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Thread: My Gemstone finish in Grass Valley

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    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    My Gemstone finish in Grass Valley

    Charlie here.....Now the Gemstone finish. The issue here is underexposure of the pebbles. Click on the photo and you can enlarge an area that has more cement showing than pebbles. There is a band of blue grey cement right through the middle one third of the pic (left to right). The second pic is on the top edge of a step (about the middle of the frame). And the last pic the cement is along the bottom of the frame and another starting at the top middle slanting down to the right. I took these with an underwater camera trying to get the best light (not professional).

    I asked the contractor what about these...he claimed you will always have these imperfections. And if he were to "fix" them the pebbles would fall out! Also that this would disappear over time... I guess these guys will say anything. There are dozens and dozens of these "imperfections" which are really underexposed aggregate (sloppy, hurried work).

    Has anyone seen these imperfections in their Pebble Tec or other branded pools? Are they "normal"... they certainly weren't in the sample that was shown to me or in their pictures on the Gemstone website.

    Something else to watch out for ... I chose the Blue Diamond color based on what samples I saw on the website ... there are many blue stone pebbles in the mix on the website, however my mix did not have any blue pebbles...none... turns out there is a standard blue diamond and a designer blue diamond... this distinction was NOT pointed out to me and of course I got the cheaper standard.... I call this "bait and switch" ...show you one thing and then give you another. The contractor told me I was getting a great deal! Just under $10k for a waterblast job, bond coat, new tile, Gemstone, new skimmer and auto fill for an 80' perimeter 13,000 gal pool. Is that a deal?

    Many thanks for your time and patience.

    If you get the concrete deck pics on photobucket, I think you can click Gemstone under albums to get the Gemstone pics.


    http://s1373.photobucket.com/user/re...?sort=3&page=1
    Charlie
    13,000 Gallon, IG Gemstone exposed aggregate, 30' free form 3'-6', Pentair 100 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VS, Robot cleaner, TF-100 kit

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: My Gemstone finish in Grass Valley

    I agree that it looks like a very poor installation job (which seems clearly to be the key with the pebble finishes) and also unacceptable. I would focus on it being unacceptable plain and simple. No need to argue about one aspect or another, it's just "unacceptable" if I'm the one making my point with the PB.

    Hard to think that the manufacturer would not agree, assuming they stand behind their installers.

    I'd vote for a chip out and redo. Tough to imagine they could fix it but if they want to try they can but I'd say it's still subject to a redo if not satisfactory.

    Mind you I don't have a pebble finish, just my take.
    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
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    JayBauman's Avatar
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    Re: My Gemstone finish in Grass Valley

    I call BS on your pebble installer. I can't imagine that Gemstone would want their installers to delivery this product. The areas with "too much cement" are a lot less dense than the Gemstone website examples...plus the "less cement" areas look to have a lot less cement than the website examples.
    23' x 37' IG 18.5k gallon SWG w/ raised spa, Build Thread -->Here
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: My Gemstone finish in Grass Valley

    I see what you are talking about for use!

    Like you said they WILL say anything hoping you will back off.

    Push for what it right. If your PB will not make it right you will need to find a way to involve the makers of your product and ask them if they really want you show your finish as an example of their product.

    Good luck and let us know what happens.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: My Gemstone finish in Grass Valley

    With any of the pebble finishes, the quality of the workmanship is the key. I side with the others in that I think you should contact the manufacturer and get their take on how yours was finished.

    After you have info from the manufacturer, then you will have the ammunition to better discuss it with the PB.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Re: My Gemstone finish in Grass Valley

    I did contact the number listed on their Gemstonepools.com last Monday 11/17 and they referred me to their manager, Kelly (are we supposed to use names or business names on the forum?). I described the underexposure issue with him, which he understood completely. He said he would contact the “licensed applicator” in Roseville, CA. …but that he had little control over his applicators and said he basically just sells them the Gemstone product through his business, Universal Pool Supply, LLC. I queried him further about quality control of the installation of his product and how PB’s could maintain their status as a “licensed applicator” when doing sloppy work. I did not get a good answer… I get the impression that when you buy his product you become “licensed”. I did a follow up with Kelly later in the week to ask for an email address where I could send pictures of my pool finish. I left a msg since he did not pick up the call. He has not responded to date, but I will call him again on Monday. Before contracting with my builder I asked for references to see other examples of his work and I discovered they are very reluctant to give references ( I got 5 bids from all the remaining major PB’s within 100 miles over the past year). I think they don’t want to take the chance of a prospective customer hearing any negative comments, for example they will never use me for a reference. Only if they join your forum would any future customer learn about a poor installer. I did look at his personal pool at his house and it looked great.

    I’ve learned the difference between Pebble Tec and Pebble Sheen is just the amount of exposure of the pebbles, how much cream you wash/trowel off. The trick is doing it evenly and consistently throughout the pool surface. A blotchy pool is unacceptable, but there are bound to be some imperfections….or not?

    I feel a little more vulnerable here because this PB has struck out with both the pool finish and the pool deck (see pool and deck remodel in Grass Valley). Redoing his pebble finish means chipping out the entire pool, which is much more time than he has in the first prep, which was simply water blasting the old plaster which was still in relative good condition (just color mottled). I guess I should not be as concerned with his problem and more concerned with my investment of around $23K.

    Thank you all for your comments, I hope to hear more from those that have pebble (exposed aggregate) pools.
    Charlie
    13,000 Gallon, IG Gemstone exposed aggregate, 30' free form 3'-6', Pentair 100 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VS, Robot cleaner, TF-100 kit

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