The Way to Tile a Fiberglass Pool Edge
Decorative tiles change a plain swimming pool into something of beauty, but swimming pools need special materials. Fiberglass isn’t quite as stiff as concrete, which is the favored tile substrate. Ordinary thin-set mortar and grout won’t work; flexible silicone tile adhesive and grout will be the answer. Choose glazed or glass tiles mounted and pre-spaced on mesh sheets for best results. Individual tiles require spacers, but the silicone will stick to spacers, making the job difficult. Unglazed tiles aren’t recommended for pools.
Drain the pool to the level where the bottom edge of the row of tiles will go, then trace the water on the fiberglass with a pencil.
Drain the pool a few more inches and then allow the fiberglass air dry.
Cut the tip off of a tube of silicone rubber pool tile glue with a utility knife. Push the rod on the side of a caulk gun to the silicone tube nozzle, piercing the tube’s inner seal. If your caulk gun doesn’t have a rod, puncture the seal with a long, slender object.
Blend the silicone glue tube to the caulk gun.
Squeeze zig-zagging lines of silicone glue over the trunk, mesh side of a sheet of tiles. A number of thin lines of glue are much better than a few thick lines.
Press the tiles against the edge of the pool, beginning on one side of the pool skimmer, and align the bottom edge of the tiles with the pencil line. Continue pressing glued tiles around the edge of the pool till you come within approximately 10 feet of the skimmer.
Lay out a row of unglued pool tiles onto the pool deck.
Measure the distance between the previous tile which you installed and the edge of the skimmer.
Measure the row of tiles onto the deck. When the tiles will not fit the distance between the past glued tile and the edge of the skimmer, you’ll need to adjust the grout lines of the last tiles slightly. Cut the mesh sheet scissors to separate the tilesthen paste and install the tiles individually till you reach the skimmer. Slide tiles side-by-side as necessary to adjust the grout lines and then fill the space as neatly as you can. Allow the tiles dry for 30 to 40 minutes.
Open and prepare a tube of silicone tile grout as you ready the glue.
Fill a bucket with warm water and the teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent.
Squeeze a generous quantity of silicone grout onto the tiles, then spread it over the tiles and to the grout lines with a grout float. Drag the edge of the float above the tiles to remove excess grout.
Quit grouting after completing approximately 10 feet of tiles. Return to the starting point and wash the tiles with a nylon scrubber dipped in the bucket of soapy water. Alternatively, request a helper to work behind you scrubbing the tiles once you grout. Continue to grout all tiles.
Allow the tiles dry for half an hour, then wipe each tile with a rag dampened with acetone. Don’t enable the acetone drip to the water or touch any bare fiberglass.