Table of contents
- Can Any Tiles be Used as Pool Tiles?
- Why You Should Use Pool Tile
- Where can Pool Tile be Used?
- Best Type Of Tile For Your Swimming Pool
- How Much Do Pool Tiles Cost?
- How is Pool Tile Installed?
- What Size Pool Tile Should You Use?
- How To Clean and Maintain Pool Tiles
- Pool Tile Design Ideas
- Do Pool Tiles Affect Water Color?
- How to Buy Pool Tiles
Here at Oasis Tile, we know how much our customers love their swimming pools. During hot summer days, there’s nothing better than cooling off in the pristine water of a beautiful pool.
It's an even better feeling if the swimming pool looks beautiful, which is where choosing the right pool tiles comes into play. If you’re having a pool installed or want to give your current one a new look, keep reading through the rest of our comprehensive pool tile buying guide.
We cover the benefits of buying pool tile, the different types of pool tile you can buy, cost, maintenance, and so much more.
CAN ANY TILES BE USED AS POOL TILES?
If you know anybody who has tried using non-pool tiles in their pool, you’ve probably heard some horror stories. When comparing pool tile and regular glass tile, for example, there are many differences you should consider.
Pool tiles are made to be (almost) completely non-porous, meaning they won't absorb water that can compromise their durability. Always opt for pool-rated tiles; they are essentially waterproof and won’t be affected by pool water in the long term. If you try to use standard household tiles such as bathroom or kitchen tile in and around your pool, they won’t last long. They will break down faster from water absorption, temperature changes, and other factors.
Non-pool tiles do not come with this same guarantee. Pool tile sold by us here at Oasis Tile has been manufactured to be durable enough to withstand constant sunlight, fluctuations in temperature, and contact with the various chemicals and substances found in pools.
When shopping for pool tiles, the description should always state that the tiles you are looking at are made for use in a swimming pool. 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.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE POOL TILE
Simply put, pool tiles offer a variety of benefits compared to alternatives. The most apparent benefit of pool tiles is the beauty they bring to your pool.
From porcelain tiles to glass and 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 pool will have a sleek new look, check out these other advantages to buying pool tiles.
LONGEVITY AND DURABILITY
One of the greatest benefits of pool tiles is how long they last. Pool tile is waterproof, unlike other materials such as stone and ceramic – meaning you won’t need to worry about leakage or damage to your pool.
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
One of the great things about pool tiles is their customizability. Pool tiles are available in many colors and styles, allowing you to showcase your personality and create a beautiful, comfortable space in your yard.
You may want to think about using glass tiles in your pool. They are easy to clean, durable, and unique in that they can reflect the colors of the water. Glass tiles will give your pool a look you never could have imagined.
WATERLINE TILES OFFER PROTECTION
Pool tiles are very useful, especially when used along the waterline of your pool. 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.
INSTALLATION & MAINTENANCE IS EASY
Pool tiles are a great option for your pool that save you from worrying about significant upkeep. Glass and porcelain pool tiles are easy to clean, install, and are durable. If you want to upgrade the look of your pool without having to worry about maintenance and installation, go for pool tiles.
WHERE CAN POOL TILE BE USED?
Good news: most types of pool tiles are very versatile, so practically any type you select can be used to cover your pool's floor, walls, and along the waterline.
They’re also a great choice for outdoor tiles surrounding your pool. These areas still benefit from the non-slip durability that pool tiles have – which is just one quality you do not want to compromise on when it comes to buying pool tiles.
When selecting waterline pool tiles, keep in mind that they usually come in sheets of 6-inch squares. Sized to easily fit around the edges of most pools, waterline pool tiles are essential if you want an easy way to keep your pool clean. Without them, the waterline scum will form on concrete or plaster, making it more difficult to remove.
If 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 reflect the sunlight as well as the colors within the pool and create a dazzling look that will captivate you – in and out of the water.
BEST TYPE OF TILE FOR YOUR SWIMMING POOL
We find that most people select porcelain pool tiles, and for good reason – more about those soon. But, you don’t have to sacrifice your personal taste for your swimming pool tiles. Here are some of the best tile materials for your swimming pool.
GLASS POOL TILES
Glass pool tiles are rapidly gaining in popularity. Glass pool tiles can be used to create unique designs, and although you may think they are fragile, they are actually the exact opposite.
Very durable and tough, glass tiles rarely crack or break in any way and are non-porous, meaning they won't absorb water that could cause breakdown later on.
MOSAIC POOL TILES
Mosaic tiles are also very popular in pools, since they can be used to create patterns that feature various shapes 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.
PORCELAIN POOL TILES
Porcelain pool tiles are really hardy and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. They’re a great, affordable option that come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and styles, meaning you can make your pool look the way you want. Easy to clean and durable, porcelain tiles are an excellent choice for swimming pools.
Because genuine stone tiles are porous and can be slippery, they aren’t a great option for in and around the pool. Luckily, you can get the same appearance as a stone tile while enjoying the durability, longevity, and easy-to-clean nature of a porcelain or glass tile that looks like stone.
HOW MUCH DO POOL TILES COST?
