New pool build - is this pebble application acceptable?


Jun 21, 2022
Porter, Tx
New pool built and filled. Noticed some issues with the pebble. Variations in the surface but some issues where there seemed to be a lack of pebble in areas. In particular, one wall of the spa seemed really bad. There is also a line of this area where there seems to be a lack of pebble that runs almost the entire length on one side of the pool. PB came out and looked and they didn’t think there was anything that could fix the wall on the spa. They suggested doing a full chip out on the spa and redoing it. On the main pool, they wanted to do an acid bath and polish. The chip out for the spa has been done and new pebble installed. Not as bad as before, but I’m still not impressed with the consistency of the application. The builder calls what I’m seeing as “cream.” To me it looks like a bad acid wash job or something where not enough pebble was exposed in certain areas. The acid bath has been done on main pool but polishing hasn’t happened yet.

Am I just being too picky? I understood that pebble is hand applied and would have some variations and inconsistencies. I wasn’t expecting this “cream” issue. I will post a link to a short underwater video. Please let me know if I’m just crazy or what.

Tahoe blue pebble underwater video


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
Tallahassee, FL
Is the video before or after the acid wash? What you are seeing is "cream" where the plaster "cream" is still covering the pebble a bit. The polishing should finish removing it.

Your PB did a good thing in chipping out the spa. Have they acid washed and polished it yet?

Your plaster job does not look bad at all. There are quite a few that can be found on here that are a lot worst :( Do a search for bad plaster jobs to find some of them.


Jun 21, 2022
Porter, Tx
The video is before the acid "bath." Polishing hasn't been done yet. Pebble folks supposed to come out this week and inspect. I have actually been impressed with how the PB has been dealing with the issue. I think they are trying to do whatever they can. Even with the chipout of the spa. That was not my suggestion, it was theirs.

Im starting to think i just need to adjust my perception of what is acceptable.
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Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 17, 2019
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I dont think it looks too bad either. Also note that you will spend the next 30 days brushing the pool as the plaster cures which will cause some of that cream to come off and the blue will start to fade into a more grey color.

You are doing the right thing by documenting your concern and your PB seems to have a good response to your concerns. Keep an eye on it and the communications going but I suspect it will turn out more to your liking in a month.

Lastly, while the acid wash is necessary at first, each subsequent acid wash, polish, etc. take layers of your plaster off and will shorten the lifespan of the finish.
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