If you're yearning to give your pool a facelift with tile, you've come to the right place. The right tile is ideal around a pool as Tile Outlets' Kate Spencer explains in this article.
How to Give Your Pool a Facelift with Tile and Mosaics
When it comes to updating the look of your pool, you have many options including mosaics that add color and shimmer to a pool area as well as tile looks that are more understated. In this article, Kate focuses on the following three categories of tile for pools:
- Glass Mosaics in 1x1, 1x2, and puzzle formats
- Porcelain Mosaics in 2x2, 1x2, and penny rounds
- Porcelain Tiles in 6x6 format
These various tile and mosaic categories allow you to create stunning waterfall features as well as gorgeous waterline and pool features.
Please note that not all tile is suitable for pool environments. Although most glass and porcelain tile is acceptable, there are exceptions so it's important to check with your sales associate when making your final decisions.
Tile and Mosaics to Create Waterfall Features in a Pool
Waterfalls are wonderful features in a pool. The gentle noise from the water spilling out into the pool is calming and draws your attention to the mosaics as the focal point. Here are a few favorite waterfall features.
The mosaics used below are in cool aqua blue/green colors. These are common pool colors and make the water just as blue.
No surprise, waterfall features are popular in pools and the mosaics you use on the feature can draw your eye to the waterfall.
The mosaics below are 1x1 and are offset on the sheet.
The 1x1 mosaics are neutral in color and shimmer under the waterfall feature.
Here's another example with a darker blue waterfall feature.
Glass Mosaics for Shimmer and Color Around the Pool
Glass mosaics come in many varieties and sizes that work beautifully to highlight pool and water features. Here, I'll focus on three types: 1x1 glass mosaics, 1x2 glass mosaics, and puzzle mosaics.
In general, most glass mosaics are suitable for pools unless they are produced with a foil or decorative piece in the mosaic. Please be sure to check with a sales associate to confirm that the mosaic you selected is suitable for pool usage.
1x1 Glass Mosaics for Pools
You can use 1x1 glass mosaics for a water line or back wall feature. They come in an assortment of colors to create the look you want to relax too.
You can find multi-color mosaics as well as solid color mosaics.
Remember that pool tiles don't always have to be blue. The multi-color earth tone glass mosaic below contrasts with the darker water color in the image below.
Here's a closeup of that multi-color mosaic.
If you love a shimmery blue pool, you can definitely create the look using glass mosaics not just at the waterline, but throughout the entire pool.
You can also create an elegant contrast between the shimmery pool floor and an all-white waterline mosaic as you see below.
These glass water features are done in white 1x1 glass mosaics, creating a clean and fresh look to this backyard oasis.
Try 1x2 Glass Mosaics for Your Pool
When you use 1x2 glass mosaics, you can create an offset pattern with the mosaics. It adds a sense of movement to the waterline as you see in the next image. It also works well with a waterfall feature!
Check out the fun swim-up stools or tables in the pool image below! Notice how the 1x2 coordinating mosaics outline those pieces in the pool as well as at the waterline.
Here, too, you have a range of color selections to choose from although 1x2 mosaics are very popular in multi-color patterns which give you several colors to coordinate with your pool décor.
Remember to check with a sales associate to make sure the mosaic can be used in pools.
Try Glass Puzzle Mosaics Around the Pool
Puzzle mosaics are just that: multiple sizes in a mosaic that create a puzzle pattern. This puzzle mosaic below - the Michelangelo Ocean Glass Mosaic - includes 2x2 and 1x1 pieces. These designs can be multi-color and tend to be more decorative in nature.
Michelangelo Ocean Glass Mosaic
As you can see in this pool scene below, it's stunning installed!
Michaelangelo comes in three colors – Aqua, Ocean, and Earth.
Speaking of trying unexpected colors around your pool, have you considered a black mosaic?
Look how amazing and dramatic this black puzzle mosaic looks for a pool water line and fountain feature.
If you don’t want to be that dark, you can do a contrast with the black and blue mosaics. These colors beautifully reflect the water and sky, making the pool bright.
If you prefer to keep the color range more neutral then consider puzzle mosaics in this more muted color family as you see below.
