Pimp my pool? (excuse the colloquialism)

mtnrdredux_gwMarch 15, 2013

Our pool is being resurfaced. It is currently white. The coping is a slate tile and we have a stone deck. It is an indoor pool, but it is in a room with 18 french glass doors that lead out to stone terraces. In the summer the doors are mostly left open, so the finishes provide some continuity. In the winter of course the doors are closed, but with all the glass the room still feels like part of the outdoors.

Indoor pools rarely need resurfacing (I think it is the first time since the POs installed it). It was getting a little rough so that is why we are having it redone.

I thought of this as a maintenance project, and really didn't consider changing anything. The pool is a very simple design. It is a simple rectangle. At one end is a hottub. Separating the hot tub and pool is a sort of flat stone bridge, over which water flows very gently.

In our old house our pool was a light grey. I really liked that because I don't usually like the bright aqua that white pools become ... too Floridian. Our old pool had a deep aqua blue hue when filled. We also had cobalt tile and brick coping.

I don't know how grey would look in an indoor pool, so I am reluctant to use anything but white. I also tend to think that the natural look of the slate tile against the stone deck is appropriate for the indoor/outdoor setting and our (1904) home. But then I think about some of the glass mosaic, especially the pearlescent in the darker golden colorways?

I don't think we will have to do this again for at least 15 years or more, so I should speak now or hold my peace. WWYD?

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i personally would want to color the plaster, though just gray plaster does mottle- especially if you have a chlorine pool...

we have a 3m aggregate added to our pool's plaster which is a mix of colors to give it a more natural look and with the aggregate added to the gray plaster, even tho there is some mottling, it is not as bad as some pools i have seen which have just coloring added to the plaster...
i think glass mosaic tile would look great! (and would be easy to care for i would think...)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:24PM
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I think I would ask this question over on the Pools and Spas forum. Lots of helpful folks over there.


Here is a link that might be useful: gardenweb Pools forum

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 1:25PM
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We remodeled the pool and deck at our Florida house in 2001. At that time Pebbletec and similar finishes were "must haves" in pools, whether they fit the setting or not. More recent iterations have been rock, glass tiles, and now lots of other things I've never heard of. All this to say that in 15 years glass tiles will look very outdated. I would tint the plaster or do a sort of terrazo look marcite. Your pool sub should be able to show you what the water will look like in every kind of application. I would think a soft gray or blue would give it just the right amount of "dark" in the water.

I think the turquoise is a nice change of color for your pool room---think of your new upholstery in those wicker chairs, you'd have to change that if you made any drastic changes, wouldn't you?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 4:16PM
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I'm with you, mntrd... I don't like the David Hockney California color in our eastern coastal spot. The pool at our previous house was white inside, turquoise with water, and it looked jarring with the azaleas and holly and magnolia and box and eastern deciduous trees in the yard. We'd have changed that on the next pass if we hadn't decided to sell the house.

So I'd darken it, too.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 6:14PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Dark is fine as long as you can still see to the bottom easily. I've seen pools where the water looked deep gray green and not clear enough to know if a snake was swimming around....

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 6:49PM
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I'm with Bumble. I'd be scared to death to get into water where I couldn't see if something else was in there with me. lol. After being chased by a Cotton Mouth snake, never again! Plus, for safety's sake, it's easier to keep an eye on other people.

I also think a lighter color would look good in your pool room, because it's already on the darkish side.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:35PM
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Oakleyok, going off topic here, I grew up on a ranch in OK. I played outside in our pasture, around our ponds, creek etc all of the time. Cotton mouths were common and I also remember being chased by one! Funny, because as an adult I figured I must have remembered that incorrectly and would a snake really chase a person. I would've been about 10 so wondered if that was just my imagination. Interesting to hear someone else had same experience. Good memories growing up there. I was so free and independent. I'm now in suburb of NYC. My children don't have same privilege.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 6:11AM
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Oh yes, they DO chase people! When I was a kid I went to a camp that was on a ranch. The owners rocked a pond for swimming. It was beautiful. I was in the middle swimming and looked behind me and all I saw was the head of the snake trailing me. The faster I swam the snake stayed right behind me.

