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Thread: Coping before tile....HELP!

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    Coping before tile....HELP!

    Our PB neglected to ensure that the waterline tile was ordered in time, so now we don't have any available and have to wait a week. The issue is: the pool is at tile and coping stage. Most pool builds I have seen have the waterline tile installed before coping, but now our PB wants to install coping now and then install tile.
    Tile is 2"x12" glass tile with a brick pattern and the coping is travertine 12"x24"x2"thick.
    Why is tile typically installed first and what are the negatives to reversing the process?

    Thanks in advance!
    T8er

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    Re: Coping before tile....HELP!

    Our coping was installed before the waterline tile. I didn't realize it was typically done in the reverse order. Maybe it doesn't matter?
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    bulldogz400's Avatar
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    Re: Coping before tile....HELP!

    As it was explained to me by the tile guy:

    The tile setters are the ones who ensure the leveling is correct. Thus, they needed to tile the waterline prior to doing the cantilever coping.

    It then had to be reversed for the tile guys to finish as they needed the coping in place to correctly install the stone around the perimeter of the spa. The coping served as a "ceiling" so they could butt the stone as close as possible to it. For me, the order is tile, decking, then finish the tile.
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    Re: Coping before tile....HELP!

    Bulldog has it right. The tile guys are the ones responsible for the final finish elevation of the pool. They bring the bond beam to within 1/4 inch level. Then they install the tile. The Coping is put over that. If its cantalever coping then generally it slides on top of the bond beam. So the bond Beam has to be at the correct elevation to make sure the concrete is poured correctly and the mastic seal is between the concrete and tile.

    You can do it in the reverse. But you need to make sure thew bond beam is level all around the pool to whatever the spec is. In most cases its 1/4 inch. You also need to make sure that the mastic can be placed between the coping and the tile.
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    Northrider23's Avatar
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    Re: Coping before tile....HELP!

    Our tile guys were the same ones who also installed the coping. But I do remember them marking were the tile would go and leveling the coping first and then installing the tiles.

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    Killer95Stang's Avatar
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    Re: Coping before tile....HELP!

    Our coping was formed and poured before the tile and stacked stone were installed. Maybe it's off a 1/4 inch... but I will never know unless I take my laser level swimming with me.
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    Re: Coping before tile....HELP!

    Welcome to the forum T8er
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    Re: Coping before tile....HELP!

    The order doesn't matter. The only important thing is that whichever is first is set level. With glass, I personally feel that coping first is easier because the glass bends and flops all over the place when you install it (unlike a 6x6 solid piece of tile which stands upright). The guys who sold me the glass said they prefer coping first also. But again, it doesn't matter ... The ability of your installer(s) is all that matters.

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    Re: Coping before tile....HELP!

    It all depends on the coping and tile type. Poured coping is usually done before tile. If you have stone coping, tile is first. In my case (flagstone with glass mosaic), the only way to go is tile first.
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    Re: Coping before tile....HELP!

    My coping was done before the tile. Everything looks level and they didn't seem to have any issues doing it in that order.

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    Re: Coping before tile....HELP!

    Thanks all.
    My pool has an infinity edge and I have a below water-level (hidden) spa, so if it isn't all level, we are going to see it pretty quickly, since the water will definitely be level!

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