I'm renovating an old concrete pool which is tiled, but in very bad shape.
We'd like to remove tiles and put a cement or plaster finish on the
concrete. Every professional in Belgium I've talked to says it's not done,
but when I look at US sites I find it's very very common. Any tips (cement
mix manufacturers, what to look out for during appliaction, etc....). All
help greatly appreciated.
I assume you mean the entire bottom surface is tiled, not just the
waterline. Since the grout between the tiles is more or less the same as a
plaster finish, using tile doesn't eliminate any of the problems of plaster
Refinishing a pool is literally a massive undertaking. See my Web page:
Hire a pro. They came at 7AM on Monday morning. They had 10 guys in the
pool air chiseling out the old plaster, left at 10:30 and left two guys
doing some patch work with gooey cement. The plaster they chiseled out was
taken with them. They came back Tuesday morning at 7 AM and plastered it.
Most of the guys left by 11, except a couple that finished it and a couple
that cleaned up. I was putting water in it by 3PM on Tuesday. It looks
great. The best $2800 I ever spent.
I could build a house, but wouldn't touch replastering a pool.
I think the OP's problem is that you can't even buy such work where he
lives. Old-world craftsmanship doesn't extend to swimming pools, which are
a new-world extravagance built and maintained largely by the descendants of
the conquered indigenous peoples. Just like Boca Raton landscaping. The
only lawn in all of Russia is inside the Kremlin.
Swimming pools in Europe are very strange; after the horrors of WWI no one
could be convinced to use chlorine.
Indeed, $2800 I would gladly spend if I found the pro around here. We're
talking about 7000 euro just for a "liner", which is just an ugly sheet of
plastic they put in ..... We need a good recipe for a finishing mix and some
pool-specific expertise so we can let the guys that plastered our home-walls
give it a try.
Other questions; the whole pool is tiled, but what do you mean by just the
waterline ? Is this sometimes done and why ? Is grout the cement mix they
fill up the gaps between tiles with ?
And everybody says plaster, but it's basically cement, right ?
In the US, it's common to plaster the pool and tile the waterline,
usually 6 or 8 inches. Helps on maintenance and the tile color can
help determine the water color since it refracts through the water
Not really. At least in the US, cement, plaster, stucco, concrete and
so on are all different products, though there is a similarity. Pool
plaster here is higher in Portland cement and lime content than
But the key in any pool world wide is whatever holds water. The
normal concrete shell of a pool will seep water, so a finish is put on
to retain the water, as well as provide a suitable surface for
bathers. Plaster, tile, marble, plastic, rubber, copper, alabaster
and many other materials have been used.
Plaster pools in every backyard are a feature of modern US
neighborhoods in the sunnier climates. Here, a tile pool is an
extremely expensive luxury.
Richard has (had?) a site where he plastered his own pool you might
look at. It's backbreaking labor, but not rocket science.
Plaster has a water absorption property (like a sponge) such that it
will be stained by minerals deposited by evaporation and oils and other
contaminants floating on the pool surface, like a "bathtub ring".
Porcelain tile has zero water absorption, so stains will not adhere.
Cheaper tile has significant water absorption, and will tend to stain.
For immersion, use porcelain tile. Dark colors must be lightfast
Yes, portland cement plus sand aggregate. Cement shrinks with curing,
so sand must be added to prevent shrinking in joints wider than about
White portland cement, quartz sand or marble dust aggregate, possibly
polymer admix, possibly accelerants, formerly asbestos. Most of the
mass is in the aggregate, like concrete, not the cement.
Not lime or gypsum plaster such as is used for interior walls.
Hello Jan in Europe!
Do not listen to those people over there! They will lie to you! You
have the power of the Internet backing you up! You can fix your pool
yourself! Double click on the following link to see how to fix your
Also, aim your web browser to "www.google.com" the most powerful
search engine on the Internet. When you get to the Google search
window, type in the box..."pool replastering". There are lots of pool
repair men in the United States who will fly over to Europe to fix
your pool if you will buy them a plane ticket!
We're in the middle of a pool renovation, and we're replacing the
plaster with "Pebbletec," http://www.pebbletec.com /. It's an old pool
(by U.S. standards), about 30 years old and never been resurfaced
The problem with plaster is that it requires re-plastering every 5-8
years or so, though people push it out for longer. Pebbletec is
supposed to last 15 years, but it's twice as expensive. In my area,
pools are not that common and renovations are expensive as there is
not many firms doing it.
I wonder if the reason they don't want to do plaster is because it
doesn't last as long as tile. I've never seen a pool that was
completely tile on the sides and bottom, I guess it isn't done in the
U.S.. We have tile only at the water line.
See http://nordicgroup.us/pool for photos.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.