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Thread: Coping & Waterline Tiles - if you could do it over, what ?

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    Coping & Waterline Tiles - if you could do it over, what ?

    So we're trying to settle on new Coping & Water Tiles for our renovation. My head is swimming (pun?) with all the choices. Everytime I think we settle on something, we read pitfalls of the product. So, if you've had your pool for many years - or are in the actual BUSINESS of selling Tile - what would YOU do??

    - Coping: we really don't want a "soft" material here. Been there with Flagstone and it was a horrible dirty experience. Then I read that Travertine is a LIMESTONE, again, SOFT .. Stamped Concrete seems to stay too HOT in the sun .. ugh .. Now I'm looking at "Artistic Pavers" ... what's your thought on those? They look a lot more durable without being too 'slick' for walking on Coping. Also, we're considering the switch to SWG in 2013.

    - Water Tiles: So many choices. Which ones are best to be able to keep clean without calcium (or SALT) water lines that need consistent cleaning? Ceramic? Porcelean? Certainly nothing "soft", right?

    Thanks so much ... we're so close to pulling the trigger on this but clearly I'm more confused than ever.
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Coping & Waterline Tiles - if you could do it over, what

    I'm not a stone expert, not even remotely.
    But I can give you some of the info I have learned here @ TFP from our resident experts.

    Tile and all forms of "grouted" materials can experience a process known as "efflorescence". This is a leaching of minerals from the grout itself.
    It can be prevented by sealing the grout as well as any exposed stone or concrete every year. This also protects against salt damage.

    There's also an epoxy resin based grout that I have heard of, it seems to be immune to this effect as well as being resistant to salt corrosion and damage due to expansion of the salt crystals as the water evaporates and the crystals begin to re-form in tiny cracks and crevices, or even pores. It's like a little tectonic plat inside at that point, where damage begins to occur.

    Which brings me to your SWCG system. Salt is fabulous with its feel on the skin and the SWCGs are a great, low maintenance unit. But like anything, they have a certain life span and once that has been reached. Which is about 4-5 years, they need to be replaced. They also require other service from time to time. Just like anything.
    As far as cost savings over doing liquid CL? They're about the same over the life of the unit, if anything maybe a little more expensive than liquid CL.

    Scale on your waterline isn't an issue, so long as you work hard to keep your pH in check and don't let it get too high. As well as managing your TA for the net effect of reduced pH rise upwards and swings if it's too low. All this along with keeping your CSI on the slightly negative side, using poolcalc to do so. Will help you stay free of calcium scale buildup. Borates would be highly recommended with a SWCG to help slow, but not eliminate the pH rise. As the very nature of a SWCG's process is aerating the water with super tiny bubbles which causes a pH rise.

    If it were me, I would look into an automatic acid pump system. Since you'll be constantly combating pH rise from the SWCG unit. More frequently than a liquid CL pool? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the pool, it also depends on your particular pool, climate, elevation, a whole bunch of factors as to how much of a problem you'll have with this. But we all deal /w pH rise and we all have to add acid. No need to go all crazy /w an electronic unit with an automatic pH sensor, as your pool will develop a natural and predictable order of things and the electronic sensors don't work well anyway.
    So it can just simply be put on a timer to match your pool's acid demand needs and the peristaltic pump set to a certain amount and you're good.

    There has been talk of issues with water line scale anyway, in especially arid and hot climates such as CA, AZ, TX. It is suspected that this is from evaporation of the water, which leaves minerals behind. However, it hasn't been precisely determined as to what the specific cause is and if it can just simply be eliminated /w proper CSI management as stated above.
    Also, regular brushing helps to eliminate waterline scale as well.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Re: Coping & Waterline Tiles - if you could do it over, what

    Use porcelain tile for the waterline. Some advocate putting a waterproof coating on the gunite shell before putting the tile in for the efflorescence mentioned above, it is not expensive to do.

    There are many different kinds of stone, you can find a harder stone that will not be damaged. You can also coat all 6 sides of the stone with a penetrating sealer such as Dry Treat or Stone Tech and allowing it to dry (Dry Treat says 14 days) and then using the recommended mortar when laying the stone. This should be significant insurance against stone damage from salt. Just picking the right stone makes a big difference though.

    A cantilever deck or poured concrete (or even precast concrete) would be a good durable choice for coping too. Don't know why concrete would be any hotter than stone, I have a cantilever concrete deck and we picked a light color and it never got too hot in 100 plus temps. If you go that route, just stay with a light color if you're worried about it getting hot.
    Blaine

    50' x 22' 27k gal shotcrete freeform, 2hp 2 sp Pentair Whisperflo, Pool Pilot RC-52 SWCG, Pentair TR 100 sand filter, Polaris 280, 2 Pentair Intellibrite LED lights with controller, french gray plaster, Butterfield U-20 "smoke"integral colored salt finish concrete cantilever deck on one side, flagstone coping on the other.

    My pool build:
    osage-hills-pool-build-t50526.html

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    Join Date
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    Re: Coping & Waterline Tiles - if you could do it over, what

    Thanks very much for both of your thoughts on this ...
    30,000 Gal FIBER GLASS (over Gunite Plaster) Pool, Dolphin Nautilus PLUS Robot, (2) Cartridge Filter System (old), 1/2 HP Pump, Full Sun, Solar Heated, TF-100 Test Kit.

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