Questions about spa spillway for pool remodel

rkidmike

Member
Sep 1, 2021
6
Orange County, CA
Hi, I've been following TFP for pool chemistry maintenance, and I now find myself in need of help with a pool remodel...so I'm reaching out to the kind and knowledgeable folks here.

We remodeled our spa to be elevated, and I'm trying to figure out some details on the spillway. Please see the attached photos. My questions are:

1. We want to use a marble stone ledger for the exterior of the spa, and would like the aesthetic of having it wrap around the entire spa, including under the spillway. But I'm concerned that if the ledger gets wet on a regular basis, that mineral deposits will form and that cleaning/maintenance would be a hassle. Does anyone have knowledge or experience about this?

2. I've read some threads on TFP where someone has suggested that if water runs down the outer surface of the spa wall down into the pool, that can eventually lead to problems with the grout and water getting under the tiles. Is this true? And is the solution to have the spillway be a waterfall? We're planning to use the 3"x6" tiles in the photos.

3. To create a waterfall effect (rather than running down the side of the wall)...does there need to be an overhang? I read in a separate post that a 2 inch overhang with a groove or silicone bead on the underside is used to create a waterfall. However, I've seen many photos of spillways that do not have an overhang, and there is a simple right angle. I attached a photo of a wide (and curved) tile spillway that has a nice waterfall.

4. If there needs to be an overhang, what material is usually used for the overhang? And is there a way to create an overhang that is also tiled?

5. To have a waterfall from a spillway, I understand that some factors are the width of the spillway and the force of the spa jets. Is there a rough estimate of the widest a spillway can be and still have a waterfall?

Any help is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
 

Attachments

  • COS-10.jpg
    COS-10.jpg
    848.7 KB · Views: 16
  • stone ledger.jpg
    stone ledger.jpg
    170.2 KB · Views: 20
  • spa1.jpg
    spa1.jpg
    479.2 KB · Views: 24
  • spa2.jpg
    spa2.jpg
    454 KB · Views: 23
  • Like
Reactions: Aquaholic1

AQUA~HOLICS

In The Industry
Jul 19, 2021
783
Southern California
#1
mineral deposits will form over time and maintenance will be needed. If the exposed area from the spill water is treated with the right products this maintenance will be at a minimum occurrence and hassle.
#2
water getting under the tiles is a installation/material problem, not using the correct materials for that application and not being installed correctly by leaving voids for the water to enter.
#3
an overhang will help with the waterfall effect even if it’s only a 1/4” rather than being flush with the face of the spa, this helps break the tension of the water from the wall face. Are you planning for the spillway to be open on top with no coping over it? If so A 2” lip would be dangerous if people were to walk across the spillway and put weight on the overhanging tiles.
#4
most overhangs are constructed with tile.
#5
5’ is the widest I’ve had constructed but was with a dedicated pump. 3-18” spills can work good for looks and sound of water with a VS pump that is running in filter mode. You can adjust the speed of return water to the spa to achieve the amount of spill water for the effect you are looking for, just remember you are taking that water from recirculating through the pool return lines.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Jimrahbe

Toxophilite

Silver Supporter
Feb 23, 2022
1,030
Dickinson, Texas
Pool Size
15500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
#3
an overhang will help with the waterfall effect even if it’s only a 1/4” rather than being flush with the face of the spa, this helps break the tension of the water from the wall face. Are you planning for the spillway to be open on top with no coping over it? If so A 2” lip would be dangerous if people were to walk across the spillway and put weight on the overhanging tiles.
Interesting stuff! My ledge, travertine coping, is 1/4" short, inside, of the split-face and angled wall, and even at slow speeds, it causes the waterfall to go away from the wall.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aquaholic1

AQUA~HOLICS

In The Industry
Jul 19, 2021
783
Southern California
Interesting stuff! My ledge, travertine coping, is 1/4" short, inside, of the split-face and angled wall, and even at slow speeds, it causes the waterfall to go away from the wall.
There’s even a better way to build the spillway so less water comes in contact with the face of the spillway. You have the spillway cut back towards the spa and this will build surface pressure on the water before breaking tension and the water will be thrown farther from the face, also this keeps the spillway covered in water when the pump is off and less chance of water deposits from drying.
 

