AB: Water line tiles - is it required?

aubie96

Active member
Mar 9, 2017
28
Atlanta/GA
#1
I am in the process of getting some quotes for our 20x40 gunnite pool with AB.

Is it necessary to have the old water tiles replaced or can we just put AB on that area (all the way till the coping) after demoing out old tiles? Does anyone have any pictures of pools done such a way? I am thinking why bother with plaster again if I am going with AB for long term maintenance.

The quote indicated 2 line items; one for masking with fame resistant tape and epoxy coating; another for thermo polymer coating. Is that the norm?

Thanks.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,703
Tucson, AZ
#2
In my opinion, you want waterline tiles. The water line will always be the source of a "bathtub ring" of scale build up even in the most perfectly balanced water because the near surface chemistry of the water differs from the bulk. So it's easier to clean tile. When PebbleTek became a popular surface option, many people built pools with no waterline tiles thinking that the pebble finish up to the coping looked great. Fast forward a few years and they all developed calcium scale lines from evaporation and the PebbleTek is much, much harder to clean than tile.

I would say the best option for your pool surface is to be submerged.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,006
DFW, TX
#3
Does AB stand for Aquabright? Then I would not do a waterline tiles with Aquabright, it does fine out of the water.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
4,349
San Clemente, CA
#4
Screenshot_20170427-213756.jpg

If you remove the tile you'll need to replace it with something like plaster, Rapid Set or hydraulic cement.

I've only done water features without waterline tile and they are holding up just fine.

IMG_20170216_082236376-COLLAGE.jpg
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
4,349
San Clemente, CA
#5
Even if you had no tile the coping would still need to be taped and masked off. I'm surprised that part of the process is a line item because it's necessary for the application.

Either way, tile or no tile, making must be done.
 

psualum

Bronze Supporter
Dec 28, 2016
49
Douglassville, PA
#7
Carlton is building our pool currently. They indicated over the winter when we were making decisions that AB does not require waterline tile but you certainly can have it. Logic behind the answer was that you don't need to keep AB wet like plaster. As to a scum line or whatever you might call it, we didn't discuss that. My wife and I decided we are going with AB with a waterline tile. Hoping to have our shell poured next week and photos of the AB and tile will follow.
 
OP
OP
A

aubie96

Active member
Mar 9, 2017
28
Atlanta/GA
#9
@bdavis466 - Nice to see the visual. Helps me a lot.

- - - Updated - - -

@psualum - Looking forward to your build photos. Looks like the AB phenomenon is catching fire slowly but surely.

@pooldv -- yeah, looks like thats the route I'd go if I go with AB. Looking at all options since we moved to this house recently and got a few more projects that need to be done. Mo' money, mo' problems.