My original plan of using rock to create the Akita ran into a problem when I found out that the only really bright white stone out there is marble. The problem with marble is that it deteriorates over time when under water. Then the only super black stone that I could find wasn't cut. It was full sized, rounded, rocks. I thought about going with rocks, but really wanted a flat finish. I spoke to my tile supplier at The Tile Shop here in Tyler, and he suggested a porcelain tile that was dense enough for using in a pool. Most tile isn't very dense, so it's not a good choice for pools. Regular pool tile doesn't come in the solid colors that I wanted for the Akita, so my options became very limited.
The tile came on 1ft by 2ft sheets, and each tile is 2 inches square. I cut them out and then broke each tile into four or more pieces with a hammer. Then I used a putty knife to apply the thinset and install each piece into the pattern that I felt was the most appealing. The thinset is Ardex X77
Just like doing a floor or shower, the grout lines are a huge factor in laying out the pattern. This was one of my biggest concerns when applying the tile. I wanted to make sure that the legs where distinct from each other, and that they patterns where clean.
Karen took this picture of me Saturday morning.
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The pool and rock look great, but the best part....Seems like when I plan on working on the pool, something else comes up that has to be done, and the pool has to wait. I don't really have time to work on it now, but I've been storing every rock that I've ever found on my land in an area that I need to clean up for another big project that I hope to start later this year. So I decided this weekend was the weekend to do the rock water feature.
I never planned on a water fall for the pond. I was thinking that I would put a different type of water spitter in each corner and that would be that. But my wife changed that plan, so we tried a ceramic pot with a water garden plastic thing that sorta worked. It also hid the filter to some degree, but not really enough.
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After fixing another emergency, I started doing the rocks yesterday afternoon. The big one on the rock was the very first rock I found on the land, and it came out when I buried my backhoe in a soft spot and I was pulling myself out with the hoe when it came out of the ground. I knew instantly that it was a fantastic rock for a fountain, I just didn't know that it would be 15 years until I used it.
I got most of it done yesterday, but I'm also redoing the plumbing. I'm moving the filter way over to the left so it will be hidden behind the rocks. To do this, I need to extend my concrete pad behind the pool. Temperature was 95 when I started, and the Humidity was almost 60%. Each breath was an effort. That might be a lingering effect of Covid. It only took 7 sacks of 60 pound concrete, so it wasn't a huge project, but it did wear my out. After a nap, I finished the mortar on the rocks. I'll clean it up later, all I can do now is rest and watch Westminster on TV.
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My goal is to have the plumbing done this week and then fill the pond so it has a few days to warm up before Fathers Day.
To get the water onto the rock, I'm thinking of using copper. Maybe run two 1 inch lines to 4 3/4 inch lines with T's at the end, and then flexible 3/8's copper with a bunch of holes in it that's bent to follow the contour of the top stone. We don't want anything obvious, so the hope is that this will blend in, but still allow enough water through it to provide a nice water fall.