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Thread: Stone Coping Motar Joint

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    Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Hoping I can get some opinions or photos of flagstone or stone veneer coping. Pool builder started ours and when we saw the large mortar joint we had them stop and rip it up. Any advice on if this is normal? Thanks
    3F15ACB5-C88A-436B-9000-19DC13E2457E.jpg

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    I can shoot some pics later if ours but our mortar joints are wide, a good 1” easily. With hand cut FS, you’re not going to be able to get tight mortar joints. If you want narrow mortar joints, you’ll need precast coping or something like travertine coping.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    A,

    Welcome to TFP... a great place to find the answers to all your pool questions.. even if you are ashamed of the State you live in....

    Are you talking about the spacing between the stone and the tile.. or the spacing between each stone?

    What is it that you expect???

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Thanks for your reply. I was referring to the spacing between the tile and stone..seems like it is much larger than I’d expect. I wasn’t home to see the coping job however I’d also expect the stone to overhang on the pool 1-2” which would hide most of the mortar

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    My mortar bed is easily that thick. Our overhang is minimal to avoid head bumps. Rough cut flagstone can be quite sharp and if you wanted a big overhang, it would be better to grind it smooth and rounded.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    That is helpful. Do you have a picture of yours? Would like to see what the finished product looks like. Thanks again!

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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Here is a good shot of mine. No gap like yours!



    29k Gallon Free Form Gunite Pool, 3 floor returns, 2 wall returns, 1 vacuum pressure port, 2 skimmers, Main drain, Jandy 2.7HP VSP, Jandy JXI400N Gas Heater, Jandy CV340 Cartridge Filter, FusionSoft 1400 SWG, 2 Watercolors LED, iAqualink with PDA, Sheer Waterfall, Rock Waterfall, 9' Deep End w/Diving Board, SunDeck, Polaris 9650iQ, TF-100 - Pool Build - 2017 - Google Photos

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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Thanks that is helpful..still hoping to see if anyone else has natural veneer flagstone and what theirs looks like.

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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Quote Originally Posted by awhering View Post
    Thanks that is helpful..still hoping to see if anyone else has natural veneer flagstone and what theirs looks like.
    It has to do with order. They should have put in the flagstone first and then the waterline tile. You can look at my sig-pic link to see the order in which they installed it.
    29k Gallon Free Form Gunite Pool, 3 floor returns, 2 wall returns, 1 vacuum pressure port, 2 skimmers, Main drain, Jandy 2.7HP VSP, Jandy JXI400N Gas Heater, Jandy CV340 Cartridge Filter, FusionSoft 1400 SWG, 2 Watercolors LED, iAqualink with PDA, Sheer Waterfall, Rock Waterfall, 9' Deep End w/Diving Board, SunDeck, Polaris 9650iQ, TF-100 - Pool Build - 2017 - Google Photos

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGate View Post
    It has to do with order. They should have put in the flagstone first and then the waterline tile. You can look at my sig-pic link to see the order in which they installed it.
    pg,

    I believe it has more to do with the material.. Natural stone is not flat, so it has to be set into a thick bed of mortar. Man made products are more consistent, so the 'gap' can be smaller..

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    pg,

    I believe it has more to do with the material.. Natural stone is not flat, so it has to be set into a thick bed of mortar. Man made products are more consistent, so the 'gap' can be smaller..

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    I agree but if they put the stone on first, they can bring up the tile to the mortar bed. That's how mine was done and there is no gap at all.
    29k Gallon Free Form Gunite Pool, 3 floor returns, 2 wall returns, 1 vacuum pressure port, 2 skimmers, Main drain, Jandy 2.7HP VSP, Jandy JXI400N Gas Heater, Jandy CV340 Cartridge Filter, FusionSoft 1400 SWG, 2 Watercolors LED, iAqualink with PDA, Sheer Waterfall, Rock Waterfall, 9' Deep End w/Diving Board, SunDeck, Polaris 9650iQ, TF-100 - Pool Build - 2017 - Google Photos

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGate View Post
    I agree but if they put the stone on first, they can bring up the tile to the mortar bed. That's how mine was done and there is no gap at all.
    pg,

    I believe that is because the bottom of your coping is level... so you can push the tile up against the coping. I don't believe that you can do that with irregular shaped coping, like flagstone..

    Thanks,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Here’s an interesting spot in my pool coping where the mortar bed is a different thicknesses (this is only in one spot and it’s a extreme example) -

    D72D97BB-6AE4-4CA2-913D-34617B8D349A.jpg

    The flagstone is 3” thick, hand cut and no grinding. This is where the mason used a piece where one end was thinner but made up the difference in the mortar bed so that the top surface is level.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Here’s an interesting spot in my pool coping where the mortar bed is a different thicknesses

    D72D97BB-6AE4-4CA2-913D-34617B8D349A.jpg
    He says...... just before he dropped his phone in the water....

