Remind me of the disadvantages of glass waterline tile

B.lu

Active member
Oct 16, 2020
39
New England
Hello,

I am half-way through a pool install. I never considered glass tile for the waterline but came across this and now can't stop thinking about it! A basic ceramic 6inch tile is factored into my estimate. Remind me of how much work glass tiles are? Is a tile in the white family a bad idea as well (stains? looks dirty?). I've never had a pool before so this world is new to me. I am planning on doing a grayish pebble sheen (blue granite of French grey) and a medium grey coping, so I was thinking a white waterline tile might be nice to lighten things up. Thanks so much!
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
34,496
Laughlin, NV
Glass water line tile is difficult to clean if you get a scale ring. Depending on how you manage your water chemistry, your evaporation rate, and what your fill water chemistry is and how much you add, can determine the severity of the issue. Also, waterline tile can get dirty with bather sunscreen, hair products etc. But normal cleaning is sufficient for that.
 
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mmardini

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
131
Palm Springs, ca
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Nothing wrong with glass tile!! I love mine! I was obsessed with getting glass tile
Although many people warned against it. I have been very proactive at keeping it clean however. I have a tile brush I use multiple times per week and even put on a wetsuit and get in the pool to clean the tiles maybe once every 2 weeks! See pics 🤣

anyways, many people told me not to get it. I knew I wouldn’t be happy with 6x6 porcelain tile so I went with what I knew I’d love. Ask me again in a few years and that may (hopefully not) change! Keep in mind tho glass tile is more expensive and the install is much more as well.
 

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Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
692
Gilbert, AZ
Gorgeous tile! I found a glass tile that I absolutely love but my husband was talked out of it by someone who redoes pools and sees the really bad. I still have the sample sitting on my counter and every now and then start trying to figure out if we can get it. I found since porcelain 2x3 subway tile that I like (I won't get the 6x6) and I know will look good but it isn't what makes my heart skip a beat. I just don't know if I'd be good at the preventative maintenance. But if you can be then go for it. Lots of people have it so it must be doable.
 
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B.lu

Active member
Oct 16, 2020
39
New England
Nothing wrong with glass tile!! I love mine! I was obsessed with getting glass tile
Although many people warned against it. I have been very proactive at keeping it clean however. I have a tile brush I use multiple times per week and even put on a wetsuit and get in the pool to clean the tiles maybe once every 2 weeks! See pics 🤣

anyways, many people told me not to get it. I knew I wouldn’t be happy with 6x6 porcelain tile so I went with what I knew I’d love. Ask me again in a few years and that may (hopefully not) change! Keep in mind tho glass tile is more expensive and the install is much more as well.
You're dedication is amazing! I'm particularly impressed with you wearing the wetsuit for a thorough job! I thought I better not contact the pool contractor on Christmas Eve, but I was tempted to email last night, for a quote on what the glass uncharge would be. The cost might drastically impact by decision. Thanks for the pictures!
 

B.lu

Active member
Oct 16, 2020
39
New England
Gorgeous tile! I found a glass tile that I absolutely love but my husband was talked out of it by someone who redoes pools and sees the really bad. I still have the sample sitting on my counter and every now and then start trying to figure out if we can get it. I found since porcelain 2x3 subway tile that I like (I won't get the 6x6) and I know will look good but it isn't what makes my heart skip a beat. I just don't know if I'd be good at the preventative maintenance. But if you can be then go for it. Lots of people have it so it must be doable.
Yeah... I'm worried I might not be up to snuff on the maintenance. The pool is a dream addition for me and something my husband is JUST barely okay with. The upkeep will be my responsibility. With 3 kids, including a 9 month old, I might live to regret anything extra cleaning-wise. But!!! It's so pretty!!!!
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,247
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Prior to October 2017 my pool and tile were covered in really bad calcium deposits. After resurfacing the pool and bead blasting the tile clean, and taking over the pool maintenance myself using the TFP method, my pool and tile remain near good-as-new. Three years after I had the tile cleaned, I've just started to notice a slight line of white build up just at the waterline. Barely there. Considering I haven't lifted a finger to clean my tile in three years, I'd say the TFP method of balancing pool water, which includes minimizing calcium deposits, works really, really well.

Your glass tile selection is amazing. Horror stories about glass tile maintenance from "someone who redoes pools" are likely caused by poor water balance for many years, along with complete disregard for minimal maintenance cleaning. Don't let that anecdotal "evidence" deter you from getting what you love. Otherwise, your regret from not doing so might be worse than the tiny bit of maintenance edge tile requires when you've got "TFP water" in the pool. Waterline scale, a byproduct of evaporation as much as anything else, is pretty much going to happen no matter what material you use for your water's edge. So glass on!

Full disclosure, I don't have glass edge tile. Mine is slices of river rock. So I don't actually know if your experience will be like mine. I just know I don't have to clean my edge tile every few weeks. As I said, I haven't cleaned my edge tile for three years! Not sure what conditions would require cleaning any edge tile very often. Maybe someone else here can explain that...
 
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mmardini

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2020
131
Palm Springs, ca
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
@mmardini What is your preventative maintenance regimen? I see you have a white sponge in your hand. Do you just wipe it down with that?
I use a tile cleaning solution I got from a friend who is a pool guy, and I use a magic eraser when I actually get in the pool to clean. Seems to be working so far!
 
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