Is your tile old and outdated? Are the colors faded? Are your tiles falling off? If so, it’s probably time to re-tile your pool. On average, pool tiles will last 15 to 20 years if they were properly installed and well cared for. However, age isn’t the most important factor in determining whether or not your tile needs to be replaced. You’ll want to focus on the health of the tile, including factors such as adhesion to the pool’s concrete shell, cracking, and falling off. Often times, tile falling off can be an indication of an underlying problem, such as a leak. When water gets behind the tile it can expand your pool’s concrete shell, which in turn will loosen tiles.
Here at PoolSense, we can help you evaluate whether or not it’s time to replace your pool tiles. Furthermore, we can help you in understanding all of the tile options available to you, including quality, color, and durability. We pride ourselves on making the re-tiling process simple. We take the time to understand the unique needs of your pool, we prioritize clear communication, and we meet deadlines. We are licensed, insured, bonded — and, most importantly, we stand behind the quality of our work.
The market for pool tile has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. In the past, nearly every pool employed the same blue porcelain tiles with white grout and white coping. You’re probably familiar with this look — it seems like just about every pool built in the1980s and 1990s followed this style. Today, form has finally caught up with function, and tile has become one of the primary ways to stylize and customize your pool.
Whether you’re going for a sleek and modern, or rustic and natural style, we can find the tile for you. If you are interested in updating your pool’s tile, we also recommend resurfacing your pool at the same time. Both the tile and the pool finish (plaster, aggregate, or tile) compliment one another, and work hand in hand when it comes to extending the life of your pool.
Your pool is likely the center point of your family’s summer fun, offering a relaxing atmosphere and refreshing break from the heat. While any old pool can offer a cool and refreshing dip, a tastefully designed pool can transform a typical backyard into a private oasis.
When it comes to personalizing your pool, tiles are one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Pool tiles come in just about every shape, size, and color; and they can be installed anywhere in or around your pool. The options are truly limitless. But did you know that the type of tile you choose, as well as where you install the tile, can affect the longevity and durability of your pool?
Here’s what you need to know when it comes to elevating your pool’s aesthetic and weighing your options.
Today’s pool tiles are most commonly made from porcelain, glass, and natural stone. When it comes to style, durability, and required maintenance, these three types of tile have noticeable differences.
Technically speaking, porcelain tiles are a subsegment of ceramic tiles. Both porcelain tiles and ceramic tiles are clay-based and kiln-fired. However, the clays used to make porcelain tiles have a higher density, making them less porous (which is obviously more desirable for pool applications). For many years, non-porcelain ceramic tiles were used in pools, but with the advancements in porcelain tiles, non-porcelain ceramic has become outdated.
Porcelain tiles are the most popular choice for pool tiling, and there’s a reason why. Porcelain tiles are the most budget friendly option when it comes to pool tiles. Furthermore, thanks to technology advances in ceramic printing, just about any design can be printed onto porcelain, making it one of the most versatile options. Albeit not the best when it comes to durability and lifespan, porcelain does offer excellent value to its customers.
Generally, porcelain is easy to maintain and shouldn’t give you any problems as long as you are keeping up with your weekly maintenance and keeping good water chemistry. To be nit-picky, porcelain can be prone to chipping or fading over time when compared to a more high-end option, such as glass tile. However, you can’t go wrong with porcelain. It’s tried and true, and definitely the most budget friendly of these options.
Natural stone tiles are usually made of granite, limestone, or slate. These textures provide rich, organic tones of a natural landscape. Because of the natural texture of these stones, they provide a more slip-resistant surface than their porcelain and glass counterparts. While you can certainly place natural stone tiles around the entire pool, they are an especially good option for waterline, steps and shallow ‘beach entries’.
When it comes to cost and durability, natural stone usually falls between porcelain and glass tiles. Natural stone is usually more expensive than porcelain, but also comes with an extra layer of durability and a longer lifespan than porcelain.
It is important to note that natural stone will be the most susceptible to calcium buildup, so it does require extra care relative to porcelain or glass. If you’re not up to the challenge of maintaining perfect water chemistry and brushing your tiles regularly (or don’t have someone who can do it for you), this might not be the best option for you. Perhaps consider a porcelain tile that mimics the natural stone finish. It will be easier to maintain and more budget-friendly.
Glass tiles stand out among the other options as the most luxurious, most modern, and the all-around best performer. Of all the tile choices, glass tile is the least porous surface, easiest to maintain, and the most resistant to UV rays and chemicals. Beyond that, glass tiles offer an incredible eye-catching sparkle that no other surface can.
While this all sounds ideal, glass tiles come with a price tag. Depending on the type of tile you choose, glass tiles can easily be multiples more expensive than porcelain and natural stone. However, if budget isn’t your top concern, glass tiles offer an unparalleled dazzle to your backyard.
The short answer is: you can install tile anywhere in your pool. Most traditionally, you would see tile around the waterline and on the spillway from the spa into the pool (if you have one). Below the waterline tile, most pools are finished with plaster or an aggregate. Check out our page on pool surface finishes if you would like to read more on the options you have available.
Waterline pool tiles are installed at the top 6 to 8 inches of the pool (where the waterline is, hence the name).
First, waterline tiles are installed to add an extra layer of durability at the surface of the water. That extra protection is required to protect the surface of your pool from erosion from splashing water, chemical buildup, and debris floating on the surface of the pool. Tiles are much more durable and easier to clean than plaster.
Second, waterline tiles serve as a design element. That part of the pool is most visible to someone standing outside of the pool, so it adds a nice decorative feature to improve the overall style of the pool.
If you have both a pool and spa, you probably have a spillway. The spillway is the barrier where the water ‘spills over’ from the spa into the pool. Similar to waterline tiles, spillway tiles serve a necessary purpose, but also bring in an element of design to your pool.
Tile can also be applied to waterfalls, fountains, and other water features. Unlike plaster, and other less durable materials commonly found in pools, tile is highly resistant and can be installed just about anywhere you can dream it.
There’s no denying the elegance of a pool completely finished in tile. Glossy tiles shine and reflect back sunlight from every angle, even from the deepest parts of your pool. Applying tile to the bottom and sides of your pool will also expand the lifetime of your pool finish by more than 5 times, in comparison to standard plaster (because tile is far more resistant to staining, chipping, UV light, and chemicals).
We understand that’s a lot to take into consideration, which is why we make ourselves available to provide a free consultation and quote. Our experienced professionals will be able to help you determine what tile is best for your desired style and budget. If you’re looking to get your pool tile replaced in San Diego, call us today.
Our team of in-house technicians is licensed, trained, insured, and ready to be of service. We have decades of experience in all types of major and minor repairs for both residential and commercial pools, including pool filters, pool heaters, pool lights, pool automation, pool timers, pool filters, pool pumps, pool plumbing, pool valves, pool skimmers, pool drains, in-floor cleaners, pool vacuums, pool safety devices and more. We work directly with all major manufacturers (Jandy, Hayward, Pentair, Zodiac, and more) to ensure we can offer the best pricing possible.
We believe in transparency and good, old-fashioned communication. From scheduling a service call to a completed repair, you won’t have to wonder what’s going on, how much the repair might cost, or when it will be finished.
As one of the premier pool repair companies in San Diego, we stand behind the quality of our work. If we make a mistake, we will be back to fix it immediately and at no additional cost to you.