How to Choose Tile for Pools

Modern designs have made swimming pools decorative as well as refreshing. After you decide on the structure, shape and depth of your pool, you will need to make cosmetic decisions, such as what kind of tile you want to install. Most swimming pool tiles are ceramic or porcelain, and they come in a variety of textures, from smooth to coarse. Choose tile for pools by considering safety, style and functionality.


  1. Image titled Choose Tile for Pools Step 1
    Make safety a priority. Be sure to choose tile that is slip resistant. The swimming pool area will often be wet, and you will want a surface that will prevent slipping. Tiles for the outside of the pool, or areas where people will be walking, should be treated to avoid slipping.
    • Choose waterproof tiles that are protected against ultraviolet (UV) rays. You will also want to make sure they are frost-proof, especially if you live in a colder climate.
    • Find a reputable dealer. The pool company you use may have a recommendation on where to get tile at wholesale prices. You can also check with home improvement stores or pool supply stores, where the tile is usually inspected for safety before it is sold.
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    Establish a budget. Pool tiles generally start at $1.50 per 1 square yard (0.84 square meters). If you did not include the cost of tiles when you were budgeting for the pool, decide how much money you are able to spend, and choose something that does not put you over budget.
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    Select a tile with a lifetime guarantee. Protect your investment by looking for tile that comes with a lifetime guarantee against color fading or damage. Make sure you will be protected against any manufacturing default.
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    Find a style that you like. The look of your pool will be based on your personal preference, and that of your family or household. Remember the wall tiles you choose will be highly visible.
    • Choose glass mosaic tiles to complement a tropical or leafy landscape. Mosaic tiles come with square or rounded edges. Consider the rounded edges to prevent and scraping against the skin.
    • Select classic blue pool tiles, or earth tones if you have a traditional yard.
    • Go for bright colors and creative patterns to create a splash in the pool area, or if you have kids who will use the pool often.
  5. Image titled Choose Tile for Pools Step 5
    Choose a floor surface that is durable and slip resistant. The tiles you choose for your wall and pool area will be different from the surface on the floor of the pool. The floor is often made of slate, pebble or stone.
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    Ask about cleaning. Swimming pool tiles can develop build-up and scum which may require the use of an abrasive cleaner. Before you choose a tile, learn which chemicals should be used to clean it.
  7. Image titled Choose Tile for Pools Step 7
    Get samples before choosing pool tile. Before you place an order for your tiles, ask for a sample so you can put them outside and get an idea of how they will look in your pool area.


  • Ask your landscaper for advice. If you have someone who helps with your lawn, ask for his or her opinion on what tile will look best with your summer foliage.


  • Avoid having the tiles installed onto the pool at the factory. This can result in tiles that are not level once the pool is put into the ground.

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Categories: Outdoor Water Features