Hydrazzo Too Sensitive?

shmatbert

Member
Oct 3, 2012
22
Hi Everyone - We are still working on getting our final quote from our builder and a new question has arisen. We are buidling a pool in Austin, TX. Our original quote included a "pebble finish" but not a Pebble Tec product. After spending time in several friends pools, we decided we would prefer a smoother finish and we asked our builder about Pebble Fina since they had done a friend's Bead Crete pool. They don't do Pebble Fina, but do Hydrazzo instead. After all of the reading I''ve done, it sounds like Hydrazzo is much more sensitive to pool chemistry than other finishes. Also, it is a $990 upgrade from the "pebble finish" in the quote. I feel a little stumped. We were getting close to signing and now I have another big question in front of me. Any advice on Hydrazzo? I searched the forum and didn't see anything horrible about it but didn't see a lot of information about experiences with it. Thanks!
 
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gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
Go on Pebble Tec's site and find your local distributor. Get a Pebble Fina quote from them for just the plaster and ask your PB to back out the plaster. See what that looks like.

$990 up charge above "pebble" whatever makes no sense. What was he going to put in?
 

shmatbert

Member
Oct 3, 2012
22
I went back through the forums here and on other sites to copy links and what I realized was that the comments primarily said that Hydrazzo is more sensitive than pebble finishes, as are plaster and quartz. A few also said that the issue would be that Hydrazzo would be more expensive to repair than plaster or quartz, which makes sense.

I'll still need to research the difference between the Hydrazzo and the "pebble' finish. When I spoke to the pool designer yesterday, he said the PebbleTec installer in our area is extremely expensive and that's why they don't use them.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
34,517
Sebring, Florida
Pool water chemistry, kept within the proper ranges, will not harm any pool finishes....hydrazzo or otherwise.
 

onBalance

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jul 25, 2011
1,095
Utah
I go with Dave's comments.
I also like smooth finishes best.
Pebble Fina should not be more expensive than "pebble."
Workmanship issues are important with all finishes. Not necessarily always a water chemistry problem when problems arise.
 

zach5150

Well-known member
May 22, 2013
70
Austin, TX
shmatbert - I also live in the Austin area. What I've learned about Hydrazzo is that it is very similar to standard plaster from a 'wear and tear' perspective. Basically, it breaks down like this as best as I've been able to ascertain:

-Plaster is marble dust+portland cement (with color additive)
-Quartz type finishes (Quartzscapes, CLI, etc..) - quartz + portland cement (with color additive)
-Pebble Finishes - pebble product + portland cement (with color additive) (not sure if they have any marble dust base, but don't think so)

Hydrazzo is a product manufactured by CLI and I believe it is a marble based product with some sort of aggregate, but then it's polished very smooth - hence the extra money. So, you have the look of aggregate but very smooth finish. My understanding is that since you don't have exposed aggregate, it will wear the same as a standard plaster pool. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's just something to keep in mind. Marble is softer than quartz or pebble, hence the expectation of a longer last finish that has exposed quartz or pebble aggregate.

I don't claim to be an expert and am just trying to recite what I learned as best I can from memory - so don't flame me if I'm wrong people! ;)

I got this info from talking to a guy at Superior Pools in Austin (PM me for his info). They are a supply company for local builders and also have a plaster showroom. You might give them a call to see if they can help answer any questions. They don't carry Pebble Tec branded products though, so their product selection and discussion points will be based on other brands of pebble and quartz aggregate finishes.
 

shmatbert

Member
Oct 3, 2012
22
Thanks so much everyone!
Zach- We intended to head to Superior on Saturday but our other errands took longer than expected. Thank you for the information! We need to make it up there soon, but we live SW so it's almost a roadtrip for us!
 

cgtx

Active member
Jul 23, 2018
33
Austin/TX
Thanks so much everyone!
Zach- We intended to head to Superior on Saturday but our other errands took longer than expected. Thank you for the information! We need to make it up there soon, but we live SW so it's almost a roadtrip for us!
What did you end up doing? I am now at the same crossroad. Builder is a huge PebbleTec Sheen fan, but I'm not a huge fan of the pebble look (or the darker colors), and the only color I really like (based upon internet photos and the app, anyway) is a Pebbletec Fina color, and he says Fina does not hold up as well or as long as the Sheen category. I like the photos online of Hydrazzo but have not asked him whether he does this or what he thinks (I just know that he likes Pebble far more than quartz). I also like the online colors of Quartzscapes. I would definitely prefer a smoother finish and can't stand super pebble-y, rough ones. Love to know what you chose and how you have liked it. Thank you!
 

Kalannar

Active member
May 23, 2020
39
St. Petersburg/florida
We are going with the Hydrazzo, because of the smoothness. I have been in two pebble tech pools and find it rough. I have heard that you have to get the pool re polished at some point, not sure how many years with hydrazzo.
 