Aquaholic1

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2022
100
Friendswood, TX
Hi, I've been following TFP for pool chemistry maintenance, and I now find myself in need of help with a pool remodel...so I'm reaching out to the kind and knowledgeable folks here.

We remodeled our spa to be elevated, and I'm trying to figure out some details on the spillway. Please see the attached photos. My questions are:

1. We want to use a marble stone ledger for the exterior of the spa, and would like the aesthetic of having it wrap around the entire spa, including under the spillway. But I'm concerned that if the ledger gets wet on a regular basis, that mineral deposits will form and that cleaning/maintenance would be a hassle. Does anyone have knowledge or experience about this?

2. I've read some threads on TFP where someone has suggested that if water runs down the outer surface of the spa wall down into the pool, that can eventually lead to problems with the grout and water getting under the tiles. Is this true? And is the solution to have the spillway be a waterfall? We're planning to use the 3"x6" tiles in the photos.

3. To create a waterfall effect (rather than running down the side of the wall)...does there need to be an overhang? I read in a separate post that a 2 inch overhang with a groove or silicone bead on the underside is used to create a waterfall. However, I've seen many photos of spillways that do not have an overhang, and there is a simple right angle. I attached a photo of a wide (and curved) tile spillway that has a nice waterfall.

4. If there needs to be an overhang, what material is usually used for the overhang? And is there a way to create an overhang that is also tiled?

5. To have a waterfall from a spillway, I understand that some factors are the width of the spillway and the force of the spa jets. Is there a rough estimate of the widest a spillway can be and still have a waterfall?

Any help is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
rkidmike,
Good morning! Is your ledge split face real marble or porcelain that looks like marble? The reason I'm asking is because we are in the middle of having ours chipped out that was just installed in December. I'm not saying that natural stone is not meant for exterior use. I was told by multiple tile places that I have spoke to doing my research...Marble wouldn't be their choice to put on pool walls, etc. due to it being very soft/porous. In marble there are naturally occurring iron deposits. If marble is exposed to high quantities of water or continuous moisture the iron will rust. IF I had it to do over again and absolutey had to have the real marble then I would make sure that your PB used an excellent sealant prior to and after on the marble. I hope this little bit of information helps. This is just by my recent learning experience.
 

rkidmike

Member
Sep 1, 2021
6
Orange County, CA
rkidmike,
Good morning! Is your ledge split face real marble or porcelain that looks like marble? The reason I'm asking is because we are in the middle of having ours chipped out that was just installed in December. I'm not saying that natural stone is not meant for exterior use. I was told by multiple tile places that I have spoke to doing my research...Marble wouldn't be their choice to put on pool walls, etc. due to it being very soft/porous. In marble there are naturally occurring iron deposits. If marble is exposed to high quantities of water or continuous moisture the iron will rust. IF I had it to do over again and absolutey had to have the real marble then I would make sure that your PB used an excellent sealant prior to and after on the marble. I hope this little bit of information helps. This is just by my recent learning experience.

Thank you for sharing your experience!

I believe the ledger is real marble. This is the website:

The manufacturer does write for applications:
RESIDENTIAL
EXTERIOR, INTERIOR, WALLS, KITCHEN BACKSPLASHES, FACADES, FEATURE WALLS, FIREPLACES, CHIMNEYS, RETAINING WALLS, STONE PILLARS, STONE COLUMNS, POOL SURROUNDS, AND ANY OTHER VERTICAL APPLICATIONS

But nevertheless, if we go with this, I'll take your advice and make sure to seal the marble well and reapply on a regular basis.

Thanks!
 

rkidmike

Member
Sep 1, 2021
6
Orange County, CA
There’s even a better way to build the spillway so less water comes in contact with the face of the spillway. You have the spillway cut back towards the spa and this will build surface pressure on the water before breaking tension and the water will be thrown farther from the face, also this keeps the spillway covered in water when the pump is off and less chance of water deposits from drying.

I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge. You wrote:
#3
an overhang will help with the waterfall effect even if it’s only a 1/4” rather than being flush with the face of the spa, this helps break the tension of the water from the wall face. Are you planning for the spillway to be open on top with no coping over it? If so A 2” lip would be dangerous if people were to walk across the spillway and put weight on the overhanging tiles.

----

We are planning for the spillway to be open without coping over it. So I think a 1/4# lip would be safer and look better. But I now have another question, if you don't mind. I like your idea about angling the spillway back. Do you think that would create a waterfall effect without ANY overhang, in a spillway that is about 3-4' wide? I attached a couple of pictures of examples that look like it would work.

