New inground pool decking and coping?

Lindseyc123

Member
Sep 11, 2019
15
MA
This place has been great but we are lost. We built a house so thought putting a pool in now would make most sense. We have four young kids and we all love to swim. But we hadn’t budgeted for it.....

we asked for a cantaliever edge on our pool because we like the look of stone/concrete or whatever edge with the pool under if I’m explaining correct (sorry this is so very new) now we have a metal edge around and aren’t sure the options for decking. This is a vinyl liner unground pool. Does this mean we have to have a concrete edge or can we do pavers for the coping? Maybe we screwed our selves? Looking for thoughts on edge that holds up over time but also have to consider install costs since we didn’t have this in our current budget. I’ll attach pics of some looks we like and what the actual pool looks like since it sat through the winter unfinished. We just aren't sure how pavers would be attached to this edge with what we are seeing. Any thoughts advice, tips, or explanations would be so helpful.

thank you sooo much in advance!!
 

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jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
You are setup for coping already. Is the liner in? If so you cant do concrete poured but all the pics you posted are of pre cast coping. Looks like he backfilled with dirt. Not ideal for any pool decking/coping. You basically form a small concrete pad around the pool and mortar coping to it and them decking behind that. Precast bullnose pavers are cheapest at about 4 bucks a running foot for budget material
 

Lindseyc123

Member
Sep 11, 2019
15
MA
You are setup for coping already. Is the liner in? If so you cant do concrete poured but all the pics you posted are of pre cast coping. Looks like he backfilled with dirt. Not ideal for any pool decking/coping. You basically form a small concrete pad around the pool and mortar coping to it and them decking behind that. Precast bullnose pavers are cheapest at about 4 bucks a running foot for budget material
thanks for responding. So for example if we findpavers that are 14”x30” we would need to pour a 14” concrete slab all around the pool and then the pavers get attached to that concrete and over lap that silver edge of the pool itself? Yes the liner and water are in. I’m guessing the coping goes over the white of the steps too?? Thanks for helping!!
 

jimmythegreek

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I'm answering your message here for future searches. If the liner is in you cannot use forma like stegmeier to pour cantilever concrete. The form needs the liner track empty to attach them so that cant be done now. The white strip on edge is what holds the liner in a cantilever coping setup. You are limited to precast coping now but your pics show that's what you like. The only issue I see is the stairs are set flush with wal panels. When you install stairs on a steel wall kit and you know ahead of time you will use cantilever you want the stairs set to the height of the top of the track strip usually 1/4 to 3/8" higher than normal. This is to avoid a large gap under the step coping stones that would need heavy caulking to seal as the pool coping will sit above the white liner track but there is no track on the stairs themselves. They are installed now so it's a heavy caulk joint for this pool. For the backfill stone should always be used for all of it. Dirt will always settle and you camt compact well against the walls without damaging them. It's good your pool has been sitting and it has had time to settle with rain and the seasons. You need to pick the coping first. Whatever width it is you need to form up for a concrete pour a few inches thick that will be as high as the steel wall. You usually have a 1" overhang so the form will be 1 to 1.5 inches narrower than coping so it doeant stick out behind them. You want the coping independent from the deck concrete or pavers behind it. We use a strip of cement board on the top of steel panel or wire mesh to provide adhesion to the front of coping that sits on the steel wall. Under the form should be well compacted stone base material. We go as far as to add small rebar pieces thru one of the upper bolt holes in the steel panels to reinforce that area because the concrete is thinner where panels meet up due to the shape of the panel seams. When I see a pool backfilled with the excavated dirt I see a PB trying to save a few hundred in stone. Down the road if it settles and cracks the deck its thousands to fix and a real pain. Much better to do whatever you can to avoid that it's not worth the skimp in the big picture
 

Lindseyc123

Member
Sep 11, 2019
15
MA
Thanks so much for responding!!!. I’m so bummed the PB didn’t do the back fill properly. It’s tough not knowing what’s right to correct it. This is super helpful.

So last questions I hope....what would you do in this backfill instance to make it better/improve as much as we can? They did pour concrete around the base before backfilling. If we dig down a little and use crusher run and compact will we be ok or doomed either way? Do you do 2” for the pad under precast coping? I had thought 4”?

when you say precast pavers and that they overhang 1” or so,. Do you mean they will have a slight cut out on bottom for that white track to sit in? I requested the PB get us cantaleliever stairs too. Did they give us the wrong ones? Ugh!!!

I’m worried we are helpless and wasted so much money for a further money pit.
 

Lindseyc123

Member
Sep 11, 2019
15
MA
What about expansion joints between coping and paver deck? Is that still necessary? How wide and what material should be used in the joint?
 
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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
If the coping is not cantilevered you need an expansion joint between the paver coping and the paver deck.

The pool structure needs to be able to move independent of the ground.
 

jimmythegreek

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You could dig a little out and try using stone. The problem is compacting what's there now. Cant really be done at this point gotta hope for the best. You need some stone for a base and I would try and reinforce the concrete for the coping extra strong. 4" is minimum. Precast coping is just that you buy it already to go. Theres no notch it sits on top of the white liner track. The stairs are cantilever they are just a tad low

No expansion needed just leave a little xtra gap with pavers and poly sand it all
 

Lindseyc123

Member
Sep 11, 2019
15
MA
Ok so an update. Ive talked to the PB and a couple of guys about the deck and I feel like they all have different answers and have not been helpful, giving us a run around. Pool builder claims the steps are correct and that forms would be built for cantilever coping. Said the forms get glued in place even with liner in???

so let me go back to the concrete pad to prep for paver coping....jimmythegreek you talked about reinforcing it. Do you suggest a wire mesh to prevent cracking? You also mentioned a small strip of cement board for adhesion to the steel walls i want to be sure I’m understanding right? We would add be a 1/4” piece of cement board the width of the metal edge to line up with top of white liner track and provide adhesion? How would you attach the cement board to be most sturdy? Would the concrete form match up with this height as well, but pitched 1/4” for drainage? Any thoughts on the pool steps? Think we could attach cement board here too to give the proper height? What would you do if it were your pool?
 

jimmythegreek

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If I took over this job I'd dig out the dirt from behind the wall and get close to the pipes. If it were bad clay I'd charge you for hand digging it to the collar and put ear muffs on to not hear my guys hate me. Stone backfill to whatever grade is needed for decking. For concrete 6" below wall for pavers 10+ inches. I would install geotextile base stabilization fabric over all of it anywhere deck/ coping goes and start bringing in base and compacting 2" max lifts. When I was 5 to 6" below wall i would make my form for coping collar. Om a 12" deep coping my form would be 10.5 inches out from inside pool wall and as deep as a 1x6. PVC boards for any bends or curves. We would pin the inside and keep bringing base up to finish height of deck base. On the steel wall we rip 1/4 cement board and glue and screw it down OR if we were doing masonry on site we would use metal lath strips already on site and zip them down and skim coat the wall top. We would install rebar in every wall panel top hole boomerang shape to bridge the narrow spots and call I'm 3 yards of 4000 psi with fiber mesh and plasticizer. Pour our concrete collar double check the grades and do the deck. I would never trust a styrofoam form with just the double sided tape. Theres a pin that goes into the liner track to hold it and liner cant be there to do so. Maybe he knows something I dont.... concrete is light lol....double sided tape should work out great for him