Stone in constant contact with saltwater

mdbrown

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Aug 2, 2021
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Just finished digging a 50x16 pool with spa. The spa will be within the pool rectangle, and the two inside spa walls will be spillways, so in constant contact with saltwater (partially submerged even). We would like to use double bullnose coping stones on top of the spa wall, instead of tile. Is there a type of stone we could use that will not be affected by the saltwater?

Thank you for your help!
 

PoolGate

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No stone is effected differently by a saltwater pool than a non-saltwater pool. This is a myth. A saltwater pool has 3 parts per 1000 salt concentration. A non saltwater pool after a year or so of running has 1-2 parts per 1000. The ocean has 35 parts per 1000.
 

ajw22

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Spa spillover walls often get scale on them from calcium left over from evaporation. This has nothing to do with salt.

Smooth slick hard tile is the easiest to clean scale off of.

Cleaning scale off of stone can be difficult as it gets into the crevices.

If you use stone on the spa wall be aware of the difficulties you will have in keeping it clean and looking good.
 
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JoyfulNoise

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Do not use any soft or porous materials in contact with water. If a stone is to be submerged or in constant contact the you want a very hard, non-porous type stone, like granite or slate. Limestone/sandstone are soft and porous materials that will quickly absorb water and create lots of efflorescence and scale. Ceramic tile is typically the best choice for any water bearing surfaces as it is waterproof and, if paired with epoxy grout, will present a very durable surface to water infiltration.
 

mdbrown

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Aug 2, 2021
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Sacramento, CA
Pool Size
32000
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Plaster
Chlorine
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Spa spillover walls often get scale on them from calcium left over from evaporation. This ahs nothing to do with salt.

Smooth slick hard tile is the easiest to clean scale off of.

Cleaning scale off of stone can be difficult as it gets into the crevices.

If you use stone on the spa wall be aware of the difficulties you will have in keeping it clean and looking good.
The pool will have an automatic cover, so less than normal evaporation. Besides the look, I also would like a rounded edge/corner to reduce wear on the cover. A decent radius bullnose easier to achieve on a 2" thick slab than on a 3/8" tile. We would use something hard and as smooth as possible without being too slick. I just don't want to make a mistake here because the spa wall height will be set based on my selection, so will not be able to easily go back to tile later if something goes wrong.
Unfortunately, the waterline tile we plan to use doesn't come in a good size for this application, and is also not a through-body color. So we are limited in how we can apply it to the top of the spa wall.
 

bmoreswim

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The pool will have an automatic cover, so less than normal evaporation. Besides the look, I also would like a rounded edge/corner to reduce wear on the cover. A decent radius bullnose easier to achieve on a 2" thick slab than on a 3/8" tile. We would use something hard and as smooth as possible without being too slick. I just don't want to make a mistake here because the spa wall height will be set based on my selection, so will not be able to easily go back to tile later if something goes wrong.
Unfortunately, the waterline tile we plan to use doesn't come in a good size for this application, and is also not a through-body color. So we are limited in how we can apply it to the top of the spa wall.
You've certainly got the right thought process on the corner of the spa regarding the cover. I've often thought that also throwing something on the corner, like a folded towel or closed cell foam piece (if it would stay in place) would be some nice insurance. Though it may be unnecessary with the widely rounded edge.
 
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