The choices are endless, deciding on the perfect color, texture, and size of tile for our pool is mind boggling.
The waterline tile adds a beautiful finishing touch to a pool. The tile we choose can be eye catching or subtle, blend into the pool or into the surroundings. Besides being decorative, the tile protects the pool from waterline staining and mineral build up.
Usually installed as a 6-inch band around the pool, waterline tiles follow the perimeter of the pool to help prevent pollen, sunscreen, body oils and other substances that enter the water from creating a yellow, scummy line at the pool’s waterline. It also takes on the calcium deposits and minerals that buildup around the perimeter of the pool due to hard water. It is much easier to remove this “bathtub ring” from waterline pool tile than if you had to scrub it off bare plaster.
As many of you know, we are building a pool and a pool house in our backyard. Selecting a waterline has taken me a long time and has been very frustrating. I can make other interior decor decisions very quickly, but this one had me stumped!
What Options are Available in Waterline Tile?
After months of being closed, due to the pandemic, our pool tile store reopened in the knick of time for me to make my final selection. Trying to find the right tile from a catalog was painful. Tiles look so different in person than they do in a catalog.
The look and feel of the tile is very important to me. Tiles I liked in the catalog looked very different in person and vice versa. We even noticed how pixelated some of the tiles look up close. Obviously made from a printer, some tiles look cheap when seen in person.
I gathered additional samples from my travertine stone manufacturer. These tiles are of superb quality and obviously well made compared to tiles from our local tile store. Price point is important too, these tiles are much more expensive than our local tiles, is it worth the upgrade?
Deciding on Texture and Size of Waterline Tiles
Waterline tiles come in a variety of sizes and finishes. Porcelain tiles are the most popular and common. They are durable, easy to clean and install. A very popular style is mosaic, which is typically a sheet of tiles made up of small 1″ x 1″ tiles. Personally, I am not a fan of mosaic tiles as they appear a bit too busy for my taste, so I didn’t get any samples to bring home. But if you like a dramatic look, mosaics may be a good choice for you. There is an example of mosaic tiles in the first picture of this post.
The blue green tile pictured above on the top right, is as small as I would consider. It’s approximately 2″ x 2″ inches and very pretty. All the tiles pictured above have a glossy finish and will give the pool a real pop of color.
“Stone Look” Waterline Tiles
The most popular size of water line tiles is the 6″ x 6″. Tiles that have a “stone look” blend seamlessly into the surrounding area and look very natural. This aspect makes stone look tiles an easy and popular choice. These tiles are available in a lot of earth tones and blend superbly well with a natural stone patio.
I chose samples in dark and light colors. My choice was between wanting the waterline tile to blend into the patio, or blend into the water, which will be dark (more on that later). Two very different looks, both pretty.
Presently, I am really digging the contemporary style of this porcelain veneer tile. It is a combination of black with white veining. I also like the longer tiles and the way these tiles connect together, giving me a seamless look with fewer grout lines. On the other hand, this tile may be hard to clean and get dirty more quickly.
Glass Waterline Tiles
No doubt that glass tiles are stunning! They have a shimmer and reflective quality that look beautiful in the water. The clarity of glass captures and reflects natural light offering an iridescent quality to the pool. They are sized at 1″ x 2″ and are more beautiful in person than pictured above. These tiles are a more expensive option so that is something to consider.
So many choices! Which did we choose for our pool?
Stay tuned to find out! 😉
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