Repairing Pool Tile By Bill Dudley at Affordable Pools in Nashua NH Serving all of New England
Repairing pool tile on your gunite swimming pool can be overwhelming, but if you need only a few pieces of tile patched, then this is a DIY kind of project. If half or more of your tile needs to be replaced it may be wise to have a professional pool tile installer install your new pool tile (we will get to this further down in this article).
If you only need a few pieces of tile replaced, you will either need to save the tile that fell off or get some matching tile to use. Most tile if it is more than 10 years old is no longer made, so you will have to find something similar to your existing tile to replace the missing pieces of tile.
Once you are ready to replace and repair the pool tile, you will need to basic tools for installing the tile. You will need a small marginal trowel or putty knife will work as well, you will need a sponge and you may need a tile cutter or tile snips, depending on the application. You will also need a hammer and a small chisel or a flathead srewdriver.
In order to repair the pool tile you may have to lower the water level to properly install the repair tile. Once the water has been lowered the first you will need to remove the existing mortar and grout from where the tiles have fallen off with your hammer and chisel. If any material behind the tile is loose it would need to come out.
Once all the old material is out of the way, dry fit the tile into place. the tile needs to be set farther back then the rest of the tile because when you add mortar to the back of the tile it will then be pressed in to be flush with the existing pool tile. if the tile will fit with enough room for mortar behind the tile, then you can start to mix up mortar. For mortar you can use Type 2 White cement and water. You can also use a modified glass tile adhesive (even if it is mosaic tile and not glass tile) which is designed to be used in wet applications. there are several manufactures of glass tile adhesive and you can get small quantities at a local tile supply or big home store. You will want to mix the tile adhesive to a little thicker consistency than pancake batter. Add some adhesive to the back of the tile and firmly place in the area that you previously prepped. If the pool tile doesn't stay in place or falls out the mortar adhesive is to wet. If this is the case no big deal take your sponge and clean the area of any wet adhesive as well as the tile. and repeat the process with a thicker consistency mortar. Wipe and excess away with the sponge very gently, to firm of pressure on the sponge can dislodge the tile.
Allow some time for the tile to set up once it does not move by tapping your finger on the pool tile, it is ready to be re-grouted.
To re-grout the pool tile use the same mixture you used to adhere the tile and add a little white crushed marble (you can also buy at a local pool store or online pool plaster mix or pool grout which are basically same things if you can not find white ground marble dust). Your grout mixture should be a little wetter than your tile adhesive was. You can use you sponge to apply the grout to the pool tile. Let the pool tile grout set up for about 10 to 15 minutes then you can wash any excess material away with your sponge. The final step is to come back a couple hours later and wipe down with a cloth towel to remove any haze from the pool tile.
If the swimming pool tile repair is to large or you don't think this is something you can accomplish on your own hire a Pool Tile Professional Installer. If you are in the New England Area you can give Affordable Pools a call at 888-611-7665