Designing Successful Swimming Pool Surrounds

In luxury homes, hotels and spas around the world, swimming pools have become a stand out feature that is used to differentiate from the competition.

Traditional, plain white pool areas are becoming less and less common as more focus is given to the design of swimming pool surrounds.

Commercial property developers are keen to introduce these high end design elements to other projects.

In this article we’ll look at:

  • Why people are focusing on getting away from the norm
  • How commercial tiling plays an important role in the design of the swimming pool surround
  • The importance of keeping safety front and centre

Swimming pool trends

Swimming pools have become more popular than ever in recent years. Owners of luxury homes in cities like London have started excavating their basements to create unique coves of tranquility amongst the urban jungle.

Similarly, hotel builders are keen to create idyllic pool areas that offer their customers a wonderful place to relax and unwind, and provide an incentive to stay there over alternative options.

Swimming pools around the world have now been built in an incredible array of designs including musical instruments, trees and even animals.

Differentiate to Achieve Excellence

If you’re swimming pool builder, then I am sure you already know that the pool is a statement and what better way to make a statement than with a uniquely shaped pool.

Depending on what the homeowner or hotel wants to use the pool for, a custom shape of pool could be the perfect thing to create the statement they are after. This can work particularly well for hotels that are looking to make a great first impression and leave a lasting one.

As we saw above, the shape of a pool can be virtually anything a person wants it to be, but swimming pool tiles can enhance the look even further and add a massive amount of style to the pool.

The use of mosaic pool tiles is a popular way of enhancing the design of the swimming pool and making it go even further. You can also use designer tiles to surround the pool and create a space that is far more appealing than traditional porcelain swimming pool tiles.

Tiles are a key part in swimming pool design

Tiling should be a key focus when trying to achieve the perfect pool design.

For example, using mosaic pool tiles to create a design on the floor or walls of a swimming pool allows even a standard rectangle pool to become a unique piece of art. To maximise the use of the space, you should also consider how the swimming pool surround complements other exterior floor tiles in the area.

Which tiles are popular?

Some of the most popular swimming pool tiles include:

The most popular material used for swimming pool tiles is still porcelain. The reason for this is because porcelain tiles offer excellent anti-slip properties. You can also find porcelain tiles in just about any style you can imagine so you can achieve a huge amount of style without needing to compromise safety at all.

Of course, if you are building an outdoor pool, the surround tiles don’t just have to look great and offer the best anti-slip properties possible, they also have to stand up to the weather and wear and tear from being outside.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of designs to choose from for the surround of the outside pool, including:

  • Natural stone paving slabs
  • Slip-resistant ceramic tiles
  • Granular rubber sundeck (rubber granules mixed with epoxy cement available in a variety of colours)

Installing coping tiles which slope away from their outdoor pool, is an excellent way to reduce the amount of dirt that will get into the pool. Typically coping stones are made out of concrete, though you could also use natural stone coping tiles to add even more style to the pool.

Put safety first

Despite the increased focus on elaborate designs, safety still has to be the main concern when it comes to designing and building swimming pools.

By investing slightly more to make sure you have the best materials, including the right swimming pool tiles, adhesive and grout, you can ensure the safety of users without compromising on the aesthetic.

Swimming pool surround tiles need to be the highest anti-slip grading possible as they are likely to be wet most of the time. They will also be walked on with bare feet most of the time too. Both of these increase the risk of slipping a lot.

The highest anti-slip grade commercial tiles will provide a superb amount of grip even when wet.

The minimum requirements for materials used in and around swimming pools are:

  • A pendulum rating of P4
  • A ramp rating of R11

Unless the ramp is steeper than 1 in 14, in which case the tiles need to have:

  • A pendulum rating of P5
  • A ramp rating of R12

These anti-slip tiles ratings are the worldwide standard and must be followed by all swimming pool builders whether they are building a pool for domestic or commercial use.

It isn’t just tiles that must be of the highest quality either, you must ensure that you use the very best adhesive and grout If you fail to do this, the pool isn’t going to last as long as it could. Good quality adhesive and grout can make all the difference, especially for a hotel pool that will see a lot of use before it is retired.

The only drawback to higher grade tiles is that they cost a little more than the lesser grade tiles.

This cost may you slightly over budget, but it is crucial that you consider what could happen if you don’t use the best anti-slip pool tiles, high-quality adhesive and grout. The possibility of clientele, or even family and friends who use the pool hurting themselves will be far higher.

Also, without great quality swimming pool materials, the pool may not hold up to wear and tear, meaning you have to spend more in the future maintaining and repairing it.

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