Top Five Things to Consider when Selecting New Pool Tile

Top Five Things to Consider when Selecting New Pool Tile

When remodeling your swimming pool one of the big impact changes you can make is changing your tile. With so many different beautiful tiles available on the market, many pool owners spend a lot of time selecting their tile and often come to us seeking guidance to help narrow down their decision. In this blog, we compiled the top five things for pool owners to consider when selecting new tile for their pools!

  1. Color Scheme. This is probably the most obvious consideration, and the first thing customers start when looking at new tile: their color inspiration or palate. Do you want everything to match or do you like contrast? Do you gravitate toward warmer colors or cooler ones? Homeowners may want to consider the current color scheme of their home and if that is something they are planning to keep or change. For example, if you have cream and orange brick pavers, and a tan colored home, you may lean toward warmer colors for your tile and if you have a gray colored home and a cooler-colored deck (such as white-pewter pavers), you may lean toward cooler colors for your tile.
    Another approach to selecting your tile may be to have it stand out or to specifically draw your eye to the waterline: you may want the tile to “pop” or stand out by selecting a brighter tile. We see this most often with vivid cobalt or blue colors.

  2. Tile Texture. This is something that not enough homeowners take into consideration. Tile texture will play a huge role in how long your tile stays clean and how much effort it will take to keep your new tile fresh looking. As all pools have some level of scale and dirt that inevitably ends up at the waterline, glossy tiles are recommended because they are much easier to wipe down and clean when debris builds up at the waterline. Some homeowners, however, are aiming for a different look. Matte, natural stone, and rocky tiles can create a more natural or rugged appearance, but their textured and/or porous surface will require more time and effort to keep clean.

  3. Shape of the pool. Over the past few years, subway tile (offset 1” x 2”) have been extremely popular. These tiles can look fantastic in some applications. When pools have a lot of corners, however, because these tiles do not have a clean seam like 1”x 1” tiles or 6” x 6” tiles, use of a subway style tile can mean a large amount of cut pieces to navigate the corners and edges in your pool. When glass tile, these cut pieces may leave sharp edges in some corners, due to the nature of the product. Typically using a subway style tile is best in free form, kidney shape, or rectangular pools that don’t feature a lot of corners.

  4. Condition of your Tile Beam. In most cases, when pools are built the pool shell is poured and the general structure of the pool completed and then the pool deck is poured over the top of the pool shell. This creates a cold joint that expands and contracts at the tile beam. As Florida sits on lime rock and sand, this is a common place in your pool where we see structural issues arise. If your pool has a tile beam crack or issue, it is recommended that you use a 6×6 porcelain tile for your waterline and not glass tile or mosaic tile. This is because the 6×6 porcelain tile is a single solid tile which is much sturdier than glass or mosaic tiles. If a glass or mosaic tile is used over a tile beam that is cracked or has structural issues, it is very likely that the tile pieces will break and/or fall out. 

  5. Existing pool/deck edge. Certain styles of pool/deck edges—where the pool and deck meet—can limit the type and style of tile used. Although not common on newer pools, some pools are constructed with a bullnose 6×6 tile. As there are a limited number of colors and styles of bullnose 6×6 on the market today, homeowners who desire a greater number of tile options may need to change their pool/deck edge to make this a possibility (for example, installing brick coping or installing a single bullnose trim tile at the edge). These types of changes may also require installing a new skimmer to ensure the skimmer is at the proper elevation for proper function. Another situation where your tile selection may be somewhat limited is if you have bullnose trim tile at your pool/deck edge. Double bullnose trim tile is no longer being made by the tile manufacturers and single bullnose trim tile comes in a limited number of colors and styles. If you elect to keep single bullnose trim tile at your pool edge (as opposed to using brick coping, for example) you will want to find a trim tile that compliments whatever waterline tile you select for best results.

Advanced Pool & Spa is family owned and operated and has served the Tampa Bay area for 38 years and is ready to assist you with your pool resurfacing and remodeling needs. We remodel both residential and commercial swimming pools, are fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are glad to answer any questions you may have. Please feel welcomed to call us in the office at 813-995-2939 or email us at for an estimate!

Happy Swimming! 

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