After a little over five years of having the wooden deck by the pool & pond side (pic from 5 years ago here), it was time for a bit of a revamp. The biggest reason for this exercise was that while wood used for the deck was of adequate quality (merbau wood), the contractor had used normal iron nails which started to rust in and damaged part of the deck, resulting in perhaps some 5-10% of wood rot via nail rust.
I was debating a plan replace the rotted out wooden pieces initially, but ultimately chose the path of replacing the deck in its entirety with solid granite tiles instead.
The biggest advantage of going with tiles is that it would be a permanent solution, and furthermore, there was a sales at Nero Granite of 30% off regular price last December.
First course of action was to remove the wooden decks. This proved to be great cardio & strength workout that lasted for many weeks.
Merbau wood is rather heavy and dense. I bought a crowbar for this purpose and developed some calluses on my palm in the process. Some of the better looking wood pieces are kept for future projects (wooden bench, garden planter etc). Nails would have to be removed but I’ll sort that out at a later point.
Then came the granite tiles. I made careful calculation with excel sheets and bought pretty much the precise number of tiles required.
At the end though it proved to be too much since there’s already a round of tiles around the pool and we decided to reuse them. This made ripping those out unnecessary, reducing the risk of damaging the fiber glass pool, and I sorta like the outline of pool having a different color anyway.
After procuring the granite, I procured construction aggregate and sand to be used as base. Started out with a scoop each (closer to 1 meter cube per bobcat scoop), and eventually guesstimate somewhat correctly that 2.5 scoop each was required.
The idea is to use aggregate as base to provide strength and sand as the top layer for laying the tiles. I avoid having to cement the tiles as this will allow for more margin of error, and flexibility in the future.
For the area surrounding the fish pond though, the tiles were glued on with “Vital Nails”. This prevents the tiles from slipping into the pond. I also used some of the off cuts to pave around the pond to lift it a little higher, matching the level of poolside. Original wooden filter cover & water outlet box for pond are re-used, breaking monotonous look of the granite, plus reducing some work scope.
Cutting tiles proved to be quite a challenging task. I bought a BOSCH cutter for this purpose, together with way too many diamond cutting discs. These discs don’t last very long thanks to the thick, tough granite and the dry cut method (the tool won’t allow wet cut).
Measure twice, cut once! I only ended up messing up maybe 2 different cuts thanks to blunt blades, but ultimately was able to salvage those tiles as well.
The trickier cuts were around the metal fencing poles, but with a bit of careful measurement and a lot of patience, they turned out looking pretty neat, and immensely satisfying.
Now, onto the next project!