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cgtx

Active member
Jul 23, 2018
33
Austin/TX
We are going with the Hydrazzo, because of the smoothness. I have been in two pebble tech pools and find it rough. I have heard that you have to get the pool re polished at some point, not sure how many years with hydrazzo.
Have you surfaced yet? Any feedback/ photos if so? We surface next week, and I am still in the Hydrazzo/ Pebble Sheen/ Pebble Fina quandary. Like the look of Sheen (Arctic White) but want it smoother. Keep hearing not great things about Hydrazzo, which I like in Grecian White, but it is over $6000 more than the Pebble Sheen or Fina, and it supposedly has issues and will need to be redone. Argh.
 

Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
510
Martinez, CA
Pebblefina vs. pebbletec also has the polishing step iirc so was an upcharge when I was doing mine a few years ago. We’ve had pebbletec for 17years now and it’s bulletproof and never had anyone complain it’s too rough. hmmm
 
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cgtx

Active member
Jul 23, 2018
33
Austin/TX
shmatbert - I also live in the Austin area. What I've learned about Hydrazzo is that it is very similar to standard plaster from a 'wear and tear' perspective. Basically, it breaks down like this as best as I've been able to ascertain:

-Plaster is marble dust+portland cement (with color additive)
-Quartz type finishes (Quartzscapes, CLI, etc..) - quartz + portland cement (with color additive)
-Pebble Finishes - pebble product + portland cement (with color additive) (not sure if they have any marble dust base, but don't think so)

Hydrazzo is a product manufactured by CLI and I believe it is a marble based product with some sort of aggregate, but then it's polished very smooth - hence the extra money. So, you have the look of aggregate but very smooth finish. My understanding is that since you don't have exposed aggregate, it will wear the same as a standard plaster pool. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's just something to keep in mind. Marble is softer than quartz or pebble, hence the expectation of a longer last finish that has exposed quartz or pebble aggregate.

I don't claim to be an expert and am just trying to recite what I learned as best I can from memory - so don't flame me if I'm wrong people! ;)

I got this info from talking to a guy at Superior Pools in Austin (PM me for his info). They are a supply company for local builders and also have a plaster showroom. You might give them a call to see if they can help answer any questions. They don't carry Pebble Tec branded products though, so their product selection and discussion points will be based on other brands of pebble and quartz aggregate finishes.
Zach, I would absolutely love to have someone's contact info at SPC! When I was searching for tile, I spent two months trying to contact them. They do not answer their phones nor return messages. It was awful. Ultimately I decided to buy tile elsewhere. My builder uses them for supplies, though, and is purchasing grout there tomorrow. I needed to reach them today and called and called but never could (for the record, I have NEVER gotten through to them). Thank you in advanced, in case you happen to see this (I'm also interested in knowing at which location your contact works). Many, many thanks!
 

Kalannar

Active member
May 23, 2020
39
St. Petersburg/florida
Have you surfaced yet? Any feedback/ photos if so? We surface next week, and I am still in the Hydrazzo/ Pebble Sheen/ Pebble Fina quandary. Like the look of Sheen (Arctic White) but want it smoother. Keep hearing not great things about Hydrazzo, which I like in Grecian White, but it is over $6000 more than the Pebble Sheen or Fina, and it supposedly has issues and will need to be redone. Argh.
The pool is still being built so I don't know. I have heard at some point it needs to be re-polished, so we will see. I am only pay 1000 for it, so not sure why you have such a high up charge. Now if it last as long as plaster which can last from 15 - 25 years, that is not bad for 1000 bucks.
 
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usfbull

Gold Supporter
May 11, 2020
217
Tampa FL
Surface
Plaster
Have you surfaced yet? Any feedback/ photos if so? We surface next week, and I am still in the Hydrazzo/ Pebble Sheen/ Pebble Fina quandary. Like the look of Sheen (Arctic White) but want it smoother. Keep hearing not great things about Hydrazzo, which I like in Grecian White, but it is over $6000 more than the Pebble Sheen or Fina, and it supposedly has issues and will need to be redone. Argh.
What finish did you decide to go with?
 
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AmyD32

New member
Sep 2, 2020
1
Charlotte, NC
Have you surfaced yet? Any feedback/ photos if so? We surface next week, and I am still in the Hydrazzo/ Pebble Sheen/ Pebble Fina quandary. Like the look of Sheen (Arctic White) but want it smoother. Keep hearing not great things about Hydrazzo, which I like in Grecian White, but it is over $6000 more than the Pebble Sheen or Fina, and it supposedly has issues and will need to be redone. Argh.
I am looking at Arctic White or Grecian white also - have you found any other pictures?
 

blondechica

Active member
Jul 17, 2020
28
Austin
Have you surfaced yet? Any feedback/ photos if so? We surface next week, and I am still in the Hydrazzo/ Pebble Sheen/ Pebble Fina quandary. Like the look of Sheen (Arctic White) but want it smoother. Keep hearing not great things about Hydrazzo, which I like in Grecian White, but it is over $6000 more than the Pebble Sheen or Fina, and it supposedly has issues and will need to be redone. Argh.
What did you end up choosing? I'm in Austin too and making the decision!
 
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