Pool an Exterior Tile

How to Pick Pool Tile

An in-ground swimming pool can create a scenic gathering place for family and friends, adding an inviting and beautiful feature to your existing landscape. Whether you’re installing an outdoor or indoor pool, this space can offer a private area to relax, unwind, and get some exercise. 

When it comes to selecting pool tile options, you’ll want to contemplate a few different elements. Considerations include the size, shape, color, and material of the tile, pool dimensions, and the aesthetics of your pool’s surroundings. With a bit of research into the available materials, anyone can understand the basic ins and outs of how to pick pool tile.

Swimming Pool Tiles: Exterior and Interior 

When weighing your different pool tile options, you’ll want to consider what overall pool design aesthetics you prefer. 

Ask yourself the following:

  • Do you want your pool to match its surroundings?
  • Do you want your pool to stand out from the exterior of your home and backyard? 
  • If you are installing an indoor pool or spa room, do you want this to be an extension of the rest of your home?
  • What is the price point you’re working with?
  • Who will use this pool the most?
  • How often are you willing to clean the pool?

The materials you choose for your interior and exterior pool tiles will ultimately help you answer all of the above questions. 

Swimming Pool Tiles: Materials 

There are myriad color values and shapes now available in architectural stone and tile, which allow you creative carte blanche when it comes to designing your new oasis. 

Before you dive into what patterns and color schemes you want to incorporate into your pool tile design, though, you’ll want to choose which material will serve as the base for your new pool area. The three most popular pool tile materials are:

Here, we’ll learn a bit more about each. 

Porcelain/Ceramic—Best if You’re on a Budget

Clay-based ceramic or porcelain tile have long been used for pool tiles, as the material is typically affordable, readily available, and customizable.

You can choose the distinctive finish of hand-painted or glazed porcelain to create a focal point in your pool or use textured porcelain to blend in with a pool’s surroundings. You can combine different colors and sizes to create a unique mosaic tile design on the pool’s walls and floors or around the exterior.

If you want to customize your home pool with your family crest or favorite sports team logo, expert designers will be able to produce this for you at a lower cost than if you were to choose glass or natural stone as your tile base. 

Glass—Best for Luxurious Looks and Eco-Friendly Options

Glass has become an increasingly popular choice for pool tiles in recent years. Though typically more expensive than ceramic tile or natural stone, glass’ transparent and reflective quality makes it specifically appealing for giving in-ground pools a unique look. 

Glass draws homeowners with how the material captures light and enhances the natural movement of water. Surprisingly durable, glass tile can also be a great eco-friendly option as manufacturers use recycled materials even for high-end options.

Using glass tiles for both the interior and exterior of your pool can create a calming environment with a distinct style. Glass pool tile is especially striking when coordinated with an indoor oasis if wall-to-wall glass surrounds a pool that overlooks a scenic landscape. 

Natural Stone—Best for Safety and Versatility

If you’re in the market for a natural-looking pool design that seamlessly blends in with its surroundings, you’ll likely want to consider using natural stone tiles. This highly slip-resistant material is best for families with small children, too. 

Natural stone is often used for a pool deck and exterior, creating a warm, textured landing place for wet feet. The material naturally absorbs heat throughout the day, which helps warm in-ground pools and keeps you from freezing when you hop out of the water. A wide variety of designs incorporate stone tile, allowing you to create your ideal aestheticfrom Mediterranean to classical to earthy and subdued.

Popular natural stone tiles may include adoquin, limestone, and travertine.

Swimming Pool Tiles: Other Considerations 

When designing your new indoor or outdoor pool, keep in mind how often you intend to use the space—and how often you’ll need to clean it. A pool’s maintenance demand can somewhat resemble a boat’s in terms of extensiveness and frequency. For homeowners dreaming of an especially large pool, the amount of time and energy you expend keeping it clean may deter you from using certain tiles.

In addition to material type, you’ll also want to consider pool tile size and pool tile color for practical maintenance as well as aesthetic purposes. Smaller tiles typically equate to more demanding maintenance due to the increased grout lines between each piece. That said, you may find that the extra effort or costs that smaller tiles can accrue is worth it for the mosaic you’ve been imagining. Certain captivating designs just can’t be achieved without the right tile. Learn more about dimensional tile design for your pool at Material Marketing. 

You’ll not only want to keep in mind how different tile color choices complement your pool’s surroundings but how difficult they will be to clean. White tile may be more difficult to keep pristine, for instance, but it can be an excellent choice if you want your pool to look inviting, symmetrical, and modern. Generally speaking, brighter colors require more regular maintenance to preserve their luster.

Evaluate Your Tile Options to Choose Right the First Time

Installing a pool to enhance your house is a significant project—and one that will stick around for quite some time. Therefore, you want to ensure that you achieve your design and construction precisely how you imagine them during the installation, which prevents substantial remodeling costs and inconveniences in the future.

Once you’ve settled on location and dimensions, remember to evaluate the different pool tile options you may use. Consider the material, color, individual piece size, and any other factors that will affect your pool’s aesthetics and how those match with the rest of your home. Natural stone materials, Ceramic, and glass are all popular choices, and all have benefits depending on your needs and desires.

When you’re ready to move forward with purchasing pool tiles, remember to budget for extra materials—especially if you have the storage space for them. Much like paint colors, it is nigh impossible to match tile when replacements are purchased years after installation due to batch manufacturing processes and natural aging.

Create a Swimming Pool Oasis with Materials Marketing 

From exterior Olympic-size swimming pools to interior lap pools and everything in between, no job is too big or too small for Materials Marketing. Our expert team of designers can help walk you through the process of choosing the best pool tiles for you. We offer high-end glass, ceramic, and natural stone tiles, all of which can be customized to your liking. 

Interested in learning more? Head online or check out a Materials Marketing showroom near you today and get inspired with other outdoor living ideas including an outdoor yoga space


  1. Luxury Pools + Outdoor Living. Pool Tile Options: Glass, Porcelain & Natural Stone https://luxurypools.com/blog/pool-tile-options-glass-porcelain-natural-stone/ 
  2. Materials Marketing. Natural Stone. https://www.materials-marketing.com/natural-stone-colors/
  3. Sarah Construction & Custom Pools. 9 Tips on Choosing the Best Type of Swimming Pool Tile https://www.saharapoolbuilder.com/9-tips-on-choosing-the-best-type-of-swimming-pool-tile/

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