Pool Surfaces Explained
All plaster pool surfaces are made up of two main components:
1. White Portland Cement
1. White Marble Dust in common white plaster (Softest)
Marble Dust is a relatively soft mineral. It has a rating of 3 on the Mohs hardness scale.
2. Quartz (Much harder than Marcite)
Quartz is a much harder aggregate than marble and provides for a more durable pool finish. It has a rating of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.
3. Pebble (Hardest)
Pebble aggregate is a quartz aggregate, but it is much larger than the quartz aggregate and is smooth.
For this reason Wet Edge products contain a third component to the plaster mix; an admixture.
Wet Edge’s specially blended pozzolan-polymer admixture makes cement stronger, harder and more durable. This is the same process other industries use to harden cement in structures such as overpasses and foundations. The use of pozzolans to strengthen cement goes as far back as the Romans who used them in the coliseum and roads, some of which still stand today.
So which is the best?
In our experience the Wet Edge Pebble Finish
is the best choice for someone who wants a durable, natural-looking, and easy to care for pool surface.
But I heard that pebble is rough?
Pebble does have more texture than quartz or plaster finish, but our stones are much smoother than many on the market.
Each variety of stone is carefully chosen by our distributor to ensure the proper application. Wet Edge products differ from the competition in that NO crushed stone is used. As you can imagine crushing stone invariably leads to sharp, rough edges which is the last thing you want in a pool surface! Much of Wet Edge’s stone is harvested from beaches around the world where thousands of years of tide movement has acted to naturally smooth the stones. The two different sizes of pebble are achieved by sifting versus crushing which leaves a vastly smoother final product when compared to the competition.
What is the difference between the Luna Quartz and a normal plaster?
The Luna Quartz aggregate is made of 100% quartz which makes it much harder than a normal plaster’s marcite aggregate.
This means you can expect a longer life out of a quartz product versus a plaster. Luna Quartz is unique because it is made of much smaller grade quartz than competitors. The benefit of this is seen as the cement inevitably degrades over time around the quartz. As the cement disappears the quartz that remains has fewer sharp edges and leaves a superior texture. Think about it like an area at the bottom of a down spout. As the water washes the dirt away leaving only heavier rock, will it be easier to walk on large chunks of gravel or finely grated pieces.
How long can I expect each of the finishes to last and what warranties do you offer?
- You can realistically expect a white plaster finish to last 4-5 years if well taken care of. This length is only realistically achievable through vigilant water chemistry monitoring. The finish can last as long as 10 years but by the end of that time it will likely only serve a utilitarian purpose and will long ago have ceased to be aesthetically pleasing.
- We offer a 1 year warranty against material failure for white plaster.
- You can expect a Luna Quartz finish to last 7-10 years. This again depends on how well the water chemistry is taken care of.
- Wet Edge offers a 10 year residential warranty against material failure on Luna Quartz material.
Wet Edge Pebble
- You can expect a pebble finish to last from 15 years up to the life of a pool if well cared for.
- Again this depends on environmental factors and how well the pool is cared for.
- Wet Edge offers a 15 year residential warranty against material failure on pebble pools.
How important is water chemistry to the life of a pool surface? Proper water chemistry is the most important way to ensure the longest life of a pool surface. If not properly cared for serious surface problems can occur in as little as two weeks from installation.
What steps can I take to ensure the longest life and beauty of my new plaster?
The first 28 days are the most important and steps need to be taken to ensure a proper start up takes place. The plaster is curing during the first month and requires a certain environment and special precautions to make certain it comes out looking beautiful.
Each finish requires a specific start-up procedure which you can find here
If you don’t feel comfortable performing the start-up we encourage you to find a properly trained pool technician in your area to handle it.