Tile line grout

Jordada

Member
May 3, 2020
11
Northern Kentucky
Hello. I’m new here and I need help. We had our finite pool refinished at the end of the season last year. We chose to have the surface refinished with fiberglass and all new tile. The pool was just opened for the season and the grout between the new tile and coping is cracked and I’m some cases has completely fallen out. The pool has up to 3 rows of tile on the shallow end as our decking is staggered.

When the pool was being renovated we realized that the new tile(6x6) was smaller than the old tile. The old tile was apparently custom. The contractor debated how to resolve it and decided to drop the tile down about .5 inch so it would be even with the section of the pool that has only 1 layer of waterline tile. This left a thicker than normal grout line at the top of the tile. I was ok with that without realizing it would crack and break off. We just opened the pool and this is what we have.

I haven’t heard back from the contractor yet but I’m wondering what you would suggest. Is grout the best product to use here? I’m concerned the grout will just do the same thing. Also of note, we are currently getting estimates to fix the pool decking. It has a few cracks and a little crumbling in some areas. The pool was built in 1986. We have lived here nearly 4 yrs.0166184F-7CA8-4E35-9C1F-93F6BE24385D.jpeg27D6A8D8-6B08-43BA-B599-ADB28F72A419.jpeg670F6052-2CE2-4452-8263-22E6D2838327.jpeg75FC9236-5417-4CA8-9921-9B19B8595ACB.jpegF67BFC26-5916-4BA8-8307-8E41B5253806.jpeg841F54D1-18DC-4927-BD32-D51A2A2B684B.jpeg85B59D6B-0C39-456A-A0E6-0728FB2FA046.jpeg
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,756
Northern NJ
Those cracks look like someone did not understand that a flexible expansion joint Is needed between the pool structure and deck. Read Expansion Joints and Coping - Further Reading

The pool and deck are two separate structures that need to be able to move independently. Those grout cracks and maybe the deck cracks are caused by the deck moving. Grout is the wrong material and will always crack at that joint.

You need someone who understands how to create a cantilevered deck.
 

Jordada

Member
May 3, 2020
11
Northern Kentucky
That is what I was thinking also. This contractor has been in business for 30+ yrs. I’m not sure if it was just a new employee or what. I’m just hopeful he fixes it without Much of a problem.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,756
Northern NJ
It first has to be figured out if the pool was ever built with a proper expansion joint. The fact that you needed to replace all the tile suggests there were problems in the original construction of the pool and deck.
 

Jordada

Member
May 3, 2020
11
Northern Kentucky
Thanks for the information. To be fair, the pool is 33-34 yrs old. It had the original tile and was mostly in good shape. There were a few cracked tiles and one or two that had fallen off. We mostly wanted a different look and since we had to refinish the pool surface we decided to do it all at once. I just assumed the few cracked tiles and cracks in the deck were due to the age of both. How would I find out if it was built with a proper expansion joint? Is that something the concrete deck contractor will look into?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,756
Northern NJ
A concrete deck contractor knows how to pour concrete. I have no idea what background he has in how a pool and deck is structurally engineered. 35 years ago I don’t know how much attention was paid to the structural details.

You need someone who has engineered and built pools with the style decking you have.
 

SinCityCJ

Gold Supporter
Nov 6, 2019
96
Las Vegas
There should be an expansion strip of flexible material between the tile and cantilever. Normal expansion from heat cycles will cause the grout to crack and fail. What contractor installed the new tile?
IMO, the fix is remove the grout between tile and cantilever deck and replace with the plastic trim or an elastomeric caulk.
 

Jordada

Member
May 3, 2020
11
Northern Kentucky
The same contractor that refinished the pool surface also replaced the tile. Or, someone that works for him did the actual work. He was here daily checking on the work, though. He is supposed to drop by on Thr to discuss.

The original pool did have a white plasticky strip in the joint. It was broken in one area and exposed. I was under the impression they either are no longer used or couldn’t be replaced on a remodel. None of the contractor’s I requested estimates from intended to replace it. thanks for the information. I will at least be able to question him about the best way to resolve it so I won’t have further issues.