Project Spotlight: Hendra Private Residence Pool & Spa


A big backyard with a beautiful pool, could life get much better than that?

The Situation

A big backyard with a beautiful pool, could life get much better than that? According to a Hendra, QLD homeowner, that was just the beginning!

The owner envisioned a full upgrade to their outdoor area. The existing pool was 52m², and the owner wanted it extended to include a spa, bench seating, steps, with visions of an onyx water and light feature. The owner knew the tilework had to be of a very high standard to bring the pool features together and draw the eye towards the stand-out onyx feature. After doing research, the homeowners worked with designer, Alistar Hutton, who would bring their dream to reality. Alistar contacted Sam Gardener, an expert tiler specialising in pools, Sam Gardener to handle the installation.

The backyard was already a hub of activity when Sam arrived on the scene. The team from Everscapes Landscaping were overhauling the backyard area to include a new fireplace and garden beds. After lengthy discussions and site visits with the owner on what had to be done, Sam immediately contacted LATICRETE Australia Technical Sales Representative, Shane Anderson in QLD to discuss the project and obtain advice. Sam knew LATICRETE products provided solutions that he and countless other contractors around the world have come to trust and rely on.

The Challenges

Right off the bat, Sam was able to identify a couple of challenges that might make this project difficult. The first was the weather. Sam had to make sure the pool was protected from outside elements like rain and the wind which could hinder the installation. With this in mind, the first step was to build a structure to fully enclose the pool with a tarp, to protect the materials and the installation from the weather.

The second problem that Sam identified was the pool steps, which were installed prior to Sam being involved with the project. The stairs were polished concrete and could not be effectively waterproofed, which would dramatically compromise the installation of the pool in the long-term. The third problem Sam saw was in the installation of the onyx water feature. The onyx had unique translucent properties, and the client wanted the 4m² slab to be installed with a backlight, allowing it to glow spectacularly with light. A beautiful concept, but the installation would be problematic.

To ensure even light distribution, the feature would have to be adhered in a way that did not affect the lighting, which raised concerns for Sam as to whether the structure and adhesives would hold the weight of the onyx without a stable backing.

To add to that, Sam had to find a solution for the lights to be accessible behind the slab, so the owner could change the bulbs and repair technical issues if needed. To begin addressing these concerns, Sam looked to Shane Anderson at LATICRETE Australia for products to provide the
solutions to suit these conditions.


The LATICRETE Australian team were able to address Sam’s problems quickly and effectively. On inspection of the concrete steps, Shane Anderson, LATICRETE QLD Technical Sales Representative addressed the problems with a prompt solution. The stairs originally were to be a polished concrete finish, which couldn’t be waterproofed. However, after consultation with Alistair and Shane, it was decided to hone back the steps, and waterproof them and then tile on top using travertine to keep them as a feature entry point.

Sam opted for using the same travertine tiles that were used for the pool coping, which ultimately resulted in a more visually pleasing design, as well as keeping the steps safely waterproofed to maintain the integrity of the pool structure. The steps were prepared with a skim coat of LATICRETE 254 adhesive, and a layer of LATAPOXY® Moisture Shield to ensure a safe, waterproof installation.

The rest of the travertine coping around the pool was installed using LATICRETE 335 adhesive.

In addressing the other major issue, Sam and Shane turned their attention to the installation of the onyx slab. The pair tested a few different methods, and after a conversation with LATICRETE Australia Technical Services Manager Fred Gray, were able to determine that LATAPOXY® 310 Stone Adhesive was the ideal high-strength bonding adhesive to support the weight of the onyx slab in its unique position.

For the spa, Sam chose to use SPECTRALOCK® Grout with a DAZZLE™ component in Copper, as this would highlight the coppery details in the Bisazza LE GEMME GM 20.77 mosaic tiles.

The main pool was going to be tiled using Bisazza LIZ MOSAIC BLEND. The installation of the system first involved a mortar bed of 226 Thick Bed Mortar, combined with 3701 Mortar Admix for high performance, extremely workable thick bed. The surface of the screed was then waterproofed using HYDRO BAN® and HYDRO BAN® Fillet & Sealant, and finally the tiles were installed using LATICRETE 254 adhesive.


With using a full LATICRETE installation system, Sam earned a 15-year residential swimming pool
system warranty to guarantee peace of mind for himself and his client, knowing that the pool system would be another globally proven project.

The homeowner who commissioned Sam was overjoyed with the finished product, praising Sam for his attention to detail and ability to quickly solve problems on the go.

“Shane Anderson has been my primary point of contactwith LATICRETE and I’m grateful for all his support. He is always available for a discussion, and his ability to solve problems is second to none.” ~ Sam Gardener


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