tiling a pool with Kerdi [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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11-30-2009, 12:54 PM
My kidney shaped pool is in really bad shape. The plaster is all but gone and the pool is not usable at this point. I assume there is a gunite shell underneath. I got a couple of estimates which range from $10,000-$15,000 just for the replaster job! Not including coping or mastic or any other hardscaping. Seems crazy to me.
I thought about chipping out all the plaster and replastering myself, but from the research I did I have to get the whole job done within a few hours and then refill the pool immidiatley to avoid decoupling of the plaster from the shell. Obviously I can't do that by myself.
Now I'm thinking of taking off the plaster, spending a few grand on tile, and tiling the pool instead. This way I can take my time. I can't find much info on tiling a pool though. I need some help.
Can I just directly tile on top of the gunite shell? What kind of thinset is used? Is this even doable or will the chemicals from the sell somehow interfere with the tile, thinset and grout?
I'm thinking of using Kerdi for the whole job. Has anyone ever heard of using kerdi on top of the gunite shell and then tiling? To me this would eliminate any chemical reaction between the layers and provide even more waterproofing. Please give me input or tell me about people who are familiar with pool tiling.

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11-30-2009, 01:21 PM
I don't think the Kerdi will do too well when you try to curve it up the coved areas.
I think that Laticrete HydroBan (http://www.laticrete.com/Portals/0/datasheets/LDS6630_IMPROVED.pdf) or Hydrobarrier (http://www.laticrete.com/Portals/0/datasheets/LDS1050.pdf) would be better suited for your needs.

no matter which you use you will still need a perfectly flat surface to waterproof and then set the tile on.


* Interior and exterior.
* Swimming pools, fountains and water features.
* Shower pans, stalls and tub surrounds.
* Industrial, commercial and residential bathrooms and laundries.
* Spas and hot tubs.
* Kitchens and food processing areas.
* Terraces and balconies over unoccupied spaces.
* Countertops and facades.

11-30-2009, 05:00 PM
After getting off the plaster down to the shell at what point do I use the Hydroban?

11-30-2009, 05:24 PM
After getting off the plaster down to the shell at what point do I use the Hydroban?your going to need to have a smooth finish. the problem with your theory of "getting down to the shell" will get a rude awakening when you find the shell is actually rough, probably blow in from a gunite machine then roughly flattened. it wont be a smooth surface.

pay attention to the 3rd pictures and the text below it.
the smooth final surface will be in the plaster or marcite final smooth finish.


11-30-2009, 06:05 PM
I expect it to be rough underneath for sure. Do I mud it up with Latex Portland cement and level it out then apply the Hydroban?

11-30-2009, 06:09 PM
if its really rough thinset wont work, it will sag and run out.

11-30-2009, 06:49 PM
Nobody else wants to touch this one huh?

11-30-2009, 06:57 PM
Nope. :) I think Brian has you headed in the right direction.

11-30-2009, 07:14 PM
Why is this subject so taboo here Davy? I really wanna tile my pool and this is a tile forum right?

11-30-2009, 07:18 PM
Ashvin, you posted the thread maybe six hours ago. Maybe some of the right people just haven't had an opportunity to see it, yet, eh?

You fixin' to start tilin' it tomorrow? :shades:

11-30-2009, 07:31 PM
I really wanna tile my pool and this is a tile forum right?to be honest the plastering company usually puts up the water band, step bands, etc.

if you want to do your pool in a mosaic tile then some of the pro's here could help.
but for sure with the work, waterproofing, mosaic tile and time involved your going to be back near your 10k price.


here's a thread you might want to look at that includes pictures
of a guy that removed his plaster.
I would never want to remove plaster and then try to tile it :eek:



01-08-2010, 06:11 PM
Being up around 10 k is ok if I'm gonna end up with a tiled pool that should last many many more years than a plaster job that will have to be redone in 5 to 10 years. Kerdi for the pool still seems intriguing, but i see that Latecret has some pretty cool products too. Anybody have experience tiling a pool?

01-09-2010, 03:27 PM
Kerdi doesn't do compound curves well. It would depend very much on the shape of your pool how well it could work.

Houston Remodeler
01-09-2010, 03:49 PM
Tiling the pool with what tile? They would have to be small enough to handle the curves and still keep the joints looking nice. Then there are the step lips to consider. I have seen circular tiles on 12x12 mesh sheets that would certainly work. Would they need to be vitirifed to handle the chemicals? How many square feet of tile are you looking at? Figure $4 /sf for the tile and 60cents /ft for thinset. What was your grout selection? add that to the price per foot. Then there's your sealant.....

I would love to do a pool that looks like San Simeon, or the ceiling at the Cistine Chapel, but that would prolly be over $10 G's.

01-09-2010, 06:29 PM
Yes ....

There are some great tile guys with tremendous experience tiling swimming pools.

Problem is, if I start to list a few of them I'll probably forget to mention a few who are rather competent & experienced ... and are good friends ... and they'll feel slighted...!

But there are guys like Jerry Abend, www.glaspools@comcast.net and Jimmy Reed, www.rocksolidtile.com, to name two.

Laticrete has published a library of Tile & Stone Technical Design Manuals on specific Tile & Stone application areas.

These Technical Design Manuals are available online for viewing, online as downloadable pdf files and in printed format.


The newest Technical Design Manual is now available in printed format.

The printed version of the Tiled Swimming Pools, Fountains and Spas Technical Design Manual BOOK is here !!

Send me an email if you would like a copy of the Tiled Swimming Pools, Fountains and Spas Technical Design Manual.


Houston Remodeler
01-09-2010, 06:35 PM

Know anyone who sets tiles on boats? I am very interested in learning.