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Thread: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    Getting close to finalizing our pool build and signing a contract hopefully in next week or two.

    In a two hour review today with our likely PB of choice, on a Saturday when he had a sick 5 year old son at home (kudo's to this guy), we asked what potential options for saving some $$$ on our (we think) massive cost of a pool build....

    One item he brought up was swapping Stonescape or Quartzscape for our planned Blue Granite Pebblesheen.

    Worried about some of the comments in posts about Stonescape:
    how-long-should-i-give-streaks-in-pebble-finish-to-go-away-t1269.html?hilit=stonescape
    new-pool-stonescape-startup-t4995.html?hilit=stonescape
    including the comments from mchristisen:
    Brush, Brush, Brush and Brush some more.

    We had our pool refinished last year with Stonescapes. We brushed the pool twice a day for a month and Most of
    the pool is smooth to the touch but there are a few areas that are rough. Brushing will remove all the loose pebble
    before it cures and give you a nice smooth feel when you run your hand over it. After the first week get in there with a vacuum and get all the loose pebble off the bottom of the pool. If you dont get it out of the pool, the areas under the
    loose pebble will be rough.

    If you dont already have one, go get a Wall Whale. It is the brush with the huge fin on the backside. It will make your
    life much easier with the amount of brushing you have ahead of you. And be careful with the edges of the brush. Dont
    let it rub against stairs or anything. It will dig a grove into you new finish.

    Also, our PB told us it would be ok to put the Kreepy Krauly in the pool after two weeks. It wasnt. The rough surface
    of the new pebble would stop the cleaner in its tracks and it would sit in one spot all day pounding away. We now have
    two circular puck marks in the deep end. Nobody else has noticed, but I know they are there.

    Hope you enjoy your new finish! We sure love ours. (We were in ours as soon as it was full)

    Not many comments on Quartzscape... Still looking though.

    PB says this switch might save us as much as $1000 on our pool build, but he's looking into it to verify.

    Thoughts on this? He said the warranty is the same. And yes, (Bruce) I realize it's probably the installers skill that is as important or more important than the product itself - I intend to push the PB on this topic as well.

    Thanks!

    RK
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    Those finishes are similar in terms of materials and appearance. The primary difference is that Pebble Tec has very high standards for their installers, who must be better than good and very responsible about fixing problems or they get dropped from the Pebble Tec program. The other brands vary more in installer quality depending on who does the actual work. Some installers are fine, others are much more likely to have problems and not fix them.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
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    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    Additionals: PT typically comes as a complete mix except for customs, the others are add ins.

    Plain plasters and Diamond Brite type finishes need the brushing.

    The high aggregate content finishes are typically water washed or acid washed to remove the "cream" that forms when troweling so that the aggregate is exposed prior to filling. This substantially reduces or eliminates brushing for these finishes. They also tend to cure faster.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    Thanks! Great comments.

    Questions: is it true (in your experience) that the cost of these two alternatives is less than sheen?
    Is it true that the post-application finishing requirements are higher for them (or at least, for stonescape as noted in that post I pasted in above)?
    Is the warranty the same with both? (anyone know for sure?)

    Jason - how in the world do I truly verify the application skills of the installers for these products? I guess ask basic questions like how many pools they've done with this material, etc...

    Jason - your comment has made me nervous about saving a dime for something that might cost me a dollar. If any of you experts think this is nuts, please tell me so. (If this were your pool, would you do these alternatives or stick with sheen?)

    thanks,

    RK
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Guest

    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    For the cost (whatever it is) that you are paying to build your pool, I will tell you that the $1,000.00 you "save" with a proven "lesser" product, applied by installers with no formal training, and with no guarantee of support after the installation, becomes no savings at all. Please, do not lose sight of what you are trying to achieve by trying to realize this "savings".

    As I've said before, I do not work for PebbleTec (and, to be fair, I do run sales calls for one of its competitors). However, I am very familiar with the installation and finishing differences between P-Tec and some of the "Brand X" products.

    OK, I am done on this, and promise not to comment any further Best wishes on making the best choice for you

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Guest

    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    OOPS I forgot a couple things (that promise didn't last long)!

    All P-Tec products cost more than other plaster products. There is a reason for that (But a Cadillac costs more than a Yugo too!). The formulation and bag consistency (see Scott's comments), as well as the after sale back up by P-Tec is well worth it.

    Doubtful you will be able to find out how (or who) the finishers are at their work. The PB is not going to tell you who any of his subs are. He may be able to give you reference pools to look at, but he most likely will not tell you who the company is that did them. Since he has not made a sale, why would he give you his sub list? He is still trying to get the work, and does not want you going O/B on him.

    P-Tec provides a 5 year warranty (industry standard). Different pool builders will sometimes provide extended warranties (California Pools, as I think we talked about, will warranty the P-Tec for life to the original owner of the pool). The difference with P-Tec being that they will be here to stand behind the warranty, as well as providing a "patch kit" that has a a fighting chance of matching, if you need a patch down the road. The other stone finish suppliers buy their stone wherever they can, do not grade it and do not "batch" it (again, like Scott said).

    I think that really is it this time I honestly don't have any axe to grind with the other products, other than I think (pretty educated "guess") that they are inferior to P-Tec. If I could upgrade from a Ford to a Lexus for a little bit more, I would do it in a heartbeat! Spend the $1,000.00 and get the Lexus!!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    Just about everything is less expensive that Pebble Tec Pebble Sheen. There are some high end glass products, and polished marble surfaces that cost more but that is about it.

    Any surface that includes pebbles or quartz or glass requires special post application treatment to look right. All of them require about the same amount of extra effort. You spend extra, beyond that, for special materials and for brand names that people trust. The only thing more complicated to install is the polished marble finish.

