Material (Mortar, Hydraulic Cement, etc..) to fix behind removed pebble tec?

troye

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2013
51
Hello,
I have removed the first 3.5" under the coping of pebble tec. This was done for several reasons ...delaminated, previous repairs done by "professional" did not match, etc...
I will be replacing with tile.

I am needing to repair the "mud base" / gunite? behind the tile in order to get a smooth surface for the new tile being that a lot to it came out with demolition before I use the mortar to apply the tile.

Trying to get the pool ready for my daughter's high school graduation in 30 days! Some coping work remains, pebble tec repair and tiling

Thank you
IMG_3539.JPGIMG_3540.JPG
 

MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2018
243
Tucson, AZ
Hello,
I have removed the first 3.5" under the coping of pebble tec. This was done for several reasons ...delaminated, previous repairs done by "professional" did not match, etc...
I will be replacing with tile.

I am needing to repair the "mud base" / gunite? behind the tile in order to get a smooth surface for the new tile being that a lot to it came out with demolition before I use the mortar to apply the tile.

Trying to get the pool ready for my daughter's high school graduation in 30 days! Some coping work remains, pebble tec repair and tiling

Thank you
View attachment 99284View attachment 99285
Depends on how thick it needs to be. If the distance between the existing gunite and the planned location of the back of the tile is less than 3/4", you can just use a higher quality thinset designed for thicker applications (usually used for large format tiles, glass tiles, etc). If it needs to be thicker, I'd apply some concrete bonding adhesive and then use a standard type S mortar. If you use the mortar and want the tiles flush with the pebble, you'd want the top of your mortar set back from the pebble the thickness of the tile plus about 1/4" for thinset.
 

troye

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2013
51
THANK YOU @MinerJason, @bdavis466 and @Arizonarob very much.

The depth is more than 3/4", so I will go to the big box and pickup some type S. I am having second thoughts about the tile due to the flagstone coping not being the same thickness it throws off the level line of the tile. I'd be grateful for your advice once I get a couple of pics posted and explain it.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
4,586
San Clemente, CA
You'll just have to find the lowest part of the coping and make that level the top of your tile all the way around the pool. The only other option is to scribe each tile and that makes me nauseous just thinking about it.
 

MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2018
243
Tucson, AZ
You'll just have to find the lowest part of the coping and make that level the top of your tile all the way around the pool.
Yep. And this should have been done prior to cutting the pebble in order to make a level line for the cut, but based on the pics it's a bit too late for that.

99426
 
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troye

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2013
51
Thanks guys you nailed it.
NO SCRIBING ! The level cut was not possible due to some of the delaminated pebble tec, but mostly the bottom cut is the same around the pool with the exception of a small section where I tried to eyeball it(mistake). I could level cut it all the way around but that really does not help
The picture sums it up....with the tile level and the flagstone bottom fluctuating/varying I would have to put pebble tec above the tile and obviously it will not be the same width all the way around...wondering how that would actually look?
 
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troye

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2013
51
The picture sums it up, thanks for taking the time to create. With the tile level and the flagstone bottom fluctuating/varying I will need to Pebble Tec above the tile and the height will vary .wondering how that will look?

I purchased Type S "Professional" mortar (green and white bag from Lowes)
 

troye

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2013
51
Oh so just use the grout above instead? Hadn't thought about that. It will not be uniformed / even grout line
 

troye

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2013
51
hmmmmmmm....

Also I was planning to use grout in between the stone, that's what was used before twice by different people, is that incorrect? I suppose type s + Sand + color?
 
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MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2018
243
Tucson, AZ
hmmmmmmm....

Also I was planning to use grout in between the stone, that's what was used before twice by different people, is that incorrect? I suppose type s + Sand + color?
Grout is fine between the stone. There are lots of types of grout, and lots of types of mortar, but in general grout and mortar are very similar to each other. The primary difference is the purpose, mortar is used as a masonry adhesive while grout is used to fill gaps between tiles or stones. In general mortar has lime in the mix while grout does not, and grout is typically mixed a little thinner (more water) in order to get it to flow better to fill in the gaps more fully.

Adding more sand to type s mortar essentially turns in into weaker type m mortar.

And I agree with Brian, use grout to fill the gap between the tile and coping, not pebble. Will be easier and look better in the end.
 

troye

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2013
51
Thanks for the grout advice. Once I get the remaining coping stones cut and laid I will take on the tile or re-do the pebble. I understand your point about the level bottom line to use it as a reference point, right now I have an uneven reference point so would need to eyeball it I guess or cut another line (not my first choice) or ??
Mortar - That makes complete sense, so really I can go either way. I was really wondering as when I go to the big box store I see grout but not to use wider than 1". If I want extra bond then I could use the mortar with sand which is what I might end up doing. Now I am thinking what was used between the coping stones previously was NOT grout as it was the only thing holding the coping together.
Does this look like mortar with sand?
 

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MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2018
243
Tucson, AZ
Thanks for the grout advice. Once I get the remaining coping stones cut and laid I will take on the tile or re-do the pebble. I understand your point about the level bottom line to use it as a reference point, right now I have an uneven reference point so would need to eyeball it I guess or cut another line (not my first choice) or ??
Mortar - That makes complete sense, so really I can go either way. I was really wondering as when I go to the big box store I see grout but not to use wider than 1". If I want extra bond then I could use the mortar with sand which is what I might end up doing. Now I am thinking what was used between the coping stones previously was NOT grout as it was the only thing holding the coping together.
Does this look like mortar with sand?
Whatever you do don't eyeball the tile line. Water will always be level, and having that perfectly level water surface right against your tile means that any variation from level in the tiles will be immediately apparent at first glance.

Grout usually has a maximum width of 1" because it's mixed thinner, sometimes has plasticizers added, and is very stiff, all of which can result in shrinkage cracks when used for larger gaps. The lime in mortar mix gives it more flexibility than grout, which allows it to be used in wider gaps without cracking. Adding some acrylic fortifier/bonding adhesive will also help with this.

Not sure what you mean by "with sand", both mortar and grout have sand in them. The sand in those samples is very poorly graded, so yes, that's most likely mortar and not grout. And because it's so poorly graded, I can pretty much guarantee it wasn't a pre-mixed mortar, so who knows what the material ratio was. May have been type s, or type m, or somewhere in between, or something else entirely.
 

troye

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2013
51
Good education thank you. Poorly graded why am I not surprised. It was the only material actually holding all of the coping in tact.

I am going to use Mortar as I want the extra bonding, have the wider gaps, lime and flexibility. Too many reasons not to use it.

Should I use a premixed mortar? In regards to "adding sand", I pulled up a few vid's and when they were mixing the mortar sand was also added. Wondering what is the ideal mix so it looks good?
 

troye

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2013
51
And as for the tile line, Great point about the water! Man I am thinking to bring someone in to guide me just to get started (That is another challenge finding good workers / company) or maybe I will go with the Pebbletec, but I really want to do the tile.

I am going to finish the coping tomorrow Monday (taking the day off today for mother's day). Then I will repair the seat this week. and in the mean time I will continue to research and post. - I am thinking I could use the laser level and draw a line where I have removed the pebble.

I'll get some more pictures up too for context.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
4,586
San Clemente, CA
I've always use a rotary laser in the early evening so I can easily see the line and use that to mark the cut for the tile
 

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