Pool Tile

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.

Mosa (Porcelain) & Interstyle (Glass)
ARCH/DESIGNER: Studio Outside
PROJECT: Cypress Waters

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.

Level 43 Pool Tile
Level 43 Pool Tile
Pool Builder: AquaTerra

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.

Interstyle Pool Tile Hauk
Interstyle Glass Pool Tile
POOL BUILDER: Hauk Custom Pools

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.  

Mosa Terra Tones Pool Environment Pool Tile
Mosa Terra Tones
Pool Builder: Pool Environment

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

Bisazza Mural Pool Tile Deep Ellum
Bisazza Mural Pool Tile Deep Ellum

New Material – Spark

Beach in Bora Bora

Interstyles newest line Spark incorporates 3 different textures in 6 color ways. Spark is more than just a new series, it is a new finish as well. It is fired face-up and face-down, with a dune and sandstone texture which results in a new unique texture. Each blend name was chosen for their similarities from beaches from around the world. The colors are inspired by how the water and light interacts with the precious stones and sand below.

Antigua
Hawaii
Maldives

Design Tools

While the majority of us are working from home, we are having to utilize the tools that are available to us. It can be difficult to find inspiration when we are so far removed from our workspaces and coworkers.  While we all have used Render Generators before, they are becoming a more valuable tool today. Explore any of the below programs to take the exciting step of creating a vision of your own! 

MOSA GENERATOR

The Mosa Generator keeps on getting better. Over the past several years Mosa keeps updating and adding features to their Pattern Generator. Start by setting up an account which will allow you save your work by project as well download/upload your creations as needed. Once signed in, choose between Wall Tile (Ceramic) or Floor Tile (Porcelain). You can even narrow it down further by texture, sizes, colors, and even series. In the selected pattern, the generator will then only allow you to use compatible materials in available colors and sizes. This takes the stress out of ensuring your tiles will work together – no picking something that doesn’t exist or using tiles with different thicknesses. For our example we will use pattern PT2028. It consists of 2,4,6 x 24. As you can see below in the first photo the pattern PT2028 is all color 264, we easily can transform it into the colors we want by simply clicking on the color or the add tile button.

You can also change the sizing of the area your project requires by clicking and dragging the red box or by clicking on the selection button to edit the length and height. Be sure to save your project to be easily returned to at any time. Also make note of the pattern number which you can use in your specification. Now you can export into a compatible AUTODESK Rivet, SketchUp, Vectorworks, ARCHICAD, or JPG file. You can even print or save Tile Instructions explaining the pattern and percentages needed! There are plenty of tools available to help realize your Mosa design. Check out the Instruction Video for a quick walk through of the program and contact us if you need any assistance. The Mosa Generator is a great tool to get you started in selecting Mosa for your project. After you come up with your creation contact us for samples.

Interstyle Configurator

Interstyle’s Configurator is a fun and easy to use generator that can help you narrow down the selection choices fast and easy. With 240+ Colors, sizes from 1×1 to 8×12, 4 finishes for every color, and pre-made patterns you could spend all day exploring the possibilities. To start just pick a color, a finish, and what percentage you want for that color then press the Create! button. You even have the option of selecting an area like a Wall, Pool, Kitchen or Bathroom. Save to .PNG and upload into your drawings.  Make note of the recipe, if a blend was used, and add it to your specification or send it to us. We will create a project file with your recipe to ensure the correct information and pricing is provided to contractors while keeping your specification intact. We made this render in less than a minute, just think of all that you could create in 30 minutes to an hour.

Gable Pattern – Custom Blue Blend

The configurator will provide MSRP pricing, but you can contact us for project pricing, samples and current production time frames.

Bisazza

The Bisazza App is an interactive generator, that lets you make blends, graduating patterns, and decorations. Pick the size you want, then either a color group or individual colors. Enter in your percentages for each, then click Calculate. Once you get the blend you want, go to the Tools tab and download the texture if you want to import it into your software, or click the print option to get a more detailed explanation of your blend. Send your creation to us using the “Send To” option which generates a file for Bisazza Production that ensures material is produced exactly as you have designed it. We can keep it on file for when it is time to order and have a note of the recipe to provide accurate pricing to contractors. Additionally, this generator works great on IPads!

Technology has come a long way and provided us with tools that are great for working in today’s environment. All these generators are a great first step to get started on your project. If you are not seeing a generator for the material you are looking for or want to tweak something you did on the generator, just send us a request on the sample request form, and we will make a render for you. While the generators are a great tool, varying screens will show colors differently. That’s why the next step is getting physical samples to notice the subtle variations or current production color. So let us know what samples you are need and how we can help!

Novel Deep Ellum, Crescent Development

The shallow end of Deep Ellum has been home to knoxtile for 20 years. Historically a warehouse district, it spawned into a diverse music scene with tattoo parlors, and an artist’s lofts paradise. Now with the new incoming specialty shops, restaurants, and apartments they are making Deep Ellum an attractive destination for Urban City Living.

Venus In Water

Long famous for murals of every theme, Deep Ellum favors developers committed to keeping the artistic flair alive and well. The Novel Deep Ellum complex is the most authentic to date.

View of install from Balcony

studioOutside, which was tasked by Crescent Communities to conjure something that was Deep Ellum then came to see their neighbor knoxtile. Collaboration is the fun part of creativity. Early discussions mentioned by a Novel Designer commented that the property was in the Southwest flight path and he wished passengers could look down and enjoy a landmark view that they would not forget. Original concepts/images knoxtile presented got the party started with a blast! Fittingly, Crescent’s mission to draw from the community saw that the final art work was chosen from a local artist and Venus became the center of attention. knoxtile succeeded in keeping the look unique by translating the drawing into an 8 color only Diffusion Technique which was then produced in Bisazza 20mm tesserae. The Diffusion technique plays with the eye’s retina, making the 8 contrasting and complimentary colors interact to create any hue imaginable.
The below image is an Eye from the mural. Save the image and step away from your screen to watch as the colors blend together to make the eye.

8 Color Eye
Final Mosaic Laid Out

The above photo is the sheet layout paper face down on the Studio floor just to be sure all arrived in good condition. One sheet was crinkled and torn so we pulled it up on the map, re-worked and mounted.
All mosaic Depth Markers are fabricated in the knoxtile Studio from same production material. Horizontal surfaces including tops of perimeter walls are done in same color anti-slip matt mosaic as is required for all commercial projects and Pool Code. Wet Deck shown is tiled in 6×6 Porcelain Anti-Slip to match the colored concrete strips throughout the rest of the project.

Edge Detail with Bisazza

Multifamily and Hospitality projects often look to the Amenities areas as best launch site to promote the units as well as host special events and draw visitors for pool season relaxation. Professional installers, as for this project, Fun N Sun Pools are critical to the process. Even for the same Developer, each property must be unique, styled to accentuate the neighborhood or character of the property, deliver in a timely manner and provide long years of successful maintenance and durability. No project is ever a repeat.

Mosa – Wet Deck/Tanning Ledge