Swimming Pool Tile Expert?

Anyone here have experience arguing against claims that kayaks damage indoor swimming pool tiles? Our local pool class is being blamed for missing and loose tiles as an apparent excuse to terminate our use of the facilities. Their “experts” blame the missing tiles on the kayaks. The real issue seems to be several of the school personnel who don’t have any appreciation for a “continuing education” kayak class.

Properly installed tiles aren’t easily
dislodged, until the special plaster in nwhich they are set begins to go from age and chlorine.

However, you’re in a tough spot. I would ask to see their data. If they have actual data showing an up-tic in tile replacement, not just the first season of use, but across subsequent seasons, then you’re screwed. If they don’t, then you at least have a talking point based on lack of evidence.

Pool Tiles
I’ve been teaching kayak classes in a pool for several years now and we have never had a tile broken or come loose. I know we have banged the pool sides before. Sounds like an excuse to me. Vaughn Fulton

Get a professional opinion

– Last Updated: May-11-08 12:57 PM EST –

Our club is fortunate to use the YMCA pool for spring rolling/rescue sessions. The first time we used the pool, the YMCA staff seemed a little concerned about kayaks hitting the side of the pool, so we have tried to be careful and avoid hitting the sides of the pool. We have a good relationship with the YMCA staff.

It would probably be a good idea to talk to someone from a pool repair company about how likely it is for a kayak to damage the side of the pool. They won’t charge you anything to talk to you on the phone. If he says it is extremely unlikely that a kayak can damage the sides of a pool, tell the pool staff what he said. If says that damage is easily caused by kayaks, tell him your name is John Smith, that you are calling from Alaska, say thank you and hang up.

Remember no matter how strong your argument is the final decision of whether or not they will continue to allow you to use the pool is theirs so don’t get in a pissing contest.

Not an expert…

– Last Updated: May-12-08 11:35 AM EST –

I am certainly no expert on swimming pool tiles, but I seriously doubt that damage to the tiles is really the issue.

More likely that some "bean counter" has raised some concern about issues of liability/insurance, or "someone" wanting to use the pool during the time your class has been scheduled has made complaints(squeaky wheel gets the grease). Another issue(excuse) I've heard is that the boats & other boating equipment bring dirt, gravel, and other organic matter into the pool environment.

It will be up to you to deal with those & other issues(excuses) by proving them to be of little to no concern, or consequence.
Bottom line; someone wants you "out of the pool", and the broken tile issue is a probably the cop out they're going to use.


sounds like you should have been
bringing more donuts

if it reaches the conflict stage, you lose

if someone runs right into the wall
… I could see a broken tile being a possibility.

Would anyone do that? Who knows.

Having installed tile
and demo’ed tile, but never in a pool, and assuming that you talking about tile on the pool wall.

If it is a good quality installation, it would take a sledge hammer to make the tile fall off.

If you are bumping into the wall with a plastic boat it’s possible that they can crack, but you would have to hit them very hard, if they where installed correctly.

All tile, and stone, is a veneer. It gets its strength from what is behind it. If it installed poorly, there will be gaps in the mortar that attached the tile to the wall. That will not support the tile. If it installed correctly, and for a heavy use area like a pool, there should be 95 to 100 % coverage behind the tile. This is what prevents cracking.

So, if you are paddling full speed the length of the pool and hit the wall dead on, it’s possible you could crack a tile, not likely, but possible. If you are bumping into the walls while rolling and the tile cracks, I’d say it was a pretty poor tile job to begin with.

If they say you are knocking tile off the walls, they have a bigger problem than you.

The problem for you is that is; if they believe you are causing the problem…

2nd that
Very good explanation.

But the school owns the pool so unless you can get a significant amount of local community members behind you you’re probably swimming uphill (sorry)