Pool Tile VS Glass

manasia

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 12, 2010
48
Lithonia, GA
Hello Forum,

I wanted to know which one is better Pool Tile or Glass? It is going to be DIY, but I am not sure on which to get.
 

Henry Porter

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 7, 2008
604
Sweden
Hi Manasia!
Is it waterline tile or for the whole pool?
For the waterline is glass to prefer from my way of thinking. Glass doesen't absorb any water and should be more resitant against the "dirt line" for that reason, together with it's surface. Increased protection from freezing damages is also something I hope for when I will lower the water below the glass in the wintertime.

If I could afford it I would have appllied glass in the whole pool. I really like the look of it and when the sun is shining does it look different depending from the angle you view it.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Glass can have sharp edges if it chips, is usually significantly more expensive, and is a bit more difficult to work with. That said, glass can look absolutely stunning if it is done well.
 
G

Guest

Be very careful of the glass tile you choose, if you go that route. It requires a whole different set of parameters to install (may require white thinset as opposed to gray for example.) and must be suitable for pool use. I have seen glass tile discolor from behind when the water gets behind the glass and erodes the backing. Certain companies (Oceanside Glasstile, for example: http://www.glasstile.com/) are very competent at pool tile, and understand the chemistry of pools and installation practices required to do this correctly.

Glass Tile is absolutely gorgeous, when done correctly! Please post up pics if you decide to go that route!
 

manasia

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 12, 2010
48
Lithonia, GA
Henry Porter said:
Hi Manasia!
Is it waterline tile or for the whole pool?
For the waterline is glass to prefer from my way of thinking. Glass doesen't absorb any water and should be more resitant against the "dirt line" for that reason, together with it's surface. Increased protection from freezing damages is also something I hope for when I will lower the water below the glass in the wintertime.

If I could afford it I would have appllied glass in the whole pool. I really like the look of it and when the sun is shining does it look different depending from the angle you view it.
Hey Henry this is for the waterline. Sorry for the confusion. I was reading somewhere that Glass Tile can be cheaper than the other tile type. So that is why I was considering it.
 

Pisces

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 30, 2008
273
League City, Texas
simicrintz said:
Be very careful of the glass tile you choose, if you go that route. It requires a whole different set of parameters to install (may require white thinset as opposed to gray for example.) and must be suitable for pool use. I have seen glass tile discolor from behind when the water gets behind the glass and erodes the backing. Certain companies (Oceanside Glasstile, for example: http://www.glasstile.com/) are very competent at pool tile, and understand the chemistry of pools and installation practices required to do this correctly.

Glass Tile is absolutely gorgeous, when done correctly! Please post up pics if you decide to go that route!

Jason and Simicrintz are right...glass tile can be sharp in places depending where you put it. AND significantly more expensive to buy and install. I used Oceanside Glass Tile (see link in Simicrintz's post above and also in my pool build link). We had to hire specialty tile people to install it - not the in-house pool tile guys. It's hard to install. The prep alone to install in a pool is daunting. Even then I had to watch like a hawk to make sure it was right, and it was. We had to let it cure for 21 days at least before putting any water in the pool, so it's a consideration. Not a DIY project at all. Would I do it again? Oh, you betcha! :whoot: It's really beautiful stuff (I chose the Oceanside Coppertone Blend), and when the sun hits it, especially in the late afternoon, it's heart-stopping! I budgeted for the extra expense and hassle, and haven't been sorry for one moment I put this special stuff in. I keep my water chemistry as perfect as possible, and have no deposits on it at all, except 2 constant wet/dry areas on the spa spillover. Those scrape off easily with a plastic knife. I also looked at and seriously considered Lightstreams glass tile. OMG. If I were near the ocean, I would have gone with those colors. Still have the samples they sent...beyond gorgeous and fascinating tile! http://lightstreamsglasstile.com/glass_tile_pools.aspx
 

Henry Porter

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 7, 2008
604
Sweden
No no Manasia :) they are much more expensive, atleast here. Mine was many times mor pricey then our porcelain tiles. The glass for the waterline cost us more than the white porcelain tiles for the whole pool :hammer:

The glass tile I have used is ingrain coloured something you shall use if they are installed in a pool. White thinset is more or less mandatory when installing glass. Make sure if your planning to mount glass mosaic that they comes on a net that it's meant to be mounted in a pool. You don't have to mount them "face down" like many people thinks.
What I can see is more difficult with glass mosaic when it comes to mounting is that the grout lines can easily be filled with thinset beacuse of the thin lines, but that is nothing that is specific for glass, that goes for all kind of mosaics. Besides from aint it harder to install glass mosaic compared to any other tiles.
I used the same trowel(8mm) as used for the porcelain tiles. That meant that I had to go over all the grout lines with a little screwdriver to clean them from thinset. But they will sit still in the future, thats for sure!
 

