Choosing the Right Tiles for Your Pool & Spa

The Green Scene
The Green Scene

Landscaping & Swimming Pools

You’ve decided to create a luxurious escape from daily life right in your own backyard. As you’re looking through samples, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the possible choices. Aside from your indoor living space, your pool will be one of the main areas you gather with family and friends. If you’re unsure of where to start, use the ideas below to get your creative juices flowing. Tiles may seem like a small part of the overall design, but choosing the right tiles can make or break a project.


Most people have a vision of what an ideal getaway means to them. It could be time spent in nature, a stay at a swanky modern hotel, or a Zen spa retreat. Identify your definition of relaxation and it can put you on the right path to selecting a style for your pool or spa

If you’re still not sure which style is right for you, take a look at the qualities and characteristics of the main types of tile. Whichever your preference is, make sure that your choice will be timeless. Avoid choosing tiles that are trendy but may go out of style quickly. The wrong tiling can make it obvious what year your pool was built.

Modern pools may call for a more linear, horizontal layout like a 1”x2” or 2”x4” tile shape, while typical 6”x6” tiles might be more appropriate for traditional pools. Generally, we  like to use mosaics and smaller profile tiles on the spa spillways, vanishing edges, and zero edge spas, and use larger 6”x6” tiles on the waterline. 


How easy it is to care for the tiles should be a big consideration when selecting the right tile for your pool or spa. Tiles that sit on the waterline are usually half submerged and half above the water and they tend to build up the most mineral growth. This portion of the tile is fondly referred to as “the “scum line” in a swimming pool. Selecting a bigger tile, means less grout joints and can make weekly pool maintenance less of a chore. On the other hand, mosaic 1”x1” tiles have 800% more grout to keep clean, that’s 8 times the elbow grease!  Pool service professionals must clean these tiles every single week they service the pool to keep minerals from building up.  Imagine what your shower door would look like if it didn’t get weekly cleaning.  


Ceramic and porcelain tiles are among the most popular when it comes to pools. These options are available in a variety of colors and designs. They are also designed to withstand a wide range of temperatures. Ceramic tiles may look similar to ones used in a bathroom or a kitchen backsplash. However, it’s important to select high-quality tiles that are rated for swimming pools. 

Glass tiles may be beautiful, but not all glass tiles are suitable for exterior applications. Glass tiles are much more sensitive to temperature, movement, cracking, crazing, and delamination.  Installation of glass tiles require specialty materials, technique, and an experienced skill set. They scratch easily and there are only a few select glass tile manufacturers that are approved for use by The Green Scene. 

Tiles that mimic stone are popular because they can easily achieve several different looks, including rustic, natural or tropical styles. We don’t recommend real stone tiles in submersed applications. Pool water can be corrosive and damage the tiles over a short period of time.  


When choosing the right tiles for your swimming pool, colors play a big part in the overall look. Try to stay in line with the style of your pool. A funky purple may be your favorite color, but it’s not an ideal choice when selecting tile for your natural style pool. One trick to ensure that your pool always looks full is to choose a tile color that matches your pool water. If you choose a color that matches the coping, it may cause the water level in the pool to appear lower than it is.

There are a few tricks that allow you to incorporate bold color in an artistic way. Is there a water feature that it could accent? What about around the edge? Or, get really bold and go with an Ombre approach. This technique gradually increases the intensity of the color up the sides of the pool.

Our Design Center: 

To help clients in choosing the right tiles for their pool we have over 300 suitable pool tiles on display in our local Design Center. Clients love that they don’t have to drive all over the city to look at 5 different tile stores. We display tiles from the top 5 suppliers! 

Are you designing your dream pool or spa? Call The Green Scene Landscaping & Swimming Pools today to explore the possibilities!

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