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Thread: Unusual (for me) pool construction and tile replacement,

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    Unusual (for me) pool construction and tile replacement,

    I recently purchased a home with an in-ground pool constructed in the mid-70's. It's a gunite/plaster floor with fiberglass side panels. The plaster needs to be redone and I'm leaving that to the pros. The tile is age-worn and needs to be replaced. The quote I received was fairly insane so I figured why not try to do it myself. The tile is actually set into a 3" plastic channel that seems to be mounted at the upper edge of the pool wall (there's a 3" rubber/plastic coping at the top of the wall that caps off the tile channel so I'm not 100% sure how it's held in place). I did the demo this weekend which went smoothly (half the tiles were ready to pop off on their own). Before I go to the next step of buying and installing new tile is anyone familiar with this type of mounting system? Anything I should watch out for?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Unusual (for me) pool construction and tile replacement,

    Welcome to TFP!!! ... only took you 19 months to make your first post

    Please add your location (City, State or City, Country) to your profile and pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you.

    I think some pictures of what your are trying to describe might help people answer your questions. See: How To Post Pictures
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    Re: Unusual (for me) pool construction and tile replacement,

    We ran into this style of pool (and coping) last year when we we're installing a new pool deck for a client of ours (I'm a landscape contractor by trade). Are these pictures similar to what you're talking about?

    What we ultimately did was rip out all the old coping and tile, as it was all falling apart. The coping and slot that holds the tile are all one piece. It can be somewhat difficult to straighten out as the individual fiberglass panels are 3-4' wide. We then poured new coping using the Stegmeier forms and the client opted to not install new tile. I'll attach a before and after image of where we left off last fall.

    The client actually still had the original installation manual and I found this cross-section of the coping:

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    Re: Unusual (for me) pool construction and tile replacement,

    That's exactly it. Our deck is older but it's a very nice exposed aggregate in very good shape. The contractor proposed sawcutting the deck and then setting a new brick coping with tile below. That adds about $15K to the project which is money we don't want to spend right now. I have no problem replacing the tile even if all I get is another 2-3 years. It'll cost me about $1,000 and a weekend for now. I was just worried that I'd run into a problem somewhere. The coping and tile channel is in extremely good shape save or a single section under the diving board (has a crack in the tile channel but should be fairly easy to repair).

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    Re: Unusual (for me) pool construction and tile replacement,

    The way it appeared to us was that the tile was simply glued on to the channel. I'm not sure if that was what contributed to the tiles popping off here and there but I would also suspect at the same time that a tile thinset wouldn't stick too well to the plastic either.

    According to the manual that we found it was a kit (similar to the modern day vinyl liner pool kits) manufactured by Hallmark Pool Company in Illinois. Now no longer a company after all the research, which explains why we couldn't find any new replacement coping. Good luck!

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    Re: Unusual (for me) pool construction and tile replacement,

    It weathered 40 years of Chicago heating/freezing cycles and the previous (original) owner replaced them as they popped off with what appeared to be a variety of adhesives. Many sections were solidly adhered so I'm not too concerned. Like I said, it's a stopgap measure until we're ready to spend what it takes to modernize the deck and coping, so I'd be happy if we got 2-3 years of life out of it.
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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