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Thread: Tile and Coping and Cantilever forms - Oh my!

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    Tile and Coping and Cantilever forms - Oh my!

    First - I'm still giddy over finding this forum. So many questions, so little time!

    We just finished a whole house redo and are ready to move on to the 20 year old gunite pool. 18K gallons with spa. Old Cardinal install.

    We need to have the pool replastered and since we are doing this we need to address the coping and tile at the same time. So, many bids later and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach over the $12K in costs, we've decided to do this ourselves.

    We will be demoing the existing old limestone coping and tile. For the coping, I think we are set on using Lueders Limestone. Not as porous and scaly as other limestone and flagstone. Very hard. We know what mastic and grout to use. We know about our sealers, etc. We are ready!

    Let me just say I'm amazed at the labor costs. We've priced tile at $500, stone at $1K, add about $500 in materials and a few diamond blades. Some sour backs, aching thighs and broken fingernails are to be expected. Is labor that expensive??????????????

    What are we missing?

    We love the look of the cantilever concrete coping and know you use forms to do it. Where can you buy forms?

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    Hi Kolbajen and welcome to TFP!! , you've done the bestest thing for your wallet and pool by coming here

    While it's your pool and you can do what you care to with it, if you want a professional looking job, you should hire professionals. One of the reasons they can charge so much for their doing the job is because they have:
    1) Experience (!) - they do this all the time and have done the same work 100s of times. If you've never done this before, the 'learning curve' is very steep
    2) Equipment - they've got all sorts of specialty tools to facilitate the job - wet saws for the tile and coping, a pump to apply the marcite (plaster), trowels, laser levels, etc... You can probably buy or rent the equipment, but it will add to the cost.
    3) Manpower - they throw as many people as is needed to get the job done in a timely manner. This also plays into the 'experience' part, ~ all the crew knows what needs to be done and what they need to do to accomplish it (I assume that you would have a handful of inexperienced helpers) Even if you have someone who has done these things a time or two, having that person perform the job while simultaneously trying to direct the others would be a nightmare.

    There is nothing that the pros do that you can't, but it would either take a very(!) long time or end up looking 'slipshod' or both!

    In the end, you would probably be better off finding a reputable contractor to do the finish work and provide the expertise. However, you might be able to get the price knocked down by doing the 'prep work' yourself, that way you can still have the aching back and broken fingernails

    If you are determined to DIY - I'll help you as much as I am able , but it's been over 10 years since I was doing this regularly and I fear that I might leave out some key thing

    Again, welcome here and I'm glad that you care enough about your pool to 'take things into your own hands' - waste 8)
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Kol,

    Welcome to the forum. In the same boat as you 6 years ago, I installed my own waterline tile, cantilevered coping and about 2400 sq ft of porcelain tile decking. The labor is high because it is very physical work....nothing you can't do but be prepared to have the work go slowly and keep a lot of Vitamin I (ibuprofen) on hand.

    I'm having trouble picturing your work. If your redoing existing decking, it's not clear to me why your trying to find cantilever forms. Posting a pic or describing your situation more would be helpful.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Pool Remodel

    Remember....If you replace the tile you will also have to replaster your pool. This was probably $4000 of the contractors price. Replastering is not a do it yourself project. I consider myself to be a fairly talented do it yourselfer and would probably not attempt the stone coping work. There is an art to doing this and having it look like something when you are finished. I would definitely not even consider the replastering. Think long and hard before attempting this on your own. Best of luck.

    Bill

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    Tile, copying and form Clarification

    First let me clarify, we received quotes of $12K to do the tiling and coping. The replaster was not included in this price.

    We would never attempt to replaster our pool.

    The current coping is simply a ring of limestone that meets to the decking. We are not replacing the decking. Only the coping and tile.

    We remodeled our home ourselves from floors to ceiling including all electrical, drywall, plaster, tile, wood, and moving walls. We worked with all materials. We invested in the necessary tools at that time. The work was professional enough to garner an invitation to a tour of homes. I think we can handle recoping and tiling our pool.

    I only asked about the cantilever forms because we like the look and considered looking into if it is DIY possible.

    We spent this weekend taking out the existing limestone coping and are happy with what we found underneath. Yes, it was hard work and yes I'm tired and sore today. But my savings account still has $12K in it. Our materials have priced out at $2K with the stone and tile and other necessary items.

    Waste, I'm sure you have seen your fill of DIYers who do substandard work and get themselves into a bind. We aren't those people.

