Choosing a Pool Finish

benm2010

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2017
143
Fort Worth, Texas
#1
All,

I'm currently working with a few different pool builders in the DFW area on a pool for my Mom and Dad. The bid we like the best is listed in my signature. My only concern is the use of the Aquabright pool finish. There doesn't seem to be a ton of info about it (I have found one thread about someone who built it and loved it but that was posted last year and my concern is longevity) especially with regards to how it would lasts. Other builders are quoting Durazzo, Hydrazzo and Primera Stone but at slightly higher prices than the Aquabright (my family has extremely tender feet and we have to have a very smooth pool finish). Anyone have any insight into the lifespan on this product as it doesn't seem to have been around all that long? I would prefer the Aquabright as it has the smooth texture and is naturally inert reducing the amount of chemicals to properly maintain it. Here's the link to the company's website. Below are some renderings of what the pool would look like. http://www.ecopoolfinish.com/
 

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borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,643
Pacific NW
#2
That's a good point on the longevity. I was under the impression it should last at least 2 to 3x as long (if not longer) than plaster
from a standpoint of being polymer based. As long as proper chemical levels are maintained reasonably. There is a resident
aquabright guy on the forum. BDavis i think is his name.

Have you looked at all the aquabright threads on this forum?

I just had a new liner put in last year so it will be awhile before I need it replaced, but I'm considering aquabright as the next
step when it's time.
 

benm2010

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2017
143
Fort Worth, Texas
#4
I've only found 2 threads, one testing it's resistance to scratching, algae, chemical's etc... and the one person who had the pool installed with it last year.

It seems like it should last as long as an exposed aggregate at least, but a few competitors are convinced it will be falling apart long before that. Could just be professional jealousy on the part of the competition, but I always like to do a lot of research before a relative puts down that much money.
 

smanni

Well-known member
Oct 20, 2012
56
Quakertown, PA
#5
I've only found 2 threads, one testing it's resistance to scratching, algae, chemical's etc... and the one person who had the pool installed with it last year.

It seems like it should last as long as an exposed aggregate at least, but a few competitors are convinced it will be falling apart long before that. Could just be professional jealousy on the part of the competition, but I always like to do a lot of research before a relative puts down that much money.

It could be jealousy. It could also be wise discretion. It is a newer product and I dont think its possible to find anyone with it in a pool that is 15-30 years old in order to test the claims that are made. All the science and preliminary data are there in order for the claim to be made.....but I dont think its been around long enough to see if the claims are able to be held up in real life.
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
#6
I have Aquabrite; but just got it last fall. I expect it to last for a few reasons.

It is comfortable to sit on, and smooth feeling, but can be put on with a bit of roughness [if you like] if you have something you want to be anti skid.

I would suggest you take a look at the tests Brian did; I can't find them just now but will look later if no one else answers. He has put samples of Aquabrite in highly acidic solutions and in pure chlorine as well as some other tests.

To give you some insight into how tough it is, when it was getting applied, a small section had to be ground off and filled [about a dime-sized divit]. It took the guy, with an angle grinder, and a coarse diamond cutter about 20 minutes to grind it off. He fought it all the way. Not because it can't be cut with diamond, but because it is so very tough. If anyone ever wanted to get the Aquabright off, I think the substrate it is attached to would have to be chipped out.

I have heard that there are some that will give a lifetime warranty, and if you see it and feel it you will understand why. It is a thick, tough thermo-deposited inert plastic coating, bonded with semi-cured epoxy.

Since it each layer is melted into the next, it is repairable. An example I can think of might be damage from a falling tree. Lets say that gave it a good scratch, or cracked the underlying gunite. Once the substrate was repaired, another coat could be blended back into the existing coat, and since it would be melted into the previous layers, it would be as good as new.

https://www.troublefreepool.com/thr...t-Ecofinish-Alternative-to-Acid-Washing/page4

But the most important reason to get Aquabright is, if you are lucky, you might get to use the flamethrower!

;-)
 

benm2010

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2017
143
Fort Worth, Texas
#7
I have Aquabrite; but just got it last fall. I expect it to last for a few reasons.

It is comfortable to sit on, and smooth feeling, but can be put on with a bit of roughness [if you like] if you have something you want to be anti skid.

I would suggest you take a look at the tests Brian did; I can't find them just now but will look later if no one else answers. He has put samples of Aquabrite in highly acidic solutions and in pure chlorine as well as some other tests.

To give you some insight into how tough it is, when it was getting applied, a small section had to be ground off and filled [about a dime-sized divit]. It took the guy, with an angle grinder, and a coarse diamond cutter about 20 minutes to grind it off. He fought it all the way. Not because it can't be cut with diamond, but because it is so very tough. If anyone ever wanted to get the Aquabright off, I think the substrate it is attached to would have to be chipped out.

I have heard that there are some that will give a lifetime warranty, and if you see it and feel it you will understand why. It is a thick, tough thermo-deposited inert plastic coating, bonded with semi-cured epoxy.

Since it each layer is melted into the next, it is repairable. An example I can think of might be damage from a falling tree. Lets say that gave it a good scratch, or cracked the underlying gunite. Once the substrate was repaired, another coat could be blended back into the existing coat, and since it would be melted into the previous layers, it would be as good as new.

https://www.troublefreepool.com/thr...t-Ecofinish-Alternative-to-Acid-Washing/page4

But the most important reason to get Aquabright is, if you are lucky, you might get to use the flamethrower!

