Sensitive Skin & Pool Finish

Jul 7, 2020
7
NW Austin
We are in the process of building a pool and I am having a hard time picking a pool finish. Here is the situation. My son has a skin condition that leads to his skin being very sensitive and prone to cuts/damage. This is not a chemical sensitivity, more of a situation where his skin is more like tissue paper. We have been in pools where the finish is really rough and he has literally scraped sections of skin off (a-la road rash.)

I was leaning towards a smoother quarts product, but the plaster company recommended Hydrazzo® Pacifico and said if it was his pool he would not put anything other than a pebble or a polished finish. Does anyone have any experience with this product or quartz? I am looking for something with a long life because we anticipate staying in this home for quite some time.

Thanks for your help!

Here is the product he recommended I look into.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,749
Northern NJ
I have had a Hydrazoo pool for 20 years. The finish can be polished smooth and my first run with Hydrazoo lasted 16 years. It could have gone a few more years but I had a rusting rebar spot developing.

Just see that the workers polishing spend time getting areas around curves nice and smooth. They use a power sander that doesn't always get around corners and curves well.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,869
Central California
I've only had direct experience with two types of finishes: mini pebble and plain ol' plaster. No comparison, plain plaster was way more comfortable. My pebble was not polished more than a once over, so perhaps these high-end plaster+whatever finishes can be made as smooth or smoother than plaster. More to the point: I think it comes down to the installer and his skill as much (or more) than the actual material. More accurately: the skill of the worker of the crew of the subcontractor of the builder that puts the finishing touches on the section of your pool your son will most often be in contact with! Whew. Sure, you want to start with the right material, so the potential for the best end result exists in the first place, so your research here is good, but I think for the ultimate result you also have to put some time into making sure the installation technique, and the actual installer, are also the best choice you can find. That means getting your hands (literally, but see below) on the pools that the subcontractor has installed (not just those that the PB has). And if that sub is running multiple crews, there could be a difference in the end result based on which crew is assigned to your pool. That might not be easy, or even possible, but I just wanted to plant that seed. Just deciding about the finish based on what anyone says here, or based on what a PB suggests, will not guarantee your pool will be what your son needs...

And to belabor: when I picked out my pool surface, my installer (sub) had an amazing showroom: multiple pools onsite with multiple finishes each. I got in each and walked around and rubbed my hands across all the finishes to figure out what I could live with in my pool in terms of comfort. During my first swim with my new finish I discovered the flaw in my research the first time I sat down on my bench. The skin on hands and feet are considerably tougher than anywhere else on the body. So by only touching the sample finishes with my hands and feet I didn't get the full effect. Once my tush (sorry!) and the back of my thighs and my knees hit the pebble, I was slightly disappointed, because my pebble is not all that comfortable on, uh, the softer sides. For your son, it'll be all the more critical that you give whatever you can get your hands on a more thorough and "real world" test than I did for myself.
 
Jul 7, 2020
7
NW Austin
I have had a Hydrazoo pool for 20 years. The finish can be polished smooth and my first run with Hydrazoo lasted 16 years. It could have gone a few more years but I had a rusting rebar spot developing.

Just see that the workers polishing spend time getting areas around curves nice and smooth. They use a power sander that doesn't always get around corners and curves well.
Thank you it is really helpful to hear from someone who has had the product that long.
 
Jul 7, 2020
7
NW Austin
I've only had direct experience with two types of finishes: mini pebble and plain ol' plaster. No comparison, plain plaster was way more comfortable. My pebble was not polished more than a once over, so perhaps these high-end plaster+whatever finishes can be made as smooth or smoother than plaster. More to the point: I think it comes down to the installer and his skill as much (or more) than the actual material. More accurately: the skill of the worker of the crew of the subcontractor of the builder that puts the finishing touches on the section of your pool your son will most often be in contact with! Whew. Sure, you want to start with the right material, so the potential for the best end result exists in the first place, so your research here is good, but I think for the ultimate result you also have to put some time into making sure the installation technique, and the actual installer, are also the best choice you can find. That means getting your hands (literally, but see below) on the pools that the subcontractor has installed (not just those that the PB has). And if that sub is running multiple crews, there could be a difference in the end result based on which crew is assigned to your pool. That might not be easy, or even possible, but I just wanted to plant that seed. Just deciding about the finish based on what anyone says here, or based on what a PB suggests, will not guarantee your pool will be what your son needs...

And to belabor: when I picked out my pool surface, my installer (sub) had an amazing showroom: multiple pools onsite with multiple finishes each. I got in each and walked around and rubbed my hands across all the finishes to figure out what I could live with in my pool in terms of comfort. During my first swim with my new finish I discovered the flaw in my research the first time I sat down on my bench. The skin on hands and feet are considerably tougher than anywhere else on the body. So by only touching the sample finishes with my hands and feet I didn't get the full effect. Once my tush (sorry!) and the back of my thighs and my knees hit the pebble, I was slightly disappointed, because my pebble is not all that comfortable on, uh, the softer sides. For your son, it'll be all the more critical that you give whatever you can get your hands on a more thorough and "real world" test than I did for myself.
Thanks for the advice of going past hands & feet. The issue with my son gets better with age but I want it to be as safe as possible for him.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,869
Central California
Allen makes a great point. The edges in my pool are the roughest. And no matter what finish or crew you decide on, don't be shy about getting down in there with them to make sure they do the best job possible. You might get some looks, but who cares. It's not their skin!

Edit, I should have added: After coordinating with the project manager about you doing that. Not asking him permission, just letting him know so he can tell his crew.
 
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usfbull

Well-known member
May 11, 2020
124
Tampa FL
I am planning on using hydrazzo. I initially was leaning towards quartz because we don’t like the feel of the pebble finishes. The sample from the PB was silky smooth. I spoke with 2 of his clients that have had it installed and they said it was amazingly smooth. One that had a free form pool said he does notice a few small spots when he is in the pool that were missed and are a tad rough. Maybe it is a curved area?

wet edge also has a stone that they polish I think it’s called primera stone. However, the one PB that I liked who used wet edge wanted 7k more than quartz.
 
Jul 7, 2020
7
NW Austin
I am planning on using hydrazzo. I initially was leaning towards quartz because we don’t like the feel of the pebble finishes. The sample from the PB was silky smooth. I spoke with 2 of his clients that have had it installed and they said it was amazingly smooth. One that had a free form pool said he does notice a few small spots when he is in the pool that were missed and are a tad rough. Maybe it is a curved area?

wet edge also has a stone that they polish I think it’s called primera stone. However, the one PB that I liked who used wet edge wanted 7k more than quartz.
Thank you. I spoke with the plaster guy today and I think we will go with the Hydrazzo. It has the same warranty and is really smooth.
 
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