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Choosing Pool Tile

Blending indoor and outdoor areas into one setting enables pool owners to choose complementary materials. Pool tile can connect a hardscape with a softscape, which includes plants, foliage and flowers.  And, as always, design is established through the use of subtle details.

The three main types of tile for pool finishes include glass tile, natural stone tile, and ceramic or porcelain tile.

Glass Tile Pool Finishes

Glass has become the most popular tile choice in recent years. While it is the most expensive type of pool tile, customers on a budget may opt to alternate its use with another type of tile or finish, creating splashes of color and scale. In addition, this durable, nonporous tile can be made from recycled materials. As a medium, glass complements the transparent nature of water. Its ability to be molded into various shapes, creating pebble-like or abstract effects, is a strong allure.

Glass tile comes in many varieties. Small-format, mosaic glass tile can produce a classical appearance and has the advantage of being able to completely cover curved surfaces. By mixing colors, the designer creates a color scheme within the pool like that of a pointillist painting.

Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Finishes

For decades, ceramic and porcelain tile have been staples for pool finishing. They are the least costly and can be handpainted with intricate designs or formed into a mosaic. Textured porcelain blends well with the surrounding landscape, while glazed porcelain offers bold, striking accents.

Ceramic and porcelain tile are a great option for pool owners looking to add a custom look or waterline accent without extending their budget too far.

Stone Tile Pool Finishes & Coping

For a natural look and textured feel, customers may lean toward stone tile. Large format stone tile can be used on a patio or deck and blended into the coping to create a monolithic appearance. It also fits well within a classical or Mediterranean design. Stone tile is relatively affordable for large areas, provides slip-resistance and maintains warmth after a day in the sun.

Currently popular design elements include: limestone, sandstone, bluestone and honed (semipolished) granite tile, as well as pavers and cobblestones.

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