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Waterline Tile for Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass Pool Waterline Tile
Waterline Tile for Fiberglass Pools


Waterline tile is a beautiful upgrade to fiberglass pools that results in a more ‘finished’ or ‘refined’ look to your pool project.  But looks aren’t everything!  Waterline tile also provides function. In this article we break down the pros and cons of waterline tile and how we install tile on fiberglass pools.


The two main advantages for installing waterline tile are aesthetics and pool maintenance.

This article will review how waterline tile systems are installed for fiberglass pool applications.  Additionally, we will discuss the different material and product options as well as how those specifications relate to long term durability.    


Waterline tile can be installed before, during or after the installation of the pool shell itself, but it should really be done at the time of the installation of the pool.  The pool should be tiled while its in place in the clients yard. The reason for this is that if there are any imperfections in the pool shell levelness the pool tile can be installed level to make up for any inconsistencies in the fiberglass pool shell.


Installing waterline tile on a fiberglass pool is not quite as simple as one would believe. Fiberglass Pools are the most difficult of all types of pools to tile and require a specialize system to complete. Here is a breakdown of how that system works. The surface of the fiberglass shell is first cleaned and degreased to aid in adhesion of the tile.  Next, a temporary guide or tile shelf may be applied to help maintain a level reference or datum point.  Next is applying adhesive to the back of the tile and set onto the pool using a spacer for setting each tile. Once all the tile and corners are custom cut and installed, it is time to grout in between the spaces of the tile. Check out this great youtube video from River Pools on how to install Pool Tile on a Fiberglass Pool.


There are many different options to choose from for tile on your pool. Some different materials include porcelain, glass, ceramic and natural stone tile. Porcelain tile has a long-lasting life and is great for outdoor use. Glass tile looks great but the mesh holding it all together on the back doesn’t stick to the pool well. Ceramic tile is great for any size, color and pattern you desire. There are many different colors to choose from on the website linked below.  @ Pool Pros we recomend a solid 6x6 waterline tile. The size is very traditional and not at all trendy. So in 10 or 15 years your pool wont look out of style or outdated. The reason we recomend a 6x6 waterline tile is that adheres better to the pool and has fewer grout joints to fail or clean.


Waterline tile is not at all necessary for a fiberglass pool. Waterline tile really adds depth of character to a fiberglass and aids in pool maintennace. Its kind of gross but pools develop a "SCUM LINE" at the wateline. As scum line is residue from makeup,sunblock,deodorant,hair products,etc that build up in the pool from normal use. This residue likes to cling to the pool wall right where the waterline tile goes. On a fiberglass pool this scum ring is easy to clean but if you use a scouring pad or a cleaning pad that is aggressive it can dull the finish on the fiberglass. The best way to avoid that is by adding waterline tile. You can get much more aggressive cleaning pool tile than you can a fiberglass pools gelcoat. The tile also helps reduce fading and or discoloration at the waterline as well. Since the waterling is covered in tile there is not chance it can fade.


Believe it or not very few fiberglass pool installers offer tile installation. That is because most fiberglass builders just don't have the knowledge or skill to install waterline tile on a fiberglass pool. If your fiberglass pool builder does not know how to install tile on a fiberglass pool or does not offer it, that should be a red flag and you should do some more research into your potential pool builder. A legitimate pool builder will be able to handle every facet of a pool project.


If you are curious about waterline tile for your pool and are ready to take the plunge into pool ownership call Pool Pros today @ 920-771-0107.  We can't wait to hear from you!


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Green Bay, WI 

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  • This website contains an abundance of information that has been created over the last decade or more. Some of the content on this site may reflect prices, perspectives, processes, entities, and names that were relevant at the time but may not be as relevant today. Consumers should consult a Pool Pros associate for the most accurate and updated information based on the unique conditions of their property. Consumers should verify specifications with the installing Pool Pros rather than relying on the information on this website, which is not intended to be a final specification.

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