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How To

Tile School: Pools and More

Our tile is extremely durable, making it an ideal choice for areas that are constantly exposed to water, chemicals and steam. From pools to water features to outdoor showers, our tile will make a statement while lasting a lifetime.

As with all products, there are a few things to consider when choosing which of our materials to use in your water-prone project, so we've outlined everything you need to know before buying our tile for your pool, outdoor shower, hot tub, sauna or water feature. 

This desert oasis pool showcases our 6" Triangles in Milky Way and Sand Dune

Tile Shown: 6" Triangles in Milky Way and Sand Dune// Image + Design: Sara Combs and Rich Combs

Which Fireclay products can I use? 
When using our tile in areas that are exposed to water, chemicals, and steam you need to make sure you are choosing the right material. We are more than happy to direct to to the best product for your project, you can always call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form if you're unsure of what will work the best! 

To start, it is important to note that we have two different clay bodies, our Recycled and our White Clay Body (more on that here). While our White Clay Body is perfectly fine to use for indoor shower and bathroom applications, we do not recommend it for pools, hot tubs, saunas, steam showers or fountains (and outdoor use in general) because they are prone to acid sensitivity. 

These glazes feature a slight crackle in the glaze, leaving areas of vulnerability to harsh chemicals, water and steam. Over time when these glazes are exposed to acids water, and/or steam, stains can occur in the slight crackle finish, creating discoloration or an unwanted patine within the glaze. You can see the beautiful texture in one of White Clay Body glazes, Azurine, below: 

Ogee Drops in Azurine

Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in Azurine

If you are working on a pool, outdoor or water feature, you should go for our Recycled Clay Body

Desert Saltwater pool featuring our 6x6 tiles in Tusk and our 2x6 tiles in Skipping Stone in a stripe meets parquet pattern.

Tile Shown: 6x6 in Tusk and 2x6 in Skipping Stone // Design: Anne Sage / Image: Echo and Earl

We also recently launched our Non-Slip Tile, that is suitable for these sorts of outdoor and wet applications, just be sure to check if it is suitable in your region. 

Our Non-Slip Tile

You can use our Non-Slip tile for: 

Uses for Non-Slip Tile

Living in a region where temperatures dip below freezing? We got you covered! Our Glass is also ideal for any pool or water feature and can hold up in steam, sauna and freeze/thaw environments. 

Our Glass Tile, perfect for pool and other outdoor water applications.

Tile Shown: Our Glass Tile

From shades of the desert to calm and watery hues, contrasting polished and matte finishes accentuate a thoughtful range of colors.

Tile Shown: 2x2 Glass Tiles

On top of offering a beautiful color palette in both matte and gloss finishes, we also offer a non-slip option that is perfect for pool floors and steps: 

1x1 Glass Tiles

Our Glazed Thin Brick can also be used for exterior applications, like an outdoor shower, but should not be used for pools, water features or saunas. 

This outdoor shower features our Glazed Thin Brick in Columbia Plateau and Great Plains.

Tile Shown: Glazed Thin Brick in Columbia Plateau and Great Plains // Design: Janice Camp // Image: Andres Garcia Lachner

Design tips: Pool Waterlines
A standard pool waterline is 6" so when you are choosing your tile's dimensions, you'll want to consider which shape/size will be best showcased. 

The pool waterline below features our 6" Triangles which perfectly fit the standard dimensions and added bonus? The reflection provides you with additional pattern: 

6" Triangles in Milky Way and Sand Dune

Tile Shown: 6" Triangles in Milky Way and Sand Dune // Design + Image: Sara Combs and Rich Combs

Want to use handpainted tiles for your waterline? Our Cuerda Seca Collection offers many customizable patterns perfect for a classic pool application in a 6x6 size. 

2x2__Barcelona__Pool__Santorini_Blue-photo_2.jpg

Tile shown: 3 x 3 tiles in Azul with Santiago

Our Sakura and Contemporary Collections also offer 6x12 patterns that could be used for a waterline: 

Uni Mountain in Neutral Motif

Tile Shown: Uni Mountain in Neutral Motif

Diamond Contour in Neutral Motif

Tile Shown: Diamond Contour in Neutral Motif

Fountains and Water Features
If you're working on a fountain or water feature, you'll need to use either our Glass, Recycled Clay Body or Handpainted Tiles. 

Sorbet__Elephant_Star__Exterior__Fountain__Isfahan__Lapis__Mini_Star__Cross__Tile__Turquoise_2.jpeg

Tile Shown: Custom color Elephant Star and Isfahan Handpainted tiles, Sorbet Mini Star and Cross, 4x4s in Turquoise and 2x4s in Lapis.

How to care for Tile in water-prone environments:
To remove everyday wear and tear on your tile we suggest using mild soap and water and a clean rag or mop. Diluted dishwashing soap does the job without the worry of damaging the tile or stripping the sealer from your grout. You should be able to use any cleaning product specified for tile, though we suggest first testing the product to be sure. A good rule of thumb is using cleaning products that do not contain phosphoric acid. This ingredient is common in many harsh smelling cleaners. Avoid highly abrasive cleansers on higher gloss tiles as they may become scratched. Some tiles should be towel dried after cleaning to avoid watermarks caused by hard water.

Sorbet-Elephant-Star-Exterior-Fountain-Isfahan-Lapis-Mini-Star-Cross-Tile-Turquoise-8.jpeg?mtime=20190620125455#asset:458667

Do you like any of the featured colors? Order color samples online now. Need some help or have more questions? Simply call, chat, or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.

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