Bond Coat Equals Hollow Plaster

Bond Coat Fail

What is bond coat? Bond coat is supposed to be a polymeric bond agent intended to provide a solid substrate to secure the new plaster to the old plaster. The National Plasterers Council (NPC) states bond agents should not re-emulsify and must be installed per manufacturer’s instructions.

Why does G&B Tile and Plaster (G&B) say bond coat equals hollow plaster? There are several reasons bond coat equals hollow plaster and some of them will be touched on in this post.
Want a guarantee against hollow plaster?
The first issue is the bond coat itself. There are more homebrew bond coats used than manufactured bond coats. What is a homebrew bond coat you ask? A homebrew bond coat is one that is made by a company using materials that are not designed to be used under water (such as mortar admixes) instead of using a manufactured bond coat that has test data supporting its use under water. As previously mentioned above, the NPC states bond coats must “not re-emulsify” and the “applicator must follow the manufacturer’s directions”. Since there is not a manufacturer in a homebrew bond coat there are no directions and this product is definitely not supported for use as a bond coat.

If you hire a company to replaster your pool and they use a homebrew bond coat, you will be on your own when it fails. You should never allow someone to replaster your pool with homebrew bond coat. Otherwise you will learn quickly why we say bond coat equals hollow plaster.

In G&B’s experience, low bidders always use a homebrew bond coat and offer a unique warranty when it relates to the plaster install. These plaster applicators offer a 1-year workmanship warranty. Here at G&B we like to politely call a 1-year workmanship warranty code for a “tail light guarantee.” This means your 1-year workmanship warranty is gone when you can no longer see their taillights as they drive away from your home. This equals to you, the customer, no longer having any sort of warranty. Choosing the low bidder, you will learn quickly why we say bond coat equals hollow plaster.

What about a manufactured bond coat you ask? While it is true manufactured bond coats are designed to be used under water and have test data to support their use, there is no guarantee your plaster will not go hollow. In general, the workers that prep pools for replaster are generally in a rush to get in and out of the pool (and on to the next job) versus being focused on the details and instructions. Manufactured bond coats require their directions for the install of the bond coat to be followed to achieve the product’s proven results. Manufactured bond coats must be mixed and installed exactly as the written instructions on the packaging. Using too much water or not allowing the material to set for the required length of time before installing the plaster can cause failure. The instructions also specify how long the material must cure prior to plaster installation. A bond coat should not be installed in a sporadic method with partial covering of the existing plaster. Bond coats are designed to cover 100% of the existing plaster. Do not install it to look like this.

Improperly installed manufactured bond coat. This is called dashing and will result in bond failure at some point in the future.

It’s important to keep in mind, the same weather concerns that affect plaster application also affect bond coat application. If it is too wet, windy, or cold to plaster; it is also too wet, windy, or cold to install bond coat. In addition, bond coat manufactures require a specific number of days for the bond coat to cure after installation before the plaster can be installed. Most plaster applicators do not adhere to the manufactures’ instructions.

Next comes the issue of friable plaster. The NPC also states you must remove any loose and friable materials prior to installing the bond coat. What is a friable material you ask? See attached picture. Does the person quoting you to replaster your pool know what friable materials are? You should ask them. If they are not able to explain what this means, but are attempting to sell you on replastering you pool then isn’t it a pretty good idea that the crew coming out to plaster your pool doesn’t know what friable material means as well? Friable materials are loose flakes of plaster that are exposed in pool plaster when the cream layer is deteriorated. This scenario is very common on pools that need replastering.
The only way to remove friable material in plaster is to power wash the surface with 10,000 psi, sandblast the surface, or to #hydrodemoreplaster prep the surface. Acid washing will not remove the friable plaster. If you install bond coat over the loose and friable surface your bond coat and plaster will fail in the future. Why? There is not a true solid surface for the bond coat to adhere to.

A simple test to determine if the surface is friable is to scratch the surface with an old key like in this video.

If you get any white flakes on your fingers, then you have friable plaster. Friable materials left on the surface will cause all bond coats to equal hollow plaster when they are not removed. Make sure the company you hire removes all loose and friable material.

