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Thread: Newbie question - Why can't plaster be applied to a cinder block construction pool?

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    Newbie question - Why can't plaster be applied to a cinder block construction pool?

    I have seen some DIY cinder block pools even on this forum which have the obvious cost advantage over gunite. But then it seems like those same block pools are always either lined with vinyl or tiled in order to waterproof the structure. So here is my question. Why can't block construction be waterproofed in the same like manner, with the same plaster coating (which is actually a masonary material) that they use with gunite construction? Seems to me like you would have a cost advantage over gunite yet ending up having the same quality finish as gunite construction.

    Why is this not ever done? Or if it has been done, where would I find an example of this on the internet?

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    Beadedbiker's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie question - Why can't plaster be applied to a cinder block construction poo

    Not sure, maybe because cinder block is both a cheaper option and DIY friendly as is a vinyl liner, so that people who tend to build those kind of pools also tend to go for a vinyl liner.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie question - Why can't plaster be applied to a cinder block construction poo

    Cost is the usual issue. You would only use cinderblocks to save money, and vinyl is much less expensive than plaster. There is also an issue because cinder blocks are not nearly as stable as gunite. If the cinder blocks shift at all they will crack the plaster, while vinyl can move to account for any shifts without problems.

    Cinder blocks can not possibly match gunite for stability or lifetime. You can make a very nice pool out of cinder blocks, but a gunite pool will be superior over time. There are some construction techniques that can mostly cancel out these differences, but they will add significantly to the cost and still not provide the lifetime of gunite (or shotcrete, or poured concrete).
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    Re: Newbie question - Why can't plaster be applied to a cinder block construction poo

    I have seen several pools here in S.GA that are plastered block pools.

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    Re: Newbie question - Why can't plaster be applied to a cinder block construction poo

    DB in S GA that would be feasible. In St Louis where the original poster is not so much. Freeze and thaw cycles would eventually cause cinder blocks to shift. The only way around that is as Jason said the cost would go past being worth it.
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    Re: Newbie question - Why can't plaster be applied to a cinder block construction poo

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Cost is the usual issue. You would only use cinderblocks to save money, and vinyl is much less expensive than plaster. There is also an issue because cinder blocks are not nearly as stable as gunite. If the cinder blocks shift at all they will crack the plaster, while vinyl can move to account for any shifts without problems.

    Cinder blocks can not possibly match gunite for stability or lifetime. You can make a very nice pool out of cinder blocks, but a gunite pool will be superior over time. There are some construction techniques that can mostly cancel out these differences, but they will add significantly to the cost and still not provide the lifetime of gunite (or shotcrete, or poured concrete).
    That does makes sense.

    But then that begs the question why there are not more poured foundation pools covered with plaster. Surely a poured foundation is as strong as gunite and I would imagine still a lot cheaper since no special equipment or skills needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBfan187 View Post
    I have seen several pools here in S.GA that are plastered block pools.
    I would love to see how one turned out if you could direct me to any pictures of a successful plastered block pool.

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    Re: Newbie question - Why can't plaster be applied to a cinder block construction poo

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcmp View Post
    DB in S GA that would be feasible. In St Louis where the original poster is not so much. Freeze and thaw cycles would eventually cause cinder blocks to shift. The only way around that is as Jason said the cost would go past being worth it.
    The freeze and thaw cycle will not be an issue because my (proposed) pool will be an indoor pool always at a temperature of 70-75 degrees F.

    We are contemplating putting a small pool/hot tub in this area under skylights, which will end up very near this indoor bowling alley already installed. At first we were thinking of buying an endless pool because it offered a cover that would control humidity from the bowling alley. But after we noticed how big it would be above ground we started thinking more along the lines of installing a very small pool in ground and then going with a fastlane endless pool pump at one end.

    I am sure the pool will be a rectangle so that it can be covered easily with a motorized cover. And I am sure the pool will need to be below ground because of lack of space. But after that I am looking at a lot of different options, including doing nothing at all except putting down floor tile and forgetting about a swimming pool or spa all together.. There is a lot that I need to learn.

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    Re: Newbie question - Why can't plaster be applied to a cinder block construction poo

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    Re: Newbie question - Why can't plaster be applied to a cinder block construction poo

    Quote Originally Posted by swoopman View Post
    Wow. No I had not. It is just exactly what I would like to do though.

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