A bit of background: when we moved in, six tiles on the pool balcony had come loose and the previous owners had left them for us. With everything else going on, we didn’t have a chance to get them put back in place and even if we had, it may not have saved us much.
Fast forward to last month when we opened the pool and started getting it ready for use and all tiles across the entire deck were coming loose. When we would open up the cover we’d end up with a few in the water and we could hear the tinkling sound of others falling into the roller cavity.
I made some calls, we got a quote and picked out new tile and last week things were made pretty.
To start, because we have a motorized cover, a crew from Pool Covers Inc came out to remove the cover completely from the pool.
Once the roller cavity was more exposed, we cleaned out all the old tiles that had fallen in as well as the leaves and other debris.
Two days later, Genie Pools sent out a guy (the same one who did our pool electrical panel last autumn) to handle the tiles. He started by removing the rest of the old tiles and prepping the balcony. Here’s a shot of the exposed area.
You can see that the water level is quite low. We drained quite a bit of water out because the balcony sits lower than the rest of the pool edge and providing a good dry work space was key. We used a super low tech but efficient method to drain the pool: a 1/2″ tube weighted down with one end in the roller cavity (there is a drain at the far end to handle run off when you open the pool cover) and the other end dipped into the pool just to the level to which we wished to drain down. That way once we emptied out the amount we wanted, it just stopped syphoning. No worrying about checking a pump’s progress. Go go gravity.
As you can see we went with a pretty dark blue tile from National Pool Tile. They’re 2×2 and came in sheets of 16 which makes working with them a bit easier than laying each one by hand. We originally were interested in in an iridescent look, but then we found out not only were those tiles twice as expensive but also made of glass which means they’re more prone to popping out of place and cracking.
It took close to the full day as the technician had to go back to the office to pick up more tiles, but the results are very pretty. You can also see that the roller cavity was not done perfectly straight and that meant the technician had to fiddle quite a bit with the back edge to get the tile fit properly and cover the space.
This coming winter we have grand plans for the pool. As the average lifespan for the plaster on the bottom of a pool is twenty-five years and our’s should soon be redone, when we have that work done we will then have the remaining off-white border tile replaced to match the new balcony tile. I also found out that painting lines on the pool bottom would not be as permanent as putting in tile, so that means we will use tiles to create a giant asterisks along the pool bottom. Why an asterisks you ask? I swim corner to corner when working out and right now I use a rope weighted down with heavy metal nuts. Our pool sweep does not like said rope so I have to put the rope down before and take it up after every swim.
All that remains now is getting the cover put back in place. Sadly Pool Covers Inc is really busy this time of year which means the original date they gave me was June 1st. A tiny bit of haranguing on my part though and that got moved up to May 26th. We’re crossing our fingers we get bumped up again.