The third issue is how many layers of plaster are present in your pool? Were those other layers of plaster currently in your pool installed according to the NPC standards for bond coat listed above? No plaster applicator truly has no way of knowing the answer to this question.

If plaster layers are not removed down to the original plaster layer, you are gambling that your new plaster investment won’t develop debonded plaster. What is debonded plaster you ask? Think of multiple layers of plaster like multiple layers of shingles on your roof. If your roof was leaking and had bald or damaged shingles would it make sense to cover up that leaky layer with a new layer of shingles? Of course not! You want to remove those layers and install the new layer of shingles directly on the roof sheeting. Hands down that is the best thing for a roof. That is also the best thing for your pool. You need to install the plaster directly on the shotcrete shell. Not over a leaky deteriorated plaster job that potentially has 1 or 2 more of the same deteriorated type of layers beneath it.

The last issue G&B wants to point out about bond coat is the lack or false sense of confidence it creates. If plaster companies truly believed their process was the best, why is it they only offer a 1-year warranty? This is a warranty that does not even guarantee the bond of the plaster to the substrate. Why is that acceptable? You, as the customer has made the decision to make a sizable financial investment in your backyard…is a 1-year warranty enough? G&B does not.

A large successful pool plaster applicator in California prepped all their pools with a manufactured bond coat. This plaster applicator installed the bond coat exactly as directed. They believed in their process and had used it for several years. Something changed…the plaster applicator had issues develop in several pools; five (5) months after install the plaster began debonding in several pools. When the plaster applicator contacted the manufacturer, the manufacturer did not stand behind their bond coat. They claimed the plaster applicator caused the problem. The plaster applicator had used this particular bond coat in far more pools than in the ones that had failure (from a bond coat aspect); and interestingly saw each of these pools fail around the same length of time after install. The plaster applicator ended the relationship with the bond coat manufacturer based on their lack of support and their NOW belief that bond coat equals hollow plaster.
Do you want a 10-year bond guarantee?

What is Hydro Demo Replaster Prep?

You’re getting ready to close your pool down from the season and you notice it’s seen better days; the plaster appears to be missing in some areas, it’s a little rough to the touch and are those cracks near the pool’s skimmer throat… As you go in for a closer look you start to wonder if it is time for some pool remodeling.

“We have had this pool a while” you think. “Might be time to get it redone.

But as you start to do some research, you come across an unfamiliar term: hydro demo replaster.

If you are in the market for a pool remodel, read on to learn everything you need to know about the hydro demo replaster prep process offered by G&B Tile and Plaster (“G&B”).


Prep is the most important part of pool remodeling.

pool remodeling. water jettingIt’s All About the Prep

Have you ever had to have a house or car re-painted?  If so, you know it’s all about prepping the surface prior to the new paint.  The prep phase of the new paint application is the most important step in the project. It necessary to remove all loose layers of paint and dirt before applying the new paint. If the surface that is receiving the new paint was not clean and free of loose, hollow or flaking material, the newly painted surface would also fail.

G&B’s hydro demo replaster prep process is focused on the prep of the old plaster. The hydro demo replaster prep blasts off the old weak plaster– down to strongest plaster and gunite to create a superior “anchor” pattern.  G&B’s hydro demo replaster process comes with a 10-year warranty against bond failure of the new plaster.

It’s all about the PSI

So what exactly is hydro demo replaster?  You are probably familiar with PSI (pounds per square inch) when it comes to tire pressure; however, PSI can also apply to water pressure.  G&B’s hydro demo replaster prep processes uses an UHP (ultra high pressure) water jetting machine that creates 40,000 PSI using the typical water supply from a residential home water supply.  The UHP machine used by G&B blasts water at the plaster in the pool to remove all organics, paint, weak plaster; this process creates a superior anchor pattern for the new pool finish. 



Couldn’t I Pressure Wash That Stuff Away?

Pressure washing a pool is not like hydro demo replaster. Pressure washers range from 2,300 psi to 4,000 psi.  G&B’s hydro demo replaster prep process is 40,000 psi. While pressure washing can clean concrete the hydro demo replaster prep process removes layers of old, weak plaster and gunite.  In fact, the hydro demo process is strong enough to cut through gunite if needed to make structural adjustments and/or repairs to your pool. 



