There is a lot of internal finish options available to the new pool owner. The main finish options can be broken down into 2 categories. It is either a fully tiled finish, or a render based hand applied finish.
It is accepted in the industry, and by people in the know, that a fully tiled finish is the premier concrete swimming pool finish option. Well applied tiles are a life long finish not prone to staining or discolouration and the feel of a tile underfoot is superior to often rough render based finishes.
The key to getting a quality tiled pool is knowing that the pool builder or tiler is experienced in building fully tiled pools, and understands the large range of variables that come into play when working in the at most time challenging pool tiling environment.
Being in the game we see a lot of tiled pools and it is fair to say some of the tilings we see are not up to scratch. Standards have improved dramatically over the past few years with clients being more astute as to what will be excepted on a job, however, the tilers still get away with dishing up poor quality work.
At Minke Pools 90% of our pools are fully tiled. It is not an easy process , and it takes a lot longer than applying render based finishes but the results are worth the heart ache. We constantly strive to lift the bar in regards to internal finish standards and we believe our tiling is as good as anyone in the industries.
We use only MAPEI ™ glues and grouts which are specifically designed for pool applications. They have standard glues which we use for our ceramic projects and special liquid additives which we use when laying glass mosaics. Grouts are color fixed and once again designed for pool use.
Most of our pools will be covered when tiling the pool. This involves building a Dome style structure over the pool which remains in place during the tiling period. The dome protects the tiles and tilers from weather and creates a more stable temperature controlled environment.
Once the dome or cover is erected we can work in almost any weather conditions, and as most of the work to have a pool ready for summer goes on during the winter months in means no lost days.
We have very high standards as we believe when choosing a fully tiled pool the standard of finished tiling should reflect the premium nature of the finish. Pools are set out so as to minimise the need for unnecessary tile cuts. Tiles must be level and grout lines must line up. Tile modules must be calculated and laid in a considered manner. This, however, is not easy. Sites must be clean and as the work is a finished product tiles should be protected accordingly by others working in the area after the tiling has been completed. The complicated pool radius should be tiled neatly and all cuts must be accurate allowing for uniform grout lines. There should be no sharp edges which could cause injury to a bather.
The “you wont see it under water” line has traditional been used by tilers delivering inferior work and it is one of our most disliked sayings in the pool industry. The detail must stand up to scrutiny when the pool is empty and the result will be a pool which looks fantastic when filled with water.
So the question remains how do you know when buying a fully tiled pool that the tiling will be of a standard which reflects the cost and quality of the investment.
I would be cautious of the pool builder who does not recommend a fully tiled pool. Usually, it would mean that they are not able to easily offer a fully tiled pool, as they may not have the highly experience staff or trade partners suitably qualified to produce such a finish.The rendered finish and waterline tile is the easy way to go as any tiler can do a waterline and the render is a quick 1 day application.
I would recommend looking at prior work and having a close look at the fine details. All pools look good from a distance but look up close at radius details , skimmer box tiling details, grout lines, step areas and tiling around infoor cleaning heads and pipe penetrations.
We focus on building fully tiled pools and it is our preferred pool finish. Be it glass or ceramic mosaic we can provide a fully tiled concrete pool which will stand the test of time.