Pool renovation - Need suggestions for coping (new tile vs overlay) and deck spray

daviddavies

Member
Jan 10, 2020
11
Texas
The main thing I wanted to do was replace the coping with an updated look, perhaps travertine tile, stone or a paver. But then I was also presetend with options like an overlay and spray overlay for the deck (which is the area with pebbles).

What are everyone's recommendations on this if I want to give a premium look and feel? Do the pebbles feel good under the feet, if I spray texture above them does it make things harder for the feet? Does overlay hold up over time? What are the best options for the deck - or do you suggest leaving as is?

Thank you, any and all suggestions welcome.
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,788
Tallahassee, FL
How fat is your wallet? That is going to be a LOT of work AND you will need to make sure the crew is top shelf as they could do some damage to your pool and water line tile.

Have you look at other pools to see what YOU like the look of? Here is a good thread to look at: Pool Finish and Color Viewing Room...TFP Member Sound Off

let us know what catches your eye and we can go from there!

Kim:kim:
 
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daviddavies

Member
Jan 10, 2020
11
Texas
How fat is your wallet? That is going to be a LOT of work AND you will need to make sure the crew is top shelf as they could do some damage to your pool and water line tile.

Have you look at other pools to see what YOU like the look of? Here is a good thread to look at: Pool Finish and Color Viewing Room...TFP Member Sound Off

let us know what catches your eye and we can go from there!

Kim:kim:
Hard to find any bad ones on pg 1...

but for the pool decking, I like the slabs here -



the coping that would look nice -



IN Texas most people use travertine around the pool for coping and deck. But I've seen some spray texture samples for decking and they look alright . The question is, how do they feel under the feet? Travertine is no slip and keeps cool in the ridiculous Texas Heat. How do man made concrete Belgard pavers do around the pool? I have installed them on a backyard porch area and they are fine for that situation.

So because I'm on a budget, I'm exploring the option of spray texture to mimic natural stone look.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,788
Tallahassee, FL
Both of the two you posted are VERY pretty!

The spray deck such as Kool Deck does good on the feet and is not too slippery. It comes in different color and can be textured sort of. I think the on right above this is color concrete but it is hard to tell from the pics. You will have to do some VERY good prep to make sure anything you spray on will stick and stay stuck for a LONG time! That will be the hardest part in my eyes.

Kim:kim:
 
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daviddavies

Member
Jan 10, 2020
11
Texas
Both of the two you posted are VERY pretty!

The spray deck such as Kool Deck does good on the feet and is not too slippery. It comes in different color and can be textured sort of. I think the on right above this is color concrete but it is hard to tell from the pics. You will have to do some VERY good prep to make sure anything you spray on will stick and stay stuck for a LONG time! That will be the hardest part in my eyes.

Kim:kim:
There are a lot of contractors who specialize in the overlay here in Texas, the land of never ending development. I'd ideally like the travertine pavers and coping, but that's going to be $8k and not reasonable for what I want to do. Right now I'm thinking travertine coping with spray deck around.

Something like this with a different color scheme -
 

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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,284
Tucson, AZ
Travertine coping, if not sealed (and re-sealed every 18 months), is a bad idea. Travertine is essentially a very soft limestone and, no matter how well balanced you keep your water, it will erode very quickly over time. It's a fine material for decking (assuming it's installed properly and drainage is adequate) but it is a lousy material choice for coping and constant exposure to pool water.

I'd suggest you look at various precast concrete coping and get a color and shape that you like.

I'm not a fan of spray-decking (KoolDeck and the like products) because I don't like the feel of the acrylic material used nor the look/texture of it. Sprayed overlays will last about 10 years (if good surface prep is done) before they get really shabby looking (peeling, cracking, spalling, discoloration, etc) and you have to stay on top of them as they can develop mildew in areas that remain too moist (again, drainage is key!). Normally one puts Kool Deck over concrete surfaces but you have a very dense, exposed aggregate deck. You might ask the contractors you're talking to how the spray materials hold up on an aggregate finish as opposed to a flat cement finish. Cement surfaces can be acid etched prior to spraying to make them more porous and improve adhesions. Aggregate pebbles can not be acid etched and so I'd think some kind of adhesion promoter would need to be laid down first. Attention to detail is key so you might really want to check references on anyone you hire and ask to see jobs they have done previously.
 

daviddavies

Member
Jan 10, 2020
11
Texas
Travertine coping, if not sealed (and re-sealed every 18 months), is a bad idea. Travertine is essentially a very soft limestone and, no matter how well balanced you keep your water, it will erode very quickly over time. It's a fine material for decking (assuming it's installed properly and drainage is adequate) but it is a lousy material choice for coping and constant exposure to pool water.

I'd suggest you look at various precast concrete coping and get a color and shape that you like.

I'm not a fan of spray-decking (KoolDeck and the like products) because I don't like the feel of the acrylic material used nor the look/texture of it. Sprayed overlays will last about 10 years (if good surface prep is done) before they get really shabby looking (peeling, cracking, spalling, discoloration, etc) and you have to stay on top of them as they can develop mildew in areas that remain too moist (again, drainage is key!). Normally one puts Kool Deck over concrete surfaces but you have a very dense, exposed aggregate deck. You might ask the contractors you're talking to how the spray materials hold up on an aggregate finish as opposed to a flat cement finish. Cement surfaces can be acid etched prior to spraying to make them more porous and improve adhesions. Aggregate pebbles can not be acid etched and so I'd think some kind of adhesion promoter would need to be laid down first. Attention to detail is key so you might really want to check references on anyone you hire and ask to see jobs they have done previously.
For going over the aggregate, I believe they put some kind of concrete base layer. Or they float a layer of the spray deck material until it is level and flat. I agree that pavers or natural materials are preferred to the feel of spray decking, but in terms of looks and price point I think it does the job I need for now.

