People normally give a cursory glance to a swimming pool’s tiling, preferring to focus on the water’s invitation to splash, wade and swim. But what goes unnoticed will definitely not go unfelt.
Tiles are indispensable during swimming pool construction or resurfacing. First of all they provide the cushioning effect that assists the swimmer remain buoyant and afloat. Very few realize that smooth tiles are responsible for the comfort that keeps people wading and standing in the pool for hours without feeling tired.
Second is the cosmetic effect. Water’s reflective property and the natural sunlight are elements that must be exploited by the tiles. Whether glass, porcelain, ceramic; single tone or mosaic, pool tiles capture and reflect a kaleidoscope of colors and tints. Viewing outside and above the water, the tiles will give the floor an overall glossy appearance.
Tile selection is therefore important. It can turn an ordinary pool (large or small) into a dramatic visual masterpiece. Tiles can turn your backyard area into a lagoon; tropical paradise or exude a country club ambience. This can increase the value of the entire home.
Today, there are currently hundreds of options when it comes to tiling a pool. Combinations for tile shapes, styles, colors and materials can leave the pool owner a bit overwhelmed with the array of choices.
That is why is it important to know some basic things about swimming pool tiles.
By far, the most popular is the reliable ceramic pool tile. Ceramic tiles are practical and inexpensive, contributing to their enduring appeal in the bathroom, spas and kitchen areas. Ceramic pool tiles are uniform, easy to cut or saw, scratch-resistant, impervious to chemicals and well, of course, water. Colors and custom patterns can be applied easily on the surface of the ceramic tile. They last a long time and require little or no maintenance.
Hand painted tiles are a unique option because it will give the pool a custom finish. Mosaic ceramic tiles for the pool is a more creative challenge because it considers a specific arrangement of colored tiles that produces a specific image when viewed either from afar or when looking down at the pool. Usually the image is placed at the bottom of the pool floor to create maximum effect.
Custom mosaic tiles require more time and considerable expense to create. Ready-made mosaic tile designs are also available and can be installed like an ordinary ceramic tile. These designs normally carry an aquatic theme: turtles, starfish, seashells, seahorses, dolphins, porpoises, mermaids, octopus and fish.
Of course, the swimming pool area must have no slippery areas. Children running around in excitement cannot be avoided. Non-slip ceramic tiles are suited for the areas around the pool area. Small mosaic tiles also provide an extra grip when the grout joints, grooves and tile edges all combine to provide a better grip for the feet.
Porcelain tiles are also great for tiling in and around the pool area because of its high density and resistance to frost. Porcelain tiles are also designed with a texture that minimizes slippage. A silicon carbide glaze will create a non-skid surface while giving the tile a shimmering surface when submerged or wet.
For in-ground swimming pools, glass tiles have an abstract luminescence to the water’s depth. Like ceramic and porcelain, glass pool tiles are resistant to chemical and mechanical corrosion. Textured, non-slip glass tiles are added features for the pool area.
Glass mosaic tiles come in blues, grays, gold, green and black. Homeowners who opt for glass mosaic tiles probably don’t harbor dreams of becoming like Michael Phelps. But aesthetic considerations aside, glass mosaic tiles are gaining ground for other reasons that are also functional.
The idea of glass tiles for the swimming pool was a natural offshoot from the construction sector where functionality is always at a premium. Glass is totally impervious to moisture, much better than exterior grade porcelain and ceramic. Since glass is non-porous, they will not stain. Acids, alkaline solutions and chlorines will do nothing to fade colored glass tiles. Glass does not decay when exposed to the elements like rain, snow or sunshine and does not encourage the growth of molds and mildew. They are also hygienic and do not promote the spread of allergies.
Pool tile sizes are either 6” x 6”, 3” x 3”, 2” x 2” or 1” x 1”. The designs, textures, shades and hues of glass, porcelain and ceramic pool tiles give practically the entire range of options, from the plain, subtle, unique and downright extravagant.
For example, animated glow tiles have been introduced to the market as another way to stretch the limits of pool tile creativity. Creative designs include dolphins, seahorses, and palm trees. Animated glow tiles give free illumination throughout the night. The tiles are inorganic, easy to clean, safe, electric free and need very minimal light.
These same patterns will also comprise the trim tiles that run along the border or perimeter of the pool’s interior. The curved interior and edges of the pool will be consistent with the wall and floor because of these specially contoured trim tiles. For a custom finish, perimeter border tiles will add emphasis to the pool’s shape. A perimeter tile border is the perfect finish to give the pool an accomplished and professional appearance.