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Types of Pool Tile Best for Swimming Pools

ocean pool

Transforming your backyard with a pool? Whether it’s a makeover for an existing pool or starting from scratch, key factors need your attention. Think about how big and where your pool should be, what types of pool tiles to use, and which accessories to add. These choices will shape the overall appeal and functionality of your pool.

Table of Contents

Factors to Consider When Choosing Pool Tiles


Select pool tiles after considering their size. Tiles larger than 100 mm are not recommended because they don’t look good on the curved bottom of the pool. Large glass tiles are more likely to crack due to thermal shocks and have less stability in the center.


Since installing pool tiles is expensive, it’s wise to choose discounted tiles with a lifetime guarantee. This guarantee should cover damages and the fading of colors due to constant exposure to sunlight and water.

Color Aesthetics

Choose your pool tile color based on personal preference, but consider expert advice. Light-colored tiles make pools appear larger and brighter as they reflect sunlight. Dark tiles create a dramatic, mirrored effect, enhancing the outdoor space’s ambiance.



Inquire about cleaning and maintenance before installing pool tiles. Over time, tiles accumulate scum and other buildups requiring regular cleaning. Understand the cleaning frequency and the necessary chemicals to maintain the appearance of ceramic, mosaic, glass, and porcelain tiles.


Pool tiling is a big investment. Establish a budget to determine the type of flooring for your pool. More intricate designs and premium materials like glass are generally more expensive than simpler, discounted options.


Different pool tiles require specific installation methods. Please follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid issues with tile setting and waterproofing. Incorrect installation can lead to cracks or water seepage, damaging the tiles over time.

By considering these aspects, you can select the most suitable discounted pool tile for your outdoor area. Consult a professional pool builder for guidance on selecting and maintaining your pool tiles effectively.

Types of Pool Tile Best for Swimming Pools

Every project is different, so it’s necessary to plan. Standard equipment for a successful mesh-backed tile installation includes a few buckets for mixing and wiping down, a tile saw, a paddle mixer, trowels, spacers, level, grout float, and a clean-up sponge. Depending on the type of tile being cut, such as stone, glass, or porcelain, you might need a different blade or other cutting tool for the job.

Ceramic and Porcelain Pool Tiles

Ceramic and Porcelain Pool Tiles

Ceramic and porcelain have been popular for pool tiles for many years. They are easy to install and clean. You can have ceramic tiles hand-painted with any design. They are smooth, making them safe for swimmers to avoid scratches. Porcelain tiles are beneficial because they don’t get hot, making them great for both the waterline and pool deck.

They have textured finishes that fit modern styles and match the landscape. If you want a beautiful waterline without spending too much, ceramic and porcelain tiles are excellent choices.

Glass Tiles

Glass Tiles for swimming pool large size

Glass tiles, compared to porcelain and ceramic, are a more expensive option for pool tiling. These tiles are typically small, square, and made from recycled glass, offering an eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing choice. Their clean, iridescent look makes them not only environmentally friendly but also durable and non-porous, outperforming other pool tile types in these aspects.

The variety in color and design is where glass tiles truly stand out. They are available in deeper colors, which can create an illusion of depth in your pool and add a luxurious feel. Glass tiles are versatile for both hot and cold climates.

However, the installation is more complex. It can take up to four weeks to complete, and the success heavily relies on the expertise and craftsmanship of the pool contractor. The beautiful appearance of glass tiles largely depends on how well they are installed.

Stone Tiles

Stone Tiles for swimming pools

Stone tiles are a classic choice for swimming pools, similar to ceramic pool tiles. They are ideal for creating a Mediterranean or classical look in your backyard. These tiles have a textured feel, which blends well with other natural elements in your landscape.

Stone tiles are not just for the pool; they can also be used on decks and patios to create a unified design. The range of materials includes sandstone, slate, travertine, flagstone, and bluestone.

However, since stone tiles are porous, they need to be sealed every few years to prevent stains and water damage. This maintenance is important for preserving their appearance and functionality.

Mosaic Tiles

Mosaic Tiles for pools

Mosaic tiles are another great choice for swimming pool designs. Available in various colors and patterns, they can match any backyard style. Mosaics are made from pieces of glass, ceramic, or porcelain, combined to create unique designs. They usually come in sheets, making them relatively easy to install on the bottom or sides of the pool.

If you choose them, you should regularly maintain them. Draining the pool every couple of years to clean the tiles is recommended. This helps remove algae, mold, or chemical buildups, ensuring the tiles maintain their appearance and hygiene.

Brick Tiles

brick Tiles for pools

For a regal appearance in your swimming pool, brick tiles are a great choice. Though not modern in style, they are as durable as stone tiles. Typically found in red, they are also available in other colors.

Just like stone tiles, the major downside of brick tiles is their high porosity. They need to be sealed annually to prevent water from seeping in. Regular sealing is crucial to protect the tiles from water damage and mold growth.


What are the most durable types of pool tiles?

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are known for their durability and resistance to fading, chemicals, and UV light, making them ideal for pools. Glass tiles are equally durable and offer a reflective quality that enhances the pool’s aesthetic, but they tend to be more expensive and require skilled installation.

How do I properly maintain and clean pool tiles?

Regular maintenance involves gentle brushing and vacuuming to remove debris. For cleaning, use a pH-neutral tile cleaner to avoid damaging the grout. For calcium or lime buildup, a mixture of vinegar and water can be effective, but for tougher stains, specialized pool tile cleaners may be necessary. Always avoid abrasive tools, which can scratch tiles.

How much does it typically cost to tile a swimming pool?

The cost varies widely based on factors like tile material, size, and design complexity. Basic ceramic or porcelain tiles may cost between $1.50 to $35 per square foot, while high-end glass or custom tiles can range from $25 to $100 per square foot. Installation costs also vary depending on the area and installer’s expertise.

What is the best way to prevent algae and stains on pool tiles?/b>

Regular maintenance is key, including balancing pool chemicals, brushing the tiles, and keeping the water clean. Algaecides can be used to prevent algae growth. For stains, identify the cause (organic matter, metals, etc.) and use appropriate treatments, such as ascorbic acid for iron stains or enzyme treatments for organic stains.

How do temperature changes affect pool tiles?

Temperature fluctuations can cause expansion and contraction in pool tiles, potentially leading to cracking or delamination. Proper installation with high-quality adhesives and grouts designed for thermal movement is crucial. Also, choosing tiles that are rated for outdoor use and temperature variations is important.

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