Finishes - Aquabright, Hydrazzo, Primera Stone or Something Else?

jmw13

Member
Jun 1, 2019
5
Houston
We are in the process of getting bids to redo our in ground Gunite pool (or possibly tear out and start over depending on the bids). Husband’s only request in the process is polished smooth and no pebble or white plaster. This led me to think of Hydrazzo. I have since learned of Primera Stone and Aquabright while lurking in the forums. We are in Houston so the pool is always open to the elements if that is a factor. Anyone have any thoughts on one finish being better than the other?

Thank you all for your thoughts!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,038
Tucson, AZ
Both hydrazzo and AquaBright are PREMIUM surfaces, ie, expect to pay in excess of $16k or more depending on availability of licensed applicators in your area. AquaBright requires a standard plaster surface to be applied before the AquaBright layer is applied. AquaBright is a newer surface material that requires a licensed applicator and its success depends a lot on the experience of the applicator and their attention to detail. Be very careful when choosing an AquaBright applicator and get lots of references for their previous work.

Standard plaster is smooth....and cheaper than all the rest. Straight white plaster with quartz aggregate (stay away from marble dust aggregate) will be smooth and durable. Unfortunately standard plaster is limited in its color choices and you really want to avoid organic blue pigments or organic pigments of any color (they degrade quickly).

Best thing to do is get lots of quotes for your job and request references of previous customers to see the surfaces in real life.

Good luck.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,171
San Clemente, CA
I've done an embarrassing amount of research on pool surfaces and if it was my money to spend then Wet Edge gets the nod. Their plaster and color pigments are the highest quality and I've seen very few complaints from installations.

Aquabright is a fantastic surface. I forget just how nice the finish is until I see another one in person. As Matt said though the success of this finish is largely based on the installer.
 

Jbrillo

Gold Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
330
League City, Texas
You might want to check out Pebble Fina. It’s suppose to be as smooth as regular plaster. At least that’s what I’ve read. I went with Pebble Sheen. I too have read that installation is a vital determinant in the quality of a pool finish. So be sure to pick a quality plaster company. Modern Method Gunite in Houston is who our PB used. I researched them a little and they’ve been around a long time and have a good reputation. I think it might be worth it to check them out if you don’t have a company in mind already. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
 

jmw13

Member
Jun 1, 2019
5
Houston
Thank you Joyful Noise, bdavis466, Bvacchiano, and Jbrillo.

Thank you Joyful Noise (by the way, I love your screen name!). One company suggested adding quartz to the plaster, but I fear that is going to be a shorter lived finish than the others. Unfortunately, not surprised that I gravitated to the more expensive finishes.

Thank you bdavis466 for your input and for willingly sharing your research with all of us. I saw some of the research you and others have talked about particularly with respect to blue pigments (if I have read correctly I want cobalt pigment) and inorganic versus organic (again if I am reading correctly I want inorganic).

Thank you Bvacchiano for sharing your experience with the Primera Stone in the area. I am glad to hear you are still enjoying it. Again, I would not have even known about Primera Stone and may not have found some of the companies here in the area had it not been for the forums talking about it first.

Thank you Jbrillo. I may call Modern Method tomorrow and see if they ever polish the pebbles. Otherwise, it will likely be a no go. We went on a family vacation two years ago to a place with a small pebble pool (I do not know which surface it technically was) and everyone else complained how they hated the resort pool, claiming it was too rough. Same thing happened when we went to a friend’s recently. When we were headed home, my family commented that I better not get the pool redone (or rebuilt) with pebble.