How to Choose the Right Swimming Pool Glass Tile
Glass tile has been one of the hottest trends in swimming pool design for the past several years. With so many different styles, shapes, colors, and textures available in the market today, you are sure to find one that can turn your backyard oasis into a stunning work of art. With such a large selection available, we often find that our clients have a lot of questions before making their decision. With that in mind we decided to write this article, titled ‘How to Choose the Right Swimming Pool Glass Tile’, to help make your selection process easier.
There are several things for pool owners to consider when selecting glass tile. We have separated out some of the most important topics and will provide some tips for things to consider.
The color and style options can seem endless. We recommend taking your time at the selection stage to do your research. Whichever style, size, or color you choose, remember to consider your personal style and the environment in which you are using it. If you like bold colors, glass tile can certainly provide you with many options. If you prefer a more monochromatic style, matching the tile to the surrounding decking colors might suit you better.
Transparent glass tiles generally refract the light. Mosaic tiles are opaque, while iridium coated tiles have an iridescent reflection to them. Transparent and translucent tiles in particular will allow you to see the setting materials behind them. It’s important to use a white or antique white thinset with these tiles to maintain the tile’s true color. The grout color should match to keep the look consistent.
The most common sizes we install on pools are 1” x 1” or 1” x 2”. However, there are many other sizes to choose from to suit your style preference.
You also need to consider where you want glass tile in your swimming pool or waterscape. Glass can be very slippery, placing it on top of the steps would not be recommended. If you’re installing glass tile in a whirlpool spa, we recommend a tile without sharp edges. Grout can wear over time and cause cuts when sitting or leaning on these types of tiles. A quick test would be to rub your hand over a non-grouted tile sample. If you can feel rough edges poking at you, you would feel the same on your whirlpool seat.
We recommend using glass tile as an accent to create a more dramatic effect or focal point. Placing around the perimeter of a pedestal spa or raised wall of a water feature creates a nice effect. Mixing glass tile with stone has also become very trendy. Consider using glass accents interspersed with travertine tile in a raised area as another alternative. These can be cost-effective ways of incorporating glass tile into your project while keeping the budget in check.
Installation of glass tile is more labor intensive and, therefore, has higher costs when compared to more common tiles, such as ceramic or porcelain. This additional labor stems from the fact that glass tile has to be cut by hand and into individual pieces where a full tile can’t be used. Different setting materials also need to be used for glass tile to provide elasticity for the product.
There are many different levels of glass tile available in the market today. As with all products, quality plays a major factor in cost. The most affordable are poured glass tiles that are manufactured in China. The more expensive tiles generally come from Italy and Spain. Glass tile pricing ranges greatly and each has its own merits. To summarize, the most common factors that impact cost are:
- tile quality
- how the tile is manufactured
- where the tile is manufactured (consider shipping costs)
- color choice (you can even get glass tile with gold specs)
We hope that you found this article helpful and can use some of our pointers for choosing the right glass tile for your swimming pool. Please feel free to ask questions by leaving a comment below.