Toe Tile or Step/Bench Markers

Schottfamily

Member
Jul 9, 2020
15
Jacksonville, Florida
I'm looking for examples of toe tile or step/bench markers on a dark blue pool finish. I am interested in seeing which tiles you selected and how well they shine under the water. Also, do the bench markers cause any issues when sitting on the benches? Are they rough or uncomfortable?

I am designing for a fiberglass pool build, so I would also like to know if anyone with a fiberglass pool has the toe tile and what they think of it. I'm not familiar with the process. Was the tile inlayed into the shell by the manufacturer or an add on by the builder at the time of installation? If you happen to have a Latham/Viking pool, were the options limited by Latham - if the tile was added at the time of the shell manufacture? And if anyone would be willing to share, I'd love to know the added cost for the toe tile on your fiberglass pool. Thanks for the help.
 

Sollace

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Aug 16, 2020
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Bryan TX
On this forum I read one build where the water was very dark. The steps just had diamond markers. She said it's hard to see the steps and wishes she put a line of tiles on each step. Remember a dark pool is lighter in color in shallow water. So that's a help. Hope this makes sense.
 
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Dirk

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Edge tiles can be added by the builder. They glue them on and then "grout" them, both with a silicon material. Step tiles can be added to a fiberglass pool, but only by the manufacturer.

Schott, you might call the manufacturer of the pool you're planning on to determine which tiles they use, if any: if it's just a select few, or from a catalog, or anything you come up with, before you solicit examples from others that you may or may not be able to use.

My plaster pool has step and bench markers, but they are not tile. Let us know what you find out.
 
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JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
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Prosper, TX (DFW)
Here are ours that mark the edge of the tanning ledge, bench in the deep end and stairs (not pictured). We just used the waterline tile. I'm not sure how helpful this is since ours is gunite, but we are really glad we did ours and hopefully it prevents someone from either falling off the tanning ledge or hitting their head when jumping in the deep end.

Blue Surf 2.jpg
 
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gingrbredman

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Jun 10, 2020
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My PB just installed a Latham/Viking FB pool at their home as their "showroom" pool. They also have the Ocean Blue, but the G3. As it is their "show room", they have just about every option available installed, including the tiles.

According to my PB, the tiles are an option when you place the order for the shell, and come delivered from the factory. They have both the waterline tiles and the step tiles. I didn't take a pic when I was there, but did ask for them to send me one.

I found it very difficult to find the options available from Latham, downloaded their brochures, looked around, but never was able to see the actual option list. From what I gathered, there are different tile options, mosaics, and even custom ones you can have put one, but think the best way to see all the options is talk with the PB who will be ordering your pool.

The Latham site shows a picture of the "Magesty" model (The model we are having installed) with the waterline and step tiles, maybe this will help a bit....


 

Schottfamily

Member
Jul 9, 2020
15
Jacksonville, Florida
My PB just installed a Latham/Viking FB pool at their home as their "showroom" pool. They also have the Ocean Blue, but the G3. As it is their "show room", they have just about every option available installed, including the tiles.

According to my PB, the tiles are an option when you place the order for the shell, and come delivered from the factory. They have both the waterline tiles and the step tiles. I didn't take a pic when I was there, but did ask for them to send me one.

I found it very difficult to find the options available from Latham, downloaded their brochures, looked around, but never was able to see the actual option list. From what I gathered, there are different tile options, mosaics, and even custom ones you can have put one, but think the best way to see all the options is talk with the PB who will be ordering your pool.

The Latham site shows a picture of the "Magesty" model (The model we are having installed) with the waterline and step tiles, maybe this will help a bit....


Thanks for the link. I can't believe how hard it is in general to information about all pool related things, but especially the Latham website. I have a feeling it's going to be expensive, but I've requested info and a quote from it builder. There are only 2 Latham builder's in my area, so they are completely swamped with the uptick in pool builds and can take awhile to get back to me.
 

Schottfamily

Member
Jul 9, 2020
15
Jacksonville, Florida
Here are ours that mark the edge of the tanning ledge, bench in the deep end and stairs (not pictured). We just used the waterline tile. I'm not sure how helpful this is since ours is gunite, but we are really glad we did ours and hopefully it prevents someone from either falling off the tanning ledge or hitting their head when jumping in the deep end.

View attachment 162518
Thanks for sharing. My concern is for safety also, but I'm worried with the darker finish that only a really iridescent tile would even show up.
 

Schottfamily

Member
Jul 9, 2020
15
Jacksonville, Florida
Edge tiles can be added by the builder. They glue them on and then "grout" them, both with a silicon material. Step tiles can be added to a fiberglass pool, but only by the manufacturer.

Schott, you might call the manufacturer of the pool you're planning on to determine which tiles they use, if any: if it's just a select few, or from a catalog, or anything you come up with, before you solicit examples from others that you may or may not be able to use.

My plaster pool has step and bench markers, but they are not tile. Let us know what you find out.
Sorry, I knew it was possible, just wasn't sure of the process or of how well the tile shows through on a darker finish. I suspect it's going to be fairly expensive, so I'd like to make sure they will even serve their purpose and it's really difficult to find examples of it.
 

gingrbredman

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Jun 10, 2020
191
Chicagoland
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks for the link. I can't believe how hard it is in general to information about all pool related things, but especially the Latham website. I have a feeling it's going to be expensive, but I've requested info and a quote from it builder. There are only 2 Latham builder's in my area, so they are completely swamped with the uptick in pool builds and can take awhile to get back to me.
I would have thought Latham would want to make this information easy, but it surely is not. I even downloaded all the "brochures" and none of them had any info on it. There are pictures, sure, but guessing this must be one of those where they push it off to the builders to take care of.

