The right pool tile choice is the moment which will determine the appearance of your swimming pool for years on end. Building a swimming pool is a serious task but after the construction is finished comes the most difficult part – choosing the tiles and decoration inside and outside. How to choose the right pool tile type? The market offers glass, mosaic, concrete, glazed tiles, etc. We have selected some of the most beautiful swimming pools to inspire you and give you some idea what stunning and striking effect can be achieved with the right tile selection and a creative design.
How to choose the right pool tile?
Even the most beautiful swimming pool designs can be ruined when the pool tile is wrong. The visual appeal and aesthetics are much more important as often they are a major element in the garden landscape or a valuable feature indoors. Pool tiles should meet several criteria:
One of the most important things that owners should know is that standard ceramic tiles which are used for kitchen or bathroom design are not suitable for swimming pools. On the first place water has an enormous pressure and these tiles are too fragile to handle it. In addition, their surface is affected by various cleaners, chemicals and microorganisms. For outdoor pools it is essential that the tiles have a high resistance to various environmental factors including sudden temperature changes, excessive heat or frost.
Another important property is that have a special anti-slip surface to avoid accidents and injuries. Usually they are manufactured with rough surface and you may be greatly attracted to it.
Durability is a must and it is obligatory to use moisture resistant pool tile as they do not absorb water. If the tiles are too porous, their structure is easily damaged by moisture, which automatically means the life of the material is reduced, the tile becomes brittle and easily deformable. Having in mind that this is a costly investment, it is worth to go all the way and pay for high quality pool tile with a dense structure and minimum porosity which is a guarantee for a long life span.
Last but not least is the visual aesthetics of the tiles. The variety of color options is practically unlimited. There are designs with different shapes, textures, pictures, imitation of natural materials, etc.
Pool tile material options – the pros and cons of the most popular types
Each material has its own specific advantages and disadvantages and to recommend a particular one is very difficult.
Glass pool tiles have the lowest water absorption due to the fact that the solid structure is non porous. They are manufactured from sand with added coloring. Their advantages include a long life span, they are resistant to heat and frost, they do not lose their appearance and are not afraid of chemical cleaners. Glass tile is resistant to stains, chemical damage, mildew and mould and with a fairly simple maintenance. The color palette is tremendous and they are ideal for decoration. High-quality glass pool tile has excellent optical clarity, shine, color and depth. Glass tiles can be manufactured from recycled materials and shaped in numerous forms which provide numerous design options and visual effects. They come in many varieties – mosaic glass tile will give you a classical appearance, or you could opt for a custom color scheme and create a unique pool design with a fabulous artistic look. A glass pool tile usually has a flexible base which makes it an ideal option for semi-circular or curved surfaces.
On the downside of glass tiles is the fact that the installation process is a highly skilled job. The visual appearance of the pool is strongly dependent on the neat and precise cuts and grouting. If damaged, the replacement is quite difficult and costly. In addition, the price tag of glass tiles is higher than the one of ceramic and porcelain tiles.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles – pros and cons
We said in the beginning of this article that ceramic tiles for swimming pools are different from those for kitchen or bathroom. The components for manufacturing ceramic tiles are different so that the pool tile has an increased resistance, low porosity and water absorption. Many owners prefer to use ceramic tiles as a decorative finish as they are environmentally friendly and with great aesthetics. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the least costly and also can be found with different textures and original designs. Glazed porcelain adds a striking appearance and is often used as an accent to the décor.
Decorative mosaic pool tile ideas
The creativity and decorative options for pool owners looking to add a custom look to their pool are numerous. Custom, hand painted tiles, tiles with fascinating patterns and colors, you name it. Of course, such a job is hardly a DIY project for the weekend as it requires a special knowledge on the properties and characteristics of different materials. The market offers a tremendous variety of options and manufacturers come up with new and dazzling pool tile designs every year. Professional designers can create a mix of ceramic, porcelain and glass tiles for a striking final result and a unique look and your swimming pool will be the jewel in the garden. Enjoy the gallery and these magnificent designs!