9 Things to Consider When Choosing Pool Tiles
CHOOSING SWIMMING POOL TILES?
Choosing pool tiles for your pool or spa can completely transform your backyard into a dazzling space for leisure and relaxation..
Imagine this …
Sitting by your pool in summer and being lulled into tranquility by the sparkling water.
Or doing laps on a spring day, watching the changing colours of tiles as you go under the water.
Or sitting at the deck at night, enjoying a glass of wine or cup of tea, watching pool tiles reflect the moonlight.
That’s because it is! What’s even better is that it’s all within your reach! With some research, a little creative input, coupled with expert advice you can definitely create the above environment.
In the following article we will explore 9 things to consider when choosing pool tiles.
Before we dive into that, let’s start at the beginning.
Naturally, the first step is choosing the actual pool and deciding on its depth and shape. Once you’ve chosen something you’re happy with, you want to decide if you want to:
- Tile the entire pool.
- Only tile the waterline of the pool.
Both options create a pleasing aesthetic, however if you are working on a budget, a fully tiled pool is a somewhat larger investment than simply tiling the waterline. In saying that, making the investment into tiling your entire pool can really breathe life and character into your pool.
Now that you’ve decided how you want to tile your pool, let’s review what else you need to consider before making your investment.
Choosing tiles based solely on aesthetic and how ‘pretty’ they sparkle is all well and good, but what will you do when they start popping out because of poor quality? This can become a costly lesson. Not only will you have to replace all the tiles that have fallen off, but you will also be hit with a hefty water bill due to emptying and refilling the pool to fix the problem.
All this can cost anywhere between $4,000-$8,000.
This is why we want to help you avoid this at all costs!
Trust us when we say that in the past 10 years, we’ve seen a lot of pools and can safely recommend pool tiles that are beautiful and made of the highest quality of craftsmanship. This combination is critical to the longevity of the pool tiles as well as the visual appeal of your pool.
So let’s see how quality is defined in the world of pool tiles.
CUTTING EDGE SYSTEMS
Technological improvements have improved processes almost to perfection.
However, some pool tile manufacturers still use older methods and continue building tiles on a mesh backing. This is problematic because the backing doesn’t have enough free space to properly adhere to the shell of your pool. Over time this causes issues which leads to more work and consequently, spending more money.
What you must aim for is achieving the most contact possible between the back of the tile and the glue. As such, you want the glue, the mesh and the pool tile to be 100% flush when adhered.
However, with Australian standards, these are only at 90%. It’s shocking right? This is why it’s important to check if your chosen pool tiling manufacturer uses new and improved backing systems.
At Armstone, we stock two types of pool tiles – the Ezarri range and Onix range – designed by the leading Spanish glass pool manufacturers. They employ the most evolutionary backing systems that allow you to adhere 91-92% of the pool tiles to the pool substrate. The Ezarri range utilises the JointPoint Backing System that exceeds Australian Standards and allows for maximum glue coverage in the installation process. The Onix range utilises a Dot Backing System which allows the tiles to stay glued for longer.
If you have chosen a supplier but aren’t sure if their glass pool tiles will stand the test of time, contact us here. We would love to help you.
EVOLUTIONARY BACKING SYSTEMS
The biggest differentiator between glass pool tiles and their longevity, is the backing system that is used by the manufacturer.
At Armstone, we stock two types of pool tiles – the Ezarri range and Onix range – designed by the leading Spanish glass pool manufacturers. They employ the most evolutionary backing systems that allow you to adhere 91-92% of the pool tiles to the pool substrate.
The Ezarri range utilises the JointPoint Backing System that exceeds Australian Standards and allows for maximum glue coverage in the installation process. The Onix range utilises a Dot Backing System which allows the tiles to stay glued for longer.
The Ezarri JointPoint Backing System allows for 92% adhesion between the tile and the substrate. The tiles themselves are joined at the point with a JointPoint adhesive dot, so a lot of the tile is left free for the glue. They are also easy to cut into different sizes, are 25% faster to install and once laid, they have an even surface.
The Onix Dot Backing System has the individual pool tiles joined together with PVC or polyurethane drops. Since the drops do not take up much space, this leaves 91% of the tile’s surface free for adhesive which means the tiles are more securely installed. The Onix Dot Backing System has a uniform thickness and is extremely versatile so the pool tiles can be installed for all types of surfaces such as corners, curves and irregular finishes.
