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Thread: Does larger waterline tile hold up better (than smaller ones)

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    Join Date
    May 2014

    Does larger waterline tile hold up better (than smaller ones)

    I'm of the general and unfounded belief that smaller waterline tile (i.e. 3x3) do not hold up as well as the larger 6x6. Specifically, I'm concerned that they may be more prone to popping off over time.

    Does anyone have an opinion or knowledge of this?
    CPO (15 years) 23K freeform Aqua Blue Mini, Omnilogic, Echostar, Colorlogic (2x12v), Jandy Laminars, Polaris 280, Dolphin M4

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    MiaOKC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Oklahoma City, OK

    Re: Does larger waterline tile hold up better (than smaller ones)

    I am not sure - anecdotally, there is more surface area adhered with the mortar, but if you are getting tiles popping off (from freeze/thaw or water intrusion over the back) I would guess it's just a matter of time, even with the larger format tiles. I will say we switched from 3x3 to 6x6 to have fewer grout joints to clean when we just remodeled the pool. That seems to be the main reasoning I've heard from tile stores and PBs. I will also add our PB was reluctant to do 1x1 tiles, even on the steps as toe tiles, because of previous complaints about them popping off, so there may be some truth to the larger format holding on longer.
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    mrcarcrazy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Odessa, TX

    Re: Does larger waterline tile hold up better (than smaller ones)

    It depends on the freeze thaw cycles based on the advice I was given by every pool builder in our area.

    They strongly suggest 6x6 tiles here. Two of them told me they would not warranty the tile work if we used 1x1 tiles (we really like the 1x1 glass tiles). I'm betting the difference between 3x3 and 6x6 is not that big of a deal though. (assuming the person laying the tile knows what they are doing). FWIW, and I know this is nearly worthless, I have a buddy with 3x3 tiles on a 20yr old pool with zero problems.
    IG gunite/plaster pool/spa Started 1/17/14, Plastered 5/16/14
    Size: 12'-21'x39' free form, depth ranging from 4' to 7, attached 6 person spa with spillover.
    Equipment: Whisperflo 2hp pump, Pentair 30" sand filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, 1hp Whisperflo for waterfalls, and a blower for spa floor

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    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Miami, FL

    Re: Does larger waterline tile hold up better (than smaller ones)

    Our PB also did not recommended to install certain styles of the 1x1 tiles -- that they were more prone to popping off. Those tiles not recommended seemed thinner and more lightweight to me than other 1x1 tiles that he said were okay.
    Swimming!: 19x32 IG rectangular pool, 22,500 gallons; 3' - 6.5'; open spa w/ 6 jets; raised wall w/ 1 sheer descent and 2 minijets, 2 color-changing LED pool lights, 1 spa light; Jandy 2 1/2 HP 2 speed Pump, Jandy cartridge filter (320 SQFT), Diamondbrite Cool Blue

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