Small Gaps Between Bullnose Coping Pavers

rscam

Bronze Supporter
May 4, 2018
37
Merrick/NY
Having new pavers installed around my IG pool. It's my understanding that the bullnose pavers installed as coping around the edges should be installed tight, with no gaps. Most of them are, but there are a handful of places where there is a small gap (say 1/16 to 1/8"). See pics attached. I have 2 questions. Is it realistic to expect them to all be super tight? (pool walls are straight, not free form) Also, what would be used to fill them? Would the polymeric sand be ok? I'm worried it may easily wash away at the edge. Is there a better product?

Thanks for your help
Ron
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jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
That wouldn't fly with me. Hes in NY up here we mortar coping joints. They butt them in non freeze climates. Nothing you do will keep water from getting in between them. Polysand will fall through the overhang area. Nothing is a longterm fix but before you do anything they need to be sealed. Otherwise any mortar, caulk, etc will stain or absorb into them
 
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rscam

Bronze Supporter
May 4, 2018
37
Merrick/NY
That wouldn't fly with me. Hes in NY up here we mortar coping joints. They butt them in non freeze climates. Nothing you do will keep water from getting in between them. Polysand will fall through the overhang area. Nothing is a longterm fix but before you do anything they need to be sealed. Otherwise any mortar, caulk, etc will stain or absorb into them
Thanks so much for the reply. I was afraid you'd say that. Kicking myself for not researching more about this on here before install. Is there a particular sealer you recommend? I know no long term fix, but after sealing is there something that you think is at least worth the effort (ie mortar, etc?) I assume the main concern is freeze/thaw cycles loosening/damaging the coping? Is there more to it than that? Should I be concerned about other things like water getting in behind the liner or something?

Thanks again so much for the help
Ron
 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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I use SRW products my local supplier is a dealer and I've used them for years with no issues. The space allows water in behind the walls and water is the enemy just like a house. It's only good in the pool. Come winter its got nowhere to go and stays under the coping and with the freeze they pop off. Not too bad first couple years but they will eventually. Bad thing is they usually break the paver if good mud was used that will stay behind still bonded. I would seal them and try caulking them with outdoor rated caulk like tile caulk. Make sure you do the whole pool length under the bullnose where it meets the liner track. I tape that off and get in pool and caulk then wipe and peel tape. One of the most overlooked areas on a liner pool with bullnose. Water runs right down the bullnose in rain and snow we put negative pitch on bullnose to help water get onto deck. Do what you can to seal all that up. Keep in mind only the high end coping bullnose are straight. The middle class and below are close but when butted tight end up looking like what you have. That's another reason to gap them it hides it. Not everybody wants to spend 15 plus bucks a foot on copings
 

rscam

Bronze Supporter
May 4, 2018
37
Merrick/NY
I use SRW products my local supplier is a dealer and I've used them for years with no issues. The space allows water in behind the walls and water is the enemy just like a house. It's only good in the pool. Come winter its got nowhere to go and stays under the coping and with the freeze they pop off. Not too bad first couple years but they will eventually. Bad thing is they usually break the paver if good mud was used that will stay behind still bonded. I would seal them and try caulking them with outdoor rated caulk like tile caulk. Make sure you do the whole pool length under the bullnose where it meets the liner track. I tape that off and get in pool and caulk then wipe and peel tape. One of the most overlooked areas on a liner pool with bullnose. Water runs right down the bullnose in rain and snow we put negative pitch on bullnose to help water get onto deck. Do what you can to seal all that up. Keep in mind only the high end coping bullnose are straight. The middle class and below are close but when butted tight end up looking like what you have. That's another reason to gap them it hides it. Not everybody wants to spend 15 plus bucks a foot on copings
Jimmy, you are awesome. I really appreciate you taking the time. If you have the time for these 2 follow up questions, I'd appreciate, if not I understand:

1) FYI (in case it matters) The pavers and coping are Cambridge Ledgestone - color of pavers = Toffee Onyx light pavers with onyx natural coping, I'm guessing these would be middle of road quality, maybe?
2) My guy says I should wait a year to seal them, do you agree? (I'll also check manufacturer's recommendation)
3) I understand your recommendation to caulk the gap where the bullnose meets the liner and will be sure to do it. Are you also recommending I use the same caulk on the "top" (the walking surface) of the coping where they are not tight like in my original pics? I guess I could polysand as much as possible and then caulk toward the pool end (basically the overhang) where the bullnose sand will easily wash away into the pool?

Thanks again for all of your help

Ron
 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Yup cambridge is middle of the road I've used it it's good stuff. I seal the coping right after its laid. I wont let anyone mud or caulk unsealed coping. The deck pavers wait a few months. If they are mew do at end of pool season. Tape off the deck when u do the coping. Dont wait too long sealers want 50 amd above for the overnight temps keep that I'm mind. You will also need paverwash to clean them first. The wait is to let the color even out amd may efflorescence to settle. If any spots shown use an efflorescence cleaner. Pavers look great it's all we do anymore but it's more than just laying them you gotta follow them up amd then enjoy or they will look like Crud in a few years
 

SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
104
Chesapeake, Virginia
Yup cambridge is middle of the road I've used it it's good stuff. I seal the coping right after its laid. I wont let anyone mud or caulk unsealed coping. The deck pavers wait a few months. If they are mew do at end of pool season. Tape off the deck when u do the coping. Dont wait too long sealers want 50 amd above for the overnight temps keep that I'm mind. You will also need paverwash to clean them first. The wait is to let the color even out amd may efflorescence to settle. If any spots shown use an efflorescence cleaner. Pavers look great it's all we do anymore but it's more than just laying them you gotta follow them up amd then enjoy or they will look like Crud in a few years
How often do you need to reseal the coping and the pavers? As needed, or do you recommend a set time schedule? Thanks,
 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Depends on if its penetrating or surface sealer. Most wet looks are surface they domt last as long. Only stuff like that I use is dualguard by srw. Most people prefer a natural look that penetrating sealer gives you. Every few years is usual you just clean it up and reapply the srw stuff. I use DG on coping alot
 

rscam

Bronze Supporter
May 4, 2018
37
Merrick/NY
Depends on if its penetrating or surface sealer. Most wet looks are surface they domt last as long. Only stuff like that I use is dualguard by srw. Most people prefer a natural look that penetrating sealer gives you. Every few years is usual you just clean it up and reapply the srw stuff. I use DG on coping alot
Jimmy. All of this was very useful. Thank you so much for the help. I'll be sure to seal and caulk the coping right away and the pavers at end of the season.
 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Make sure to tape anything off to seperate it if you use different materials. And make sure you blow off the pavers after cleaning before sealer. Theres always sand left amd when rolling the sealer it can stick to the roller amd become gritty on top after it dries
 

judas

Member
May 25, 2007
16
MA
I have the exact same style of coping and pavers, and some small gaps as well. Three years later I'm replacing tile - wish I knew this when the pavers were first installed! Looks like I'll be caulking those joints when I can fill the pool back up.