Henry Porter

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 7, 2008
604
Sweden
Pisces said:
simicrintz said:
Be very careful of the glass tile you choose, if you go that route. It requires a whole different set of parameters to install (may require white thinset as opposed to gray for example.) and must be suitable for pool use. I have seen glass tile discolor from behind when the water gets behind the glass and erodes the backing. Certain companies (Oceanside Glasstile, for example: http://www.glasstile.com/) are very competent at pool tile, and understand the chemistry of pools and installation practices required to do this correctly.

Glass Tile is absolutely gorgeous, when done correctly! Please post up pics if you decide to go that route!

Jason and Simicrintz are right...glass tile can be sharp in places depending where you put it. AND significantly more expensive to buy and install. I used Oceanside Glass Tile (see link in Simicrintz's post above and also in my pool build link). We had to hire specialty tile people to install it - not the in-house pool tile guys. It's hard to install. The prep alone to install in a pool is daunting. Even then I had to watch like a hawk to make sure it was right, and it was. We had to let it cure for 21 days at least before putting any water in the pool, so it's a consideration. Not a DIY project at all. Would I do it again? Oh, you betcha! :whoot: It's really beautiful stuff (I chose the Oceanside Coppertone Blend), and when the sun hits it, especially in the late afternoon, it's heart-stopping! I budgeted for the extra expense and hassle, and haven't been sorry for one moment I put this special stuff in. I keep my water chemistry as perfect as possible, and have no deposits on it at all, except 2 constant wet/dry areas on the spa spillover. Those scrape off easily with a plastic knife. I also looked at and seriously considered Lightstreams glass tile. OMG. If I were near the ocean, I would have gone with those colors. Still have the samples they sent...beyond gorgeous and fascinating tile! http://lightstreamsglasstile.com/glass_tile_pools.aspx
Hi Picses!
How long you have to wait before you fill it is depending of what kind of thinset you have used. Mapei for example have their elestrorapid that only has to cure for three days but that is many times more expensive than ordinary white thinset.
I have mounted our pool with elestrorapid beacuse I thought I had a tight scheduale so I coulden't wait for Mapeis regular thinset to cure. Now over a year after and with still no water in the pool can I establish that it was not one of my better deals :grrrr:
 

Pisces

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 30, 2008
273
League City, Texas
LOL, Mats...don't you just hate it when you pay extra and STILL HAVE TO WAIT?!! I haven't heard of that setting material, but it'd be really nice to not wait 21 days. We used what Oceanside recommended for their particular glass tile. We were a winter build anyway, so the time didn't matter. Hey...can't wait to see water in that beautiful pool...your tile is looking GREAT!! :wave:
 

manasia

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 12, 2010
48
Lithonia, GA
Man thank you guys for the good tips. I did some digging and I am going to do Porcelain instead because I would prefer to do this myself. The reason why this is a DIY project is because I am getting the plaster redone next year, and since I was doing the plaster I was gonna let the pros do that then. But for now, because I am missing half of my pool tiles, and the other ones are worn and faded, I want to do a DIY for low price versus the pros.

Thank you guys for showing me that glass is more expensive and such a pain, after doing better reading, I found out that I am not a specialist who can do it LOL.
 

Pisces

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 30, 2008
273
League City, Texas
manasia...good luck with your tile re-do! I know you'll do a great job, because you do the research first! I have double-glazed ceramic tile from Master Tile on my pool waterline (the glass is in the spa and spa spillway) and it looks really great. You'll have a lot of really nice options with porcelain or ceramic tile. :goodjob:
 
G

Guest

Make sure you do a first class prep job (remove all loose material, re-float if necessary, etc.) and get a good full flex thinset material. Take your time (it will all be easier if you start with a straight line and level work area!) and you will be proud of the end result!

Remember, we will all want to see pictures when you are done :whoot:
 
G

Guest

Get a "full flex" thinset. Many make it (Custom is one), and they are "stickier" than regular thinset.
 

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