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Thread: DIY Vermiculite question

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    DIY Vermiculite question

    Im doing a DIY 18x36 this summer. Ive gotten a bid on doing the vermiculite and pool liner install but am questioning whether we can do this ourselves. My nephew owns a concrete company and they do great finish work, so I think they could trial the vermiculite in with no problem. My real question is does it have to be "vermiculite" or could it be a concrete truck mix without the gravel or is there anything else that can be used? I just have no clue where to get massive quantities of bags of vermiculite.

    Thanks!
    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Vermiculite question

    Just in case you didn't know "vermiculite" in this situation is really pool crete, a mixture of concrete and vermiculite (kind of like styrofoam). It forms a very lightweight mixture that is much easier to work with than regular concrete (mostly because it is lighter) and has a small amount of give that helps the bottom feel just a little better than plain concrete. Big box hardware stores tend not to have it, though it is readily available from many concrete supply places.

    Regular concrete also works, though it is rather more difficult to work with and much less forgiving of mistakes.
    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

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    Re: DIY Vermiculite question

    Just did my vermiculite last summer. I did it all myself, well not really. It took the help of 10 people to do it and 10 days. You can get vermiculite at any garden supply. Verm. is insulation and will insulate your pool bottom I believe it cost us 900 in vermiculite alone. Vermiculite is not like concrete. more like oatmeal. The mix is pretty particular for it to work well. too thick hard to trowel. Too thin and it won't stay on the walls. If you are handy you can figure it out. It was a Pain in the ?@3 Back breaking labor! 90lb bags of portland are hard to lift in hopper. Renting the paddle mixer. I can go on and on!!! You will see the trowel marks if its not smooth. Mainly at night.
    After having done it. It is nice to say i did it but, If i build another pool i'll pay somebody. It is not an easy job to do well. lots of wheel barrow action down a ramp with verm!
    Theresa and/or Gary

    Complete DIY: 20x40' rectangle. Resin walls, vinyl lined. 33000 gallons. Full width steps. 8' deep. Diving board, slide. Hayward pro series super pump, sand filter. Raypack 336K BTU heater. Main drain, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, 2 amerilite lights with quick change lens Aquamatic auto cover and a partridge in a pear tree.
    Breaking our backs in the hopes that one of our six kids will care for us when we are old ;)

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    Re: DIY Vermiculite question

    Built most all of my pool but subbed out the pool floor. Listen to 8corneflakes....it is one VERY physical job and difficult to get right.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: DIY Vermiculite question

    Thanks for the responses! The bid for the vermiculite install is $3800, they say it will take 100 bags. Does that sound reasonable?

    I may buy a bag and trial it on a small test area just to get an idea of difficulty. I already have a paddle mixer.
    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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    DIY Vermiculite question

    I did my 20x40 myself with the help of 6 guys in one hard day. We used the premix so that part was easy the premix bags are only 40lbs. Getting the mix right is rough. Because we hurried through it the trowel marks are noticeable even though I spent the following day leveling most of them. By the way that is a huge advantage to a mix...you can easily fix mistakes days or years later when you replace your liner.
    Under construction DIY 20x40 vinyl liner steel wall pool, Pentair 2hp wisperflo, Pentair tr100 sand filter, Pentair Minimax 400k heater, diving board, 8 foot sit n step, xtream waterslide, 1700 concrete deck, one amazing wife, 4 children and two German shepherds.

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    DIY Vermiculite question

    That is 12 more bags then I used on the 20x40.
    Under construction DIY 20x40 vinyl liner steel wall pool, Pentair 2hp wisperflo, Pentair tr100 sand filter, Pentair Minimax 400k heater, diving board, 8 foot sit n step, xtream waterslide, 1700 concrete deck, one amazing wife, 4 children and two German shepherds.

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    Re: DIY Vermiculite question

    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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    Re: DIY Vermiculite question

    rhumbaclave, where did you buy the premix?
    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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    DIY Vermiculite question

    Local pool store. They get it from scp, the largest pool supply distributor.
    Under construction DIY 20x40 vinyl liner steel wall pool, Pentair 2hp wisperflo, Pentair tr100 sand filter, Pentair Minimax 400k heater, diving board, 8 foot sit n step, xtream waterslide, 1700 concrete deck, one amazing wife, 4 children and two German shepherds.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: DIY Vermiculite question

    we used over 100 bags of vermiculite. My wife just told me it was 1200$ for the verm. 3800 sounds kind of high to me but maybe not if they actually do a pro job. getting all the lines, angles and grades correct takes a lot of time and skill. You can go back and fix mistakes. I know. LOL It grinds with 36 grit grinder nicely. Lots of dust though. Getting all of the angles correct is rough. I can still see some flaws in my bottom. On a positive note, i just had my concrete deck poured by contractors. The quality you think you are paying a pro for is not always better than you would have done just faster. They know what they can get away with and still get paid. unfortunately they usually take advantage of it. good luck with it. I'll follow your progress
    Theresa and/or Gary

    Complete DIY: 20x40' rectangle. Resin walls, vinyl lined. 33000 gallons. Full width steps. 8' deep. Diving board, slide. Hayward pro series super pump, sand filter. Raypack 336K BTU heater. Main drain, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, 2 amerilite lights with quick change lens Aquamatic auto cover and a partridge in a pear tree.
    Breaking our backs in the hopes that one of our six kids will care for us when we are old ;)

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