Three Key Considerations for Pool Design | Tile Warehouse
Three Key Considerations for Pool Design


It is that time of year when many are thinking of putting a pool in or are in the process of selecting products to ensure their pool is a stunning space to enjoy and share with family and friends. In designing your pool, aside from decisions to make on the interior (concrete, fibreglass, etc), product selection is required for the surrounding paving area, edge copings, and any decorative aspects desired.

At Tile Warehouse, we specialise in pool design assistance and products from 10mm grip and structural tiles in various sizes and colours, extra thickness 20mm deck jack tiles (porcelain paver with matching coping) as well as copings, and a wide range of decorative tile options.

The exciting thing about tile is it is one of the few options for both interior and exterior spaces so your design can incorporate the same tile from living spaces to the outdoors including pool surrounds.

In this blog post, we look at three key aspects to consider when designing the pool of your dreams, Paving, Copings and Decorative options >>>

1. Pool Paving

The options for outdoor spaces and pool surrounds are numerous! These days, advanced technology means porcelain tiles emulate natural stone with colour running through the entire tile. They are also frost and stain-resistant whilst their slip-resistant finish makes these tiles perfect for outdoor use, especially around pools and for coping. Tile Warehouse stocks a wide range of outdoor options (at least 40 ranges to choose from!) including ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, as well as splash-proof wall tiles and mosaics to add that pretty feature. Our staff can assist you in selecting the right products for your project.

Your selection process for the paving, outside of the coping, should include a review of the four S’s.

* Stain resistance
* Slip resistance
* Salt tolerance
* Strength

Stain Resistance | Paving can be exposed to a wide range of staining agents. When it comes to entertaining, red wine from spilled drinks is an obvious hazard along with oil from barbecues and foodstuffs. Tannin from fallen leaves and surrounding garden vegetation is also a potential source of staining. 

TIP: Installing tiles reduces this risk as they are easy to clean. Most types of high-density stone are also effective at resisting stains. If you prefer stone, speak to our staff to review options.

Slip Resistance | Safety around the pool should include the installation of slip-resistant tiles or stone. Ensure the tiles you purchase are fit-for-purpose.

Salt Tolerance | Pool surrounds are an aggressive environment for paving as they are regularly exposed to salt or chlorine.  Check the paving you select is resistant to salt damage. Porcelain tile is a good option and it’s worth considering stone as many such as of Granite and Travertine have very good salt resistance.  

Strength |It is important that the paving has adequate strength to withstand service loads in both dry and wet conditions.  Porcelain tile as well as our 20mm deck-jack tiles have a high strength rating.

Porcelain tiles also offer the benefits of resistance to;

  • Abrasion - scratch-resistant
  • Frost and thermal shock
  • Fire damage


2. Pool Coping

Pool coping is the capping or covering on top of the pool wall that adds visual appeal by covering any structure underneath. This ledge also seals off and protects the shell of the pool and the external surfaces from potential water damage. Coping is also needed for the safety and operation of a pool and is part of what makes a pool look and feel inviting for swimmers.

At Tile Warehouse we stock Bullnose copings (nosings) and right-angle edgings, most of which have matching medium-large sized tiles to use as the pool surround for visual flow.

Functionally of Coping

  • Protects the pool shell and wall. The coping prevents water from seeping in behind the pool shell and causing damage over time.
  • Directs water flow. The coping causes water to flow away from the pool and toward your deck drains. The edge of a pool may collect water splashes and drips, but the coping keeps water moving away from the pool.
  • Improves safety. Coping makes the pool edge less slippery, making it safer to enter and exit the pool.
  • Reduces debris. Coping reduces the chance that leaves, grass, and other debris will get into the pool.
  • Provides access to pool maintenance Pool coping can cover a pool’s less attractive mechanical components at the water’s edge, while still providing easy access for maintenance

With the various names of ‘Copings’, choosing the right product required for your pool edge can be confusing! In short, most are used for the same purpose - the difference being they are slightly different in design.

Bullnose Pool Coping

A Bullnose pool coping is a popular style of pool coping for many reasons. This is because it has a round ergonomic edge. So, the round edge of the bullnose pool coping makes it easier to hold onto when coming in and out of the pool. Also, it creates an overall softer more traditional edge around the pool.

View our Paradigm, Bluestone, and Como Travertine ranges for options.

Edge Nosing Coping

An Edge coping is a tile that is not soft and curved but has a simple right angle. These edgings are often used for both internal and exterior stair edgings, as well as pool edges. Our Stromboli range showcases excellent examples of this on-trend coping style.


3. Mosaics & Decorators

Most of our Porcelain tiles can be used around the edge of the pool and are safe for submersion. Above the water line is preferable however it pays to discuss the technical details with our staff as porcelains open up a myriad of opportunities!

Many of our wall tiles can also be used to make an incredible feature such as our LUME in Blue in this gorgeous pool north of Auckland.

TIP: If you fall in love with a tile, speak to our friendly staff to check its fit-for-purpose for your project!

Mosaics add a splash of colour and can be used to border the pool surround or even tile the entire pool that high quality and long-lasting visual result.

Glass mosaics come in different forms, some are transparent, others are reflective and because they are non-porous they are ideal for places like swimming pools. They are also unlikely to stain and will maintain their appearance for many years.

See our Biz-Art range for some beautiful pool mosaic options.

Note that not all mosaics can be used on the inside of swimming pools so it pays to get expert advice from tile specialists. The tiles will be dealing with chlorine and a lot of water pressure so mosaics must be strong and chemical resistant. Our staff at Tile Warehouse can assist you in mosaic selections.

When installing, the mosaics must mesh properly and the correct tile adhesive and grout used. Check with your pool tiler that they are using appropriate products.

If installing mosaics on infinity edges, overflow walls, or spas, we recommend waterproofing and the use of epoxy glue and grout.

For the latest in tile, stone, and mosaic options, click here or visit one of our 31 stores nationwide.


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