DIY Pool Re-Tiling & Re-Lining Part One

What You'll Need
New Tile
Pneumatic Hammer
Plastic Watering Can
Muriatic Acid
Scrub Brush
Chalk Line
Scratch Coat Mixture
Ladder or Scaffolding

Save you time and effort, and end up with a safer, more satisfactory pool. Follow these tips and instructions on how to repair your pool tiling or liner. In this part, we deal with re-tiling. In part 2, we'll cover re-lining.

Re-Tiling Your Pool

Re-tiling your below ground swimming pool is a time consuming job, but one the average do-it-yourselfer can accomplish with the right instructions. Your pool will be unusable for approximately two weeks or longer in most cases, so keep that it mind when starting this job.

Step 1 - Drain the Water and Remove Old Tile

Before you start the re-tiling process, the pool needs to be completely drained of water. Remove the old tiles and scratch coat, either manually with a hammer and chisel or with a pneumatic hammer. The scratch coat is the bonding agent used to hold the tile to the concrete shell of the pool.

Step 2 - Clean Up and Scrub the Area

Once all of the tile is removed from the area that needs re-tiling, clean up the debris and prepare the area for tiling. To prep the area, use a solution of muriatic acid and water (10 percent acid to water ratio). Fill a PLASTIC watering can with water and then add the acid, never put the acid in first.

Apply the solution to the area using a boat brush or a brush that’s suitable for use with acid-based solutions. Brushes of this kind can be purchased at your local hardware store.Once the area has been thoroughly scrubbed, rinse all of the solution away with fresh, clean water. Make sure all of the liquid drains from the pool.

Step 3 - Apply Scratch Coat and Tile

To ensure your tile installation is level, use a chalk line to mark the area. Mix the scratch coat according to the manufacturer’s directions. Apply the scratch coat to the pool’s shell with a trowel at a thickness of approximately 1/8-inch. Adjust accordingly so it stays true with the existing tile.

Apply the tile so that it follows your string line. If any excess scratch coat needs to be wiped away from in between the tiles, do it now while it’s still wet and easy to remove. A damp sponge will work best for removing the excess scratch coat. It’s important to keep the area between the tiles free from a build-up of scratch coat because that area is going to be filled with grout. Wait at least 2 days (or more depending on the weather) for the scratch coat to dry before you apply grout between the tiles.

Step 4 - Grout

Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions and start applying the grout between the tiles using a clean trowel. Wipe away the excess grout with a damp sponge to ensure a clean finish. Allow the grout to dry for a minimum of 2 days (again, depending on the weather). I wouldn’t remove the scaffolding yet until you’re sure no touch-ups are needed.

Step 5 - Fill the Pool

After cleaning up all the debris and taking down the scaffolding, fill the pool with water to the recommended level.