;-)
this is awesome information and makes me feel much better it. Love the color on that pool as well.
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
#8
Another side benefit that I didn't realize I would appreciate as much as I do is that the water is staying remarkably stable. So stable that I'm not checking it often enough! I have my PH automation set to 5%, and I'm not even sure I need that. I *think* that since there is no interaction with stone/plaster/aggregate/cement/etc. there is no issue with leaching calcium out of, or onto the surface (this is not 100% true since I have grout around the tile, but 99% true]. I still scrub the sides once in a while, but the robot seems to get those; so I think I'm just going to go with scrubbing the places the robot can't get.

I had huge calcium issues before hand, so I probably appreciate it all the more. But if you are worried about durability, I would not. This is exceptionally tough stuff.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
4,246
San Clemente, CA
#9
I can understand the skeptical approach to a newer product and especially one with so little information out about it.

AquaBright was just about unheard-of on this forum so that's why I put together the Plaster and Aquabright Comparison thread. I was impressed enough that I became an installer and that was never my intention. That thread is pretty unbiased since I was nothing more than an inquiring mind at the time.

If you have any specific concerns let me know and I'll experiment on a pool that was just finished. There isn't much you can do to hurt the surface that wouldn't also damage plaster and pretty much nothing can be done that can't be undetectably repaired.
 

sham

Silver Supporter
Mar 4, 2016
179
McKinney, TX
#10
I wish I had known about AquaBright last year when we built our pool, I might have tried it. I think that they used it on the lazy river they built at the Frisco Rough Riders stadium (minor league baseball team) here in DFW. At least I thought I saw the flamethrower in some of the construction pics they posted on Facebook. I want to check it out! We went with Primera Stone but I'm really intrigued by this whole Aqua Bright thing.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
4,246
San Clemente, CA
#11
The biggest disadvantage is the price but quality isn't cheap and cheap is never quality...

While I have no factual proof, it certainly looks like this finish may eventually pay for itself due to less maintenance and chemical needs.
 

benm2010

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2017
143
Fort Worth, Texas
#12
Interestingly enough, AquaBright installer is actually the cheapest bid (most other's were using durazzo as the finish) and I feel confident in it, especially with PB's reputation. In a similar thought does anyone have the Cool Deck finish on their decking? Have been getting mixed reports about the durability and effectiveness of it?

- - - Updated - - -

This thread is fantastic. I absolutely love having a direct comparison between the two.
I can understand the skeptical approach to a newer product and especially one with so little information out about it.

AquaBright was just about unheard-of on this forum so that's why I put together the Plaster and Aquabright Comparison thread. I was impressed enough that I became an installer and that was never my intention. That thread is pretty unbiased since I was nothing more than an inquiring mind at the time.

If you have any specific concerns let me know and I'll experiment on a pool that was just finished. There isn't much you can do to hurt the surface that wouldn't also damage plaster and pretty much nothing can be done that can't be undetectably repaired.
 

dgknight3

Bronze Supporter
Sep 1, 2016
50
Grand Prairie TX
#13
benm,
Our pool completed end of 2016 and probably the same PB you are leaning towards. For me, I'm glad we ended up with this PB who highly recommended AquaBright. Of course, I know more now than I did then but I was fortunate I made that decision to go with it. As bdavis says, the chemical balance and upkeep seems much easier for AB than the others.
One question, why are you not going with a Saltwater pool? That is just as big a decision as the AB one, IMO.
 

benm2010

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2017
143
Fort Worth, Texas
#14
dgknight3,
Pool is for Mom and Dad and Dad is not a huge salt fan. They are used to using the 3" pucks from the above ground pool and since they back wash relatively often and will be running well water the stabilizer in Tri-Chlor isn't really an issue. The upfront cost and then replacing the salt cell every 3-5 years seems more complicated than keeping a tube filled with the pucks since they are already used to it. Most of the builders I've talked to have actually advised against the salt system with the Oklahoma Flagstone coping as they say it is corrosive to it. Mom and Dad are both elderly (64 and 73 respectfully) so I'm attempting to make their life as simple as possible.
 

kevbrim

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2016
45
Flower Mound, TX
#16
The biggest disadvantage is the price but quality isn't cheap and cheap is never quality...

While I have no factual proof, it certainly looks like this finish may eventually pay for itself due to less maintenance and chemical needs.

Brian i will testify to this. In the last year I've bought two 4lb containers of CYA. One 5 lb container of CH, One 4 lb container of pH up and one 40 lb bag of salt. My chemical cost is almost non-existent. Water stability is AMAZING. So much so that I'm "forcing" myself to check once a week. And that is mainly to determine my FC so I can adjust my SWG. I grew up with a traditional puck pool and as a teen did much of the maintenance, what a pain.

I think AquaBright + SWG is truly a very low maintenance situation. Love it. I suspect without it being physically damaged it will last decades.
If I didn't have trees dropping leaves into the pool I wouldn't have to do anything but sit in the sun and enjoy.

Edited: PS. I was in the same boat when we were deciding on finish. Not a lot of reviews out there. Which is why I started my longterm review thread. I did remember finding somewhere where SeaWorld put it through a test and was very impressed with it. i think they installed it in one of their facilities.