How to Repair Pool Coping Tile

Cracked or broken coping stones can mar a day of fun in the sun.

Bull-nose coping stones provide a rounded pool edgeBull-nose coping stones provide a rounded pool edge
Coping stones or tiles are the edge stones that surround your pool and, in some cases, connect to a deck. The repairing or replacement of loose coping stones, crumbling mortar or broken or missing coping stones is a project most homeowners can tackle on their own. The repairs can make a significant difference in the appearance of your pool. Some repair jobs will be more involved than others and are best left for professionals. But if the damage isn't extensive, homeowners can do it themselves to conserve money.

Remove broken or chipped coping stones with a hammer and masonry chisel. Wear safety glasses when chiseling. Clean the debris from the area with a brush.

Mix the mortar according to the directions on the package. Apply the mortar to the side of the pool where you'll be placing the new coping tile or stone and to the back of the tile or stone with a trowel. Set the stone into place by tapping it with the trowel handle and wiggling it as necessary. Allow the mortar to dry according to manufacturer's instructions.

Grout the joints around the tile or stone you've just placed using a waterproof grout tinted to match the existing grout. Use your fingers to pack it in (wear rubber gloves). Scrape off the excess grout with a trowel.

Recaulk the expansion joint (the area between the coping and the pool deck). Prep the sides of the joint by cleaning out the debris with the chisel and brush. Apply tape along each edge parallel to keep caulking off surrounding areas. Place backer rod foam in the joint and caulk on top of the foam. Pump the caulk into the joint to a depth of 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch. Remove tape when caulking is dry. Recaulk every year if you notice it cracking or pulling away from one of the sides.

Things You Will Need

  • Painter's tape
  • Backer rod foam
  • Elastomeric sealant caulk (suitable for outdoor use)
  • Caulking gun
  • Hammer
  • Masonry chisel
  • Safety glasses
  • Brush
  • Replacement coping stones or tile to match existing coping material
  • Waterproof thin-set mortar
  • Bucket
  • Trowel
  • Waterproof grout to match existing grout
  • Rubber gloves

Tip

  • It's important to keep the expansion joint caulked properly to keep the two structures from coming in contact with each other. If they do rub against each other, the pool tile may crack and the beam (the top 6 or 8 inches of the pool that holds the tile and the coping) may crumble. If there is damage to the beam, it will have to be reconstructed, which is best left to professionals.

Warning

  • Wear safety glasses when chiseling.

About the Author

Based in California, Tracie Grimes began writing in the medical field in 1984. She has since expanded her areas of expertise to include DIY projects, parenting and craft articles. She is a monthly contributor to "Kern County Family Magazine" and "Bakersfield Magazine," with work also appearing in parenting magazines across the United States. Grimes received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University.