QUESTIONInstalling Tile in Spa or Swimming Pool - I am in the process of installing new tile in the spa. some of the tile will be in water, the bottom of the spa is plaster.
I have consulted with employees at several stores with a very conflicting amount of installing information and products to use.
I would like the job done right the first time! I have installed tile on floors but this has to be water proof.
The spa is in the down stairs bath, in the ground, with plaster. I have removed the tile and it looks like a gray thin set was used. It was attached to wood and cement. The old tile lasted 15 years but the grouting and some of the tile came loose. I wanted the new tile so I tackled the job.
What kind of thin set and grouting should I use. My new tile is in sheets. What color grouting and does this come in mixed or do I mix with a special glue used for grouting and thin set?
ANSWERANSWER - I will assume the spa surface will be a plaster material. You mentioned something about wood, but never install directly over wood in a wet area. Whether you are tiling the whole spa or just at the water line, I would recommend applying a liquid waterproof membrane first over the properly prepared clean and sound plaster surface. Laticrete has one called 9235 Waterproof membrane and Custom has one called Red Guard and there are others. Go to Installation Products for their website links.
The membrane will provide some protection against efflorescence (leaching of salts and plasticizers from the plaster on to the surface of the tile) and shrinkage cracking. Then use a polymer modified (multipurpose) or latex modified thin-set that is recommended for swimming pools to adhere the tile to the membrane. Read the bags or data sheets to be sure, but most good quality products will work under water, although some won't!. Use white thin-set if you are using white grout, so the thin-set doesn't show through the grout. You can use polymer or latex modified grout, which will work fine, but for maximum protection use an epoxy grout. Epoxy grout is more difficult to use and more expensive.
Be sure to follow the instructions from the manufacture of each product you use!!!