Or, consider the Water Brush Puzzle mosaic you see below. This mosaic also comes in three other colors – Aquamarine, Earth, and Water.
By the way, water features don’t always have to be glass.
In the image below, you see a stunning waterfall feature made with ledger panels. These stone ledger panels come in many different colors and material types, so be sure to explore stone for your pool designs.
The waterline is done in porcelain tiles; you'll find more information about hat later in the article.
Waterline and Pool features
Glass mosaics come in many varieties and sizes that work beautifully to highlight pool and water features. In general, most glass mosaics are suitable for pools unless they are produced with a foil or decorative piece in the mosaic. Please be sure to check with a sales associate to confirm that the mosaic you selected is suitable for pool usage.
If you love a shimmery blue pool, you can definitely create the look using glass mosaics not just at the waterline, but throughout the entire pool. This next image features Reflections 1x1 on the entire floor and waterline of a pool and it's beautiful!
Yes, you can put glass tiles on the floor of your pool for that shimmery glass glow.
You can outline your hot tub with glass mosaics that are intensely reflective when the sun hits them. The sitting shelf around the inside of the pool is also done in glass mosaics.
Puzzle mosaics are very popular and have many color options to select from.
Below, puzzle mosaics form the waterline and outline the hot tub, pulling the look together. The steps even have a strip of mosaic for safety so you can see the steps in the water.
Porcelain Mosaics Around a Pool
In addition to glass mosaics, you can also use porcelain mosaics in pools since porcelain has such a low water absorption rate. Ceramic mosaics, on the other hand, are not recommended.
You'll find many different varieties of 1x1, 1x2, and 2x2 mosaics as well as penny rounds.
These two-tone blue 2x2 porcelain mosaics are great for the spa surround and the waterline of the pool.
1x2 Porcelain Mosaics
The 1x2 porcelain mosaics are very versatile and can be used for waterlines, tub surrounds and spillover waterways. They come in a variety of colors, including the classic blue you see below used for a pool spill over a drain.
These 1x2 blue mosaics are shimmery and reflective in blue tones. They surround the entire hot tub in the middle of the pool and spill over into the water.
Penny rounds are circular porcelain mosaics. These shapes are fun and whimsical to use around a hot tub surround and spill over into the pool.
This next image shows you how the penny round mosaics look around your waterline.
Porcelain tiles used for pools are generally in the 6x6 range. Again porcelain tiles are recommended over ceramic tiles due to the water absorption is lower in porcelain tiles.
Here's a stunning example of porcelain tile for a waterfall feature and to outline the waterline.
Notice in the image below the dark 6x6 porcelain tile used for the waterline and the hot tub which is raised up to the waterline.
The water flows over the top of the tile into the pool.
This next image gives you a better perspective of that hot tub. You can see that the tiles are a rich deep, dark blue in color.
In contrast, you see a neutral 6x6 porcelain tile used for the waterline and shelf feature in the images below.
In this color, the 6x6 porcelain tile looks like Travertine stone.
The tiles were used for the hot tub surround, the waterline and the wall feature in the back. It really coordinates nicely with the tiles used for the deck.
This pool uses 6x6 porcelain tiles and borders with 2x2 porcelain mosaics as the water line and trim. The diamond cutouts are a nice added feature.
This hot tub has 6x6 porcelain tiles as the ledge and then the edge of the tub is done with a stone ledger. Isn't it a nice touch in bringing in two contrasts?
Final Words About Pool Tile
Remember to verify with your sales associate and pool installer that you have selected the proper tiles to use and the correct setting materials. These are all factors in ensuring you have a successful pool installation to enjoy.
Learn more about pool tile with these articles:
Kate Shares Advice On Using Glass Mosaics and Porcelain Tile to Refresh a Pool on Suncoast View
Suncoast View is the locally produced hour-long Talk Show airing at 4 p.m. EST on ABC 7 WWSB in the Sarasota, Florida area. The program’s format is inspired by the ABC Network’s popular, long-running talk show, “The View”.
You can watch the entire 6:34-minute pool tile segment from Suncoast View here:
Note: We originally published this article on May 3, 2018, updated it on December 2, 2019, and further updated it here.