There are 4 major types of pool deck tile and each have unique qualities that make them desirable for design and function.
Most tile is ceramic, but glazed ceramic tile is literally that—it’s glazed and then fired to be ulta shiny with brilliant colors. It’s desirable for bathrooms and some spots around your pool, but it can get slippery if you’re not careful where you walk.
Another way to get color to your ceramic is with ceramic paint. The paint is basically ceramic clay water, or slip, that’s pigmented to make a certain color. What you paint on is what you’ll get when it’s fired. This can help add to the traction of bare feet on wet tiles, but you will have to apply sealant to make sure the water doesn’t warp or crack the ceramic.
Terra cotta is a type of ceramic clay made from a coarse red soil. Even glazing terra cotta can have a bit of texture, leaving it in the perfect state for your pool side. The one drawback with terra cotta is its color. While the desert orange of terra cotta is certainly a lovely color, it may not fit with everyone’s décor and if you glaze it, there’s no telling what color you’ll come out with.
Glass tiles are probably the most desirable pool tiles on the market because they’re the easiest to customize and to texturize. You can buy glass tiles that are frosted to look like sea glass, or broken glass tempered by waters and sands of the ocean or lakes. You can find glass tiles in all sorts of colors and finishes, and they’re cheap to replace when you buy one or two. You can find them in all different sizes too.
There aren’t many cons to using glass pool tiles, but the ones that do exist are all maintenance-related. If your glass tiles shatter you may end up with glass shards in your bare feet—and that’s far from summer fun.
All these types of pool tiles are available at any pool building supply store in your area. You can even have them custom-order you tiles of your specifications. Contact your local retailer with questions.