How To Replace Inground Pool Tile

Posted on: 31 August 2017

Pool tiles commonly have to be replaced entirely every twenty years, but you can replace individual tiles without replacing the whole section of  in between times. Pool tiles get damaged from weather, water freezing and thawing behind them, or pool settling, which loosens the grout holding the tiles in place. Use this guide to replace your pool tile.

Prepare to Replace the Tile

To fix the tiles, you need:

  • work gloves
  • tape measure
  • sponge
  • soft cloth
  • hose
  • duct tape
  • putty knife
  • flat blade screwdriver or hammer and chisel
  • notched trowel
  • pool plaster (optional)
  • pool tile grout
  • hydraulic cement
  • silicone thin
  • thinset mortar 
  • replacement tile

Drain the pool enough, so you can reach the tiles that need repair, and let it dry Measure substrate (material backing) depth to determine if you need plaster. A substrate depth of more than an eighth-of-an inch lower than the adjacent substrate, you will need to raise it with plaster.

Fix the Tile Bed

Remove cracked tile pieces by inserting the tip of a screwdriver or hammer and chisel in the joint of the cracked tile to remove loose grout. Keep tapping the damaged section with the hammer and chisel until it comes loose. 

Moisten a cloth or sponge with warm water, apply several drops of dish soap, and scrub the substrate. Use the hose to rinse, and let it dry completely.

Fill cracks deeper than one inch in the substrate with hydraulic cement, and use silicone to fill small cracks. Look for cracks in the beam behind the pool wall, and fill cracks with hydraulic cement. Let the repair area dry completely. 

To fill substrates not even with the adjacent substrate, mix the plaster according to directions, which is usually the thickness of apple sauce. Add it on a half-inch at a time using the putty knife, and let it set for one day between layers. Ensure y=ou leave enough room on the wall to install the tiles and an eight-inch layer of mortar.

Install the New Tile

Replace pool tile during the cooler parts of the day. Mix the mortar according to directions, which commonly resembles mashed potatoes. Dampen a cloth or sponge, and dab it on the substrate to keep the mortar moist.

Add a golf-ball amount of mortar on the tile, push the tile iton the wall, and rock it slightly to spread mortar. Install remaining tiles in the same manner, securing them with duct tape until they set. 

Check periodically for sliding tiles. Mix the grout according to directions, or to the thickness of mashed potatoes and spread it in the joints, wiping haze with a cloth. Let the material set before you refill the pool. Contact a pool service, like DESJOYAUX POOLS, for more help.