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Thread: Do I need an expansion joint?

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    Do I need an expansion joint?

    I've got coping stones around the edge of the IG pool and will be finishing the decking with patio stones (interlocking brick). Do I need to put in an expansion joint, or is this just when you finish the decking with concrete?
    15000 gallon gunite pool with smart brite quartz, 2.5 hp pump, Hayward filter, elevated spa, waterfall, smart vac viper pool cleaner

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    It's just with concrete; with pavers, movement is expected and easily corrected
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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    Yes, just as with cement. You need an expansion joint, if you want to avoid problems.
    Cement 12'x30', in the neighborhood of 50 years old. Restored, 1.5"plumbing, 1hp super pump 2, Hayward swim clear cartridge filter, Summit2.5t heater,Hayward SWG t-9 cell, Nexxus Blanco lights, pentair bermuda gunite skimmer.

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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    It's just with concrete; with pavers, movement is expected and easily corrected
    MITS is right. You dont want to butt the pavers right against the coping with no space at all, but the standard sand joint is enough.
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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    Quote Originally Posted by brownsburg
    Yes, just as with cement. You need an expansion joint, if you want to avoid problems.
    MITS is right. You dont want to butt the pavers right against the coping with no space at all, but the standard sand joint is enough.
    Great - conflicting comments

    Any other people willing to weigh in?
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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    Using pavers, you will have a natural expansion joint where the pavers meet the concrete. Once cured, concrete will mostly move up/down vs pavers. There is no need to add any joint material, other than sand...IMO. I'm with MITS and BK.
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    flyboy320's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    I have the same patio as you are describing, coping and patio is made up of pre-cast pavers. The patio is laid with the pavers almost up against each other with polymeric sand in the joints, and the coping is laid on the concrete going around the pool, with about 1/2"=3/4" gap between them filled with grout. After about two years, some of the grout has loosened slightly as there must be a small amount of movement between the pavers and as such, some of the grout is coming out of the gaps between the pavers.

    Pool builder is coming back to fix this, but not sure what else he can try so it doesn't happen again......good luck
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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    Quote Originally Posted by flyboy320

    some of the grout is coming out of the gaps between the pavers.
    Is the grout between the coping pavers loose or just the grout between coping and the patio pavers?

    Work around here like that only has grout between the coping pavers and not between the coping and the field. Can you clarify?
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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    Quote Originally Posted by bk406
    Quote Originally Posted by flyboy320

    some of the grout is coming out of the gaps between the pavers.
    Is the grout between the coping pavers loose or just the grout between coping and the patio pavers?

    Work around here like that only has grout between the coping pavers and not between the coping and the field. Can you clarify?
    It's the grout between the pavers. The pavers themselves are resting on a concrete "rim" if you will, that goes around the whole pool and they are secure to the concrete and not loose, just the gap between the pavers themselves is where the grout is coming loose (hope that makes sense).
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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    Ok, I see.

    Sometimes that grout can get loose. But only after 2 years might be a little soon. Any of that type of coping with mortor joints will need to be re-pointed here and there. For a pool, the motor really needs to be mixed a little richer than say for a stone wall application. To fix it, its just a matter of chiseling out the old mortor and repointing the joint.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    Sorry if there was any confusion as per my first post. I live in Quebec where we have some pretty severe winters with thaw/freeze cycles. I'm about to have my pavers layed up against my granite coping just as you are and all of the three estimates that I've received include an expansion joint between the coping and the first set of pavers. Basically they put in some sort of high density foam product between the stone and the pavers, leaving a space up top for some sort of erathane product that you brush sand into to keep the appearance the same.

    Maybe down south they don't do this or maybe my guys are off. I don't know.
    Cement 12'x30', in the neighborhood of 50 years old. Restored, 1.5"plumbing, 1hp super pump 2, Hayward swim clear cartridge filter, Summit2.5t heater,Hayward SWG t-9 cell, Nexxus Blanco lights, pentair bermuda gunite skimmer.

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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    hmm...that is interesting and even though it may not be quite as cold here (upstate NY) as in Quebec, we do have a 36" frost line and experience severe frost heave. The pavers move up an down and level out in the spring, but not sideways. I would think the frost heave would just separate the pavers from the urethane product, but I'd like to hear from the ITI folks as well.
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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    Quote Originally Posted by brownsburg

    Basically they put in some sort of high density foam product between the stone and the pavers, leaving a space up top for some sort of erathane product that you brush sand into to keep the appearance the same.

    .
    I dont see anything wrong with it. Most likely it will work great.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    I don't see anything wrong with extra expansion joints...... in general. Not saying you have to have them, but can't see they would hurt.

    Personally I would leave a small expansion joint between coping and pavers. The perimeter of the pool can contract/expand with temperature and amount depending on materials used. Expansion is a linear issue. Pools are circumferential in shape and a small amount of expansion could potentially make significant movement of coping in relation to deck/pavers.

    I am not an engineer.....that is who you need to make this decision....
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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    Some food for thought................................
    I just fixed a pool that was done by someone else. They had Cantera coping, and cement paver around it.
    On one side the cement paver were tight from the coping to some planter walls.
    Well there was no where for anything to expand. So it pushed the coping in aprox 1/4" and knocked off the majority of tile on that side. The top of the tile was over the morter joint between the coping and the beam of the pool. a few tiles came all the way off, most were just leaning in.
    I never would of thought that was possible, but now I certainly look at paver installs a little different.

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    Re: Do I need an expansion joint?

    My opinion is that using an expansion joint is better than not using one.

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