Pool Tiles: Which material to choose from?

Pool Tiles: Which material to choose from?

March 20, 2021 Off By Rob Prosser

Mosaic is perhaps the most commonly used material for pool tiles. This particular option has many advantages for the decoration of swimming pool tiles. One of the advantages of this material is that the mosaics are made of glass, stone, and ceramics. 

Each of these materials has its own unique effect. It is also a big plus that the mosaic can be easily laid on curved surfaces, while laying is possible both individually and on a paper or mesh base. And, of course, one more advantage of mosaics over other materials is that here you can make any of your dreams come true since you can make a panel from the mosaic, for example, on the entire bottom of the pool with absolutely any pattern (even with your photo).

Swimming pools are becoming more and more popular every year. Today they can be found not only in fitness centers, hotels, and sports complexes. Very soon we will not even be able to imagine wellness areas and spas without pools. What can we say about their own dachas? If earlier we could only dream of a personal pool, then now it will not be difficult to build our own pool on the site of a country house, with certain financial capabilities.

Large, medium or small, open or closed, rectangular, round or irregular – almost any fantasy can be turned into a dream! But you need to understand that no matter what the pool tiles will be in terms of external characteristics, they will be used as a person or for a public site – in any case, you need to take into account a lot of important nuances, on which the pool’s service life will depend. Perhaps the most important point is to choose a material for cladding of sufficiently good quality. It must be reliable, durable, safe, and, of course, beautiful!

In this article, we will look at such basic concepts and characteristics that you need to know in order to start decorating the pool.

The main characteristics of the finishing material for the pool tiles

The requirements for the material used for lining the swimming pool tiles are, in fact, much greater than for the tiles that are used for laying in bathrooms, for example. Since it will be exposed to high water pressure, harmful microorganisms, and cleaning agents.

You need to be aware that pools are different, and pool tiles are also different: for indoor and outdoor pools, as well as for different places of installation: walls, sides, floors, steps, and so on. The edge of the steps is often made in a contrasting color so that they can be clearly seen in the water. Such specialized tiles must be certified.

In order for the pool tiles to serve you for a long time, study well the characteristics of the selected material for cladding, pay attention to the technical data, markings, and also pay attention to the following parameters:

– Water absorption. For pool cladding, this parameter is just as important as the fire resistance parameter for the tile used for the fireplace cladding. The level of water absorption is indicated as a percentage and is denoted by the letter “E”. Water absorption should be no more than 3%, and it is best to be equated to zero. More porous material will easily absorb moisture, this will lead to the fact that over time the ceramics become brittle, and ultimately this can lead not only to the destruction of the ceramics but also to the waterproofing.

– Chemical resistance. Detergents and disinfectants, antiseptics, and other agents that guarantee cleanliness in the pool tiles should in no case destroy the tile structure. Usually, tile maintenance is quite simple, but in the case of swimming pool tiles, it is impossible without sufficiently aggressive cleaning agents, for example, without bleach, which, in turn, can be very harmful to the ceramics. Suitable tiles are class AA (not exposed to chemicals) or A (resistant to chemicals).

– The level of anti-slip tiles – first of all, this indicator guarantees safety in the pool. The wrong material can often lead to serious injury. There is a German standard DIN 51097, which assumes as many as three classes of tiles for resistance to an inclined surface of bare feet:

Class A. Ideal for locker rooms and dry utility rooms – tilt angle> 12.

Class B. This option is well suited for finishing the bottom of the pool bowl, decorating the descent into the pool – the angle of inclination is> 18.

Class C. This tile is most often used in the decoration of steps for the descent and inclined elements of the pool. – tilt angle> 24.

– Durability. This criterion can be formed based on the following indicators. The first is wear resistance. It is denoted by the letters PEI with Roman numerals from I (this is the minimum level of wear resistance) to V (the tile is the most resistant to technical damage). For swimming pools, it is better to consider tiles with the wear resistance of class III. Important! If you are looking for outdoor pool tiles, pay attention to the frost resistance of the tiles. Frost resistance is indicated by a snowflake and is marked with AI / BI indicators, as well as A-II / B II).

Also, pay attention to the size of the tiles. It is better not to consider large-format options, since the water pressure on such a tile is very high, and therefore the likelihood of damage to it in the pool is very high. The recommended pool tile size does not exceed 15-25 cm.

The use of ceramic tiles for pool tiles

This option is ideal for an original design since the variety of ceramic tile designs today is so large that it allows you to bring the brightest ideas to life. Also, ceramic tiles are several times cheaper than clinker tiles. But at the same time, in places with the greatest load, it is better to use clinker tiles, since its resource is clearly higher than that of ceramic. It is important to note just one caveat: make sure the tiles are designed for use in swimming pool tiles. It is distinguished by a different composition, due to which it has a higher density.

Advantages of tiles for swimming pools

Tiles are one of the most successful materials for finishing the pool. Due to the special composition, which, in addition to the main material – refractory clay without impurities, includes oxides, chamotte, flux, this material is provided with increased impact resistance, is resistant to cracking, multi-ton loads, and any weather conditions. During production, clinker tiles are fired in a kiln at a crazy temperature of 1200 ° C. As a result, we have obtained absolutely inert tiles that are not afraid of moisture, fire, or frost and can withstand, perhaps, the most severe conditions in their operation. Also, under the clinker tiles, you can lay a warm floor system. The only drawback of this material is the very limited choice in terms of color.

The use of mosaics for pool tiles

Mosaic is perhaps the most commonly used material for pool cladding. This particular option has many advantages for the decoration of swimming pools. One of the advantages of this material is that the mosaics are made of glass, stone, and ceramics. Each of these materials has its own unique effect. 

It is also a big plus that the mosaic can be easily laid on curved surfaces, while laying is possible both individually and on a paper or mesh base. And, of course, one more advantage of mosaics over other materials is that here you can make any of your dreams come true since you can make a panel from the mosaic, for example, on the entire bottom of the pool with absolutely any pattern (even with your photo).