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Thread: Question about Coping cuts

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    SuzfromTexas's Avatar
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    Question about Coping cuts

    First of all..... Guess what's back? Yes, the rain - unbelievable!!!

    I have a question about how two of the pieces of coping were trimmed to fit around edges. I know it sounds picky, and it may be. But that's why I'm asking you guys since I'm in foreign territory.

    Everything else so far looks fantastic with the coping. I think that's why these couple of places stood out to me. Are the gaps within acceptable limits? Should I say something to my PB, the tile guys or whom to lessen any collateral damage? I took pictures of the 'good' opposing sides, because I wouldn't be asking if the symmetrical pieces or twin coping tiles were cut the same. But they aren't, so here goes.

    !. Good example: Coping on the right side of the column: Looks like a great fit to me.



    2. Questionable trim: Coping on the left side of same column: What about that notch next to the column on the water side?



    3. Good example: Coping trimmed to fit the right raised beam of bump out bench. The trim looks good enough for me.



    4. Good example: Same piece of coping (but other side of the piece) to fit the right raised beam of bump out bench. The trim looks even better.



    5. Questionable trim: Coping trimmed to fit the left raised beam of bump out bench. Is this ok?


    6. Questionable trim: Same piece of coping (but other side of the piece) to fit the left raised beam of bump out bench. This doesn't look good to me. But, now that I look at it again, it looks like the gunite edge isn't straight. Was the tile guy cutting the coping to fit to allow for that gunite part to be straightened out?


    Thanks in advance for your opinions/suggestions! Suz.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    ozdiver's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    If the cuts will be hidden by the vertical tile on the face of the column & raised beam it is ok. The #5 one bothers me because the visible grout line is uneven.
    #6 will require the tiler to fill the void beneath the vertical tile, but that is not unusual.
    To put it in house building terms, think of the gunite as the 'rough carpentry'. It is near enough and oversized. It is the tiler the 'trim carpenter' who deals with the finer tolerances and perfecting the visual impact.
    If #2 will not end up hidden by tile, the options are 1) to accept it 2) ask them to pull that piece out and the next one or two pieces so the pieces can can be cut so as the last piece is not short by a whisker. How many pieces need to be remove to do this depends on how equal the lengths are already.

    I had to have 1/4 of my fir pit coping redone because the tiler was trying to finish the job when he should have ordered one more piece of travertine.
    40k gal freeform, IG pebblesheen, 9'x'6' raised spa, 2-1/2 hp Whisperflo, 520 sq/ft cartridge, Legend w/ booster, Intellibrite 5g in pool @ spa, Rainbow 320 Chlorinator(retired),
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    Even if they fill with grout, there is certainly a visible aesthetic difference in the cuts. I know cutting tile is tricky and takes some effort, but these guys (that you paid big bucks for) do it everyday and should do quality work. As the customer, you should receive quality work, and they should WANT to fix something if you appear to be concerned. That's what a good contractor does. Their reputation is at stake - if they care. Once it's set/day and they leave, you're stuck. So if it really doesn't look right to you - say something.
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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    Thank you both. I am learning so much.

    If I had done all that tile work myself, I would be thrilled with my job!

    It's true, though, a lot of money is going into this project. But I don't want to be unreasonable! I want to have similar expectations as those of you with experience. If I don't hear from anyone else, I'll probably move on.

    Quilters talk about the Amish and their exquisite handwork. But they respectfully make sure each quilt has an imperfection. These can be my "Amish" imperfections!

    Thanks again! Suz.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Even if they fill with grout, there is certainly a visible aesthetic difference in the cuts. I know cutting tile is tricky and takes some effort, but these guys (that you paid big bucks for) do it everyday and should do quality work. As the customer, you should receive quality work, and they should WANT to fix something if you appear to be concerned. That's what a good contractor does. Their reputation is at stake - if they care. Once it's set/day and they leave, you're stuck. So if it really doesn't look right to you - say something.
    I agree the grout will be thick there. If it were me I would ask them to fix them.
    Free form pool 90'3" prim, 14180 gallons. TF100 Kit In pool table with travertine top, 3sheer descents, Depth 3.5-5-4, Jandy 2HP pump, Inline Chlorinator, Wetedge Satin Matrix Antigua.

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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    What is going on the face of the columns and bench that will cover those joints?

    That grout joint in number 5 won't fly.
    18' x 36' saltwater inground vinyl pool

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    Question about Coping cuts

    As mentioned, it may all be covered and fine. But you need to have that conversation in person with them showing you how it will look before they proceed to install the vertical tile. If it won't be to your satisfaction have them redo those few pieces. A craftsman, as you believe he is, will agree and fix them post haste.
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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    Agree with bmoreswim, I'd have them show you how the vertical tile pieces fit over the trouble areas. If they get covered it's all good. If not, I'm sure they will be willing to work it out
    2015 Pool Build --> HERE IG 19'x47' w/ 7'x7' in pool spa; 3'6"-8' deep.
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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    I say have it done so you are ok with it. But to give you another view point if you look at most tile jobs they all have some irregularities. Now that I have tiled a couple jobs myself I tend to be WAY more anal about how the tiles are placed than a professional but in the end I don't think it matters much in the grand scheme of things. For example next time you are out and see a tile job you like start to look closely at the grout lines and see how off they can be. I have found that most tile jobs have some strange grout lines but the overall look of the tile looks great.

