The ever-changing and rapid advancements in technology, has propelled large scale, intricate mosaic designs to the forefront of pool tiling, as Ashleigh Mackenzie investigates…
A bit like the original Ford motor cars that were only available in black, swimming pool customers used to be able to choose any colour of pool finish they liked – as long as it was blue. Fast forward to today’s technicolour dreamcoat era and we have a customer that is truly spoilt for choice. A rainbow of colour options, materials, textures, patterns and images. In digitally printed personalised tiles, glittering grout – literally every taste is catered for. “It’s amazing to see how far tiling in pools has come over the last 20 years,” says Paul Hilton of Cheshire Wellness. “From the very traditional Caribbean blend pale blue swimming pool tiles, to the enormous choice of tiles available from around the world, clients can now create the design and style of their dreams with the range of products and finishes on offer.” Mark Thomas, contracts director at Waxman Ceramics agrees: “The vast improvement in product availability has helped shape contemporary pools and spas. Now abundant formats and wider colour variations are the norm in the tiling world, which differs somewhat from decades gone before when restrictions deemed difficult to give the customer what they want.”
LEASE OF LIFE
He adds: “Modern pool and spa design amalgamates more and more materials each year. Designs have been given a new lease of life; the uniform style has been shunned to champion creativity and innovation.” A competitive tiling and mosaic sector now offers swimming pool designers the biggest and best choice of products ever available. In terms of both colour and materials, there is now an abundance of options on the market, all shown off to good effect with an increased focus on lighting as part of the overall design. “I can’t remember the last time we tiled a private pool in a standard blue mosaic,” says David Bland of Portrait Pools. “These days, clients are much more design savvy and interested in doing something a bit different.” He adds: “All of our clients tend to be quite discerning about how they want their pool to look. Many go for all out glamour, with lots of bling whilst some want something totally unique. For these clients, we work with Designworks Tiles to produce beautiful bespoke mosaic murals.”
Designworks Tiles, the dedicated contract division of leading UK tile manufacturer and distributor Original Style, specialises in pool-ready mosaics and anti-slip tiles for residential and larger commercial projects. The full Designworks Tiles collection comprises of a select range of iridescent glass, porcelain and ceramic tiles and mosaics for swimming pools with a wider variety of natural stone, ceramic, glass and porcelain tiles for surrounding areas, offering the complete solution for their customers’ tiling needs. Currently, Designworks Tiles’ most popular product is the Alexander mosaic, made from recycled glass, which gives a deep green appearance. The mosaic also uses the JointPoint system for improved adhesion.Another stand out product is the glowing gold effect mosaics with the added benefits of 20mm metallic drop-in tiles for projects where the ‘wow’ factor is required.
“Glass mosaics have emerged as an increasingly popular and versatile application for pool areas,” says Mark of Waxmans. “Their rich colour choices help offer almost an Aladdin’s cave of possibilities and their size gives adaptability for any shape pool. Whether complying with one single colour scheme or a striking combination, a mosaic tile gives a stylish look that works with the water’s organic flow to offer that ‘wow’ factor.” He continues: “The graduating fade is one of the most popular choices amongst modern day spa designs, where one colour transcends to another forming an ombré inspired effect – a trend that has crossed over from the fashion world into tile design.” As one of the leading distributors of tiles and the largest supplier of mosaics throughout the UK, Waxman Ceramics are at the cutting edge of design. State-of-the-art technology allows Waxman Ceramics to recreate virtually any image and colour combination to achieve a unique finish. Working from detailed drawings or simple sketches, Waxman’s creative team can produce bespoke designs using the highest quality products including ceramic, porcelain, glass and natural stone.