WHAT IS A POOL TILE?
Picking a pool tile can be a fun experience when working with people who know pool tiles. Yet, you cannot just pick any tile and put it on a pool. A pool tile must be able to endure constant water exposure /submersion, extreme weather swings both Hot & Cold, flexibility for ground shifting, and pool chemicals while still contributing to the overall design. This is why it is important to ensure that the tile you have selected has been rated for outdoor installation and is not intended for interior projects only.
GLASS OR PORCELAIN TILE?
Both Glass and Porcelain Tiles are excellent materials that can be used in Pools. You can even use them together! We use Mosa Porcelain Planks with Interstyle Glass inserts on water lines, spas, and water walls to bring Vibrant Colors, Depth, and personality to your pool. All knoxtile pool tiles (glass & porcelain) meet freeze/thaw requirements as recommended for outdoor use. knoxtile Glass and Porcelain pool tiles are vitreous, meaning they absorb less than 3% water, which helps in preventing cracking of the tile as temperatures change as well as making them easier to clean. Back painted or film coated glass tiles are beautiful but are suited for interior installations only. Prolonged exposure to the elements as well as water in a submerged application can begin to deteriorate the film or paint. When using glass tiles for outdoor installations look for annealed glass with high fired glazes.
GROUND SHIFTING WILL CRACK MY TILE! NO!
Ground shifting is just a part of geology. There is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening. Some pool builders will not use a piece of glass bigger than 1”x1” or porcelain larger than a 6”x6” as they expect anything bigger will crack when the ground shifts. However, as seen in the below image you can use larger Glass Tiles on Pools, even long 24″ Porcelain tiles. You just need the correct anti-fracture membrane.
In addition to an anti-fracture membrane, it is also important to have glass that has been annealed. During production the glass will go through an annealing kiln which will bring the temperature of the glass down slowly alleviating the internal stress of the glass. This is important for several reasons. First, it makes the glass more durable if cutting is needed for installation as a piece of glass with a lot of internal stress will fissure and crack under pressure. This also applies to ground shifting, the less internal stress, the less likely the glass will crack as the pool flexes and constricts with ground movement. Lastly, annealing helps with the prevention of temperature shock cracking. Glass sitting in the hot sun all day then getting splashed with cold water can crack if not properly annealed.
The below pool uses 2”x12” Interstyle Glass in an offset custom blend. Talk to your pool builder about which anti-fracture membrane will be right for your project.
POOL TILES & POOL CHEMICALS
It is important to keep your pool healthy and clean. To do so you have to add chemicals to kill off the bacteria and algae. So how do these chemicals react with knoxtile Glass & Porcelain tiles? They don’t. As Glass Tiles are non-porous and due to the density of our Porcelain pool tiles, they do not absorb the chemicals that cause discoloration or cause any chemical reactions. With natural stone materials you must seal them regularly to prevent chemical staining. Knoxtile Glass & Porcelain tiles are an easy to clean pool tile option.
However, not all glass is created equally. Low quality glass can have a High Iron or Soda Ash content which will react with Chlorine leaving it subject to etching. All knoxtile Pool Glass Tile is highly refined (no etching here!), annealed glass making it a great option for your pool project.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT POOL TILE
Choosing the right pool tile can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. There are so many options, so many colors, will this match my coping, will this go with my overall design direction. That is why it is important to work with a pool builder that understands you and your vision. They are there to guide you and help narrow down the selections, and point you to appropriate materials for your pool. knoxtile has been working with both commercial and residential pool builders for the last 30 years. Whether your design is simple and elegant or vibrant and artistic we are here to provide you and your pool builder with pool tiles that will both stand up to the elements and bring your pool vision to life.
knoxtile POOL TILE MATERIALS
LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION: CHECK OUT OUR BISAZZA POOL MURAL