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How to Pick the Perfect Swimming Pool Tile

Available in a near-endless variety of colors, textures, and sizes, swimming pool tile adds the perfect finishing touch to your outdoor décor. Looking for a fun pop of color? Going for a low-key, natural look? Seeking the finishing touch for a sleek, modern outdoor space? Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a pool tile that’s right for you.

More than just good looks

Tile adds a finishing touch to your swimming pool, but it actually does more than add decorative flair to your backyard. Because it’s durable, water resistant, and easy to clean, tile helps protect your pool from waterline staining and mineral buildup.

Something for Everyone

The NPT tile catalog features hundreds of stunning pool tile options to fit any style and budget. Here are some popular choices.

Natural beauty.

If you want your swimming pool tile to blend seamlessly with your backyard’s natural surroundings, consider a pool tile inspired by natural stone. Stone-look tiles like Terrasini, Firestone, Quarry Ridge and Tundra are available in a variety of understated earth tones, and they feature shade variations that add to their natural-looking appeal.

A touch of character.

Want to create an “under the sea” vibe in your pool? Add fun accent tiles featuring whimsical turtles, dolphins, nautilus shells, or starfish. Are you drawn to traditional Spanish and Art Deco-inspired designs? You’ll love the bold patterns and classic color combinations of Iberia, Buenos, Casablanca, and Hana.

Minimalist chic.

If you prefer a “less is more” aesthetic, consider Tulipwood, a streamlined and modern take on pool tile that resembles reclaimed wood (it also works beautifully as a paver or hardscape accent). Or, keep things simple with a black, blue, or white tile like our solid tile or Discovery Field.

A song of ice (or fire).

Iridescent glass pool tile is a surefire way to add drama to your pool. Our Sea Ice line is available in a range of eye-catching colors, from glowing amber to deep ocean blue to pristine ice white. Equally stunning iridescent options include: Equinox, Lightwaves, Ibiza, Jules, and Opal.

Think small.

Typically composed of smaller tiles in varying shades, mosaic-inspired pool tiles add an artistic touch to any swimming pool. They also add interest when paired with complementary larger tiles. Consider Mix or Mini Koyn.

Pro Tips: Choosing the Swimming Pool Tile That’s Right for You

Not sure which tile is right for your pool? Here are a few things to consider:

  • If you’ve got a saltwater pool, opt for durable glass or porcelain.
  • If you want drama, size down. Smaller tile lends itself well to stunning, mosaic-style designs.
  • Add a splash of color. There’s nothing wrong with tried-and-true blue, but if you want a truly show-stopping design, consider shades of silver, bronze, green, gray, red, or black.
  • Mix things up. Consider mixing natural stone and glass mosaic tiles or break up a monochromatic look by adding an accent tile with a fun pattern or texture.

Can I use “regular” kitchen or bathroom tile in my pool?

Stick with tile made specifically for swimming pools. While “regular” kitchen and bathroom tile is designed to get wet, it’s not meant to be used outdoors, exposed to pool chemicals, or underwater 24/7. Tile that has not been designed for swimming pools is more likely to fade, corrode, and crack -- and need repairs and replacement.

Seeing (and Feeling) is Believing!

When it comes to pool tiles, photos can only do so much. While catalogs and websites are a great starting point, pool tile is really best viewed in person, where you can see how each piece reflects the light and get a big-picture view of how each tile looks with different finishes and coping options.

Browse NPT’s online tile catalog or visit your closest NPT showroom to check out our stunning selection of swimming pool tile that you can touch and feel.

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