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Thread: Pool Tile Repair vs Retiling - who is right!?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Saratoga, CA

    Pool Tile Repair vs Retiling - who is right!?

    I would appreciate any opinions on this as I am getting widely different recommendations from contractors...

    I have cracked and worn away tile grout and some buckling tiles at the waterline of my pool and raised spa. This is combined with heavy calcium deposits on the tiles at the historic pool waterline maintained by the previous house owner. The cracks are allowing water ingress in areas of the waterline that are worst affected. This is particularly bad on the high edge of the raised spa. (All tested using dye myself and via a professional leak detectors). The pool plaster is Hydrazzo and is in great condition so I do not want to replaster.

    I have some contractors that say I should empty the pool and raised spa and retile both. They are quoting anything from $3500 (not including tiles) up to $6000 (plus averaging $1000 for mastic expansion joint at concrete cast slab coping). They say I cannot sort the leaks without retiling, and that it can be done easily without replastering.

    I have another tile guy saying just remove and reset any hollow/loose tiles and regrout. Also says I can get the tiles soda blasted beforehand to remove calcium deposits. Total cost about $1.5k. He says if I empty the pool to retile I may create pressure issues and there is a high likelihood the plaster will be damaged - that it will crack and bubble. If not during the process, certainly shortly after. It would also create risk of leaks at the saw joint between new tile and older plaster.

    What is fact and what is fiction?! This is the Bay area CA and contractors are merciless...

    I dont want to spend a small fortune if avoidable, but I am more worried that by retiling I open a can of worms and end up with a replaster job or worse now or shortly after....TIA

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Pool Tile Repair vs Retiling - who is right!?

    Welcome to TFP!

    I mostly agree with the last person you mentioned.

    There is some risk when doing a full drain, depending on local ground water table depth and the air temperature while drained. Tile can certainly be replaced with only a small partial drain, though the work is a little more annoying to do without a full drain.

    Getting a good seal between the existing plaster and the new tile requires skill. Someone who is good at it can do the work fairly quickly, someone who is bad at it will take much longer and is unlikely to ever get it right.

    Soda blasting and plastic bead blasting are both very effective at cleaning up calcium deposits on tile.

    I suggest getting references for potential contractors and checking them.
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