Depending on the size, design, and type of pool tile you choose, the cost can vary significantly. The size of your pool and how much of it you decide to tile will play into the cost as well.
Tile prices can range from $1 to $75+ per square foot depending on the type of tile you choose. The cost of tiling an entire pool is, on average, upwards of $15,000 – so it’s important that you’re happy with your tile choices.
Make sure you don’t skimp on the process. The last thing you want to do is retile the pool less than a year later because you’re not in love with the design.
It’s a significant investment, so you’ll want to make sure that you pick something that you’ll love looking at every time you’re outside. One great thing about Oasis Tile is that we offer tile samples, so you can see exactly what a tile will look like in your yard!
HOW IS POOL TILE INSTALLED?
Just like when you install tiles in your home, the first thing you should do when installing pool tiles is to lay them out ahead of time. This will help you visualize their placement and confirm the pattern you desire.
In many instances, the tile will need to be cut to size – especially if you are installing glass mosaic tile. To do this, you'll need a cutter specifically designed for this job. If you try using scissors or a utility knife, the tiles will likely shatter.
Next, the mortar will be spread on the walls or floor. When installing porcelain pool tiles, a thin layer of mortar usually works best. A trick to make installation smoother 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.
Once all the tiles have been laid in your pool, don't fill it up with water right away. After most jobs, contractors recommend you wait at least 20 days to let the pool tiles properly set up and cure to the pool's surface.
WHAT SIZE POOL TILE SHOULD YOU USE?
We find that tiles measuring 6x6” are the most common size used in pools. Whether you choose porcelain or glass tiles for your pool, the 6x6 inch tiles will give your pool a classic and neat appearance.
Alternatively, you can also select from many other sizes of pool tiles depending on the look you want to achieve.
If using mosaic glass tiles, you may want a combination of standard-sized tiles and much smaller ones, measuring only 1 square inch. Mosaic pool tiles are often done by artists who create an actual picture or design on a pool's floor or walls; it can give your pool an incredibly artsy feel.
In some pools, larger square tiles measuring 12 or 18 inches 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.
When choosing your size of pool tiles, consider the best option for your use. Smaller tiles are generally more durable and often last longer; however, large tiles will cover more space with less tiles, which can be a huge cost-saving factor. Not to mention, large tiles can create a nice, consistent look – with less cleaning and maintenance required.
HOW TO CLEAN AND MAINTAIN POOL TILES
When you want to clean your pool tiles, it’s good to know that this part of pool maintenance is relatively easy and inexpensive. For many, simply filling up a spray bottle with a solution of vinegar water works wonders.
You can spray the non-toxic mix on your swimming pool tiles, then use a soft-bristled cleaning brush to scrub away calcium deposits and any other unsightly scum that forms on the tiles.
You can also use a pressure washer to clean pool tiles. But, be sure to always use a low-pressure setting and nozzle. If you don't, you may find your pool tiles flying off in every direction when the stream of water hits them.
For tougher stains like calcium silicate, a pumice stone is a great way to clean the pool tiles. Or, you can prevent this scaling in the first place with regular maintenance to keep the pH level of your water low. When pH levels are high, it is much easier for calcium scaling deposits to form. For best results, 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 build-up.
Some of this pool tile 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.
POOL TILE DESIGN IDEAS
Pool design ideas can be infinite, depending on your individual tastes and preferences. Some people enjoy having their pool's floor and walls match, while others prefer a striking variation in color and design. Whatever you want, there are pool tiles to make it happen.
As for choosing the right pool tile color, white and blue tend to be the most popular. White exudes relaxation, while blue pool tiles are a color that fosters harmony and peace. If you opt to use blue glass tiles or mosaic glass tiles, they will make the water appear to be even more blue, which is what a lot of people want to achieve
Many pool owners love 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 comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes, meaning the possibilities are endless! Create a 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.
Find some inspiration among these 2023 pool tile trends.
DO POOL TILES AFFECT WATER COLOR?
Depending on color and texture, different tiles will affect your pool water color. Take, for example, a green glass tile, which can create the appearance of a beautiful lagoon in your pool.
Should you love 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 brown or grey pool tiles that appear to have a stone-like surface. When used in a pool, these tiles make the water look completely transparent.
When using 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 the water’s movements. As a result, if you use blue tiles for your waterline, your pool water will look more blue.
HOW TO BUY POOL TILES
When it's time to choose a pool tile, there are many factors to consider. First, you’ll want to consider how much you’re comfortable spending. In most instances, porcelain tiles will be the most affordable, often costing no more than $35 per square foot. You can use this as a baseline budget for your pool project!
Something important to remember is that your pool tile should be slip-resistant. This will be important not only for yourself, but also kids, guests, and even pets.
When shopping, don’t forget that your pool is a representation of you! It does not have to be monochromatic or contain only one type of pool tile. Make a splash by mixing up colors, or perhaps by using a combination of mosaic glass tile and porcelain tile.
Finally, the most important thing when it comes to buying pool tiles: shop only with 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 know exactly what you’re getting. Shop our collection of pool tiles today, and find the perfect tile for your pool.