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What You Need To Know About Swimming Pool Tiles

In 2020 alone, Americans purchased around 3.2 billion square feet of ceramic tile. Covering much of that square footage are swimming pool tiles. As swimming pools and backyard oasis designs have evolved, so have the glass pool tiles that occupy the inside of pools and the surrounding areas.

We're willing to bet you didn't know there was anything special about swimming pool tiles, but they are easily the most resilient tiles available. What began as a minimal feature in swimming pools has turned into an increasingly widespread and essential part of swimming pool design. Let's dive in.

Blue Mosaic Pool Tile Floor With A Deck With Chairs In the Background


The History of Pool Tiles 

In the beginning, waterline swimming pool tiles were the only pool tiles that were used. They were used by pool builders, with the purpose of giving the pool a sense of pop and color around the waterline. This ranged in design ideas and types of tile used, but a popular choice initially was to use mosaic tiles.

These glass tiles also acted as a shield against the scum that often collects around pool waterlines at the edges. Popular pool tile colors and pool design ideas would change over time, but to start, they predominantly centralized around the pool waterline and expanded from there. 

Over time, builders and homeowners started to use swimming pool tiles in other applications in the backyard. Their durability allowed them to be used on pool floors, and homeowners loved the look of glass mosaic tiles beneath the water. Soon they weren’t just waterline pool tiles, but they were being used for a wide range of design and tile ideas within outdoor spaces. 

What’s The Difference Between Glass Pool Tiles & Other Glass Tiles? 

Most people won't know the difference between swimming pool tiles and, say, the subway tile backsplash in their kitchen, but they are fundamentally different. Pool tiles are meant to withstand the pool chemicals used by homeowners the majority of the time, as well as temperature fluctuations that go below freezing when pools are drained for the winter. Swimming pool tiles are specially made to weather these conditions, making them some of the most durable tiles available. Many people often wonder if they can purchase regular glass tiles to use in their pool, but Oasis Tile strongly recommends using tiles that are specifically designed to be used in pools. We personally have a wide variety of glass or porcelain pool tile collections to choose from, so you can achieve any look you want for your pool. 

A Modern Pool Design At Night With Neutral Pool Tiles


What Size Are Pool Tiles?

Because pool tiles are used for such a variety of purposes nowadays, their size ranges from small to larger tile. At Oasis Tile, our tile comes in a variety of thicknesses, from ½” to 3” thick. The swimming pool tiles are also offered in a range of dimensions, depending on the style of tile you’re purchasing. Many tiles are offered in 12x12” formats, but the size is mostly determined by the style of tile you’re purchasing. 

If you’re looking for tile for your pool, it’s important to decide what purpose your tile selection has. The creativity we put into designing outdoor relaxation spaces will require different tiling needs. Are you lining your whole pool with water tile? Just a decorative portion? Does your pool have a water feature you want to stand out with accent tiles? Will your tiling expand from your pool to the patio space or pool deck? Depending on the purpose of the tiles, different sizes will be better suited. How you wish to design and purpose your backyard oasis will ask for creativity and practicality, both of which swimming pool tiles have wonderful answers to.

Whatever you're thinking when it comes to pool design, swimming pool tiles have a unique purpose. Let those purposes help you realize the long-lasting design and beauty of your backyard utopia. Then you'll be relaxing in it for years to come.

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