How To Choose Tile for Your Swimming Pool
There are both practical and aesthetic reasons to tile your swimming pool. Tile requires less maintenance and is more durable than some other finishes. It is also easier to clean. Tile is also versatile. Depending on the type you choose, you can create a look that is natural, modern, or classical. You can also blend several different types together for a look that is truly unique.
However, not just any tile will work for your swimming pool. You have to choose a type of tile that will stand up to the special conditions in and around your pool without breaking down or becoming corroded.
Requirements for Pool Tiles
The tiles you choose for your pool must be durable enough to stand up to pressure without breaking. Before purchasing tiles for your swimming pool, first make sure that they are floor-grade. These tiles are made to be walked on and are strong enough to go into your pool.
At least as important as the durability of the tile is its resistance to water absorption. Some types of tile have small cracks in the surface. Water gets into these cracks and can cause the tile to gradually break apart. When this occurs, you then have to replace the tiles, which may require you to drain the entire pool and then fill it up again once the replacement is complete.
To prevent this from happening, you need tiles made specifically for use in an environment with a lot of moisture. Look specifically for tiles rated either vitreous or impervious. Vitreous tiles absorb up to 3% of the moisture they are exposed to, while impervious tiles absorb less than 0.5%. Both are sufficiently water-resistant to be suitable for your pool.
Keep in mind that it is not only the pool tiles that need to be strong and water-resistant but the grout you use as well. It should be also impervious to water and to pool chemicals. Do not use epoxy or Portland cement because pool chemicals will cause them to weaken or at least discolor them.
Types of Pool Tiles
There are tiles made of many different types of material that are water-resistant and strong enough to go in the pool. Each offers its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are three of the most popular options.
Porcelain is a popular choice for pool tile. You can find textured porcelain tiles that mimic the look of natural stone or hand-painted porcelain tiles with unique designs. Water absorption is not a problem with porcelain tile because all types are vitreous at the very least. However, not all porcelain tiles are floor-grade, so be sure to verify this before deciding to purchase.
Ceramic tiles are made of clay that has been glazed and then hard-baked. Porcelain tiles are a specific kind of ceramic. Ceramic tiles for your pool offer many of the same advantages of porcelain tiles provided that they are floor-grade and will not absorb water. You may want to invest in a finish that will make ceramic pool tile less slick to prevent slips and falls.
Glass tiles are the most expensive type of pool tiles. However, they are also extremely popular because they have many qualities that work well for the pool. Glass tiles are sufficiently durable and non-porous, and they do not get hot when exposed to the sun. They do not fade and lose their color, and they can become brilliantly iridescent in the sunlight. The tiles are made from recycled materials, making this an eco-friendly option.
Mosaic tiles are available in different materials for ease of installation. Come see our wide selection of pool tiles at Mosaic Tile Outlet.