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Thread: Crystalstones vs Quartzscape vs Plasterscape?

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    Crystalstones vs Quartzscape vs Plasterscape?

    We're nearing the end of our build and trying to lock down our plaster choice, looking for some insight on these products.

    Our PB kind of browbeat us to go with a pebble product initially, which is how we landed on Crystalstones. However, neither the wife or I really like the look of pebble products (personal opinion, but feel they look a little messy). The key issue for us is that we have a sun ledge (6") that will have the plaster, and we haven't been hot on all the pebble products we see at shallow depth.

    Anyway, we're now on Quartzscape, but looking at samples online that doesn't seem any different than Crystalstones... just a lower quality (or same quality?) version of the same idea? It's about $1000 cheaper for our pool than the Crystalstones product.

    I spoke with our PB today and he said that Quartzscape is mixed on site and they can just not add the pebbles for a smoother finish. Does anyone have experience with this? Would not adding the aggregate to the Quartzscape effect the product in some way? Will the finish still be uniform?

    While cruising the NPT site I also saw Plasterscapes, which seems more inline with the kind of smooth look we're interested in. However, I have no idea what the quality of the product is. So:

    - Anyone have pros/cons of these products?
    - Is plasterscapes a good smooth option? Alternative?
    - Does anyone know the warranty details on all these? Can't find much online.

    I grew up with a plaster pool that I'm pretty sure didn't have an issue in 20+ years, but maybe I'm missing something on the whole pebble vs plaster debate.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Best,
    Rick

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Crystalstones vs Quartzscape vs Plasterscape?

    Welcome to TFP!

    All of the pebble products increase the lifetime of the surface significantly. Installer skill plays a very large role in how a pebble surface turns out, typically a larger factor than choice of brand/product line. PebbleTek is the primer brand, and they are usually very careful about only allowing highly skilled installers to work with their products. Other brands can turn out just as good, but they typically vary far more as they don't normally screen installers for skill level.
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    Re: Crystalstones vs Quartzscape vs Plasterscape?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    All of the pebble products increase the lifetime of the surface significantly. Installer skill plays a very large role in how a pebble surface turns out, typically a larger factor than choice of brand/product line. PebbleTek is the primer brand, and they are usually very careful about only allowing highly skilled installers to work with their products. Other brands can turn out just as good, but they typically vary far more as they don't normally screen installers for skill level.
    Thanks for the reply. Our PB provided two plaster subs for us to pick between here in Austin, H&H (who they used to work with and will use if we want) and Uno (larger outfit, based on Houston). We actually we're able to see two gray pools that were right next door to one another, one by each, and liked the work Uno had done (they did a better job of aligning the edge of the material with the tile line). It looked very good, so Im fairly confident on the quality of the job, I just don't know about the products themselves... I'm actually now thinking it may have been Quartzscapes all along, and that he gave me the CL (Crystalstones) sample only because they looked nearly identical.

    Really most interested in finding out what happens if you just leave out the pebbles when you mix it?

    Thanks,
    Rick

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Crystalstones vs Quartzscape vs Plasterscape?

    Seems to me if you leave out the pebbles, then you just have a plaster pool. Although admittedly, I am not sure if the composition of the material used with the pebbles is the same as a normal plaster.

    If you want smooth, then get plaster which is going to be cheaper, but not last as long.

    There are other options like Pebblefina from Pebble Tec that are supposedly very smooth, again I am not sure how it differs from plaster.
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    Re: Crystalstones vs Quartzscape vs Plasterscape?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Seems to me if you leave out the pebbles, then you just have a plaster pool. Although admittedly, I am not sure if the composition of the material used with the pebbles is the same as a normal plaster.

    If you want smooth, then get plaster which is going to be cheaper, but not last as long.

    There are other options like Pebblefina from Pebble Tec that are supposedly very smooth, again I am not sure how it differs from plaster.
    Thanks for the note. I actually called NPT and spoke with one of their techs this afternoon... it seems that Quartzscape uses quartz aggregates (small pebbles) suspended in a quartz binder. Basically what I assumed, which is that the "plaster" is itself made of quartz. So, the net is that Quartzscape without the aggregate added in would be somewhere between a plaster and a pebble product in terms of "durability"... stronger and more durable than plaster (longer lasting), but not as tough as a pebble.

    The reason we moved away from Crystalstones and other pebble products was that we just don't really like how pebbly they look or the rough feel, even in the smoother versions. As for Pebbletec, from what I've seen and heard it's overrated and overpriced, at least versus the competing products from CL and NPT (I don't really like the look of the Wet Edge line). As for Hydrazzo, I'm not really looking to spend that kind of money on my plaster.

    Rick

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