The main reason that I'm trying to have a waterfall is to decrease how much water gets on the marble ledger. I hope using marble ledger will be durable (and not need replacing for many years) if we use the right products, but I'm a littler nervous after hearing about Aquaholic1 having to replace their marble. What's your take on this?

Thanks so much!
 

Attachments

  • waterfall.jpg
    waterfall.jpg
    78 KB · Views: 20
  • waterfall2.jpeg
    waterfall2.jpeg
    155 KB · Views: 20

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
38,881
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
1. We want to use a marble stone ledger for the exterior of the spa, and would like the aesthetic of having it wrap around the entire spa, including under the spillway. But I'm concerned that if the ledger gets wet on a regular basis, that mineral deposits will form and that cleaning/maintenance would be a hassle. Does anyone have knowledge or experience about this?

I would not put ledger stone that is uneven on a spa spillover wall. The ledges will make it hard to clean of calcium scale buildup. A smooth tile is much better material for that area.

You already got comments about marble being too soft of a stone.


2. I've read some threads on TFP where someone has suggested that if water runs down the outer surface of the spa wall down into the pool, that can eventually lead to problems with the grout and water getting under the tiles. Is this true? And is the solution to have the spillway be a waterfall? We're planning to use the 3"x6" tiles in the photos.

Water getting behind tile is only a problem when it is not properly installed. Here is the recommended buildup by a glass tile supplier.



1626430671428-png.355575


A waterproof coating like Basecrete should be used. Otherwise you can end up with problems like this...

 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
38,881
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The main reason that I'm trying to have a waterfall is to decrease how much water gets on the marble ledger. I hope using marble ledger will be durable (and not need replacing for many years) if we use the right products, but I'm a littler nervous after hearing about Aquaholic1 having to replace their marble. What's your take on this?

Making the spillover into a waterfall will not prevent calcium sclae buildup on the wall. In fact you may get more from wind blowing water onto the wall and then the water evaporates and leaves the calcium scale. The wall behind the waterfall will not stay dry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CAgirl8

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

AQUA~HOLICS

In The Industry
Jul 19, 2021
783
Southern California
Yes, I think without a 1/4” lip you would still obtain a waterfall effect if the spillway was cut back towards the spa as seen in the pictures provided. If you have a V/S pump you can program it to a speed that will guarantee a clean spill as long as the spillway was perfectly level all the all the way across.

In your first picture example the spillway is cut towards the pool not the spa.

Tile will last a lot longer than marble with water running over it due to it having a glaze finish and will take cleaning products/protectants better.
Below is the product I suggest to my customers to use on their water line/spillway tiles. Second picture is of a spillway that is cutback towards the spa (left side of picture and pool to the right side)
 

Attachments

  • 0FD59DFE-AE38-479D-B378-494FB57F0914.jpeg
    0FD59DFE-AE38-479D-B378-494FB57F0914.jpeg
    152.6 KB · Views: 17
  • A68E350F-58EA-4ABF-91C6-982C0159E652.jpeg
    A68E350F-58EA-4ABF-91C6-982C0159E652.jpeg
    249.8 KB · Views: 18

Toxophilite

Silver Supporter
Feb 23, 2022
1,030
Dickinson, Texas
Pool Size
15500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
There’s even a better way to build the spillway so less water comes in contact with the face of the spillway. You have the spillway cut back towards the spa and this will build surface pressure on the water before breaking tension and the water will be thrown farther from the face, also this keeps the spillway covered in water when the pump is off and less chance of water deposits from drying.
Yes, mine is on dead level and dry when not overflowing, so see your reasoning.
 

rkidmike

Member
Sep 1, 2021
6
Orange County, CA
ajw22 and AQUA~HOLICS: You are generous for sharing your knowledge and advice!

It sounds like marble ledger (or any uneven ledger) below the spillway would lead to issues that we don't want to deal with. We'll probably run the waterline tile up the spa outer wall that faces the pool.

And we'll probably do a spillway without a lip, but slightly angled back toward the spa like in the picture that AQUA~HOLICS provided.

Thanks!
 
Thread Status
Hello , This is an inactive thread. Any new postings here are unlikely to be seen or responded to by other members. You will get much more visibility by Starting A New Thread