Final Tile Selections in the Dreamy Pool

I’m happy as heck with my tile choices in the Pool of Dreams, though I had a bit of a scare partway through the day. I’m glad we had a relatively dry day in between rain events, so the tile could mostly get done. I don’t blame you, by the way, if pool construction makes you want to take a nap; I’m mostly doing this so I can look back at it later, same as I did when we were building the house.

Men at work. Hombres trabajando.

I enjoyed going out on my breaks to watch the progress, and thought how pretty the square ceramic tiles were looking on the waterfall area…but wait, wasn’t that supposed to be shiny glass tile? I checked, and sure enough, I had selected a glass tile.

Where’s that stripy stuff? On the other hand, I don’t really like it.

That sent me into a panic. They were just about done with all that tile, and I was pretty sure it was the wrong tile. And I’d already noticed that glass tile was nowhere to be found on the premises (I mentioned that in a blog post last week). So, I called up the pool place to find out what happened.

Here’s the waterfall area from the spa.

The nice pool lady, Audrey, said she’d get back to me, so I had to sit through a long meeting hoping that the tiles wouldn’t be totally glued down before the guys had to remove them.

The guy on the right, with the scary “ladder” is adding grout to the tile they did Monday.

I sure was relieved when she came back with the explanation. It turned out that the glass tile was discontinued, so they couldn’t get it. She was supposed to tell me, but she totally forgot. I didn’t get upset, because that sounded like something that wouldn’t be too hard to do in the middle of a busy day (and she’s nice and likes my horses, which was in her favor). Besides that, the tile looks just fine to me the way it is, so no harm, no foul.

I think it’s pretty.

The tiling artists got a lot of the rough limestone tiles up, and its matte, bumpy texture makes a beautiful contrast with the shiny ceramic tiles and the smooth limestone on the edges of the pool.

Rustic beauty. So much texture.

Lee pointed out that they were really having to do a lot of work on the round part where the fire pit will be. The tile didn’t fit without a lot of finagling. They told me it was, indeed, hard to do. I think it’s worth it. I’ll be adoring it for many years, I hope.

Here you can see all three surfaces together. Nice.

I’m glad it’s all working out as well as I’d hoped. I like how subtle the pool will be, most of the time. But don’t worry, Suna’s love of bright colors will show up when we turn on those dazzling light shows! Even if we have another extreme cold event before I get to use the pool, I’m going to fire up the fire and the lights.

What’s That Sparkle?

It could be my mood, since I’m settling in at my new job and starting to do fun things. Job Aids! Woo!

Ooh. Aah.

That’s part of it, but I was happy to see the tile guys putting the accent tile around the edge of the swimming pool. It’s sparkly, but not TOO sparkly.

Snazzy.

I really love the earth tones. They’re going to be so soothing. I wonder if they ran out of the edging limestone, because they still have some left to do. We will see.

They put curves here, and at top you can see where more tile should go.

The tilers were fun to watch on lunch break, making perfectly smooth surfaces for the application. It was like icing a perfect cake.

In progress.

It looks like they are going to move on to the tile around the outside surfaces next. It’s more limestone, from Turkey. Its rough surface will contrast nicely with the accent tiles.

I don’t think the tile for the waterfall is here yet. I looked all over for it, but it isn’t hiding anywhere easy to find. Here are more pictures of today’s progress, including mortaring the limestone tile.

Speaking of water, it rained almost an inch last night. That made for an ugly mess at the bottom of the pool. I’ll spare you photos. You can sorta see it here.

I am enjoying a little break in my anxiety. The stress is manageable at the moment, and that feels GOOD.

Skill in the Pool of Dreams

Two men have been working on the pool for most of this week. They seem to share two features: a love of traditional mariachi music and major skill in working with stone tiles. It’s been a real pleasure watching them work, as well as listening to the music. It’s real loud, but since I am also fond of that music, I have not complained. There’s some fine tuba playing going on in those songs.

Early progress – they were fitting the inserts in the holes.

This post is about the tile work, though. One of the guys spends all day using the wet saw to cut the blocks of bullnose-edge natural limestone for the pool edging, as I’ve mentioned before. Lee worries, because they are not wearing masks. That’s pretty legitimate. I don’t stand around outside very long when the saw is going. I don’t want shards of limestone and quartz in my lungs (the stone is very shiny in spots).

Not sure what this is, but it has a nice circle in it.

The guy has made dozens of smaller tiles for one edge, and medium for the other edge. Meanwhile, the other guy has been first dry fitting and then cementing in the stone. He uses leftover glass tiles from other pools as spacers. That’s a good way to use them, I think. Lee is worried about there being so much space for grout, but we’ll see if it causes an issue.

It has to be hard to get these all lined up on the curve. It sure looks pretty.

I think the tile is gorgeous. It blends in with the cool limestone the house is clad in, and looks really natural, which will help the pool not look like some garish thing plopped in the back yard. The accent tile under the limestone also looks pretty natural. It’s beautifully glazed ceramic tile squares, and they will look pretty, but still fit in with the ranch vibe.

Ready for installation.

I’m enjoying some of the fine touches they’re putting in the tilework, such as the circle cutouts for the filter outlets, or whatever those will be called. I sure hope they have handles. They installed the baskets in there, too, so I feel like the pool’s coming along.

The two-holer.

And on the edges of the hot tub/spa, they put a nice triangle accent. That’s going to look so pretty next to the waterfall.

Edge of spa, with decoration.

I’m looking forward to watching more of their artistry in the next week or two (and having their music in the background while I work). I’m not in any hurry to rush these craftsmen to finish their work. It will be like having artwork that you can cool off in, once the pool is done! I won’t even be sad that it gets done after the weather cools off (we can still use the hot tub, anyway).

And in Horse News

I just have to brag on Apache and Aragorn. Today they were both on their best behavior and really showed how much progress they are making. Each of them was easy to ride and not all nerved out at all, even though we rode all over the field behind our house, where Aragorn had never been and Apache hadn’t been in a long time.

It was like it used to be when Sara and I would ride Apache and Spice, before Apache got lame and squirrely. The weather was beautiful, and we could relax, look at the trees and plants, and ask our horses to move around gracefully.

Aftermath of a long, fun ride.

In the end, Apache really wanted to go “home” over to Sara’s place. Poor guy. I totally understand. But, even when he tried to tell me what he wanted, I was able to gently convince him to go back to his pens. I have no complaints about that horse right now. What a pleasant change!

A very wet and tired horse

Then, since he was all hot, I decided to rinse Apache off. I didn’t have to tie him up or anything. He just stood there and enjoyed his cool-off, then turned around for the other side. He didn’t move off until I took off his halter, and then he just went off to graze and drip. He’s a good buddy.