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Thread: Gunite Replaster Pebble Tech or Diamond Brite

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    wjr75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Gunite Replaster Pebble Tech or Diamond Brite

    Hello Everyone!
    We need to get our gunite hot tub replastered next spring and are considering options of the pool of either getting it replastered or possibly just buffed if that is an option. The pool is about 10 yours old. I had two bids this spring and didn't pull the trigger due to a sickness in the Family. One company bided the hot tub 9ft octagon at $3k for Diamond Brite and another for $3.5k for Pebble Tech. What is the better product and last the longest? Also anyone have any luck in buffing a 10year old gunite? The one company I talked too didn't recommend it and said it could cause flaking on a 10year old surface. The main pool is just getting some discolorization every mid season after the acid wash in the spring and isn't that bad other than that. Also what is the average cost for the above two finishes. Thanks in advance!
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
    Filter dual cartridge Sta-rite 450sq/ft, TF-100 Test Kit
    Heater Raypak 2100 400k btu cupro-nickel exchanger
    Auto pool cover, Polaris 280 auto pool cleaner, Jandy AqualinkRS8 Remote Control System

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    zephard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Houston, Tx

    Re: Gunite Replaster Pebble Tech or Diamond Brite

    Our builder is purchasing the Pebble sheen from a company called Stonescapes they call it mini pebble. It comes with a ten year warranty and I am pretty sure it is the same product but less cost.
    Pool: IG, 8'W x20'L x5' deep, 6000 gallons, Stonescapes Blue Tropics Mini-Pebble gunite pool
    Equipment: Hayward SwimClear 3030 cartridge filter, SP32102EE Tristar 1 HP 2-speed pump,
    Universal H-Series Low NOx H400FDN (400K BTU) heater, SWG = Hayward Aqua
    Rite with Turbo Cell 9, and a Navigator XL cleaner
    Ground break 7/12/2013 Filled 8/6/2013

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    jv92red's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Re: Gunite Replaster Pebble Tech or Diamond Brite

    Stonescapes is from a company called NPT. "Stonescapes" includes both standard and mini pebble as versions of Stonescapes.

    PebbleTec is also a company. Their standard size pebble finish is called "PebbleTec and their smaller pebble version is called "PebbleSheen" which is their mini pebble version

    DiamondBrite is from SGM

    There is also a company called Wetedge that offers several different finishes as well.

    Cost for finish types vary by region. What you may pay for a finish in a Chicago suburb may be more than me being in Southern California where there are many more gunite pools per capita here and most likely more installers.

    Regarding Diamond Brite vs PebbleTec there are many opinions on this subject. Comes down to the look your going for and how much you want to spend for durability. Basically Diamond Brite, like plaster, use an exposed aggregate + cement for its makeup. Difference is that plaster uses marble for its exposed aggregate where Diamond Brite uses quartz for its exposed aggregate. Quartz is much harder than marble so it's more durable.

    PebbleTec uses river rock for its exposed aggregate. Durability is highest with pebble products since more of the aggregate is exposed to the water compared to the other finishes like plaster and quartz based finishes which have more of its cement exposed to the water. This is also the reason why you will see more mottling with colored plaster and quartz finishes compared to pebble finishes. The pigment is in the cement and the water chemistry will fade it in places and there are no pebbles to hide the mottling. But plaster and quartz finishes are smoother than basic pebble finishes so you may like that. Then there are cement modifier finishes like Pebble Fina but rather then to get into that I'll stop... this is all tip of the iceberg regarding finishes and doesn't really address your questions. I went though all this a few months ago with my own research for my build and I still don't think I learned 20% of what's out there on this. (by the way anyone reading this find errors feel free to correct it- this info was mostly from my builder and internet research)

    There are only a hand full of installers qualified to install PebbleTec in any given area so you'll find it's more exclusive than other pebble finishes and thus quality of install is controlled better but then the price is usually higher as well. Diamond Brite is a pre-mixed quartz product that any plaster installer can procure but that doesn't necessarily mean it won't be installed correctly. I guess you need to check up on each company and see their past work. Do they have a picture book you can look at? Maybe ask for references and check them to see if the people have any regrets about the finishes and/or installer.

    Don't quote me on this as it might vary from installer to installer but I believe the warranty on Diamond Brite is 10 years where is PebbleTec is 20 years. So if I had to choose between two finishes: a quartz finish and the pebble finish was only $500 more then the pebble finish is what I would pick.

    You mentioned possibly just re plastering and if you go that route I would recommend staying with plain white. It will be the least cost finish available and you won't have to worry about pigment mottling. Warranty is usually only 5 years or less for plaster but you'll find there are many people here who go triple, quadruple that time without issues if properly maintained.

    Buffing 10 year old plaster? Never heard of buffing plaster but 10 years and having problems sounds like you got much of the life it had in it, who knows how thick it is even if you chose to buff it would it be ok assuming it's not buffed down to the gunite?.
    15'x35' IG 16,500 gallons w/attached raised 18" spa continuous coping w/underneath spill and ledger stone wrapped, NPT mini pebble aqua blue w/2x pigment & abalone shell finish, 2"x24" travertine coping, 3x Jandy Color LED lights (2 in pool), Jandy Flo Pro 2HP VS pump, Jandy LXI (low NOx) 400K BTU heater, Jandy CL460 cartridge filter, Jandy AquaPure Ei SWG, Jandy Z4 automation with iAqualink and remote poolside PDA, 1,300 sqft Belgard Catalina paver deck with drainage, fire pit that matches the spa with travertine coping and wrapped in ledger stone, Elitewood insulated patio cover, Vinyl gates, back vinyl fence coming soon...

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    sdspencer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Temecula, CA

    Re: Gunite Replaster Pebble Tech or Diamond Brite

    We just got Stonescapes mini pebble and from my understanding it's essentially the same product as Pebble Tech, but cheaper. Our installation is flawless and we are very happy with the product and highly recommend it.
    Approx. 16k gal (16.5' x 30.5') Freeform, Salt Water, Stonescapes Tahoe Blue Mini Pebble, Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump, Hayward Shark Vac Cleaning Robot

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    Mod Squad Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: Gunite Replaster Pebble Tech or Diamond Brite

    Of these choices and for the small increase, I would choose Pebbletec without blinking an eye. They have been at it a long time now, and If you go with it, you'll likely never have to re-do it again. Wet-Edge is what I really want when we build, but no one here is certified for it. Wet-Edge was formed from a group of guys who left Pebbletec, and they have a nice variety of stuff I really like.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    TF-100 Test Kit, ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Flagstone, 36"SF, Pentair VS Pump, EasyTouch W/Remote, Rheem 400KBTU Htr

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    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Livermore, CA

    Re: Gunite Replaster Pebble Tech or Diamond Brite

    Reference post

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