There are 4 different pool experts who say Travertine is the preferred choice for new pool copings - there are also grades of travertine and they would only use the highest grade for the coping. Do you have experience or pictures with travertine coping (Specifically) not doing well over time?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,284
Tucson, AZ
For going over the aggregate, I believe they put some kind of concrete base layer. Or they float a layer of the spray deck material until it is level and flat. I agree that pavers or natural materials are preferred to the feel of spray decking, but in terms of looks and price point I think it does the job I need for now.

There are 4 different pool experts who say Travertine is the preferred choice for new pool copings - there are also grades of travertine and they would only use the highest grade for the coping. Do you have experience or pictures with travertine coping (Specifically) not doing well over time?
Take a look at the photos in Post #17 and then you can use the Google search feature in the forum search box to search terms like "travertine coping erosion" or "travertine coping" and see what other pool owners are saying.

unfinished-travertine-decking-erosion-around-entry-and-exit-points.177057

A lot of travertine is used as decking and so there are different issues related to that (how to kept it clean, slippery or not, etc, etc). I'm sure all the various contractors like to say that they use "only the highest quality" of this & that, but I wouldn't rely on their word. It's not unusual for pool owners to request samples of all the materials they plan to use and then see if it has the look & feel that they want. Longevity and lifetime issues are tough to figure out so you can only try to figure out who the supplier is and then question them directly.

Travertine is travertine is travertine, the chemistry affecting them is the same no matter what because they are all basically a soft limestone. There are definitely cheap travertine materials and expensive ones depending on where they come from. So the only way to really know if you're getting quality is to know where the material is coming from.
 

IMissNimoy

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
78
SC
We've got silver travertine coping. It's in its third year and, so far, it looks the same as when installed. They did grout some of the larger pores on the top side so perhaps that has helped? My PB advised travertine would erode over time but the 'premium' grades last longer. That grade was all she offered with her builds. I've inquired if they sealed it. I don't recall seeing it done but I could have missed it.

I'm not a fan of spray decking either. All of them I've seen here in balmy SC look dingy with mildew regardless of how often they are cleaned. We have a hand-troweled finish that works really well. We have some other issues related to the decking but it's not the finish. I'll make a separate post on that one day.
 

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
741
south east Arizona
The main thing I wanted to do was replace the coping with an updated look, perhaps travertine tile, stone or a paver. But then I was also presetend with options like an overlay and spray overlay for the deck (which is the area with pebbles).

What are everyone's recommendations on this if I want to give a premium look and feel? Do the pebbles feel good under the feet, if I spray texture above them does it make things harder for the feet? Does overlay hold up over time? What are the best options for the deck - or do you suggest leaving as is?

Thank you, any and all suggestions welcome.
I would keep your deck unless it is cracked and ruined (pic looks OK to me) but go for a natural stone coping, maybe a bluish or dark grey slate type of stone.
 
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daviddavies

Member
Jan 10, 2020
11
Texas
We've got silver travertine coping. It's in its third year and, so far, it looks the same as when installed. They did grout some of the larger pores on the top side so perhaps that has helped? My PB advised travertine would erode over time but the 'premium' grades last longer. That grade was all she offered with her builds. I've inquired if they sealed it. I don't recall seeing it done but I could have missed it.

I'm not a fan of spray decking either. All of them I've seen here in balmy SC look dingy with mildew regardless of how often they are cleaned. We have a hand-troweled finish that works really well. We have some other issues related to the decking but it's not the finish. I'll make a separate post on that one day.
Would you recommend me hand troweling over the aggregate pebble with concrete - then using AcrylaDeck on top of it? The kind that keeps feet cool in hot summer months?
 

IMissNimoy

Gold Supporter
Jul 3, 2018
78
SC
Would you recommend me hand troweling over the aggregate pebble with concrete - then using AcrylaDeck on top of it? The kind that keeps feet cool in hot summer months?
I wish I knew the answer to your question. I'm not a concrete expert but I'd want to know all aspects about adhesion with a top coat. Being in similar climate here in SC, I would imagine pebble feels cooler.

I also chatted with my PB today. She did say salt would kill inferior, softer travertines around salt pools. Premium travertine should be sealed annually but will degrade over time as well.
 
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Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
741
south east Arizona
Does aggregate pebble keep your feet cooler than concrete?
as someone who goes barefoot as much as possible and who has both aggregate stepping stones and concrete on the way to my pool, yes aggrate is cooler. it does get hot, but not like plain flat grey concrete. as a kid the painful sharp gravel roads were much cooler than the sidewalks or even smooth dirt.
 

daviddavies

Member
Jan 10, 2020
11
Texas
as someone who goes barefoot as much as possible and who has both aggregate stepping stones and concrete on the way to my pool, yes aggrate is cooler. it does get hot, but not like plain flat grey concrete. as a kid the painful sharp gravel roads were much cooler than the sidewalks or even smooth dirt.
Thank you for this, big decision in me keeping the aggregate!

And I'm going to go with travertine! It's a long term risk and I will pay the pool guy extra to seal it every 18 months, but I feel it had the most elegant look from everything I saw.