A swimming pool is the centerpiece of any backyard. It makes for an excellent place for you and your family and friends to cool off and relax in the hot summer months. Plus, it adds to your home’s market value. How’s that for a “best of both worlds”?
If you want to take your poolside experience up a notch and create your own backyard “spa-like retreat” that exudes tranquility and style, you can do so with the simple use of pool tiles. Available in a virtually endless variety of brilliant colors, unique textures, and sizes, pool tiles can take your swimming pool design to the next level and transform your home’s outdoor landscape into a dream oasis. Whether it be in your pool or around it, pool tiles are sure to create something that is truly special right in your backyard.
Are pool tiles different from regular tiles?
Tiles that are purpose-built for swimming pools are naturally more durable and robust than your “regular” kitchen and bathroom tiles. The reason is that unlike regular tiles, your pool tiles are continuously exposed to harsh sunlight, and they come into contact with chlorine and other pool chemicals on a fairly regular basis. To withstand the extra stress, pool tiles are coated with a specially formulated glaze that makes them acid and fade-resistant. In other words, if you want a durable and robust tiling option that can last a long time without fading, corroding, and cracking, you should ask your tile supplier for a tile that is uniquely designed for swimming pools.
…But how long do pool tiles actually last?
Well, pool tiles are available in various materials, and they all differ when it comes to their longevity. Waterline tiles can stay good for a good 5 to 10 years if they are well maintained. Glass tile will last a bit longer, averaging between 8 and 12 years when cared for properly. But none of these tiling options can hold a candle to ceramic pool tiles. Being the toughest pool tiling option out there, ceramic pool tiles can last up to 75 years if you choose a good installer and maintain it properly!
Pool Tile Care
To keep your pool tiles looking their best for years, you must not ignore them. Make it a point to remove and replace cracked or broken tiles as soon as possible, so they don’t accidentally damage adjacent tiles. However, the most critical parts of tile maintenance are keeping the tiles clean and maintaining the proper pool water chemistry.
Maintain swimming pool water chemistry
The best way to ensure a long life for pool tiles is to make sure that the pool water has the right balance of chemicals. Perform regular maintenance to keep the pool clean and ensure the alkalinity, pH and free chlorine are within the acceptable levels.
- Ensure the alkalinity is between 80 and 120 ppm. If it’s too low, mix baking soda with water and pour the mixture into the pool to increase it. If it’s too high, adjust it along with the pH using muriatic acid.
- Maintain a pH level between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pool’s pH levels are too high, lower them using muriatic acid. If they are too low, increase them with soda ash, also known as sodium carbonate.
- Adjust the chlorine levels if they are above or below 1-3 ppm. If the chlorine levels are too high, lower them with a chlorine neutralizer. If they are too low, you can increase the amount of chlorine in the pool using chlorine tablets.
Prevent scale deposits
Scale deposits of calcium, lime, and other minerals are common in areas of hard water or when the chemicals in the water have been out of balance. It is a good idea for you to clean the tile once a week with a soft brush to help remove these scales from the tiles. It is important that the brush be soft because a hard bristle brush can permanently damage the tiles, scratching, or etching them. However, if the mineral buildup in your pool has become a large problem, it may be time to call the professionals.
Take care of waterline tiles
It is common for oil, leaves and other floating debris to cling to the pool tile at the waterline, and lead to scale and dirt buildup. The dirt may need special cleaning with a nylon scrubbing sponge or a nylon-bristled brush, and you may need to use a pumice stone with care to get rid of scaling.
Use a pool cover
Another way to keep the hours that you need to maintain pool tile in check is to keep the pool covered when it is not in use. The cover not only keeps children and pets from tumbling into the water but lowers the rate of evaporation. It is the evaporation that leaves scale along the waterline.
Maintaining your pool tile may seem like a timely task. However, you will find it is well worth it when your tile looks as good as new even after years have passed.
Fujiwa Tiles Can Help You Choose the Best Pool Tiles
Fujiwa Tiles has been one of the leading providers of pool tiles in Texas for more than 30 years. If you are looking to give your pool a facelift with pool tiles or make it a little bit easier to care for, we have a range of products that makes it easy. Plus, we partner with experienced pool builders to make sure you are not only getting the best tile, but it is also being installed using the best methods.