Unlike paper backing systems, the Dot and JointPoint Backing Systems allow the glass pool mosaic to be visible at all times during installation. As you can imagine,, this helps with creating the drawings, shapes and design in real time so that you can enjoy a finished pool aesthetic that brings you and your family joy for years to come.
You also want to consider:
- What colour water will suit your surrounding landscape (as different coloured tiles will reflect a different colour in the water),
- The colour of your stone coping,
- If you have feature walls.
Ideally, you want to ensure that everything blends well together. For example, if you have a bright foliage surrounding your pool, you would choose bright pool tiles to match and a cool coloured pool coping to draw everyone’s attention to the pool.
In saying this, you also want to consider if the pool tiles you’ve chosen are slip-resistant, UV protected and durable.
Swimming pool tiles are manufactured from different materials.
Of these, glass are the most popular.
Ceramic tiles are available in a variety of colours, designs and finished with a high gloss coating.
Glass pool tiles can be clear or tinted. Their other specifications include the size of each individual tile, sharpness, if they have rumbled edges and their gap space.
In saying that, not all glass pool tiles are created equal. At Armstone we source our glass pool tiles from Spain, where the manufacturers have a long standing history of quality assurance. Our two ranges – the Ezarri and Onix – are made from 98-100% recycled glass. The Ezarri pool tiles have a 25-year guarantee for colour fade, aesthetics and durability. So if you have any issues in the lifetime of their installation, you can have peace of mind that you’re supported by the company. Meanwhile, the Onix range of glass pool tiles have 0% water absorption which means that while being submerged under water, they are resistant to the erosion that can be caused by water over time.
CHOOSING POOL TILE COLOUR
As a general rule of thumb, do you remember playing with water colours back in primary or high school during art class? If you do, you might recall what happened when you mixed certain colours with water. For instance, when you mixed red and yellow with water, it turned orange.
Pool tiles work in a similar way. Except, the colour that you’re mixing is blue (the colour of the water) along with whatever colour you choose for the pool tiles.
If you aren’t too confident with colour combinations, we recommend searching photos online of different coloured pool tiles in a pool full of water. Alternatively, call us to organise a consultation.
* Emerald Pool Tiles
CHOOSING POOL TILE GROUT
Once you have chosen a good quality tile and a colour that you love, you are now ready for the next step: Installation! Here we recommend liaising with a tiler. An experienced tradesman will give you valuable information regarding adhesives and grout that will help you do the job once and well.
As well as getting their recommendations, we also suggest that when choosing your grout that you pick one that compliments the pool tile colour.
Generally, grey grout is best suited for grouting coloured pool tiles. On the other hand, off-white grout is better suited for white or light-coloured glass pool tiles. For pool tiles like our White Russian range, we recommend using Ultracolour: Plus Moon White pool grout.
The best type of grouts for pool tiles are called “Epoxy Grouts.” Their only downside is that they are quite challenging to clean. As such, the larger pool companies recommend using Ultracolour plus by Mapei for pool grouting. This is a fast setting and fast drying grout. It’s water-repellent and anti-mould and made with DropEffect® and BioBlock® technology.
- CLEANING YOUR POOL TILES? If you want your pool tiles to stand the test of time, we suggest doing your due diligence and researching which chemicals and cleaners will work best to keep your tiles clean, sparkling and attractive. You can also find more information and instructions on how to clean pool tiles, here.
- ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Last and definitely not least, it’s important to check that the company manufacturing your pool tiles is environmentally friendly and uses clean manufacturing methods. Where possible, avoid any companies that purposely create waste whilst producing their products.
The most reputable companies in the world care enough to invest in systems and packaging that doesn’t cause the earth more harm. Both the Ezarri and Onix range of glass pool tiles we stock at Armstone are made from recycled glass and are fully recyclable afterwards. If you are environmentally conscious, they are definitely worth considering for your pool.
At the end of the day, many manufacturers and suppliers provide high quality products. The key is to find one that is the best fit for you. Do you like their products, methods, manufacturing values and customer service? Then great! You’ve found one that aligns with you!
We hope that the above information serves as a blueprint for your pool tiling needs.
And in case you get stuck or confused, or just need a soundboard for your thoughts, give us a call.
We love this stuff and are always happy to help!