Our hydro demo replaster prep comes with a 10-year warranty against bond failure.

water jetting, pool remodelingIt is guaranteed!

Our hydro demo replaster prep comes with a 10-year warranty against bond failure. Hydro demo replaster is not limited by rain or freezing temps. We cover the pool during the process with a debris net and clean up with a 5100 CFM vacuum truck.

So, what do the other guys do?  Other plaster applicator companies use a product called bond coat and typically offer a 1-year workmanship warranty.  Most of these companies make their own bond coat. Therefore, these companies do not trust their process to last to give customers any longer of a warranty. Most bond coat failure issues occur after the plaster has been underwater for approximately 18 months. Oh, and by the way, bond coat cannot be installed during rain or if freezing temperatures are expected to take place overnight; along with other limitations.  However, we see these limitations ignored regularly. 

Hire G&B Tile and Plaster today!

G&B Tile and Plaster is a professional swimming pool sub-contractor specializing in tile and coping installations, customer stonework and all plaster finished for swimming pools for both backyard renovations and new construction projects.  G&B is the only plaster applicator in North Texas with the confidence and conviction in the services we provide to offer our clients a 10-year warranty with every pool we replaster with our hydro demo prep process. If you’re considering water jetting for your pool, call G&B Tile and Plaster today at (972) 906-0142.

What is Hydro Demo Replaster Prep?  | GB Tile and Plaster-Lewisville, TX

White Plaster

Sapphire Ultra-Poz

So, you want to plaster your pool. You just want White Plaster because you say you do not need anything fancy and just want the plain old school white plaster. That is perfectly fine but you must hear or read this first.
Putting White Plaster in your pool today is like putting an 8-Track Cassette Player in your brand-new Car. It is antiquated technology. There are far more advanced finishes out there that incorporate quartz, pebbles, pozzolans, and cement polymers. You can get those finishes in all white also. White Plaster today is not the same as it was 20 years ago, and you should not settle for it.
Sapphire Ultra-Poz
I want to introduce you to Ultra-Poz.
Ultra-Poz is a unique polymer and pozzolan modified pool interior finish. Ultra-Poz has the highest levels of blended polymers and pozzolans available in the market today. It is mixed with a natural aggregate, colored quartz, and a white cement that produces an extremely durable rock-hard surface.
Utra-Poz is far better than a White Plaster finish or a simple 50% Quart Plaster. Ultra-Poz will out perform both of those finishes.
Simply adding quartz to plaster is good but if you do not modify the cement binder you are not protecting the plaster from the most common failure. Ultra-Poz addresses both sides of the critical issues and produces one of the most durable finishes on the market today. The unique modifiers and mineral additives densify the surface, thus increasing the resistance to chemical deterioration.
Ultra-Poz can also be polished. This exposes the quartz beautifully. This can be done when originally installed or at any time in the future for an extra cost.
G&B Tile and Plaster is the only applicator for Ultra-Poz in Texas currently. Previously only available in Arizona. G&B Was chosen for this opportunity because of our 10 Year Bond Guarantee. At G&B we strive to offer the best processes and finishes.

Pool Professionals Appreciation Day 2018

G&B Tile and Plaster is hosting a 2-day event in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on March 23rd and March 24th. This event is designed to offer Pool Professionals in our area the opportunity to improve their knowledge and abilities on how to prolong the life of plaster for their customers.

Please share this with anyone you know who is involved with water pool water chemistry so they can take advantage of this great educational opportunity.
• March 23rd, 2018 will be the NPC Start-Up and Re-Certification Class

Registration Link for NPC Start-Up and Recert Class
• March 24th, 2018 will be the 2nd Annual Pool Professionals Appreciation Day.