    The way I look at picking a brand is this: How much extra do you want to spend to make sure it is perfect, instead of just good. As happened in the quote you started this topic with, the kinds of problems that typically come up, if there are any problems at all, are normally minor. Serious problems are rare and normally taken care of one way or another.

    The problems you might have, if any, are things that might irritate you a little but which a visitor to your house would probably never notice. I have heard of problems like finding one or two pebbles in an entire pool that leach iron into the water and cause localized staining, or areas around a fitting where the stones don't go right up to the fitting and instead there is a small area of bare plaster, or areas where the stones are more exposed and other areas where the stones are less exposed, or just a few pebbles from the wrong color group getting mixed in by accident. Minor problems, like these, can slip through because the cost of fixing them can be very high and it is difficult to justify spending that kind of money to fix something that is "minor".

    You can check on the surface application people the same way you check on a builder, by talking to people who have pools that were built by them.

    A pool is a huge investment. I certainly understand simicrintz's attitude. If you are going to spend that kind of money, it ought to be done right. But that doesn't mean that a B grade finish will be terrible. On a good day, with lots of luck, a B grade finish can look just as good and save you money. On a bad day, you will still get a pool that look good, even if it isn't by any means perfect, and you will still save money. Different people will make that choice differently.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Lana537's Avatar
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    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    Hey there RK~~

    You are in Phoenix, AZ! You live on PebbleTec's doorstep...minutes away from them--get on over there and have a chat with them! They were a great deal of help to me whenever I called them during my pool remodel, and I'm on the east coast. Many patient, friendly people work there.

    There are over 40 PebbleTec licensed pool builders servicing your area, according to the PTec website, and two licensed installers. Living where you do, in the land of the swimming pool, I am amazed you were able to narrow down the field when it comes to pool builders.

    Why don't you ask your builder to take you around and show you a couple PTec (Pebblesheen) pools that he's built and one or two with the other surfaces you are considering. This would give you opportunity to confirm your color choices, coping and tile choices, see water features, steps and deep end swimouts, skimmer and lighting locations, etc.

    Good luck~

    Lana
    23,600 gallon, refurbished 1960's inground concrete, Jandy sand filter w Jandy 2 hp variable speed pump, Pool Pilot Digital SWCG+Chemtrol 2100+CO2 tank; PebbleTec White Pearl with 10% Cobalt Blue Dark Beadcrete by Olympic Pool Plastering, Georgia. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit; Aqua Check Salt test; LaMotte borates test, and Jack's Magic Sequest test kit; SparklyPoolitis level: extremely high.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    Quote Originally Posted by Lana537
    ...There are over 40 PebbleTec licensed pool builders servicing your area, according to the PTec website, and two licensed installers. Living where you do, in the land of the swimming pool, I am amazed you were able to narrow down the field when it comes to pool builders.

    Why don't you ask your builder to take you around and show you a couple PTec (Pebblesheen) pools that he's built and one or two with the other surfaces you are considering. This would give you opportunity to confirm your color choices, coping and tile choices, see water features, steps and deep end swimouts, skimmer and lighting locations, etc.

    Good luck~

    Lana
    Thanks Lana - thanks everyone. Great advice above. Long story on selection of PB - I'll have to give an overview of the lengthy process I went through, looking at Shasta, Premier, Dolphin, California, and Boulder Creek PB's.

    Given all the comments above, I'll either look at some actual pools with the pebble replacement options as Lana suggests above, or I'll stay with pebble. Most likely, I'll stick with Pebble sheen. He has offered to do that with other considerations, so i'm sure he would be fine with this idea.

    Thanks again,

    RK
    RawhideKid
    Phoenix, AZ (Goodyear actually)
    Pool finally complete!!! IG, 40,635 gallons w/2080 gallon spa with 16 jets. Pool is 40x21 ft with 10 ft deep end; two baja steps
    Pentair Cartridge filter - 520 SQ. PebbleSheen interior. 2 Pentair VS pumps. Pentair Intellichlor SWG
    4 deck jets, 2 bubblers, fake rock grotto/waterfall with wet steps. 3 surrounding half-pergola's with misters in future
    Sunken covered ramada with cabinets, fridge, and wood fireplace. (soon to have big screen TV)
    Basically, 14 years of planning on how to survive this blistering AZ summer!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    The thing that convinced me was to take full (or nearly full) strength Muratic acid and put a few drops on each sample surface. Let it sit for 10 seconds, then rinse with water. The PebbleSheen and PebbleTech had nearly no residual impact. The DiamondBrite and Stone Scape all had very visible impact.

    Take the samples and try snapping them with your hands. Only the PT samples resisted snapping for me.

    I agree with all that has been said so far - you can get a great pool without PT. However, I wanted the confidence and peace of mind, which had a tangible value that was greater than the upgrade pricing I paid.
    17k in-ground, Pebble Sheen finish (Blue Granite), Solar, two skimmers, split drain.
    IntelliPro VS-3050, IntelliChlor IC40, EasyTouch 4 control system, Easy Touch wired indoor panel.
    300 CuFt cartridge filter. Polaris 380 with booster pump. Two IntelliBrite 5G lights.
    TF100 test kit.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    My stonescape issue is simple. As others have said the quality of the product can have issues.

    I had a very respected plasterer install stonescapes and did not have the installation issues some have had with the product, BUT-

    The purity of the product is lacking and I now have about ten small rust spots in my pool where small pieces of iron or metal are embedded in the surface. In the summer its not that big of a deal as I dive in and treat it with a Vitamin C tablet, but in the winter its a pain in the butt.

    Pay the 1000 or two. Wont regret it.
    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.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    bbrock's Avatar
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    Re: Pebblesheen vs. Quartzscape vs. Stonescape

    Reference post

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