Take your fiberglass pool from ordinary to extraordinary with the addition of pool tile. There are many different tiling options available for modern swimming pools but the most impactful type of pool tile we will discuss today is Waterline Tile. In this article we will break down the types of pool tile, sizes, and potential costs to install waterline pool tile on your fiberglass pool.
WHAT IS WATERLINE TILE
Waterline tile is exactly as it sounds. The pool tile right at the surface of the water. Its available in several sizes and is made from a few different materials. Waterline Tile serves 2 purposes, aesthetics and maintenance. When we talk about the aesthetics of a fiberglass pool nothing will dress things up more than waterline tile. Hands down it just makes a fiberglass pool look nicer. Secondly it aids in the reduction of wear and tear that a fiberglass pool will experience at the waterline. This sounds pretty gross but all pools will get what is known as a scum lien or scum ring at the waterline. This is a line on the pool wall where oils and makeup, hair products, sunblock all kind of stick together and leave a ring around the pool. While this is not a big deal overall it can be with a fiberglass pool. This scum line needs to be cleaned off and if a pool owner uses the wrong products to clean this off, it can dull the finish of the fiberglass pool. Herein comes another advantage of pool tile. Waterline Pool Tile is much more resilient to scrubbing and aggressive cleaning practices. It also reduces the ability to notice the scum ring.
POOL TILE COSTS-
Pool tile can range from $25.00 to $85.00 per linear foot to have installed on your fiberglass pool and there are a few factors that will affect that cost. The biggest factor is the size of your pool. The bigger the pool the more tile needed. Second would be the size of the tile. The smaller the tile the more grout and the more labor is needed to complete the installation. Lastly would be the type of material. A basic porcelain tile would be the most economical and on the end of things would be a natural stone pool tile. Lets dive into those details further.
POOL TILE SIZE-
Pool Tile ranges is sizes from 6” x 6” being standard and smaller for your pool's waterline. Smaller sizes of tile are 1” x 2”, 2” x 2”, 3” x 3”. If your pool has an irregular shape the smaller tile may help for filling the whole area around your pool.
POOL TILE TYPES-
A good question to ask is what types of tile can I choose from? You can choose from glass, ceramic and natural stone pool tile. If you live in a northern climate you will want to be certain that your pool tile is frost proof as well. Each of these pool tile materials are great options and each have their own unique look.
GLASS POOL TILE-
Glass pool tile is ultra trendy right now. It looks amazing but there can be drawback for installing on a fiberglass pool. We recommend not using glass pool tile for fiberglass pools especially if it has a mesh backing. The mesh backing that holds all of the tiles together does not allow for good adhesion to the fiberglass pool shell. Glass pool tile also costs more partially due to the massive increase in demand and availability.
Approximate Cost- $45-$75+ a linear ft.
CERAMIC POOL TILE-
Ceramic pool tile has a more textural and natural look to your finished pool. It is the most common of all the types of pool tile. Ceramic Pool Tile is available in a wide array of colors, sizes, patterns and textures. Ceramic Pool Tiles
are easy to clean and maintain. Ceramic tile is heat resistant making it a great choice for use for waterline tile. A good 6x6 ceramic tile is a great choice for tiling all pools. It provides a timeless accent to your fiberglass pool.
Approximate Cost- $35-$65 a linear ft.
PORCELAIN POOL TILE-
Porcelain tile is known for its long lasting life. Porcelain Pool Tile is also frost resistant making it great for outdoor use like your pool. Porcelain tile is denser than ceramic pool tile and holds up the best overall. Porcelain Pool Tile is Pool Pros preferred choice for tiling of any swimming pool.
Approximate Cost- $40-$65 a linear ft.
NATURAL STONE POOL TILE
Natural Stone Pool Tile simply looks amazing. Stone Pool Tile is durable and resilient.
The only drawback to stone pool tile is that it can be susceptible to deterioration from salt water pool systems, water chemistry and staining. Natural Stone Pool Tile is a little more rough and dirt and debris tend to adhere to it and require more work than other types of pool tile to keep clean. Natural Stone Pool Tile is available in quartz, marble, limestone, granite, sandstone and slate. Stone tile may be a great fit for your fiberglass pool as long as you are aware it is a little more involved to maintain.
Approximate Cost- $65-$110 a Linear ft.
POOL TILE INSTALLATION-
Installation of waterline tile on a fiberglass pool is pretty straightforward. It typically takes 2-3 days to install pool tile on a fiberglass pool and the task can be completed when the pool is full or empty. We like to tile the pool when it is full of water. This allows us to level the pool tile off of the water in the pool versus the top of the pool. The reason we prefer that is there are rare occasions where a fiberglass pool just isnt level. Some fiberglass pool shells come from the manufacturer with slight defects that do not allow for a level pool installation. The solution to that problem is to install the pool tile with the pool full. This way we can get a true level on the pool tile and a great finished look in spite of the pool not being level.
POOL TILE MAINTENANCE-
Maintenance for waterline pool tile is super easy. Simply attach a vinyl bristle brush to your telepole and simply brush the pools waterline tile once a week. That's it! It cant get any easier. Clean the pool’s waterline tile regularly to ensure there is no build up of debris, algae, chemical deposits or scale and make sure your pool chemicals are adequate.
MORAL OF THE STORY
Waterline Pool Tile can be a great option for your fiberglass pool. From bringing a unique focal point to the pool and reducing the dreaded scum line on your fiberglass pool, waterline tile is definitely something to look into.