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Thread: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

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    White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    We are building a pool this summer and thought we had all of our decisions made...until we saw a photo of a pool with our 2nd choice tile (PB wanted us to have a 1st and 2nd choice to help avoid any delays) and decided that we didn't like it. Off to the PB we went last Saturday, and not only picked out a new 2nd choice, but we also made a new 1st choice. While there, the office manager mentioned that they were now offering a light gray tinted plaster, as she knew that I really want a deeper blue water than we will get with the white plaster that we had planned to use. It seems that they mix black into the marcite to achieve the color. She advised that the cost was small, but would have to get a quote. She called yesterday, and although our pool is going to be small, we are subject to the minimum charge of $900 for 450sf. In my mind, I was ready to say "do it" if she came back with a cost of up to $500. The price caught me off guard, and I just can't get the idea that it's "another $1,000" out of my head. I realize in the grand scheme of things, it's not much money, but it's more than I was expecting based on our conversation. We don't want to do a pebble finish, for a variety of reasons, with cost only being a small part of the decision, even though it's considerably more expensive.

    So, now for my questions. I've read a bit about white vs. gray plaster on here already, but want to see if anyone has any new opinions or recent experience and/or suggestions. I'm also curious if anyone has any input on whether or not it has a great impact on the water temperature. We are in the Houston area...so it's hot and the water gets warm as well! The pool will get full sun most of the day, with shade starting to cover half of it in the late afternoon. Any input is welcome. Our layout is being done tomorrow and we are anxious to make this decision regarding the interior finish. Thanks!
    15' x 34' free-form gunite pool with Dove Gray plaster, 12,550 gallons, 81' perimeter, Hayward C4030 filter, Hayward 1.5HP TriStar VS pump, Polaris 280, LED lighting, 3' scupper, bubbler. Completed Labor Day Weekend 2014.

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    With tinted plaster it will not be a uniform gray, but rather, mottled in appearance. I'm guessing you could see that from the pool you saw. Definitely makes the water a steel blue instead of a brighter/lighter shade of blue. We love ours. Our build thread comments on it in several places, most notably on the plaster day post.

    The charge is more or less straight profit for them as the additive is very cheap and not much is required. They may have to clean out the mixer better, extra 10 minutes. We weren't charged. However, it changes the appearance significantly so you have to view the dollars from the perspective of your benefit, not their profit. And of course anything is negotiable.

    Ours warms up pretty well in the sun. Anecdotal evidence here seems to point towards it causing some temperature increase. How much, if any, it's hard to say. Also dependent on your % of sun versus others.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    freqz's Avatar
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    Re: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    When I replaster my pool I'll be going with a grey of some sort-- I can barely keep the water at 80 with white. (LOTS of shade at the Freqz pool...)
    25000 gal in ground plaster. '79 vintage. Cartridge filter.

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    Re: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    When we bought this house the pool color was sort of beige with grey scuffs. I replastered, thinking that this was gunite showing through but when they emptied the pool and started chipping around the fixtures we found the pool had started out a nice medium grey and then gotten bleached out to beige. The scuffs were polaris wheel marks.

    So, know that some plaster colors can be unstable. This pool was originally done in 1997 I think, and I saw in the files that the owners were considering replastering after only 3 years so the color was probably looking bad by then.

    With that in mind, we went with a quartz that had black and grey bits along with turquoise bits in a barely grey base plaster. Much smoother than pebbles. Like any hand crafted product, the installation is vital. Search for Jade Sunstone pool and you will find my pool. The one with the round spa in the foreground and the waterfall on the far side of the pool.

    In Houston you need to consider the effect of color on water temperature. How deep the pool is makes a huge difference as does the amount of shade vs sun. The neighbor's dark shallow pool is ready to swim months before mine is but is unpleasant by August. My lighter and much deeper pool is chilly until June.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    Thanks for the comments so far. I really like the color of your water bmoreswim, that's pretty much what I am wanting. I'll have to see if the PB will negotiate...I'm sure they will act like they've already given it to me a bottom-line pricing. I agree that the color a very low cost and the labor/clean-up is minimally more than white plaster.

    Temperature is a concern as well. Our pool is pretty small, as we are in a patio home with a fairly small year. Depth is 3.5 - 5' with a perimeter of 81' I'm assuming it will warm up faster than many other pools. I guess that's a positive at the beginning and end of the season, but perhaps not so much in the heat of the summer.
    15' x 34' free-form gunite pool with Dove Gray plaster, 12,550 gallons, 81' perimeter, Hayward C4030 filter, Hayward 1.5HP TriStar VS pump, Polaris 280, LED lighting, 3' scupper, bubbler. Completed Labor Day Weekend 2014.

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    Re: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    I am in DFW and redid my pool the beginning of the season with grey plaster - I love it. I have some shade over my pool, but this year my water has been so cold that I have only been in it 3 times. My kids have used it more. I had bright blue paint on it before but don't notice any temp difference. I posted my redo on here and you can see it by clicking this http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-deck-pictures!!!