Both days will be held at G&B Tile and Plaster’s office, located at:
960 N. Mill St.
Lewisville, TX 75057

The NPC Start-Up and Re-Certification Class will be taught by the Technical Director of the NPC, Greg Garrett. This class is designed to certify an individual in the processes for properly starting up the water chemistry and caring for a newly surfaced swimming pool and/or spa. The class will cover five primary areas: The History and Chemistry of Swimming Pool Surfaces, Understanding Water Chemistry, Using a Water Test Kit, Start-Up Procedures and Start-Up Problems and Solutions. The class will also include a test in the proper methods of testing water and conclude with a sixty (60) minute written test.

G&B Tile and Plaster is an advocate in promoting and encouraging all Pool Professionals in our area to further develop knowledge on how to keep plaster finishes looking good for all pool owners. There is a lot more to taking care of pool plaster than just maintaining sanitizing levels.

Come, listen to and learn from Board of Directors members of the National Plasterers Council:
Greg Garrett, Director of Technical Services of the NPC
Jana Auringer, Board Member of the NPC
Greg Musgrove, Chair Elect of the NPC

We will hold a panel discussion as one of the presentations. Bring your questions and field challenges. Come and try to stump the panel with 100 plus years of plaster industry experience!

G&B Tile and Plaster Pool Professionals Appreciation Day 2018 flyer

Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks provided for both days.

Please RSVP for March 24th at or text to 214-502-3220.

Look forward to seeing you!

Pool Professionals’ Appreciation Day 2017

G&B Tile and Plaster is holding its first annual Pool Professionals Appreciation Day offering a day of free educational seminars and demonstrations.
Invited attendees will have the opportunity to learn the following:
What types of plaster finishes are available on the market
How do the types of plaster finishes perform in a swimming pool environment
How cement has evolved in pool plaster over the years
Just what is a pozzolan
Surface deterioration – spot etching

Demonstrations will provide our attendees with the opportunity to see how a polished pebble finish is installed and polished; what exactly is the Hydro Demo Replaster Prep Process; how does a 5100 CFM Vacuum Truck come into play in the replaster…and just why you should stay away from homebrew bond coats.

Free day of education for Pool Professionals'.
Free day of education for Pool Professionals’.

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.

Heavy Rains in North Texas

If your pool is like any other pool in North Texas it has been overfilled a time or two from the heavy rains. The rain water that wound up in your pool has some benefits and some negative effects.

If the pool has a working overflow, all pools should have one; the water entering the pool will not overfill the pool and it will just flow out of the overflow into the drainage area in the yard. It there is not an overflow installed in the pool there is a good chance some damage to the coping and/or decking is/has occurred if the water level has not been corrected. The mortar joint between the tile and coping is not watertight. When the water level is on that mortar joint it will leach through the mortar. It can escape the pool, get under the pool deck, and contribute to calcium deposits on the mortar. Water present in either of those areas will contribute to premature failure of the coping or the decking.

If your pool water chemistry is too high in Cyanuric Acid (CYA) or Calcium, the high rain volumes we have received might have benefited your pool chemistry. However, you must have a working overflow for this to be a benefit. The heavy rains may have helped to dilute your high CYA level in the pool by causing bad water to exit the pool through the overflow. It might also have helped high Calcium levels by replacing some of that water with low Calcium rain water.

The heavy rains may have also caused your pool to be become extremely dirty. The storms no doubt have sent a great deal of debris into your pool as well. Keeping your pool clean and inviting during a month that saw record breaking rains is a challenge for even seasoned pool professionals.

Last but not least, the heavy rains definitely have not allowed your pool to warm up just quite yet either. The pool waters all over North Texas are still chilly.

Spot Etches

Spot etches or surface deterioration are spots in plaster. The water removes Calcium Hydroxide from the plaster.  This happens when the pool water is not properly balanced.  Spot etches are weakened areas of the plaster, and if you scratched one of these spots with a key from your pocket you would be able to dig out some of the material. Try that same test on a smooth, un-affected, area of the plaster and all you be would be able to do is make a scratch on the surface.

