The Right Tiles for Your Swimming Pool

Human beings are not an aquatic species, but people love to swim, and this is most commonly done in swimming pools big and small, private and public alike. Some homeowners choose to invest in landscaping in their backyards such as adding a small but luxurious swimming pool, while public pools are large and can be highly popular in summer. Luxury resorts and getaways are known for their exotic and fancy swimming pools, some of which are “infinite” pools that seem to blend into a natural body of water. Any pool big or small, however, needs the right tiles for the job. Some are practical, such as a pool step tile formation, or the waterline tile formation. White square tiles may be bought in bulk and installed as the default tile in a pool, but a pool can have some decoration, too. A pool owner may have a mosaic turtle or mermaid mosaic put into their pool for a fun ocean theme, and pool tile designs vary widely. When is it time to put down pool step tile formations? What does a pool step tile formation do?

On Tiles

Tiles are typically made of ceramic, a time-honored material that predates even the written word. Tiles have been used for centuries for floors and walls of many different buildings, and mosaics are known for their impressive visual appeal. Take the mosaic art of the Byzantine Empire as one example. More recently, tiles have mostly found use on bathroom and kitchen floors, as well as subways and of course swimming pools. Tiles are tough, smooth, and durable, and they can look attractive. Back in the early 1900s, for example, tile walls were used in New York City’s subways for the first time, and to great effect. These tiles were easy to clean, durable, and could reflect light well, which added to their appeal.

Tiles may vary in their material and durability. Ceramic tiles are often the norm, and they can be used with plaster, exposed aggregate, or even fiberglass finishes to create swimming pool surfaces that may last for five to 25 years. Glass tiles, however, are another popular option that have proven their worth. If treated well, glass tiles can last nearly indefinitely, and look nice the entire time. Glass tiles might cost more than bulk ceramic tiles, however, and a homeowner looking to build their own pool may keep that in mind. All the same, glass tiles can be attractive and tough, and colorful glass tiles may be a fine choice for creating a mosaic in one’s swimming pool tile walls.

Tile Uses

In a swimming pool, ceramic tiles will probably be the default material for coating the walls, but the tile work doesn’t have to end there. Bulk tiles work fine to start with, and other, more specialized tiles can and probably should be added as well to make a swimming pool complete. One example of this is the installation of pool step tile. What is that? Many swimming pools have shallow, wide steps in them to allow a person to ease themselves into the pool, but the blank white surfaces can be disorienting and cause a person to lose their step. So, darker and more distinctive tiles can be added to the steps at their edges to clearly define them. This makes the steps in the pool safer to use and more visually appealing at the same time.

At the same time, water line tiles are a fine idea. These are tiles with a distinct color from the pool’s other tiles, and they are used to define the water line, hence their name. These tiles may be black or dark blue, for example, allowing them to easily stand out against formations of white square tiles. This also provides a convenient visual cue for the swimmers.

Sometimes, tiles for the steps, waterline, or elsewhere may wear out or come loose, and an old swimming pool will need some refreshing. Pool tile contractors can empty out all the water in the pool, then scrape off old tiles and damaged plaster. New plaster and adhesives can be added, and new tiles are laid down to restore the pool’s walls. This makes a pool safe and appealing to use.

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