POOL CONSTRUCTION PROCESS – STEP 8
Waterline Tile & Decking
“TILE AND DECKING” – BRIEF OVERVIEW: The decking phase of the project simply refers to the patios & walkways around your new pool. Decking can be done in natural stone coping, pavers, concrete or really any surface that you & your pool designer have come up with. This phase can be done before or after waterline tile, so – don’t be alarmed if things get out of order. If you have concrete decking with “acrylic” overlay, then we install the tile after we pour concrete. On the other hand, the tile will go first for patios such as flagstone, travertine or paver coping. Our stone masons are experts in installing all of our natural stone coping, and this process should take anywhere from 1 to 4 days. Once the coping is installed, the landscape crew can work on the remainder of your new patios. If your project involves “cool deck,” then this gets a 4″ base of concrete first. The concrete is usually formed on day 1, then poured the following day (schedule permitting), making it a 2 day process for rough concrete. Don’t worry, it’s not finished here – after 14 to 21 days, we come back and apply the “acrylic lace” or “cool deck” and color it. All in all, it’s a 3 day job.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What’s the difference between “cool deck” and “lace”? Hey, We’re glad you asked! This is one that is always misunderstood, but a very simple explanation. Basically, they are the same thing, and used to refer to a textured surface over concrete that is “non-slip” and “cooler” than concrete. “Cool deck” gets it’s name from many years ago, and was applied at the same time as the concrete pour. Now, with improved product durability & longevity, it’s actually called “acrylic overlay” and the pattern is called “lace”. We still refer to it as “cool deck” though, because that is what it is! The reason it is so much cooler is the light color and the texture. When the temps reach 115 degrees, t he surface is still hot – it just feels cooler because your feet only touch about 50% of the surface on contact, making it feel much cooler.
There’s an “Orange” strip of plastic in the middle of my patio! The orange strip in your patio is called a “deco drain”, and it’s about 2″ wide, and 4″ deep into the patio. This drain is covered with an ORANGE piece of protective tape that is removed during the final stages of cleanup. This is installed to assist in proper drainage away from the pool, and is 100% necessary to keep water from getting under the shell of the pool and foundation of the house. In the landscape & pool business, nothing is ever level – and we keep a general rule of thumb to “DRAIN AWAY FROM HOUSE & DRAIN AWAY FROM THE POOL”. When we do this, it creates a low point in the patios that can collect water. To channel this water to the landscape area, it is necessary to install this drain. These drains come in tan, white & grey, and we too wish there were cleaner ways to finish the patio, but we feel these look better than having a section of rock in the middle of the patio.
What does “coping” mean? COPING is the term for the piece of stone, concrete, or material that goes directly on the edge of the pool or wall. Think of coping as a “finish” piece that makes it look good. Coping usually overhangs an inch or two, covering up a transition joint. Coping is a term used widely in the pool industry, but can also refer to the same material going on top of a wall, seat or step. Coping can have many different edges too – bullnose, square, chiseled, polished (these are the most popular).
Why does it take 14 to 21 days to come back and do the “cool deck” pattern? The old style of cool deck was done the same day, but over time, it had a strong likelihood of coming off. The new style of “acrylic” goes on after the concrete is fully cured, and this can take anywhere from 14 to 28 days. After the concrete is cured, it no longer releases water, minerals, and other chemicals that may affect the acrylic overlay. We’d also like to be done sooner, but it’s just one of those things to ensure that your pool lasts!
Who covers up all the pipes & trenches? For the most part, the trenches are covered up by the decking guys. Now, we have our own crews for most of the types of decking, but sometimes the deck guys are focused on just the deck! Don’t be alarmed if there are still a few areas uncovered – this will get done soon.
When is the cleanup of all the concrete & mess done? The overall “big” cleanup generally starts to happen AFTER decking. Decking & patios in themselves tend to create lots of debris, scraps, and dust. In the past, cleaning up after shotcrete feels like spinning our wheels with the amount of mess that’s still involved in finishing your project. The trash (paper,plastic,food debris) should be cleaned up daily – and if it’s not, please contact us immediately so that we can figure out the problem.
My water feature was installed before decking, what happened? There are certain cases with rock waterfalls where they need to be installed prior to decking, and other scenarios where decking comes first. In this case, we decided to get the water feature installed prior to decking, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We hope you like it!