Top Tips for Choosing the Right Pool Tiles

Written by Posted On Thursday, 09 May 2019 20:03

Choosing the right outdoor tiles for your poolside can be a little nerve wracking. You’ll want to consider putting some great shades together or assimilating a striking symmetry of shapes on the pool floor, and of course ensure your choice of tiles are in sync with the surrounding ambience.

But the considerations don’t stop there. You’ll also want to consider the tile itself. Factors such as durability, safety, and ongoing maintenance are all important concerns to ensure you get the best return on your investment over the long term.

Before you start your research, decide how you want to tile the pool - do you want to tile the entire pool or just the waterline? Fully tiled swimming pools are easier to maintain and tend to have higher resale values. Waterline tiling, at least, helps the water surface from becoming chalky and unclean. Once you have decided on the tiling height, focus on the following essentials to ensure you choose the right pool tiles for your needs.

Prioritize durability

You have to be careful about considering the durability of the tiles. Different types of tiles are available in a range of attractive colours and innovative shapes. But when comparing your choices, look for important quality indicators first. Request relevant information and check the PEI ratings of the tiles.

The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating though not exactly a measurement of quality relies on an abrasion test conducted on ceramic and glazed porcelain tiles. Your pool tiles should ideally have a PEI 4 rating to be able to withstand the regular heavy wear and pressure from swimming use.

Go for low-maintenance pool tiles

A poolside area, irrespective of where it is located - within a commercial property or private premises, will need regular cleaning and scrubbing. This is essential to keep the joins dirt-free and the tile surfaces algae-free. However, because of this regular cleaning the tiles can wear, resulting in fading colours and bulging, or worse, the tiles may start to pop out. To fix the problem you will need to empty and re-fill the pool which can turn out to be a costly affair.

To avoid such ordeals, choose pool tiles that are significantly more scratch-resistant, frost-resistant, and low on water absorption.

Do not overlook the matter of safety

Safety is a vital part of your pool tiles selection process. Check the slip ratings to identify slip-resistant tiles. The new Standards Australia HB 198-2014 specifications are based on a Wet Pendulum Skid Test with ratings ranging from P0 – P5. The tiles you choose for your swimming pool should have a higher P rating.

Many tile brands also follow the Oil Wet Ramp Tests or ‘R Ratings’ to rate their products. In that case also, a higher R-rated tile should be your choice for a swimming pool.

Type and colour of the pool tiles:

Aesthetically, tiles have a significant transforming effect on a modern space. Chosen carefully, they can literally turn your pool area into a piece of art providing enjoyment for years to come. Brick and stone tiles, for example, come in interesting shades of red and grey. They can give your pool a natural and expensive look. Importantly, they are also highly durable and have a high heat absorption capacity.

Mosaic tiles are smaller in size but come in a large variety and can be used to create stunning features. They are best for creating intricate designs and are often recommended for pool re-modelling. However, mosaic tiles require frequent cleaning to keep stains and algal growth on their surfaces in check.

Porcelain tiles are the most commonly used variety for swimming pools. According to WiseGeek, their water absorption rate is below 0.5 per cent, and so, they are ideal for any climatic condition.

Finally, glass tiles are for those who want to create a depth illusion in their pools. Glass tiles are shiny and glossy and make pools look deeper. Moreover, they are easy to clean and can withstand more pressure than their porcelain counterparts.

If you’re not sure what colour to choose for your pool tiles you can opt for a safe aqua blue or white shade because they reflect more light. But if you want to make your pool stand out, include brighter shades like yellows or pinks. These colours hide the true depth of your pool and can show off an expensive look.

Trust a brand that delivers

An enormous range of tiles are available today and they can each look spectacular at first glance. Remember, all that glitters is not necessarily gold! Check online user reviews for the tile varieties you have shortlisted, before making your purchase decision.

The best way to buy tiles is from a trusted brand like Perini Tiles who stock quality tiles that have been tested and rated by leading industry bodies and laboratories. They can also provide sound advice that will help you make the right purchasing decision for your needs.

Hire an expert installer

Only an experienced installer knows the nitty-gritty of good tiling work and can help you get the desired look for your pool. A tiling expert can also guide you through the process of buying the right tiles for your pool. From choosing the right pool tile colour to deciding on the tile material and grout - polymer or thermo-polymer or silicon, the installer can help you through the complete process. Moreover, you’ll probably know whom to approach first when it is time to clean your pool tiles!

Final verdict

Adding tiles to your pool has long been a sought after décor addition because of its attractive aesthetics and “positive effect on house resale values,” experts opine. But you simply cannot be casual in your approach to selecting the right tile for your pool. If possible, request samples and temporarily place them on the floor of the pool to see whether they provide the look you’re after. Once satisfied, check the quality, durability, material and upkeep considerations and then you’re well on the way to enjoying your pool tiles for many years ahead.

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