Replacing tiles

drmeow3November 27, 2011

Can tiles be replaced without replastering the pool? Should they? We have a 5 year old pool - the tiles on the spa dam wall have been falling off from almost day one (I will restrain myself from ranting about the builder). I've been replacing them as the fall off but it seems to be getting worse and I'm tired of this piecemeal fix. We are also getting rust which the builder is coming out to inspect. Since they are likely going to have to drain down the water level to repair it I'd like to get the tiles replaced at the same time if I can without replastering the whole pool.

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Tiles can be replaced without doing plaster. There will likely be a thin line between the new tile and old plaster where the two meet. The plaster finish is typically undercut and chipped an inch or so.

When the tile guys try to match the undercut plaster, being cementacious, the different ages and likely batch numbers of the product used will likely cause a slightly different tint or hue there.

The pool, when tile is replaced, is usually fully drained. When tile is removed, its going to drop to the bottom. To get the old tiles, grout and thin set out of a partially full pool, is a ponderous and time consuming process. It is much easier to remove the old tile, clean up, and apply the new tile when you are standing in the pool.

It is possible/likely the old tile surface was poorly prepped and grouted. Water got behind it and it broke down the thin set's bond. It is possible that the spa wall may need some repair if a coat of sealer was not applied to the tile area first, to begin with. The same processes that broke the thin set down also work on the gunite.

I have seen situations that, because of neglect, needed a couple inches of cement removed and re-floated prior to the new tile being applied. This is usually limited to the spa wall unless the coping was neglected too. Then the top of the bond beam needs a similar repair.



    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 5:19AM
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Thanks for your very complete and informative reply. The tiles everywhere but the dam wall seem fine and the tiles that have been falling off the dam wall are all along the edge (curved tiles). Even though the builder admitted that the tile company did substandard work and they had stopped using them shortly after our pool was done, they refused to fix the tiles. Sigh.

Since it is just the dam wall I'm hoping to only have to replace those tiles ... it is also a diving pool so if I can empty to pool to just past the spa that would also make me happier.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 1:09PM
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Doesn't work. The debris flies. Once it's down the slope, its a PITA to get out.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 10:29PM
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Oh, POUT :(

I guess I'll see what they say about the rust. If they have to drain the pool down far enough where draining it the rest of the way is no big deal, I'll see about replacing the tiles. Right now the tile's I've re-attached seem to be staying on fine - since I would rather not drain the pool unless I have to (living in the desert ... a waste of water), maybe I'll wait.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 11:01PM
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