Many companies will acid wash your pool surface prior to installing the bond coat they are using.  However, acid that companies use to try and etch the surface, will not etch a spot etch. The acid gets “sucked” into the spot etch and fills in the void inside the weakened plaster spot. It does not completely come out when the pool is rinsed down. That means acid remains inside the plaster spot etches and winds up being trapped under the bond coat. The acid will eventually leach out to the surface to the back of the bond coat. The acid will be directly on the bond coat that was installed.  Acid will break the bond that may have existed between the bond coat and the plaster that it was used on. When this happens your plaster investment will be at risk.

The only way to make sure your pool replaster investment does not become compromised in any way, is to remove all of the spot etching. This can be done with heavy sandblasting and then using a proven bond coat, an acid wash is not sufficient. Only a proven manufactured bond coat should be used. Homebrew bond coats should never be used in any case. Another way, the best way, is to Water Jet the surface with 40,000 PSI UHP water pressure. G&B uses a 40,000 UHP Water Jetting Machine in our Hydro Demo Replaster Prep process. 

5 Year Warranty on Pool Plaster

February 25, 2015

 G&B Tile and Plaster, Ltd (G&B) is a professional swimming pool sub-contractor specializing in tile and coping installations, custom stonework and all plaster finishes for swimming pools for both new construction projects and backyard renovations. We have been offering these services throughout North Texas and surrounding areas since 2004. 

In 2009, G&B made the decision to implement a new process in the swimming pool industry to set ourselves apart from the competition.  We began prepping our swimming pool replasters with the best process available. G&B utilizes a 40,000 PSI UHP Water Jetting Machine; hitting every square inch with up to 40,000 PSI to remove all previous plaster layers and to create a superior anchor pattern for our customers’ finish investment.  Our method of replastering has far exceeded industry standards.  

Since that time, G&B has become the only plaster applicator in DFW to offer a 5 year warranty on every replaster we perform.  This is G&B’s warranty and not a manufacturer’s warranty; creating a warranty that is far better than any manufacturer’s warranty. It covers labor, material, and guarantees the finish to be bonded to the substrate.   G&B has now become the only plaster applicator in DFW that is offering a 5 year warranty on every plaster installation, new construction and replaster.  

 We’ve gained incredible knowledge about substrate preparation after UHP Water Jetting for 6 years; providing us with insight that no other applicator has learned. We will be challenging the DFW pool industry to do better. G&B is putting our hat in that ring by offering your plaster customers our 5 year warranty. 

 Call G&B Tile and Plaster if you want to offer the best to your customers.   We look forward to speaking with you. Pricing, plaster finishes included in our warranty, and warranty terms will be available upon request.    


 Greg Musgrove, Owner

Hollow spots in pool plaster

What causes hollow spots in pool plaster?  Hollow spots in pool plaster can look like spider web or crows foot pattern. They can also look like a bulge and if you step on it, it might bounce slightly. Step too hard and it will break and become a real eyesore.  Calcium, visible to the eye, will line the cracks of hollow spots.  Hollow spots can affect your original plaster; however, hollow spots in pool plaster are far more common in pools that have been replastered. It is also common for pools that have hollow spots in their plaster to also have structural issues. Hollow spots are bad for your pool.

Regardless if the pool has original plaster or has been replastered, the cause of the hollow spots in pool plaster is very simple.  Poorly prepared substrates are the biggest culprit.  Hollow plaster is synonymous with homebrew bond coats and poorly cleaned substrates. It is odd that most plaster companies tell homeowners that they will sound/check the pool for hollow spots and remove them. They then cover that surface with homebrew bond coat that causes hollow spots. To be clear, homebrew bond coats cause hollow spots. Why do they install your new plaster investment over homebrew bond coats? When will they learn?

G&B’s Hydro Demo Replaster Prep process exceeds industry standards. We hit every square inch of the old plaster surface with up to 40,000 PSI Ultra High Water pressure (UHP). UHP is unmatched with its ability to clean and create a superior profile on the substrate.  Our prep process allows G&B to give a 5 year warranty on every pool we replaster.

We guarantee our work LONGER than any other company.  G&B’s 5 year warranty protects you better than any manufacturer’s warranty offered by other plaster companies.  These companies are attempting to mislead you by portraying the manufacturer’s warranty as their own.  Your planned investment in your pool is respected here at G&B; that is why we use the best process and the best material.