    My thought on tile and how they are placed is to do a much better job where you'll be congregating because that is where you'll sit and stare and notice the imperfections. If it is on a walkway or somewhere you'll only be observing from a distance it doesn't matter as much. For example when I tiled my backsplash I got done and realized that after cleaning the travertine they didn't put glaze in a spot on one tile. I didn't notice it because it didn't show up until I cleaned the tile before grout. If that tile was in a location like a corner by the pantry or something I would have left it. But since it was right next to the sink where I would be doing dishes I decided to rip it out. My wife was thinking I was crazy because it ended up requiring me to redo about 30 tiles and some sheetrock because ripping it out ripped the sheetrock. It set me back about 5 hours of work but now that it is done I am happy I ripped it out.

    You have to make that same call with your tile. If it is somewhere you'll be looking at it a lot then I personally would have them redo it.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    My wife is excellent at getting results by just asking a couple simple questions, like "Is that how that is suppose to look?" or " Is that really the best you can get that?" Sometimes you just need to remind a tradesman to take pride in their work.
    chiefwej
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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    I wouldn't accept that for my pool.
    36' x 18' 20k in ground, Finest Finish grey plaster, Pentair Tagelus 100D sand filter, Hayward Northstar 2hp pump, Jandy LRZ125EN heater, spill over spa, iaqualink controlled automation, Stenner chlorination, natural rock and flagstone coping, 1" glass mosaic waterline tile, SR Smith Vortex slide.

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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    I agree with you guys about checking on the vertical tiles to see if that takes care of it. I'm disappointed I didn't think of that myself. I'm usually better about thinking of the possibilities first, but I got so excited yesterday seeing the waterline tile - couldn't think straight!!! I have a cooler head today.

    Today, they're working on the spa coping. That's going to really change the look of things - fun! I will talk to them about those places of concern, as soon as I can make a trip out back and they're not on a roll with a section.

    Unbelievable! I just heard thunder. The weatherman said the storms would begin mid afternoon. Maybe the rain will go around us.

    Ummgood: Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with tile. It is important to consider where any flaws are. I will be closely checking the spa coping. Talk about an area where people gather!!

    Chiefwej: Your wife is a great diplomat! I'm going to take with me those lessons from her!

    Such great suggestions and perspectives - there should be a detailed paper or book, "The Pool Building Process for the Pool Owner". I wish I had read this forum for about a year before I started talking to PB's.

    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate it! Suz.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    Well, I'm often the one who is on the receiving end of her "quality control" questions, so I know that it works. Good luck with your pool build.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    Do-over needed on both #2 and #5. #2 will lead to a non-uniform gap. This might be a tricky one...they may need to cut the last three of four stones short to provide a uniform appearance. The last thing you want is two tiles that are just cut in half and end up being half the size. The eye will be tricked if they do the last 4 or 5 tiles in the line up to it and shave off a little from each one to allow for another stone to be placed.

    #5 is just sloppy workmanship and can be corrected with one new stone and a new cut.

    Be nice to these guys though. My cousin does this for a living. It's tough, tiring, work. As your energy gets drained through the day the mind tends to miss some of the details like the curved cut. Most reputable stone guys will come back out when they are fresh and redo the ones that need it. That's why they generally order more than minimum needed for a job.
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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    I went out to check the coping from yesterday. I'm disappointed with the coping on the spa. I understand it has to be my call, but ya'll are the experts. I trust your judgment. I want to be fair and I want to be reasonable. I spoke with my PB and told him I needed him to come look at the work. I explained that the grout lines or spaces are uneven. Joints: From what I've seen online, either the joints of the stones need to match the joint of the stone across OR the joints need to fall consistently in the middle of the stone across. He told me I had to expect some variance. He has not seen it and sending him a text picture won't work, because I've tried that before. He said he will call the foreman for the crew. That's fine, but if the foreman says it is acceptable, then I will expect our PB to come out to check. The spa is very much a focal point - high traffic area of sitting on the coping and by it.

    Bottom line: Would you accept this level of quality on your spa? Thanks. Suz.

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    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    The "cut every other stone" approach is a lazy way to install, no two ways about it. I agree that it is not visually appealing.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoreswim View Post
    The "cut every other stone" approach is a lazy way to install, no two ways about it. I agree that it is not visually appealing.
    I gather you would not accept this on your spa.?. Explain "cut every other stone". I'm not familiar with tile work and terms. Thanks so much, Bmore.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    Quote Originally Posted by SuzfromTexas View Post
    I gather you would not accept this on your spa.?. Explain "cut every other stone". I'm not familiar with tile work and terms. Thanks so much, Bmore.
    I wouldn't accept it. What he means by every other stone is if you look at your picture every other stone is a perfect rectangle (90 degree cuts). They only cut angles to make the coping round on every other piece. What they should do is have angle cuts on every piece of stone not every other one.
    Pool is done! Only took 17 months! - Natural shape in-ground pool: 37x23, 505sq ft, 96ft perimeter, 7ft deep end, 18,950 gallons, tanning ledge, blue surf pebble sheen/luminous blue blend, Belgard coping, 910 sqft paver deck/walkways, retaining walls out the yinyang. Jandy SWG, 2 LED Color lights, VS 2HP Pump, 460sqft cartridge filter, PDA RS P8 controller. My build

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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    Correct, I would not accept it. The stones around a radius should all be cut so that they are approximately equal in shape/angles. There should not be one that is sharply angled whereas the next two are left in full rectangular shape. The eye is naturally drawn to these irregularities. Unless it is a specific look one is going for, it is generally not considered good craftsmanship.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Re: Question about Coping cuts

    some of those grout lines on the spa are very large are they supposed to be that noticeable? have you looked for any examples online? to say " this is not how this is supposed to look" we can all give you opinions but at the end of the day if YOU don't like it don't settle for it. you have to look at it every day and i would hate for you to wonder "man, i what would this look like if i said they needed to redo it"? the pool were building is a very basic pool and i question every single step they do. don't settle!

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