How do I choose the best pool tile mortar? (with photo)

Pool tile mortar can be used to repair or replace pool tiles.

Pool tile mortar is used to repair or replace pool tiles. The main factors in choosing a mortar are the scale of the project and the desired appearance of the mortar. A sanded, waterproof, epoxy or cement pool tile grout will be adequate for most projects.

There are two main types of grout that are often used as pool tile grout: classic Portland cement grout and epoxy grout. Epoxy is harder than cement, stain resistant and very durable. On the other hand, it is much more expensive than cement. Therefore, for large-scale swimming pool renovation or repair, concrete mortar is usually the most cost-effective. However, for smaller intermittent projects, epoxy grout may be the best option, as its pot life is virtually unlimited.

When grouting a pool, it is important to choose a waterproof grout to maximize longevity; Unlike most cases where grout is used, pool tile grout spends most or all of its time underwater. While regular grouts will still work, they won’t last as long in these conditions. In general, epoxy grouts are naturally waterproof; cement grouts with this property are less common and are usually specialty grouts.

Another consideration when choosing a mortar is color. A well-maintained pool often adds significant value to a property, but uneven tile grout can negatively affect appearance. Because grout fades over time and can stain, grout used for simple repairs is very likely to result in a color mismatch with the original. The only way to totally avoid this problem is to do a full reweave. Many stores that sell grout have color swatches that can be used to match grout colors.

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If your grout project involves fill gaps greater than 1/4 inch (6.4 mm), it’s probably best to use grout with sand added, which helps the grout hold tighter. Pool tiles are often more widely spaced than other tiles and can be laid vertically, so they usually require sanded grout.

Finally, it is best to choose a pool tile grout with an appropriate setting time for the size of the project and the skills of the mason. If the setting time is too short, it can be very difficult for a novice mortar user to complete a large project before the mortar becomes too difficult to work with. However, more experienced users may be frustrated by long grouting times.

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