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Thread: Waterline tile on my new fiberglass pool

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    Waterline tile on my new fiberglass pool

    My 28'x14' kidney shaped fiberglass pool was installed in early October. Was laid in the ground on September 11th, but the rain caused quite a mess, so it was finished in October (i.e. concrete, etc.).

    I have a concrete cantilevered coping which I love. The plan is to put a waterline tile in this spring. I will be installing it myself. Although the pool was within an 1/8 of an inch level when they first placed it, it has now settled to right an an inch off level. So, if I am at the end of the pool, I can see the slight off level waterline.

    Now, I am worried about my tile choice. The fiberglass tile sites seem to only offer 2x6 and 2x2 tiles as the choice for fiberglass pools, although I have seen many pictures of fiberglass pools with 6x6 tiles. I had chosen a 2x2 tile but am now worried that the horizontal grout lines will make the pool look more offlevel.

    I cannot find a 2x6 that does not have a yukky horizontal design going on. Can I safely place 6x6 tiles on my curvey kidney shaped pool?

    I really want a natural looking tile with no shine and no squiggly design. I am worried that a 6x6 tile will not sit flat against the curves.

    I am unable to do the trick wherein you use the waterline to level the tile because the cantilevered edge is already there. Also, I have that white plastic thing just under the concrete coping, so I will have to butt it up to that I guess....

    Any suggestions?
    28x14 inground fiberglass, Hayward sand filter, Hayward super pump 1.5 hp, AquaLogic P-4, SWG

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    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Central NJ
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    3,192

    Re: Waterline tile on my new fiberglass pool

    I would call the builder. The pool has no business being an inch off. Was the deck tied to the pool with J hooked rebar? Did the pool and the canter levered deck separate and leave a space? What material was used under the pool and for back fill. sand or 1/8 gravel?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Waterline tile on my new fiberglass pool

    This pool was laid in gravel. Once the pool was placed and was backfilled halfway up, we had 2 weeks of torrential rains.... The builder had placed pipe into the gravel under the deep end of the pool and a sump pump was utilized throughout the rain. We then continued to have rains with a periodic day or so wherein the electrician dug his trenches to each of of the pool for the lights (through the gravel), more rain. When contractor came out after the rains finished, he re-checked the pool level.... he finished backfilling, he graded, then the concrete guys came out and poured the cantilevered coping (it started raining again and the textured concrete coping had to be finished in the rain - with lots of plastic), A few more days of rain, then the concrete guys came out and built their forms for the deck and we sent them away until the builder could be there to re-check the grade of the ground again since we had so much rain again, then the builder came back out and stayed while concrete guys finished forming and poured. There is re-bar attached to the pool and a concrete footing under the lip of the pool. My concrete cantilevered coping and deck surrounding the pool is perfect with no seperation. I think the movement must have been during the weeks after the pool was laid, and before the concrete was poured.

    According to our pool manufacturer's rep and things I have read, fiberglass pools are allowed to be off level up to 1 inch.... I would prefer the original 1/8 of an inch.... but I do think that the weather caused a alot of issues and I almost feel I should be lucky it didn't come floating out of the ground before it was finished.....

    During the rains, the pool guy came by constantly to check the pump and check the level.... I'm sure there was also a push to get the concrete around that pool when it was at all possible because of leaving the pool in so much rain.

    I just realized the unlevel-ness the other day, and plan to speak to the builder about it, but I am not looking for my pool to be ripped out and re-done. I am keeping an eye on it to make sure it has settled all that it plans to. I think the integrity of the pool is fine at this point, and as long as this is as far off level that it is, I just don't want it to be more noticeable than it needs to be.
    28x14 inground fiberglass, Hayward sand filter, Hayward super pump 1.5 hp, AquaLogic P-4, SWG

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    In the Industry

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    Feb 2010
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    Re: Waterline tile on my new fiberglass pool

