How To Tile a Pool

Installing and Avoiding Pool Tiles Popping-off

A pool can be a great addition to any home and one that will no doubt serve as the perfect backdrop to your entertainment area. But from time to time, we hear of pool tiles popping off. While it is a common occurrence, if you’re looking at repairing or installing a pool, here are some common reasons why pool mosaics pop-off and learn how you can minimise this happening and know what to be mindful of when choosing pool mosaics.

Movement, which can be caused by changes in weather, is one of the reasons why pool tiles pop-off. As the weather cools down or warms up, the pool and its surrounding areas, including the earth, naturally contract and expand. While much can be done to the foundation and the installation of the pool to minimise movement, the major reason why pool tiles pop- off comes down to the type of mosaic sheets being used.

Over the last five years, innovative changes to the assembling of pool mosaics have helped reduce this problem. The invention of dot mounted mosaics supersedes the most commonly used mesh backed mosaics.  Mesh backed mosaics are where a series of small tiles are glued to a mesh sheet, allowing for a quick and easy installation. The glue holds the tiles onto the mesh sheet but over time it breaks down, freeing the tiles from their backing.  As most of the adhesion takes place on the mesh and less on the tiles, they begin to pop-off. So, the greater surface exposure offered by dot mounted technology allows for increased adhesion to the back of the tile and offers greater flexibility for a good tiler to manipulate the joints – bedding them really well into the adhesive.

Laying dot mounted glass mosaics can be tricky and we always recommend using someone who is qualified and has a lot of experience because glass mosaics are normally half the thickness of normal tiles (normally around 5mm).  When applying the tile adhesive on to the rendered wall of the pool using a 4mm-6mm notched trowel (depending on the size of the mosaic sheet), you will need to firmly press the tile into the glue and then apply your grout.

Most tilers and pool owners find that the glue pushes through the joints, which proves difficult when grouting the joint lines as most times, uncleaned grey glue residue will push through, appearing dirty or mouldy against the freshly applied grout. A simple and yet effective alternative is available thanks to Davco who have created a glass mosaic additive to combat this problem. All you need to do is mix this product with Davco’s sanitized colour grout and you’ve essentially turned your grout into glue.

The mixture is generally 100 percent grout and glass mosaic additive. Once dry, use the same two products to grout mosaic tiles. With a damp sponge, clean any residue that may be on the face of the glass mosaic tiles. For grouting, mix the grout with 50 percent water and 50 percent glass mosaic additive to the sanitised colour grout. The glass mosaic additive will minimise the porosity of the grout and will assist with cleaning and maintenance.

We hope this article helps you understand how to lay pool safe glass mosaics. TFO has a large range of dot mounted pool safe mosaics and we stock Australia’s most trusted range of tile adhesives and grout. Our advice is general in nature and we always recommend you refer to Davco’s PDS and technical information/data fact sheets available online and on their product packaging.

Our helpful staff would love to talk more with you about this or any other tile related questions.

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