Replacing water line tile question

#1
I'm replacing the waterline tile in my gunite pool. It's about 20 years old. I've removed the tile, but chipping occurred along the edges as the pictures show. Which order should I do this? Install tile, then repair the edges, and lastly the grout? Or will tile grout be sufficient in fixing the chips and I'll just paint over it when I repaint the pool? I've done plenty of tile work, just never in a pool. Thanks!




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JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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#2
Welcome to TFP!

You can get a good water tight seal with tile and a pool rated grout, but it won't look very good unless you redo the plaster (at least it looks like plaster) after replacing the tile. Normally you replace the tile right before re-plastering and then plaster right up to the tile to get a good seal.

By the by we never recommend using paint with a pool.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
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#3
Was the plaster originally white? Is it painted?

The green kind of looks like heavy copper staining.

Also, for future reference, it would help to undercut the tile with a tile cutting blade so that the plaster does not chip.
 
#4
Let me back up a bit. I've owned the house for 3 years, and previous owners did zero maintenance. The pool is painted a greenish blue. I'll post some wider shots in a bit. Yea, it should have been undercut but can't really do much besides fix it now. I believe it is plaster that was originally white.

So you don't recommend painting, what else should I be looking at doing?




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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
12,647
1
#6
When was the pool painted? In my opinion, it does not look like paint. It looks like you can still see the texture of the plaster. You can also see crazing, which would probably not be obvious if the pool was painted. The crazing suggests that the plaster might be substantially debonded from the underlying gunite.

Has the pool ever been replastered?

I think that a full retile and replaster might be the best option.

Also, paint would tend to flake when stressed like what happened when the plaster chipped. The color definitely looks more like staining than paint.

Can you feel the plaster texture or does the surface feel smooth, like paint?
 
#7
It's never been replastered as far as I know. The previous home owner is deceased so I can't find out. I'll take your advice and get some quotes on replaster. If it's original I'm assuming it needs to be done.


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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
12,647
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#8
It looks like it's probably the original plaster. The color is pretty uniform, which could be consistent with paint or really bad copper staining. It looks like staining to me. Did the pool ever have a heater or an ionizer or use copper algaecide?

If it's staining and not paint, you might be able to get back to white with an acid wash. However, it would probably not give good results or be the best choice.
 
#10
Yes, pool has a heater and copper ionizer system as well. We don't think the color has changed much in the 3 years I've owned it. I just went out and felt the surface, it feels smooth. I assumed it was paint because the bottom of the deepend has a different cooler as show here:




Otherwise there is just a lot of discoloration going on. The plaster itself seems to be on good shape around the tile line, and plenty thick.

There are also some "drip" marks around the pool edges that are hard. I'm guessing this was from someone doing plaster repair or tile work with water in the pool? See here:




And a closeup of the shallow end



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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
12,647
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#12
The plaster might be delaminating from the gunite. Try tapping on it with the plastic handle end of a screwdriver to see if it sounds hollow. Tap where cracks meet or overlap.

I think that the color is almost definitely copper stains and not paint.

I think that the drip marks are due to calcium leaching through cracks, which is common where cracks lead to hollow areas under the plaster. Google pool plaster calcium nodules.
 
#14
The plaster might be delaminating from the gunite. Try tapping on it with the plastic handle end of a screwdriver to see if it sounds hollow. Tap where cracks meet or overlap.

I think that the color is almost definitely copper stains and not paint.

I think that the drip marks are due to calcium leaching through cracks, which is common where cracks lead to hollow areas under the plaster. Google pool plaster calcium nodules.
Yup, a lot of hollow sounds when I tap around. Looks like a replaster job in my future.


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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
12,647
1
#15
In some cases, you can replaster over old plaster. However, in this case, I would recommend having all of the old plaster removed down to gunite.

I would also recommend getting rid of the ionizer as it is not a good choice, in my opinion. Has anyone gotten green tinted hair from swimming in the pool?

Do you use chlorine or bromine along with the ionizer or just the ionizer?
 
#16
In some cases, you can replaster over old plaster. However, in this case, I would recommend having all of the old plaster removed down to gunite.

I would also recommend getting rid of the ionizer as it is not a good choice, in my opinion. Has anyone gotten green tinted hair from swimming in the pool?

Do you use chlorine or bromine along with the ionizer or just the ionizer?
Never had any tinted hair, and I basically ran it on the lowest setting. We dumped in 2 gallons of bleach per week in the summer, never had any algae problems. I'll look at switching now that we are redoing the entire thing.


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#20
I'll measure the linear feet tonight, but the quote I got states 550 sq/ft for the pool and less than 50 sq/ft for the attached spa.

In general is the Pebble product worth the upgrade?


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