Choosing Swimming Pool Tiles
The most important factor in choosing tiles for your pool is their suitability. Manufacturers provide technical data and you when buying tiles you should make it clear for what purpose you need them. If your pool is outside then the tiles will need to be frost proof.
Inside the pool
Most tiles for the interior of a pool tend to be in shades of blue, white or turquoise and sometimes black or darker colours used as line markers, targets or warnings lines. Deeper water distorts the colour of the tiles so using tones of blue and white will usually give the most attractive look and reflect light. Dark tiles should not be used for the base of the pool, as it will be less evident how deep the water is and using reds and yellows could give an unappealing look. Contrasting bands of colour are often used at and above the water level and can be an attractive feature.
Mosaic tiles are a very popular choice, with an enormous selection of colour mixes from plain colours to iridescent finishes. Most mosaics come on a mesh backing and each sheet will cover approximately 30cm2. Mosaics are typically glass, frosted glass, ceramic or porcelain and have varying levels of suitability. Larger tiles can be used but tend to give a commercial look.
For the pool surround you need to consider slip and moisture resistance, care and maintenance. Some mosaic tiles are also suitable for floor use but can be less decorative if they are slip resistant; there are many porcelain and ceramic anti-slip tiles available with a textured surface. Natural stone can be a good choice as there are often pieces available within a range cut specifically for pool surrounds such as bull nose edges and corner pieces.
Fixing and Maintenance
Fixing swimming pool tiles should only be undertaken by an experienced tiler and the following points need to be taken into consideration
It is essential the correct adhesive and grouts are used and there may be need for movement joints.
The water treatment chemicals need to be compatible with the tiles, grout and adhesive.
Slip resistant tiles will need extra attention during cleaning, as there are often raised areas and dirt and grease can collect in.
Natural stone may needs sealing, most do, and this will help stop any staining and make cleaning easier.
Our tile cleaning and maintenance page has more information.