To Tile, or Not To Tile? The Pros and Cons of Tiling Your Pool Surround

If you're considering building a swimming pool or renovating your existing one, you may be wondering about the best options for the pool surround. One popular choice is tile, but before you make a decision, it's essential to understand the advantages and disadvantages of surrounding your pool with tile.

Tile offers several benefits for a pool surround, including durability, ease of maintenance, and a wide range of design options. However, it can be more expensive to install compared to other materials, and its surface can be slippery when wet.

When it comes to using tile for a pool surround with a fiberglass pool, there are some pros and cons to consider:


Durability: Tile is known for its durability, and when properly installed, it can withstand the test of time. It is resistant to fading, chipping, and cracking, which makes it a long-lasting option for your pool surround.

Aesthetics: Tile offers a wide range of design options, allowing you to create a visually stunning pool surround. With various colors, patterns, and textures available, you can customize the look to match your personal style and create a beautiful focal point in your backyard.

Low Maintenance: Tile is relatively easy to maintain. Its smooth surface makes it resistant to stains, and it can be cleaned with simple household cleaning agents or specialized tile cleaners. Regular maintenance, such as sweeping and occasional resealing, will help keep your tile pool surround looking pristine.


Cost: Tile installation can be more expensive compared to other materials. The cost includes not only the tile itself but also the labor involved in proper installation. Additionally, if any tiles become damaged or need replacement in the future, it may require more time and expense to repair.

Slipperiness: One of the main drawbacks of tile is its potential to become slippery when wet. This can be a safety concern, especially in pool areas where people may walk with wet feet. To address this issue, it's essential to choose non-slip tiles and consider incorporating additional safety measures, such as textured surfaces or slip-resistant coatings, to minimize the risk of accidents.

What types of tile are suitable for pool areas?

When it comes to selecting the right tile for your pool surround, there are a few factors to consider. First, you'll want to choose a tile that is specifically designed for outdoor use and can withstand exposure to sunlight, water, and chemicals. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are popular choices due to their durability and resistance to water absorption. Additionally, make sure to select tiles with a textured or non-slip surface to enhance safety and prevent accidents.

When installing tiles around a pool, it's crucial to prioritize safety to minimize the risk of slips and falls. Along with selecting non-slip tiles, you can also consider adding additional safety measures, such as installing handrails or using slip-resistant grout. Taking these precautions will provide peace of mind and ensure a safer pool environment for you, your family, and your guests.

How can I maintain and clean a tile pool surround effectively?

Keeping your tile pool surround clean and well-maintained is essential to preserve its appearance and longevity. Regular maintenance and cleaning will help prevent dirt, grime, and algae buildup. Start by sweeping or using a leaf blower to remove any debris from the surface. Then, you can use a mild detergent or a specially formulated tile cleaner and a soft brush or sponge to clean the tiles. Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that can damage the tile surface.

Consider sealing the tiles periodically to maintain the shine and luster of your tile pool surround. Sealing provides an added layer of protection against stains and makes cleaning easier. Depending on the type of tile and sealant used, resealing may be necessary every few years. It's also a good idea to regularly check for any loose or cracked tiles and have them repaired promptly to prevent further damage.

What are the alternatives to tile for pool surrounds?

While tile is a popular choice for pool surrounds, there are other options available. If you're looking for alternatives, consider materials like concrete, natural stone, pavers, or even synthetic decking. Concrete offers a versatile and customizable option, allowing you to create various textures and finishes. Natural stone, such as travertine or limestone, can provide an elegant and timeless look. Pavers offer a range of design possibilities and are relatively easy to install. Synthetic decking materials, like composite or PVC, can mimic the look of wood while offering durability and low maintenance.

Each material has its own set of advantages and considerations, so it's important to evaluate factors such as budget, desired aesthetic, maintenance requirements, and durability when deciding on the best option for your pool surround. Consider these factors carefully when deciding whether to use tile for your fiberglass pool surround. While tile offers durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance, cost and safety are important considerations. Ultimately, making an informed decision will ensure that you create a pool surround that suits your needs, style, and budget while prioritizing safety for all pool users.

If you do opt for tile to complement your pool, it's essential to choose the right type of tile, prioritize safety, and maintain the surface properly to ensure a functional and attractive pool surround that meets your needs while enhancing your overall swimming pool experience. Choose non-slip options specifically designed for outdoor use and consider adding safety measures such as handrails or slip-resistant grout. If you're still unsure about the best material for your pool surround, take some time to research the alternatives mentioned in this article, considering factors such as budget, maintenance, and desired aesthetic.

With this knowledge, you can confidently move forward and create the perfect pool surround that supports and enhances the look and feel you want for your personal swimming pool oasis.

At Barrier Reef Pools, we encourage you to browse our wide selection of beautiful fiberglass swimming pools. For any questions, please contact us here or reach out to us on our social media listed below. We would love to help you find your new pool!