delamination when I used the Sika product which had been recommended. I used to use Bisazza tiles but the paper backing can be a pain. We now use Ezarri tiles from Spain. These dont have a mesh, but a network of dots glueing each tile to one another. We use Weber Aqua adhesive and Webercolor Plus grout.

    http://www.ezarri.com/home.php?&idioma=en
    Self built 5500 gallon bare concrete (temporarily) pool with limestone coping, Pentair Swimmey 1/2 HP pump, Triton sand filter with DE, Simpool peristaltic muriatic acid pump with pH sensor and Monarch SWG. Home made solar heater with Pentair Compool control panel and 3 way valve. 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, 2 returns, 2" plumbing, Hayward auto fill valve.

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    We have Ezarri here and they are about $120 (US) sqm which I would like to use but its out of my budget.
    Once you have cut glass mosaic, how do you deal with all of the sharp edges and whats the best way to cut them do you find?
    11k gallon IG Ferrocement , Onga (Pentair) SF750 1hp pump, Onga Pantera MK11 PCF200sqft Cartridge Filter, Watermaid WM40-QT300 SWG, Spa Electrics GK7 LED

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    Re: Materials for Tiling

    I cut them in 2 ways. One is to glue and grout them, then cut them in situ with an angle grinder with a smoooth disk and go slow and gentle. Then chip off the excess. On a rectangular pool we tile from the water line down, and overlap the floor a bit. This is where we cut out a rectangle for the floor. I kind of score it with the disk over and over. Then I use a dremel to just take the nasty sharp edges off. Once grouted you don't notice them. The other way is to cut in the same way but dry on top of wood, but you get a slightly rageddy cut like this but it's quicker. For small areas you can nip them with tile nips. Shocking the price there, Ezarri blue mix here is 25€ sqm (about $35)
    Self built 5500 gallon bare concrete (temporarily) pool with limestone coping, Pentair Swimmey 1/2 HP pump, Triton sand filter with DE, Simpool peristaltic muriatic acid pump with pH sensor and Monarch SWG. Home made solar heater with Pentair Compool control panel and 3 way valve. 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, 2 returns, 2" plumbing, Hayward auto fill valve.

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