CONCRETE SWIMMING POOL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Concrete swimming pools are considered by most people to be the best and most luxurious of all the swimming pool construction options. Finishes, including hand laid mosaic tiles with gold inlays can create a real statement and thing of beauty. Here we try to explain why you should opt for a concrete pool or spa, and point out the pitfalls’ and benefits of the project ahead.
Indoors or outside, small or large – a swimming pool or tub will undoubtedly change your life, providing you with a peaceful oasis, somewhere to relax, entertain or exercise, or for having family fun. Once you’ve made the decision to have a swimming pool, the next stage is to work out the size and choose the look and style.
SHUTTERED CONCRETE POURED DESIGN
This design and construction are considered to be the ‘basic’ type of swimming pool constructed using concrete. Once the excavation has been carried out, the contractor will after installing the base sump drainage point, lay concrete reinforcing grid steel sheets onto the base of the swimming pool floor and turned up the edges for ‘wall’ connection. Timber shuttering boards are the installed to form the wall, steps and sides. Carpentry skills are required to form a perfect swimming pool design. Certikin pipe work and pool fittings are installed prior to concrete pouring and will be connected up to the filter system later. Once the concrete has been poured between the timber shuttering ply sheets, it is left to set hard for up to a week.
After the concrete has set the ply timber sheets are removed to expose a neatly formed concrete shell. The walls can be ‘topped’ using a coping stone such as ‘Senlac stones’ white and buff smooth concrete copings. Below varied finish options are available to form a smooth interior finish. Walls can be rendered using water proof sand and cement and then painted using an emulsifying pool paint. Although considered the basic finish, a painted pool can last many years between coats.
GUNITE OR SHOT CONCRETE SWIMMING POOLS.
Gunite or shot concrete is a type of swimming pool construction that uses compacted concrete shot from a high pressure gun hose straight onto the re in forcing steel. This technique relies on the high pressure to compact the concrete both in the walls and floor. This is where the problems occur, due the contractors sometimes not removing ‘bounced’ material from the floor and re shooting it in but just tamping the rebounded concrete smooth. This will result in the concrete being weaker and breaking up. The interior of the swimming pool is then finished with one of the above options.
HOLLOW CONCRETE BLOCK CONSTRUCTION.
Swimming pools constructed using this method are considered to be the best and most durable pools available. Used for family pools up to 7 metres by 14 metres the hollow block construction is the most common of all the concrete swimming pool design methods.
After excavation a raft of steel reinforcing mesh is laid on spacers [chairs] ready for the concrete floor to be poured. The steel mesh will be turned up at the edges for wall tie in later. The floor concrete is then poured and levelled into the required shape. Hollow concrete blocks are then used to build the pool walls. These are laid over the protruding floor steel which sticks up in the centre of the hollow part. The wall are then built adding 10mm re in forcing bar to every horizontal joint with the mortar and then down each hollow. Concrete is then poured down each ‘pot’ and a ‘vibrating poker’ is used to make sure the hollows are full to the brim. This results in steel being laid within the wall creating a cage of mesh surrounded by concrete forming a very tough structure indeed.
Mosaic tiles are one of the most practical options for lining your pool and surrounds, so whatever your budget and whatever your taste, you’ll find something to inspire you in your choice of mosaics for your pool. Top of the range concrete pools can be finished using hand laid mosaic tiles. These can be made of ceramic or glass material and together with chosen motif designs can create a bespoke thing of beauty.
All of our staff are members of the institute of Swimming Pool Engineers
Visit the institutes site here: www.ispe.co.uk