    We frequently use 6x6 tile on our fiberglass pools and they work great. Below is link to one of our kidney shaped pools with 6x6 tile. The white strip under the coping will make things difficult for you though, plus the fact that the top of the tile will be revealed after it is adhered to the pool. We have done this before, but it's not a standard installation by any stretch. Would you consider not adding waterline tile?

    http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/Portal ... _mixed.jpg

    Jason
    www.riverpoolsandspas.com
    www.figliving.com
    Jason Hughes
    River Pools and Spas
    www.riverpoolsandspas.com
    www.figliving.com (Christian blog)

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    Re: Waterline tile on my new fiberglass pool

    Hey Jason:

    I was about to go to you for this question, when I thought I might check back on my original post to see if anyone else had replied to it.

    What is that white plastic strip under my coping anyway???

    I could go without the tile... its looks fine, but I really like the look of tile at the waterline, and I would rather have it than not.... At this point, I can still change my mind... as we women get to do you know....

    The use of 6x6 tile would enable me to not have to worry about a horizontal grout line that might ride about the waterline on one side of the pool and not the other.. But I worry about getting a flat fit in the curves of the pool. I've actually tried taking some 6x6 tiles (left over from another project) and held them to the pool to see how it would look. It just doesn't seem to fit snug against the pool wall.

    Relative to that white plastic strip, the top of it sticks out further than the piece underneath it (if this makes any sense to you)... So since the top of the tile would be butted to the bottom of the white strip, I was wondering if it would be possible to run the silicone grout along the top of the tile (directly over the white plastic). Would it hold, or would I be creating a mess?

    Also, are you aware of where I might find 6x2 tiles that are not so decorative? Or, does it look like I am going to have to make my mind up between a 6x6, 3x3 or 2x2 in order to get the non-shiny natural type looking I am wanting?

    Thanks in advance for your answers.

    Edie
    28x14 inground fiberglass, Hayward sand filter, Hayward super pump 1.5 hp, AquaLogic P-4, SWG

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    In the Industry

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    Feb 2010
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    8

    Re: Waterline tile on my new fiberglass pool

    Edie,


    The white plastic strip is called a plumb strip and serves dual purposes as a water stop and as a means to keep the cantilevered forms straight when installed. We installed it on our first 300 pools or so but eliminated it on our last 300.


    If I were in your shoes I would not add waterline tile at this point because it's a pretty invasive process that i will describe below, but it is very do-able if you must have it.


    To install water line tile on your pool I would remove the white strip so the tile can run up to the bottom of the coping. I would avoid placing the tile below the strip and covering it with solicone because frankly, it wouldn't look good.


    After installing the tile on the pool, the top of it will be visible because it sticks out further than the coping. To remedy this in the past we have built the coping out with a polymer based cementatious product. The added thickness of the coping covers top of the tile. Even though 6x6 tile will stick out a long way from the pool shell, you could certainly use it because all of the voids will be covered by the "padded out" coping. However, 2x2 is probably the way to go in your case because it will be easier to work with and there will not be a grout line running at the water level of the pool lke with a 3x3.

    National pool tile group has a great line called "Aztec" that we frequently use that comes in 2x2 and 6x6. http://www.nptgonline.com is their site.

    But again, I've seen many georgous fiberglass pools without tile, so in my opinion it might not be worth the hastle or expense.

    Jason
    Jason Hughes
    River Pools and Spas
    www.riverpoolsandspas.com
    www.figliving.com (Christian blog)

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Waterline tile on my new fiberglass pool

    Thank you for your reply. I have been out of pocket due to work and have been away from this forum for a few days. I appreciate your information and advice. Yes, my pool looks fine without the waterline tile, it just seems a little "unfinished" to me without it. But, since I know this is not a definite "must have" in order to enjoy my pool, I will continue to "think" about it.

    I have put a few pictures of my pool that were taken in October shortly after the concrete had been poured. Excuse the yard... I have a long way to go with it.

    I'm sure I will have more questions along the way and look forward to talking to you again.....



    28x14 inground fiberglass, Hayward sand filter, Hayward super pump 1.5 hp, AquaLogic P-4, SWG

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