    I don't mind taking a job that would take only two weeks for "professionals" and having it take me eight weeks. It is well worth it.

    I have a couple of before pictures I'll post and post updates as we move along! Thanks everyone.

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    Kol,

    I'm in agreement with you. Work can be as professionally done by a DIY'er as someone in the business......oftentimes better because of the DIY'er's willingness to go slowly and do detail work that a professional simply cannot take the time to do.

    I have done several tile jobs (that came out OK) and if I can help, post back or PM me.

    We all love pics. Post up some progress if you have a chance.....they help us all learn.

    Did you get the 5-gallon or 10-gallon drum of ibuprofen??
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Ha! We ate all our tylenol last night and I have to go to the store and get more today! Actually, we aren't too bad. It was the noise that was worse. And the nasty stone/concrete dust. I do hate dust.

    What I do need answers on, and I plan on calling the plaster company on this, is should we score out the plaster under the new tile to a certain level? Like four inches or so? And when we add the step tiles - there aren't any there now, should we clear the existing plaster out of the way?

    The plaster guy said they will plaster over the existing bench tile. What if we just popped it out? Is plastering over it safe? Safe as in, will it hold?

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    Kol,

    I'm not positive I understand your question..........let's give it a try.

    Does the existing plaster need to be removed prior to applying thinset for installing the new tile? Yes and no. Thinset will bond well to any dry, smooth, clean masonry surface. Your existing plaster is obviously smooth but perhaps not dry or clean.

    I would remove a very thin layer of any plaster that has been underwatrer or exposed to the atmosphere for any length of time. Not trying to "remove" the old plaster but rather remove any impurities that have imbedded themselves slightly into the plaster. In other words, the thinset requires a clean, dry surface for really good adhesion and I would consider the existing plaster as not clean. It won't take much, but sanding down to expose a "fresh" layer of plaster will give you a better chance for a perfect bond when you apply the thinset.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Kol, I hope that you didn't think the job would be beyond your ken - but you're right, I've seen some truly abysmal work done not only by DIYers but also 'hacks' who claim to know what they're doing I'm glad to hear that the base for the new coping is acceptable and sound! My remarks were mostly directed at doing the plaster coat, if you're comfortable with laying the coping and tile - Heck Yes (!) save ~ $10,000!!


    You'll need a transit to do both the coping and the tile - please make sure that it is calibrated!!!!! (experience talking here )

    Remember that you'll want to install expansion joint material between the existing deck and the new coping! I also don't know if the pool is straight walled or irregular - irregular makes it a little harder and more work.

    As Dave asked, a description or, better yet pictures, would allow for more 'case specific' advice.

    I would remove the plaster ~1" below the new tile, prior to installing the tile and acid washing the area, if not the entire pool - talk to the plaster guy and see if he'll cut you a break for sounding and acid washing the pool - and I would remove the tile on the steps, actually I'd remove it and replace it @ whatever height he's doing the resurface.

    Can tell you lots more when I know the specs for your pool and what you're planning.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Tiling and Coping Update with pictures

    Attached is a picture - though old - of the pool. I hope the attachment worked! You can't see the whole pool.

    You have me there Waste - I have no idea what a transit is and what you use it for. Maybe I do and I don't know the correct name!

    We are pretty sure the Deck-O-Seal is what we'll use between the coping and the deck for expansion.

    I do have a question - what about the "gap" between the waterline tile and the coping? Can we use just grout or should we use an expansion product? The old stuff was grouted.

    My husband just called, he had a long talk with our pool guy and got a ton of information from him!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    The transit Waste refers to is a level of sorts that you may have seen a survey crew use. It sits on top of a tripod and you look through it to see either a calibrated rod that has markings in tenths of a foot on it, or some people just use a measuring tape. The rod (or tape) is then placed at different points that you want to measure the difference in elevation at. This is used in this application to make sure everything is sloped correctly.

    Waste might be able to give a better explanation.
    11,000 gal. gunite w/midnight blue and white pearl PebbleTec
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    Gotcha. So basically a level guide?

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    ktdave's Avatar
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    YEP!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    11,000 gal. gunite w/midnight blue and white pearl PebbleTec
    Intelliflo 4x160 pump
    Intellichlor IC-20 SWG
    Pentair cartridge filter 420 sq. ft.
    Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Legend Platinum cleaner
    Pool School
    JasonLion's Pool Calculator
    TF Test Kits

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    We've got that. Now, had you said, "honey, can you go get me the level thing from the garage" I would have known exactly what it was!

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