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Here at Oasis Tile, we know how much our customers love their swimming pools. During hot summer days, there is nothing better than cooling off in the pristine water of a pool. However, we also know it's even better if the swimming pool looks beautiful, which is where using the right type of pool tiles comes into play. If you are getting a pool installed or want to give your current one a new look, here is our comprehensive pool tile guide.
What are the Benefits of Pool Tile?
Once you take a closer look, you will find pool tiles offer a variety of benefits compared to the alternatives. The biggest and most obvious benefit of pool tiles is the beauty they bring to your pool. From porcelain and ceramic tiles to glass tiles that shimmer and shine, creating a pool with its own unique look will make those hot summer days even more enjoyable. But outside of how your new pool tiles will look, here are some other benefits.
Longevity and Durability
One of the best is their longevity, since this will help keep your pool in great shape for many years. In fact, high-quality pool tiles should last for decades, often requiring little maintenance along the way.
Colors, Styles, and Designs
Another benefit involves the many colors and styles pool tiles are now available in for consumers. In your pool, you may want to think about using glass tiles. Easy to clean, durable, and unique in that they can reflect the colors of the water, they will give your pool a look like you never imagined.
Waterline Tiles Offer Protection
Pool tiles are also very useful, especially when used along the waterline. In almost all pools, scum lines will begin to form at the waterline due to the buildup of body oils, sunscreen, and other substances that find their way into pool water. Choosing the right waterline pool tiles can help reduce this unsightly aspect of your pool, and also make the line that forms on the tile much easier to clean.
Where Can Pool Tile be Used?
Since most types of pool tiles are very versatile, the good news is that practically any type you select can be used on your pool's floor, walls, and along the waterline. They’re also a great choice for outdoor tiles near your pool, since those areas still benefit from the nonslip durability that pool tiles have.
When you are selecting waterline pool tiles, keep in mind that these usually come in sheets measuring six inches square. Sized to easily fit around the edges of most pools, waterline pool tiles are essential if you want to keep your pool much cleaner. Without them, the scum that will form on the waterline will instead be on concrete or plaster, making it much more difficult to remove.
Should you want pool tiles for walls and the pool floor, glass tiles are a fantastic choice. When combined with mosaic tiles or other tiles of various colors, the glass tiles will reflect the sunlight as well as the colors within the pool, creating a dazzling look that will captivate you while you're in the water.
What are the Different Types of Pool Tile?
Like other types of tile, there are many options when selecting pool tiles. For most people, we find they often select porcelain or ceramic pool tiles. Available in many sizes, shapes, and colors, these pool tiles are very affordable, are very scratch-resistant, and made to last a very long time.
Glass Pool Tiles
As we mentioned earlier, glass pool tiles are rapidly gaining in popularity with many pool owners. Glass pool tiles can be used to create unique designs, and, although you may think they are fragile, they are the exact opposite. Very durable and tough, they rarely crack or break in any way, and are also non-porous, meaning they won't absorb water that could lead to them breaking down later on.
Mosaic Pool Tiles
Mosaic tiles are also very popular in pools, since they can be used to create patterns featuring various designs and colors. Like other pool tiles, mosaic tiles are made to last, easy to clean, and will definitely make your pool stand out from all others.
Natural Stone Tiles
Other popular types of pool tiles include natural stone, which can usually offer such choices as sandstone, limestone, and granite. While giving an expensive look to your pool, they won't bust your budget. However, they can be somewhat slippery, and are also more porous than porcelain or glass tiles, so keep this in mind when making your selection.
What is the Difference Between Pool Tile and Regular Glass Tile?
If you know anybody who has tried to use tiles in their pool that were not made specifically for that environment, chances are that experiment did not go well. When comparing pool tile and regular glass tile, there are many differences you should consider.
First, pool tile sold by us here at Oasis Tile has been manufactured so that it is durable enough to withstand constant sunlight, fluctuations in temperature, and being in constant contact with various chemicals and other substances.
Next, and perhaps most importantly, pool tiles are made to be completely or almost virtually non-porous, meaning they won't absorb water that can compromise their durability. This essentially means pool tiles are waterproof tiles, and they won’t be affected by pool water long term. If you would try to use standard household tiles, such as those found in your bathroom or kitchen, in and around your pool, they would not last very long due to breaking down due to water absorption, temperature changes, or other factors.
When shopping for pool tiles, it will always state that the tiles you are looking at are made to be used in a swimming pool. Therefore, don't try to cut corners in hopes of saving money. If you do, you'll wind up spending much more to fix the damage.
How is Pool Tile Installed?
Just as it is when installing tiles on a floor or wall inside a home, the first thing you should do when installing pool tiles is to lay them out ahead of time, which will help you visualize their placement and the pattern you desire.
Next, the mortar will be spread on the walls or floor. When installing ceramic or porcelain pool tiles, a thin layer of mortar will usually work best. Another trick that will make installation easier is to moisten the tiles, using a wet cloth or rag. This makes them easier to handle and place, keeping you from dropping them and seeing dollar signs break before your very eyes.
