Surfacing – or resurfacing – a pool can be an expensive process. Ideally, you don’t want to do it all that often but you still want your pool to look great. Luckily, there are many great choices out there. And one of the best ones is mosaic tile.
In this article, we’ll explore the drawbacks and advantages of swimming pool mosaic tiles as a pool surface. You’ll learn what the different types of tiles are, their pros and cons, and about some of the best materials you can choose from.
Let’s start with a look at what mosaic tiles are.
The Benefits of Pool Tiles
Tiling your pool has numerous benefits over other surfaces. Tiles are generally much more durable than other types of surfaces. Tiles are also easier to replace and repair.
If your plaster surface develops significant cracks, you may need to resurface the whole pool. In contrast, a chipped or broken tile can be replaced individually without much disruption.
Here’s how tiles stack up to other popular pool surface materials.
Mosaic Pool Tiles Vs. Plaster
Plaster was once the most popular surface material for pools. However, times have changed. It is still a good choice for a pool surface, but tiles have a few advantages. Whereas plaster is porous and allows algal growth, tiles are – by and large – non-porous. Algae won’t grow on tiles, with the exception of potential minor growth on the grout.
Plaster is also prone to staining, whereas tile doesn’t retain stains. Maintaining tile is a cinch compared to plaster, which requires quite a bit more TLC.
Mosaic Tiles Vs. Aggregate
Another type of pool surface, or finish, is aggregate. In short, an aggregate pool finish consists of bits and pieces of stone, glass, ceramic, and crystal in a type of plaster matrix. This is applied in a similar method to plaster, but it offers a few advantages over a traditional plaster finish.
For one, aggregate surfaces are more resilient. With the aggregate to serve as an armature, the surface is far less prone to cracking and chipping. Aggregate can also be polished to provide a slightly better aesthetic appeal than plaster. And, chemicals affect aggregate finishes much less than they do plaster.
Aggregate finishes have a decent lifespan, surpassing plaster but typically falling just short of tile. In terms of price, mosaic tiles are a little pricier than aggregate and plaster, but they more than make up for it in a lot of ways.
Types of Pool Tiles
When you’re picking the surface of your pool, there are a few things you should consider. A good pool installation service will give you some guidance about this.
Generally, you want to pick a surface that doesn’t clash with the rest of your outdoor areas. Picking complementary materials, colors, and motifs is key to making an attractive pool area.
To that end, you can pick from several materials for your pool tile.
- Stone Swimming Pool Tile
Stone is one of the oldest building materials humans have used. In fact, the oldest pools we know of, the Great Bath of Mohenjo-daro was lined with stone.
Stone tiles are an excellent choice if you want to give your pool a classic Mediterranean look and feel. Combined with stone coping, the top edge of a pool, stone tiles are a perfect complement for a stone patio or deck.
Within stone tile, there are several options as well. Slate, sandstone, travertine, and granite are all great options.
- Ceramic Swimming Pool Tile
Ceramic tiles are the most affordable, and also quite versatile. They come in any number of colors and designs. If you can dream it, there’s a ceramic tile that can help create it. While they’re relatively inexpensive, their price goes up significantly if you want customization.
Ceramic tiles are the perfect choice for pool owners who want a fully customized style for their pool and don’t mind paying a little extra for it. They can also be used in parts of the pool to add accents or small highlights.
- Glass Swimming Pool Tile
Glass tiles are easily the most popular type of tile in recent years. It’s not a stretch to say that glass mosaic tiles have revolutionized pool surfaces. They are incredibly versatile, allowing builders to create intricate designs with vivid colors, all within a modest timeframe. The silicate glass used in these is an unbelievably hardy material. It’s highly resistant to corrosion and all but impervious to chemical damage.
Glass swimming pool mosaic tiles are also among the most attractive options. Their iridescent and deeply evocative hues don’t fade. While plaster and aggregate surfaces become dull over time, glass tile stays crisp and glistening almost indefinitely.
As you can see, there are several good options for pool tiles Miami Florida has to offer. Miami is, after all, the city of pools, so a tile surface offers you the best chance to both stand out and have the pool that you’ve always dreamed of. You can even mix and match the types of tiles you want to create a completely customized style.
How Mosaic Tiles Are Installed
Tiles are a surface option for concrete pools. As such, you can expect a new pool to be installed in about three weeks. However, if you’re resurfacing a pool that’s already installed, the process is much shorter.
First, our specialists will drain your pool and ensure the construction is up to code. If you have old tiles, they’ll need to be completely removed, along with the scratch coat under them. If you have a plaster finish, the existing plaster layer may need to be ground off before the tiles can be laid. The same goes for aggregate.
If there are areas of the concrete that are in poor condition, they may need to be cut out and replaced. Alternatively, you may want to renovate the entire pool surface if the damage is extensive.
Whatever the case may be, once the surface is repaired, it needs to be cleaned and waterproofed. While you can do this process yourself, it’s very ill-advised. A professional crew familiar with the process should ensure that your pool is ready for resurfacing. Otherwise, you’re risking the potential of having to resurface it again within a year or two.
After the surface is cleaned and prepared, we lay your chosen tile. At this stage, the process moves rather quickly. All told, resurfacing a pool shouldn’t take longer than two weeks at the longest.
Tiling Your Perfect Pool
Whether you want a fresh, new look for your pool, or you want it to match your outdoor area better, mosaic tile and new coping is an excellent way to accomplish that. You have several options for tile, each with their advantages and drawbacks. However, if you want the perfect blend of durability and appeal, glass mosaic tiles are your ideal choice.
Did any of these catch your eye? Which type of tile would be best for your pool? Let us know in the comments below. At Florida Pool and Patio, we provide more than just top-tier workmanship. Our expert pool installers and technicians can help you choose the right materials and guide you through the entire process of resurfacing your pool.
Contact us today for an estimate or to speak with one of our experts.