Adding a tanning bench

Thinking of adding a tanning bench or a baha bench to your pool?  Or possibly looking to convert your diving pool to a shallow pool? If so, it’s important to make sure you are making the right choice when it comes to who you hire for the project.  So, as an FYI, the low bid for the project should never be considered unless you are also budgeting to redo their work when it fails.

tanning bench, baha bench, remodel
This picture was provided by the homeowner. The work they performed failed.

G&B Tile and Plaster (G&B) has been called in to inspect failures of these additions in many pools.  The lack of construction knowledge and sound construction practice(s) is usually to blame.  Companies that build these structures, at the lowest bid, regularly fail due to the use of concrete blocks pinned to the pool floor and then filling in the space with debris.  The debris they generally use includes the pool deck, old tile and coping from the project, as well as debris left over from other projects the contractor has been involved in (debris best slated for the dump), and then covered up with concrete for the finished product.hen you hire a company that uses these methods, your pool will develop cracks around the structure you paid to have installed and you will have unexplained water loss. The leak detection company you hire will not find the cause of the leak.

tanning bench, pool remodel, depth conversion
This pool is cracked from the depth conversion and the tanning bench install.

To install a tanning bench, baha bench or transition your deep pool to a shallow pool without developing cracks is to build the new structure with pneumatically placed Shotcrete. Poured concrete will always form a cold joint which will develop a leak in a swimming pool, leaving you with a project that is destined to fail. 

tanning bench, shotcrete
Solid steel support. Dry Shotcrete for a proper tanning bench.

You must remember, water is the most powerful element in the world. Even though your pool water is just your “pool water”, it will make short work of undoing poorly planned and poorly built projects. Never go with the lowest bidder in these projects.