    There is some variation in the color - more of a natural look. If you want a very consistent color it probably isn't for you. I actually love the variation in color but the pool has to be very very still to see it. I think the grey has more "life" than many colors. It matters so much what is going on with the light, the clouds, and all that. Mine really looks different colors at different times. I am attaching several photos to try to show you the variation in color that you might expect. I also want to say the finish is so smooth! We love the actual plaster finish. Oh, and much like buying the right shade of flooring - if I don't vac it as often as I should, it does hide some of the gunk that ends up on the bottom - huge plus with the winds that we have here.















    ~18,000 gallon
    DE filter/chlorine
    IG Grey Plaster
    25 year old pool w a facelift in 2014

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    Re: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    Thank you glitter&guns, the color of your pool looks awesome...and what a transformation!! The color does change a lot, I would have assumed that you had white plaster based on the photo with the squirrel. The others look great. Thanks for sharing your photos and your thoughts!

    Thank you freqz and anonapersona for your input as well. All good information!

    Anyone else want to chime in?
    15' x 34' free-form gunite pool with Dove Gray plaster, 12,550 gallons, 81' perimeter, Hayward C4030 filter, Hayward 1.5HP TriStar VS pump, Polaris 280, LED lighting, 3' scupper, bubbler. Completed Labor Day Weekend 2014.

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    Re: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    Howdy neighbor. I honestly doubt the color will make that much difference in the sun here especially if you have a lot of sun. I have dark grey pebble tech and love the deep dark color. Whatever the daytime high is you can subtract 8 to 10 degrees and that is what my pool will stay at and I have a smaller sized pool. A friend in Greatwood has near a 60K gallon pool and his gets hot too during the hottest time of year with light colored plaster. Hope this helps and good luck.
    Approx 11K Gal. 10'X30' Semi free-form IG - 6 ' raised spa w/6 jets - 10' circle sun shelf with 1 bubbler - Waterfall - 3 / 1.5 HP pumps - Polaris 280 Cleaner - 3 Pentair Color LED Intellibrite Lights - Pentair 400K Master Temp - 2 Valve Actuators - 5 Fiberstar Mini Laminars - 1 Fiberstars 2004 Illuminator - 2 Skimmers - 6 Returns - Caribbean Blue Pebble Tech - 600+ sq ft kool decK - Auto Fill - 2 Boston Acoustics VOYA RK5 Outdoor Rock Speakers - 2 TIC Corporation TFS5CN 6.5-Inch 150-Watt Terra-Forms Rock Speakers - Apple Airport Express - 1 Awesome View.

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    Re: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    Thanks Flippy, I appreciate the feedback from a "smaller pool" owner that is nearby. I'm in Telfair, so your friend is practically right across the freeway. That's crazy that a 60,000 gallon pool with light plaster still gets hot too.

    I heard back from the PB late yesterday and they've come down about 25% on their pricing, so we are going to move forward with it. They are calling it Dove Gray. While this example is an aggregate finish rather than plaster, the color is similar: http://www.gemstonepools.com/galleri...lightgrey.html.
    15' x 34' free-form gunite pool with Dove Gray plaster, 12,550 gallons, 81' perimeter, Hayward C4030 filter, Hayward 1.5HP TriStar VS pump, Polaris 280, LED lighting, 3' scupper, bubbler. Completed Labor Day Weekend 2014.

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    Re: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    It is completely uncharacteristically still here this morning, so I thought I would grab a couple of shots of the mottling for you. It is something we only see when the water is super still like this. Oh, and please excuse the gunk in the bottom of the pool - yard guys came yesterday and I haven't cleaned it up yet.







    ~18,000 gallon
    DE filter/chlorine
    IG Grey Plaster
    25 year old pool w a facelift in 2014

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    Re: White Plaster vs. Gray (Grey) Plaster in Houston, TX Area

    Thanks Flippy, it's good to hear from someone so nearby with a "smaller pool". I'm in Telfair, so your friend in Greatwood is practically right across the freeway from me. That's crazy that a 60k gallon pool with light plaster still gets hot! I guess that's what happens is Texas, though!

    The additional photos are helpful glitter&guns, we have decided that we like the look of the mottling with the gray finish!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Our PB has come down about 25% on the price, so we are going to go ahead with the Dove Gray marcite plaster based on the info that I received here, as well as from some research online. While this shows an aggregate finish, the interior color is very similar to how ours should look: http://www.gemstonepools.com/galleri...lightgrey.html.
    15' x 34' free-form gunite pool with Dove Gray plaster, 12,550 gallons, 81' perimeter, Hayward C4030 filter, Hayward 1.5HP TriStar VS pump, Polaris 280, LED lighting, 3' scupper, bubbler. Completed Labor Day Weekend 2014.

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