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River Rok Vs Diamond Brite

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1) That's a matter of opinion.

2) The rock is going to feel like rocks. The Diamond Brite is going to feel like sandpaper.

3) Longevity is going to be determined mostly by the cement, not the aggregate. The calcium hydroxide in the cement is the most susceptible element of plaster. Using a pozzolan will improve the cement's ability to resist aggressive chemistry.

Longevity is primarily a matter of proper chemical balance. With good chemical balance, plaster can last a very long time.

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What are the main difference of this two products made by SGM in terms of:

1. Color...one looks better than the other?

2. Texture

3. Longevity

Thanks in advance


Dear George,

As an actual plasterer who has plastered both RiverRock and Diamond Brite I can tell you that you'll get more life from the RiverRock than Diamond Brite. This is due to the fact that the Diamond Brite aggregate is much smaller than the River Rock and therefore will come loose sooner with a smaller amount of etching due to Low pH, Low Calcium hardness and Low Total Alkalinity. I personally think that the RiverRock looks better as well. While the quantumchromodynamics gentleman is correct in stating that adding Pozzolans (fancy term for small silicate particles) will help the plaster to resist chemical degradation it's been my experience that the larger the aggregate the more embedment it will have and therefore will last longer before it comes loose and the finish becomes very rough and needs either re-plastering or diamond sanding. Diamond sanding will radically smooth the finish as long as there is enough thickness of plaster to allow for the sanders removal of the plaster to allow for the overall smoothness of the surface to be achieved before the pool's grey colored shell is exposed. You can look at it this way I suppose, would you buy tires for your truck that had jus a little little tread depth on them because they looked smoother even though you'd lose what I'd give a good educated guess at 40-50% longer lifespan ~or~ go with a tire that had some meat on it so that you'd get longer life and still maintain a great look. Another of the quantumchromodynamics gentlemans remarks is that the rock finish is rougher and this is absolutely true. It is quite a bit rougher but there are some steps you can take to alleviate a lot of this roughness. It requires applying most brands "out of their spec" meaning that most plaster supply co's. want the installer to remove pretty much 3/4 of the embedment material (fine plaster that holds the rock in place) that holds the aggregate. While this does create a nice look due to the additional rock exposure, this is exactly what makes the surface much rougher and will lead to premature loss of aggregate when the embedment material starts to erode. Now if the finish is applied per the following instructions, you'll have a much longer period before this loss of aggregate happens. This is due to the much higher percentage of the aggregates surface encapsulation to the embedment material. This approach means you'll have to request that your plasterer is to remove only approx. 1/4 of the embedment material from the surface. This will still allow the top of the rock to be exposed for looks (not the same look as with 3/4 material removal) but will provide "bridging" between the aggregates top most exposed surfaces that will make the interior surface feel remarkably more smooth. The resulting look is preferred by most of my customers especially when you have them feel a regular finished rock surface and then the altered surface. To be sure it is a different look but different doesn't mean cheaper or bad looking. We just completed a $500k plus pool this year and they went with the revised finish and they love it. Money wasn't the object, comfort and appeal for them was king and they still chose the altered finish.

It's up to you but my money is on what will last much longer, feel better to my family's feet and knees and still look like an upper end finish.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree with the guy from Indian Summer Pools. I thought we were the only ones applying aggregate finishes out of spec ^_^ I love the look of an aggregate finish over a strictly quartz finish for a whole host of reasons. If money is an issue, then Diamondbrite or another quartz finish may be more up your alley, but if you have the money, aggregate finishes will outlast any other finish. Not only that, they actually turn the waters color like the pretty brochure shows.

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  • 11 years later...

This forum is so helpful thank you!  Building pool now and trying to decide on finish. If you remove less of the embedment material from DiamondBrite product, would longevity improve?  How does the color show through from RiverRok if only 1/4 of the embedment material is removed (ie, will the color be muted)?


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