In many instances, tile will need to be cut when being installed in a pool, especially if you are installing glass mosaic tile. To do this, you'll need a cutter specifically designed for this job. Should you try using scissors or a utility knife, the tiles often shatter.
Once all the tiles have been laid in your pool, don't fill it back up with water right away. After most jobs, contractors recommend you wait at least 20 days or more, since this will give the pool tiles time to properly set up and cure to the pool's surface.
What Size Pool Tile Should You Use?
In most pools, we find tiles measuring 6"x6" are the most common size used. Whether you choose ceramic, porcelain, glass, or stone tiles for your pool, the 6"x6" tiles will give your pool a classic, neat look.
However, you can also select from many other sizes of pool tiles, depending on the look you want to achieve. If you are using mosaic glass tiles, you may want to use a combination of standard-sized tiles as well as ones much smaller, perhaps measuring only one-inch square. This is often done if you are having an artist create an actual picture or design on a pool's floor or walls, and can give your pool an incredible sense of style.
In some pools, larger tiles measuring 12-inches square or perhaps even 18-inches square are used from time to time. However, since using large tiles such as these in a pool requires tremendous expertise, most of these jobs are left to professional contractors who have extensive experience in these complex jobs.
Pool Tile Design Ideas
Pool design ideas can run the gamut, depending on your individual tastes and preferences. Like many people, you may be fine with having your pool's floor and walls be the same color. On the other hand, you may want a striking variation in color or design between the floor, walls, and outer edges of your pool. Whatever you want, there are pool tiles to make it happen.
As for choosing the right pool tile color, white and blue are usually the most popular. White exudes relaxation, while blue pool tiles are also looked upon as a color that fosters harmony and peace. If you opt to use glass tiles or perhaps mosaic glass tiles that are colored blue, they will also make the water appear to be blue.
Many pool owners today are very much into mosaics, opting to use these beautiful tiles to create images of fish, flowers, and many other things within their pools. In fact, some people use mosaic glass pool tiles to create pools featuring their family crests, school colors, and much more.
Another popular pool tile design is to experiment with different tile shapes. Pool tile is offered in all kinds of shapes and size, which means the possibilities are endless! You can create an unique pool floor from hexagon pool tile, or go for a classic rectangular shape. Penny shaped pool tiles have become very popular for modern designs as well.
Does Pool Tile Affect Water Color?
As you have probably figured out by now, certain types of pool tiles can affect the color of your pool's water.
When you use glass pool tiles, your pool's water color will not completely change, but rather will be very much enhanced. This is especially true regarding the pool tiles you would use at the waterline, since these tiles capture a great deal of sunlight and also the movements of the pool's water. As a result, if you use blue tiles for your waterline, your water will look even bluer than normal.
Should you be in love with mountain rivers or streams that always seem to have crystal-clear water, you may want to opt for mosaic pool tiles that are dark-colored or perhaps brown or grey pool tiles that look like they have a stone-like surface. When these are used in a pool, the result is water that looks completely transparent.
How Do You Clean Pool Tiles?
When you want to clean your pool tiles, the good news is that this part of pool maintenance is relatively easy and inexpensive. For many people, simply filling up a spray bottle with a solution of vinegar water works wonders. A non-toxic option, you can spray the mix on your swimming pool tiles, then use a soft-bristled cleaning brush to scrub away calcium deposits and other unsightly scum that has formed on the tiles.
If you like, you can use a pressure washer to clean pool tiles. However, if doing so, always use a low-pressure setting and nozzle. If you don't, you may find your pool tiles flying off in every direction when they are hit by the stream of water.
Should you have an ongoing problem with calcium silicate on your pool tiles, a pumice stone is a great way to clean the pool tiles and remove the toughest scale.
To prevent scaling on your pool tile, one of the best things you can do is lower the pH level of your pool's water. When pH levels are high, it is much easier for calcium scaling deposits to form. For best results, you should check your pool water's pH level each week.
Routine pool maintenance, such as brushing your pool tile each week, will also help prevent scale buildup. Some of this pool cleaning and maintenance can be a little different depending on the type of pool you have. If you have a saltwater pool, it’s important to do other research on how to care for your pool tiles.
How to Buy Pool Tiles
When it's time to choose pool tiles, consider many factors. First, determine how much you want to spend. In most instances, porcelain or ceramic tile will be most affordable, often costing no more than $35 per square-foot.
Also, make sure the tile you select is very slip-resistant, which will be important not only for yourself, but also kids, guests, and even pets.
Remember, your pool does not have to be only one color, or in fact contain only one type of pool tile. Therefore, consider making a splash by mixing up colors, or perhaps using a combination of mosaic glass tile and porcelain tile.
Most importantly, buy your pool tiles only from companies you trust, such as us here at Oasis Tile. With our vast selection, in-depth knowledge, and reputation for excellent customer service, count on us to help your pool look amazing. Plus, we offer a sample program that allows you to order pool tile samples straight to your home, so you can know exactly what you’re getting. Shop our collection of pool tiles today, and find the perfect tile for your home.