Polishing Pebblecrete?

tomfrh

Well-known member
Jan 30, 2018
556
Australia
We recently had our pool redone with Pebble Sheen. It's rougher than we'd like. I'd like to polish/grind it to smooth it out a bit. I did a small section in the spa (which I can drain) using a diamond polishing pad on an angle grinder, and it worked quite well. It results in a terrazzo like effect. It would be quite labor intensive to do the whole pool. Any advice regarding tools or tricks to get a good result?
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
37,837
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Sounds like you have it figured out.

I assume the pool will be drained for the polishing. Have plenty of diamond pads on hand as you may wear them out rapidly.

Pics of the process would be interesting as well as a report on how it went and the effort required.

Good luck.

@onBalance may be interested in this.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
37,837
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I think the grinding will create a mess of chips and stone dust that you will need to clean out of the pool before you refill.

I can imagine a process to do it with water in the pool but that would require diving equipment, pneumatic non-electrical powered grinder, and wet sanding pads. And then you have all the debris in the water. Overall easier to drain the pool I suspect.
 

MAPR-Austin

In The Industry
Feb 23, 2021
41
Kansas City, MO
Might be worth a call to a local concrete contractor that works with polished/terrazzo finish concrete. I know there are some specialty tools like water powered grinders that I have used for Hydrazzo finishes - they may be able to point you in the right direction or even give you a price to have them do it.

If you like the surface after grinding, I don't think the process is going to hurt anything.
 

tomfrh

Well-known member
Jan 30, 2018
556
Australia
I just ground the steps and the shallow end. I did about 40m2 all up in a day. I couldn’t be bothered with the walls and deep end, as you don’t tend to stand there.

I used 125mm diamond cup grinder and a 100mm 50 grit diamond pad for the steps, and a 180mm diamond cup grinder for the floor. The finish is a lot smoother. It’s not terrazzo/polished look, but it smoother and looks good when wet.

A concrete floor polisher/grinder would be useful for the floor. You would do it in no time, rather than hands and knees with the 180mm cup.

I’d rang a few concrete polishing places and pool renovation guys beforehand and none of them were interested in the work.

I’ll be interested to see how it feels to swim in. It feels a lot smoother but the test will be when we start swimming again.