Renovation: Hendra Private Residence Pool & Spa

The owner of a private villa undergoing full remodelling, in Queensland, Australia, had always dreamed of having a large courtyard with a spectacular swimming pool. The client’s main need was to extend the existing 52m² pool, so as to be able to create a spa area in it, equipped with benches, steps and a light feature. 

Background and technical challenges

The project, drawn up by the designer Alistar Hutton, turned the homeowner’s dream into reality, thanks in part to the expert tiler Sam Gardener, who specialises in the swimming pool segment and skilfully overcame the technical challenges involved in tiling the area concerned, to give the pool a high degree of technical performance combined with impeccable styling. 

From the outset, Sam spotted a number of problems that might make the task of laying the coverings difficult, first and foremost the weather conditions. The pool needed to be protected against the risk of bad weather, which might otherwise hinder the installation work. So the first step was to build a shelter to protect the pool and materials against wind and rain. The second challenge was that the existing pool steps were made of polished concrete, so could not be waterproofed effectively, which would drastically compromise the installation and adherence of the coverings in the long-term. 

The installation of the dramatic back-lit onyx panel with water feature also involved some major technical challenges, not only because of the doubts about mounting the 4m² slab, but also about the uniform distribution of light at the back and how to make the light sources accessible to the owner for replacement and maintenance purposes. 

After carefully assessing the situation, Gardener contacted LATICRETE Australia’s Sales Representative, Shane Anderson, to discuss possible solutions and seek advice. The project team then selected LATICRETE products immediately, because they are ideal for this kind of application, and installers are well aware that they are reliable and deliver excellent results. “LATICRETE is always my first and only choice, because of the high quality and ease of use of the solutions they offer,” explained Gardener. “I have complete confidence in LATICRETE products and in the technical support the company provides.” 

LATICRETE solutions

The team from LATICRETE Australia was able to address the problems associated with the site quickly and effectively. The stairs leading into the pool, originally made of polished concrete that could not be waterproofed, were finished again, waterproofed and then tiled with travertine – the same material as used for the pool coping – so as to bring visual harmony to the design. The steps were prepared with a skim-coat of LATICRETE 254 and a layer of LATAPOXY® Moisture Shield to ensure safe, waterproof installation. The travertine pool coping, meanwhile, was installed using LATICRETE 335 adhesive.

When it came to installing the large onyx slab, the team sought the advice of Fred Gray, Head of Technical Services at LATICRETE Australia, who recommended using LATAPOXY® 310 Stone Adhesive, because its high bonding-strength would make it ideal for supporting the weight of the slab in a vertical position. 
For the spa, Sam chose to use SPECTRALOCK® Grout with a DAZZLE™ component in Copper, to highlight the coppery details of the Bisazza mosaics (LE GEMME GM 20.77 series). 
The main pool was then tiled using Bisazza LIZ MOSAIC BLEND. The installation of the system first involved applying 226 Thick Bed Mortar, combined with 3701 Mortar Admix for an extremely workable, high-performance thick bed. The surface of the screed was then waterproofed with HYDRO BAN® and HYDRO BAN® Fillet & Sealant. Lastly, the tiles were laid using LATICRETE 254 adhesive.


The new pool area with spa is a perfect pairing of technical and aesthetic input. What’s more, by using the complete LATICRETE installation system, Sam earned a 15-year residential swimming pool system warranty, thus gaining peace of mind for himself and his client, who was delighted with the result.