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimrahbe View Post
    He says...... just before he dropped his phone in the water....

    Jim R.
    I was super-nervous taking that shot. One slip and .... oh well, now I can upgrade to an iPhone X
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    This seems like a no-win situation.. Since you have square waterline tile, if you push the tile up to the coping, the tile will not be even. If you set the natural flagstone even with the tile, the top of the coping will not be even. The way the PB had it, with the top of the coping (pretty much) even, the gap in between can't be even.

    While just about anything can be done, how much are you willing to spend to have it your way? Pay someone to carefully grind every coping stone flat on the bottom side and to even thickness...
    10,500 gallon in-ground Pebblesheen - TF100XL w/Speedstir - Hayward TriStar 900VS, c200 cart, Aquarite AQR-15 SWG, 3 Colorlogic lights with controller & 400k BTU heater. Oyster shell travertine, coping & deck, NPT Casablanca. Dolphin S-300 robot (RALPH).

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Just as a note - my tile line was set first for leveling and setting the waterline and then the coping was placed relative to that.

    I think it has A LOT to do with the quality of the starting material and the skill of the craftsman. My flagstone is Arizona FS (natural buckskin color) and it is very uniform in thickness and surface smoothness. That shot that I put up is the only piece of FS in the entire pool where one end of it was about an 1" thinner than the other side and thus required the mortar bed thickness to vary as much as it did (it's also placed in an area of the pool that no one would really see so it doesn't mess up the visual appeal). Other than that one piece of FS, the rest of the coping pieces are 3" all the way across +/- 1/4". The mason also spent a lot of time hand chopping the FS pieces and fitting them together so that the mortar lines are only about an inch wide or so. These guys were real pros and had all the mason tools (different mallet weights, stone chisels, etc) to do the job. They did not use any power tools, everything was hand cut.

    I will say the one picture in the original post makes it look like the material used is not very high quality in terms of surface parallelism - either the type of flagstone used just doesn't produce smooth fractures along the bedding plane or the supplier of the flagstone did a poor job splitting the pieces. Flagstone material can be highly variable and it depends a lot on where it comes from. We have very good flagstone here in Arizona that is both very durable and visually appealing.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Are you saying they have already removed it when you say "we had them stop and rip it up"? What did they say and how do they think they can do it the next time?

    If the mortar were a lighter color that would be helpful. I think you may be happier with a man made product or higher skilled workers that are willing to go the extra steps like joyfulnoise's workers.
    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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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Our 18 yr old pool was remodeled a couple of months ago, new coping, tiles and plaster. I think the original coping is called flagstone or sandstone and it flakes too easy. Not a single flaw with the existing tiles but according to PB, it has to go when replastering. I would say, PB engaged professional subs and they completed the project in the order as PoolGate stated in his post....coping, tiles then plaster. We agreed to go with Quartzite coping although I'm not really sure if that is what we have installed now.

    The stone varies in thickness when delivered but workers tried their best to match the stone in groups. The strategy is to break the big chunks and install them next to each other. Same thickness goes inside, thin or odd size outside. Coping sits on top of the wooden plank (waterline tiles width) to maintain level as shown in the pic. It was a laborious process and took 6 days for 3-4 workers to complete the coping. Hope this helps!

    Here's how it look before:


    Quartzite coping installation:


    NPT GemStone Blue Tile/ InyoPools 12V LED's installed by your humble servant




    Last edited by Meadow; 02-19-2018 at 02:18 AM. Reason: added pic

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    Re: Stone Coping Motar Joint

    Do you know what grout / color they used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meadow View Post
    Our 18 yr old pool was remodeled a couple of months ago, new coping, tiles and plaster. I think the original coping is called flagstone or sandstone and it flakes too easy. Not a single flaw with the existing tiles but according to PB, it has to go when replastering. I would say, PB engaged professional subs and they completed the project in the order as PoolGate stated in his post....coping, tiles then plaster. We agreed to go with Quartzite coping although I'm not really sure if that is what we have installed now.

    The stone varies in thickness when delivered but workers tried their best to match the stone in groups. The strategy is to break the big chunks and install them next to each other. Same thickness goes inside, thin or odd size outside. Coping sits on top of the wooden plank (waterline tiles width) to maintain level as shown in the pic. It was a laborious process and took 6 days for 3-4 workers to complete the coping. Hope this helps!

    Here's how it look before:


    Quartzite coping installation:


    NPT GemStone Blue Tile/ InyoPools 12V LED's installed by your humble servant





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