When I was out at my PB pool I asked about them, and the reply was "crazy expensive". I didn't even ask how crazy, but expect them to be up there. Good luck finding some more info, would love to hear what you find out. I'm sure others who stumble across this thread would also love to hear about your findings.
 
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YippeeSkippy

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Evans, Georgia
Here is a blog post about how to add them yourself:

But that is for water line tile..... I think the poster is seeking tile definition on the stairs. That is something that could only be added at the factory during the manufacturing.
 
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Dirk

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Sorry, I knew it was possible, just wasn't sure of the process or of how well the tile shows through on a darker finish. I suspect it's going to be fairly expensive, so I'd like to make sure they will even serve their purpose and it's really difficult to find examples of it.
I expect the manufacturer would have to charge a lot to cover not only the expense of the tile and its installation, but for the loss in the factory production time. They'd have to "stop the line" so to speak and take painstaking hours to somehow set all the tiles in the mold, and then apply the fiberglass process. Nightmare for them. (I don't actually know how it's done, but it will be something like that.)

You could consider doing the edge tile yourself, and just get the steps done at the factory, to cut the cost (assuming the factory would charge less for that, which is not a given). The process is pretty easy, basically just gluing on whatever tile works to the fiberglass with silicon adhesive. It you did it right, you might only have to cut a few tiles, maybe even none. The steps are the bigger task. But the link spd500 gave you explains how it could be done DIY (or by the builder). So I stand corrected. It's a matter of covering the entire step/bench with tile, then inlaying the ones near the edge with a contrasting color. Might be cool. But with "after market" installation, you're still going to have that raised edge. That'll be true for anything thicker than a decal! (And maybe a decal of some sort is all you really need?)

Speaking of contrast... you might be overthinking the issue of the dark finish. It's a medium color, like grey, that would be the problem. With a very light pool, or a very dark pool, you only need to use a color of tile that contrasts (white tile on a dark pool, black tile on a white pool). You don't need anything more than that to get the "safety factor." And getting that contrast won't be any more difficult for a dark pool than for a light one. Now, if you want a medium blue pool, that will somewhat inhibit the contrast. As would a decorative tile that isn't as stark against its background.

Do you know anybody with a dark pool? Bring over a box of tile samples and place them on their steps. See this real-world for yourself. Come back at dusk and do the same thing. Even at night with the pool light on. That will be the ultimate decider, I would think, rather than looking at random images on the 'net. (Though doing so can get you close.)

Speaking of decals... Here's the first hit of a google search. I have no experience with these, and this page sports some, well, stuff that is not my taste. But the concept is there. Perhaps someone is making "tile decals" that will solve this for you at a very reasonable cost.

 
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YippeeSkippy

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Dark finishes aren't really any problem considering sunlight is usually shining down on them when folks are getting and out. I have a dark fiberglass pool and can see very clearly in to the deepest recesses.... :suspect:

Being able to see the stairs *better* would be useful, nice but it isn't a big issue either. Once you've stepped in/out once or twice you know where to find 'em. IMO, of course. ;)

Maddie
 

Dirk

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Being able to see the stairs *better* would be useful, nice but it isn't a big issue either. Once you've stepped in/out once or twice you know where to find 'em. IMO, of course. ;)
I don't think of the markers like they're for us, but rather for our first-time guests, or for those that don't know enough to look carefully into a body of water before jumping into it! Or for, uh, some of us, that might have hit the libations before they hit the water...

Baja shelves seem risky to me. Are those obvious? Or more like very clean sliding glass doors, where everybody sees 'em except for that one person? (You know who you are!) Do they need extra markers, not just on the edge? Are bubblers the sliding-glass-door-stickers of the pool shelf? 😲
 

YippeeSkippy

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I think your flat Aqua Decals suggestion is the best one can hope for with most fiberglass pools, Dirk. Until this post I'd never seen or heard of anyone customizing the *steps* of a fiberglass pool with tile.

Maddie
 

Dirk

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I think your flat Aqua Decals suggestion is the best one can hope for with most fiberglass pools, Dirk. Until this post I'd never seen or heard of anyone customizing the *steps* of a fiberglass pool with tile.
Me neither. I'm a fiberglass tub surround guy. Why have tile and grout lines if you don't need to!? Just one more thing to clean.

It would be interesting to know how well the decals hold up. But even if they don't, you could buy a whole lot of decals for the price of equivalent tile. There's not much quite as effective as edge and step tile and inlays to date a pool! With decals, you could freshen your pool's design any time you like.

And no one but the pool owner would likely notice or care that there were decals instead of tile. Certainly not any that were under the water.

Not asked, but If I was installing a fiberglass pool, I'd be putting money into a VS pump and a big ol' filter and an SWG and automation. Not pool decorations. I'd slap a few decals on the steps if they weren't obvious, then decorate the yard and add more deck. Just me. Just sayin'...
 
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Schottfamily

Member
Jul 9, 2020
15
Jacksonville, Florida
Hi all, I'm following up with the answer I received about the cost of the toe tile in a Latham/Viking fiberglass pool. The response was that the manufacturer is not currently doing inlay tile due to the increase in demand. :sneaky: