Friday, June 3, 2011

A Concrete And Tile Pool

A couple of months ago I did two posts on building 
a concrete pool at El Dorado Hot Springs in Arizona:

While I am in Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico
 I have been watching my friend Ken build a tiled concrete pool
 for soaking for another take on the concept.

But first I want to show two tubs that he has already done.

(In T or C it is currently possible to drill a shallow well for hot water,
but this is very controversial and the rules allowing this could change at any time.)

This tub was built of cement block and tiled with a flagstone cap.

There is a built in seat with a step on top of that.

From the overflow the water fills the lower pool
 and runs off from there.

Above is a second tub with a tiled bottom but not the sides.

Note the white outline on the block from water stains.

The tile helps avoid that.

As with the first pool the water overflows into a lower catchment 
and is dispersed from there.

Now to the new pool.

A 6" slab with rebar was poured and the block built up from the slab.

Eight pieces of rebar extend vertically from the slab and up into the block-
one each in the corners and one in the middle of each wall.

The cores are all filled with concrete and more rebar.

The anchor bolts are to attach a wooden deck when the pool is finished.

There are two white pvc pipes to fill the pool with water, 
a drain, and the side that is lower is for the overflow.

This type of pool may not work well for your typical backyard hot tub 
but the same concept would work for a landscaping pond, 
or even a catchment to harvest rainwater.

Next time I will show the installation of the flagstone cap.

(To see that post go to Flagstone Cap For A Concrete Pool.)


  1. It is hot today...sure wish I had one of those.


  3. What did you use to waterproof the cement blocks?


    1. Good question. When I went back to check on the pool the owner said he was having some leaking, not real bad, at the joint between the slab and the block walls. The tile should waterproof the pool pretty well especially if you use an admix in the thinset and the grout, as well as a high fired porcelain tile. But the seams between slab and wall are a weak spot. An admix in the mortar and in the concrete used to fill the holes in the block would also help. In my mind the best way to build a leak proof tub is to do a single pour of concrete for the walls and slab. A lot of form work but you can make the walls more narrow with good rebar work. Care must be taken that the concrete does not push out the wall forms into the slab.