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Copings/Tile

Overview Acid Wash Replaster Fiberglass Copings/Tile







Coping is the top boarder around the swimming pool and spa. It is the top cap that rests on the bond beam of the pool or the pool wall. Copings come in many different styles. The most common style is the standard white safety grip coping shown below.  Other styles such as brick, poured in place, and cantilever are additional styles that are often seen. It is important that copings are free of cracks and are properly secured to the bond beam.

If cracks are noticed throughout the grout line (area above the waterline tile and coping) and or through the coping themselves (as shown below), there is a good chance the copings are loose and or hollow. If it is noticed that the copings are cracked and or hollow it is important to take the preventative measures to avoid further damage to the adjacent coping, bond beam and or decking. Once a coping becomes damaged, water will penetrate through the crack and erode the mortar that bonds the copings to the pool shell and or bond beam, working its way around the entire pool. When there are cracks in the copings or grout, water can begin to erode under the pool decking which causes premature deck movement and or cracking.


Mastic is the sealant between the deck and the coping as shown below. The primary reason for the mastic is to allow the deck to slightly move without causing damage to the pool structure. During extreme weather conditions concrete will react by either contracting or expanding. The mastic joints help prevent cracking of the pool shell.  As mentioned above about water intrusion, it is important that a preventative program be put in place for mastic inspections and or replacement. Once mastic begins to loosen its seal, typically 2-3 years life span, water begins to leak under the copings and or decking. This causes erosion of soil, which results in premature damage. 

Waterline tile is the tile that goes along the top of the pool. It is at the water level. As mentioned above waterline tile should always be free of any cracks and or missing grout to prevent water from penetrating behind the tile and damaging surrounding tiles. Choice of water line tile has a big impact of the appearance of water. Typically blue tiles make the water look blue. Pink or tan tiles makes the water look dull without the sparkle of blue water etc.  Talk with your pool professional prior to replacing tiles. They can bring out various samples of tile so the homeowner(s) have the opportunity to pick out the perfect tile for the job!

Trim tiles are the tiles along the steps of a pool, spas or waders. It is used for decoration, as well as along the edges of the steps to help determine the length or depth of the step. 

Trim tile in commercial applications is typically dark blue and or black. We say typically as we have found the county occasionally has allowed lighter tiles to be approved. Residential applications can choose whatever tiles they like as the county does not govern these bodies of water. 

Breakline tile is the tile line at the 4.5 ft depth. It is used to separate the deep end from the shallow end in commercial bodies of water and is mandatory per county requirements. Breakline tile should always be black per county requirements. 

Racing lane tiles are the tiles that go the length of the pool to help the swimmer stay in the center of his or her lane while swimming. 

Please click here to submit a request for onsite inspection of Coping and Tile.

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