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Tile It Back a Bit

Tiles have been a way to elevate the aesthetic appeal of your property since ancient times, with a prime example being the romans utilising tiles to create intricate mosaics that have stood the test of time. Likewise, tiles have remained a popular interior choice for pools and with a range of different mediums and colours, it’s no wonder that the humble pool tile remains a favourite option for professionals and aspiring pool designers alike. Here, Emma Warner Allen discusses how to choose the perfect tiles to complement your pool, the benefits of a tile interior, and everything in between with Patrick Ciavarella, CEO of Aqua Tiles.





Contrary to popular belief, water by itself is very, very slightly blue, but in most instances, it is transparent and will reflect the colours around it. That’s why on glorious summer days of clear blue skies, bodies of water will appear a deeper blue than usual. For this reason, it is so important to select a colour for your pool interior that you desire as it will be reflected by the surrounding water.

As with most things in life, the colour you select is subjective and prospective pool owners have the luxury of choice to tailor their pool to be exactly the desired shade of blue. Unlike with pool linings, tiles offer more flexibility as colours can be mixed and matched to create unique shades. When choosing your pool’s aesthetic, Ciavarella notes that “it’s important to not only find a tile colour that’s appealing but also to find out the water colour the customer desires. We often ask what colour water they want and then advise the appropriate colour tiles to suit.”

Whether you are seeking glistening aquamarine waters or a deep azul pool, it is not only important to consider the pool itself but also its surrounds. Homeowners should also consider what function they would like their pool to serve. “Decide if you want the pool as the centrepiece, or if you want the surrounds to stand out. This could determine whether you decide to pick colourful random pattern mosaic style tiles or a uniformed coloured tile,” the tiling expert asserts.

Though when we envision a pool it tends to be a bright blue body of water, Aqua Tiles offers a large range of colours including grey, white, black, green and multiple shades of blue, so you need not worry about being restricted by colour. “The colour selection has influences from European countries like Spain and Italy. This ensures we are giving Australian pool and spa owners colour choices that are not only spectacular but also modern, current and relevant,” Ciavarella asserts. However, blues remain the most popular choice as the professional notes that the “majority of our customers nowadays want lighter colours [such as] light blues and whites.”



When selecting what pool tiles you would like to adorn your swimming pool, it is important to note that there are many different ranges of tiles. The most popular pool tiles are glass and ceramics, which can both also come in mosaic styles. Ceramics have traditionally been the most popular choice of pool tiles, though glass tiles have recently surged in popularity due to their ability to capture the shimmering light, creating an alluring display. Supporting this, Ciavarella notes that most of his customers “prefer glass over the traditional ceramics. We find the glass tiles absorb a pool’s light rather than the ceramic tiles that reflect it.” Adding to this, he continues “a pool covered in glass tiles really makes the pool light up beautifully at night.”

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to note that you can’t really go wrong with a tiled pool. “Glass and ceramic tiles not only look great, but the finished tile surface creates a pool environment that requires a lot less maintenance than other surface finishes,” Ciavarella enthuses, ultimately contributing to a pool that will require less upkeep, last longer and be kind on your wallet!


Standing as a testament to the durability of tiles, some of the ancient mosaics visible today date back to the third millennium BC. Whether you decide to use glass or ceramic tiles, the principle remains the same: “pool tiles are more durable than render, pebble mixed, or painted surfaces as these can deteriorate over time if the water balance is not maintained meticulously,” Ciavarella affirms.

The swimming pool is a notoriously harsh environment. No homeowner need be reminded of just how damaging water can be but factor in the use of chemicals as well as UV-rays, and it is abundantly apparent just how easy it is for materials to degrade when exposed to these conditions. In light of this, “one of the most important aspects with tiles is to ensure the tiles selected are certified for a swimming pool environment,” the expert insists. To ensure the longevity of your pool interior, “it’s integral that the glue used to stick the tiles to the backing sheet doesn’t create a barrier when the tiles get installed to the pool wall. Our tiles are tested in accordance with Australian Standards with leading adhesive company, Mapei Adhesives,” Ciavarella explains. After the rigorous testing concluding, it provided the “certification that if installed correctly using Mapei’s instructional procedures and products, our tiles will stay on the pool wall.”

Overall, when choosing your pool interior, opting for beautiful tiles is an excellent way to secure your pool’s durability while also saving you precious money and chemicals. Whether you are seeking a Mediterranean paradise or a Balinese retreat, reputable companies like Aqua Tiles offer a large range of products and coupled with an extensive understanding of the product and industry, will ensure your backyard is transformed into an aquatic oasis.

Images courtesy of Unsplash