The tile at the perimeter of a swimming pool is called the pool waterline. This six inch band of tile at the top of the pool not only is an important design element, waterline pool tiles also have a purpose.

Waterline pool tiles create a smooth surface for dirt, sunscreen and body oil to adhere to. This makes pool maintenance much easier than trying to clean scum from a plaster finish without waterline tiles.

Mosaic tiles are an especially popular choice for pool waterlines given their enormous selection of patterns, colors and textures. In general, pool tile serves as an important focal point that impacts your landscape in multiple ways from influencing the color of your pool water to complimenting other aspects such as vegetation, lawn furniture, hardscapes and even the color of your home.

When searching for the perfect tile for you swimming pool, here are a few pool tile ideas to consider:

6” X 6” Porcelain Tile

A standard in the swimming pool industry, 6” x 6” porcelain tile is a great selection for those who prefer the look of a pool waterline that has more of a solid feel without so many grout lines. Also, porcelain tile is non-porous, which prevents water from seeping in and eventually loosening the tiles.

AquaBlu carries a great selection of 6” X 6” porcelain pool tiles such as Cobalt, a reticulated dark blue mosaic tile reminiscent of ocean depths. Here’s a beautiful 6” x 6” pool tile that will put you in a cool frame of mind.

Another pool tile idea favorite, Pacific Blue, is a less intense blue tile with swirls or lighter tones mixed in.  You can view a huge selection of 6" x 6" options here.

Porcelain Mosaic Tile

While glass mosaic tile has become trendy in recent years, porcelain still rates highly for its soft to the touch feel and affordability. Porcelain mosaic tile comes in chip sizes smaller than 6” x 6” such as 1” X 1”, 1” X 2”, 2” X 2”, 3” X 3”, mixed and linear.

While chip size is largely an individual preference, many designers feel that the smaller chip tiles make better waterline pool tiles for irregular-shaped pools because smaller mosaic tiles wrap around corners easier. Some also feel smaller mosaic tile chip sizes give pools a more sumptuous appearance.

Our recommendation: Marble Blue 1” X 1” porcelain mosaic tile. This popular pool tile features the much sought after blue mosaic tile color with the bonus of an elegant clouding or fading effect on each individual 1” chip. This product also looks amazing if you've ever considered tiling your entire pool or spa in porcelain. Look how beautiful this customer's spa turned out!

1x1 marble blue porcelain pool tile

Decorative or Printed Porcelain Tile



While the majority of U.S. waterline pool tile is a solid aqua tile, turquoise tile or blue mosaic tile, there’s plenty of room to differentiate your pool from the masses with decorative or patterned porcelain tile. Decorative or printed porcelain mosaic tile can create interest and liveliness to an otherwise tired pool waterline. The repetitive stylized shapes and geometric designs of patterned porcelain tile deliver an infusion of personality and statement not always realized in solid colors.

Many pool owners who have installed patterned porcelain tile believe there is an extra level of tranquility that accompanies the tile, especially when waves spill over these detailed designs.

AquaBlu's recommendation: our Martia white porcelain tile features stylized gray and taupe flowers that are easy on the eyes as well as provocative. This subtle pattern should fit into any design theme.

Glass Mosaic Tile

Many consider waterline pool tiles made from glass as a serious upgrade. While more expensive than porcelain tile, glass pool tile has reflective properties that can light up the entire backyard. Glass pool tile is known for its ability to reflect light in a pleasant, soothing way. Glass pool tile also mirrors the movement of water, which can heighten the sensation of rhythmic waves, such as on a lake or white sand beach.

Azure is a popular blue glass tile with flecks of iridescence in individual 1” X 1” chips. This glass mosaic tile is both luxurious and practical in that it’s frost proof, impervious to vapors and liquids, and resistant to staining.

White glass tile such as our amazing Quartz glass pool tile has also come into its own. Luxury hotels and spas often use white mosaic pool tile because white denotes purity and relaxation and tends to make pool water appear sky blue.

One very important factor to keep in mind with glass mosaic tile when weighing price is that its visual appeal increases home values. Also, the price of glass pool tile has been declining in recent years so it’s now more affordable than ever.

AquaBlu's recommendation: Azure 1x1 is perfect for both pool waterlines and all-tile pools, spas, and fountains!

1x1 glass mosaic tile for pools and spas

Glass Subway Tile

This longtime classic favorite for interiors, glass subway tile is also a highly regarded pool tile idea for its clean, simple style with universal measurement ratios. Select a color that reflects other design elements in or near your pool.

Our top pick:  AquaBlu’s Stratus Blue is a stylish and compelling glass subway tile that picks up water and sky elements, which makes this glass mosaic tile especially reflective and enjoyable.

stratus blue glass subway tile for swimming pools

Custom Glass Tile Blends

Waterline pool tile can be solid, patterned or a mixture of colors. Many pool owners like glass pool tile blends for the rich, brilliance a combination of colors can provide. Blends are considered a happy design that some have even described them as “smiling.”

Our Blue Blend glass pool tile combines cool color elements of green and blue that will keep you, your family and friends in a cheerful state of mind throughout the pool season. Also available in mixed format.

For the ultimate statement, create your very own custom blend of colors for your pool waterline, or even consider tiling your entire pool. AquaBlu Mosaics can create one-of-a-kind glass tile mixes and gradients in only a few short weeks. This is great opportunity to own something truly unique.

Final Thought

Are you sticking with the standard plaster pool with porcelain or glass tile waterline, or is this the year you tile the entire pool in beautiful glass mosaic tile? It may be a big pool tile idea, but if not in 2020, when? Tiling the entire pool is gaining traction fast, and, with glass mosaic tile prices on the decline, this could be your year to create the luxury pool of your dreams.

Fully tiling a pool is certainly regarded as the premium finish for concrete pools. But it’s a solid investment because glass mosaic tiles are extremely durable as well as offering almost limitless design choices. They also look fantastic, require very low maintenance and their silky smoothness are kind to your feet. 

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Want more pool tile ideas for 2020? Or maybe there’s something else on your mind. Talk to one of our experts. You can call us at (800) 971-1442 or fill out our contact form. You can visit our website at https://www.aquablumosaics.com/.


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