Vermiculite bottom- does this look right?

So we are about to have our liner installed but the vermiculite bottom is definitely not perfectly smooth. Is there a way to fix that? Im So terrified of it all showing threw the liner! My pool guy (who I don’t have a lot of faith in) keeps telling me it’s no big deal and the weight of the water will smooth it out 😧 I don’t believe him. I have pics but TFP says the file is too large to post here :(
 

begolf25

Active member
Jul 25, 2019
28
Hanover, PA
Our pool bottom was just done about a week ago. Here is what it looked like. It was relatively smooth as Pool_Medic said above. Our pool builder went in and worked on any obvious indentations or imperfections prior to putting the liner in.

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Our pool bottom was just done about a week ago. Here is what it looked like. It was relatively smooth as Pool_Medic said above. Our pool builder went in and worked on any obvious indentations or imperfections prior to putting the liner in.

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Were these pics off phone? I can't get my pics to load -- all files are too big....hmmm maybe its b/c of the "Live" feature on iphones?
 

begolf25

Active member
Jul 25, 2019
28
Hanover, PA
Were these pics off phone? I can't get my pics to load -- all files are too big....hmmm maybe its b/c of the "Live" feature on iphones?
Yes, they were off my phone. You definitely see any areas of imperfections at night when the lights are on so it would be a good idea to have the builder fix areas you feel need to be.
 
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Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,629
Longview, Texas
Vermiculite is pretty hard to smooth out with a trowel like you might expect from regular concrete, so its not gonna be perfect no matter who does it. I did my own vermiculite and it about killed me, so I have a lot of respect for folks who are good at it.

Like the others said, every imperfection will show up at night with the light on, but all pools are that way no matter what type it is.

One thing for sure you wanna do before they install the liner, is get your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the vermiculite really good to get all the tiny loose particles out.
 
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Kjp300

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2018
73
Canfield ohio
So we are about to have our liner installed but the vermiculite bottom is definitely not perfectly smooth. Is there a way to fix that? Im So terrified of it all showing threw the liner! My pool guy (who I don’t have a lot of faith in) keeps telling me it’s no big deal and the weight of the water will smooth it out 😧 I don’t believe him. I have pics but TFP says the file is too large to post here :(
Here is a picture of mine before the liner went in. As most have said you can see every imperfection at night. But it looks smooth and great in the sunlight! He did vacuum before he put down the liner and I am happy with it.
 

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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,341
Morris Cnty NJ
You can sand the vermiculite with 60grit paper and if its fresh you can mist and knock down with a trowel. Often people see the different colors of the mix and think its trowel marks but its not. It costs extra to get a glass smooth floor its takes 3 times as long to do the standard is a decent job. Few PBs take the floor above a standard finish
 
Vermiculite is pretty hard to smooth out with a trowel like you might expect from regular concrete, so its not gonna be perfect no matter who does it. I did my own vermiculite and it about killed me, so I have a lot of respect for folks who are good at it.

Like the others said, every imperfection will show up at night with the light on, but all pools are that way no matter what type it is.

One thing for sure you wanna do before they install the liner, is get your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the vermiculite really good to get all the tiny loose particles out.
I appreciate your insight! My guy mentioned putting foam in shallow end if I want it - do you think that would help smooth out imperfections too? He is filling in and smoothing out divets (phew).
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,341
Morris Cnty NJ
The foam is for the walls. I never install foam floor if you ever get ground water or a rip in liner it will float up and bunch up leaving a horrible mess of a floor after. A decent floor job will do wonders just make sure it's done the way you want it and you may pay a little more. It's more material and labor to do a nicer job than average
 
I did foam on the walls and I love it. I would not do it in just the shallow end though. Do all the walls around the whole pool.
Agreed. No he was referring to the floor of the shallow end as a possibility on top of vermiculite. We are definitely having foam on walls all the way around pool and on bench and steps of entryway.
 
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Chickinvic

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2017
271
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Bottoms can be done perfectly. Anyone who says different is either lying or being lazy or using the age old excuse that’s how all ours are done!
Our 30 year old vinyl liner pool's bottom seems flawless to me. Up until this spring we actually had a pure white liner in the pool (so could see everything crystal clear). I've never seen or felt anything that wasn't smooth. I think it may be actual concrete though. It doesn't look like the photos I see of vermiculite.