I have never again gone swimming in dark water! lol. As pretty as dark water can be in pools, living in the country we need to see all the way to the bottom. If we had a pool. :)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 7:15AM
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Wow, I can certainly understand why you would avoid dark water!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 7:33AM
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Do you happen to have photos? Does it change the texture?
Our pool is chlorine but in addition to that we have well water and the water is very very hard. There is a factory in our basement devoted to trying to make the water better, but even so, one mistake and the white plaster could easily stain.

This may sound odd, but I don't "know" anyone over there, and since this is not a functional question but an aesthetic one, I thought to post here.

You are right of course, glass tiles are uber-trendy. And they do not really fit. Great idea about having the guy show me what each color would look like. Maybe a very light gray.
And you have a great memory. It was someone here on GW who pointed out that the room was not neutral, but already had a color -- the blue of the pool -- that led me to my upholstery choice. And since it was very pricey Kravet outdoor fabric, I certainly want to consider it, too. Hope the pool guy doesn't think I'm crazy if I ask him to match it, LOL.

Yes, to some people that is the "color of swimming" as a friend put it. But I'm thinking more "Gardens of the Vestal Virgins".

Bumble, Oakley, Kew,
I wouldn't go dark grey, just enough to get rid of the Miami Vice feel. Here was our pool at our old house, you can kind of see the grey on the steps.

Excuse my ignorance, are they poisonous? If so how scary! We have snakes in our pond and also they like to sun on the dock. First thing I did was look them up in a wildlife guide. All harmless. They do chase the kids in the pond sometimes, or the dog chases them.

Not sure why you think the room is dark? One of the short ends is a greenhouse, one long side is about 80% french doors, the other long side is 50% french doors, and the remaining short side has a single french door on one side and faux french door to the mechanical room on the other side. Everything is painted white. We have recessed lights, hidden lights in a cove, and about a dozen sconces. And the pool itself is lit... maybe you are thinking of something else?

Anyway ...
I am going to ask the pool guy to show me an example of what light grey would look like, and compare it to my upholstered furnishings. Also ask him if it would hide staining from the hard water should it occur.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:41PM
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How are you with etches on marble? If you do the mixed grey plaster within a short time it will have light( even white) spots mixed with the grey. I have never seen a stained plaster pool that did not have this happen within a year. There is a disclaimer waiver I needed to sign to have stained plaster. If you want a darker pool, and do not like mottling use diamond brite or a quartz. product, they are worth the extra cost.
I actually find color pools jarring in some settings. The blue is sometimes very unnatural and dyed looking if the pool surface is not done in just the right shade of grey. I also believe in the early 1900s the proper surface would have been white plaster or all tile or slate not a mixed dyed plaster so the purest in me would stay white or tile the whole surface, which is costly. Also there are code laws for many indoor pools, granted these are for commercial pools, that only allow white bottoms for it is hard in shade to see the bottom of a dark pool.
Good luck and I have seen your work and any choice you use I know you will turn to magic:).

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Just a follow.up, for whatever it is worth.

Roarah, you are right, a tiled surface might be period. I looked into that, but it really does not work with the stone decking, which i love and which provides continuity to the outdoor spaces.

As for trying a light gray to make the pool a shade less "Floridian", I learned something new. It turns out that part of the color of the water is a reflection of the sky. (but not all --- for example our indoor pool is white plaster but the water is aqua blue --- something I had to google to remember why). Anyway, the pool guy says in an interior pool, the water will look greenish if we make it grey. He also said that 90% of the exterior pools he does are now done in gray.

So, do not make an interior pool gray. Do make an exterior pool gray to get a nice deep blue, esp if you are not in a tropical clime.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 8:00PM
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