Tiling a swimming pool

Tiling a swimming pool

Popularity of smaller garden swimming pools has soared, but make sure you pay attention to the advice below when choosing to tile a swimming pool.

1. Swimming pool shell preparation

Before you start tiling, it's important to test the pool to ensure it's watertight – any repairs should be carried out using the appropriate methods, and tiling should not be viewed as a method of waterproofing the pool.

If the concrete shell has a smooth finish, tiling may be applied directly onto it, otherwise it'll need rendering and screeding. Tiling may commence when the surface is clean, smooth, and free from dust and imperfections.

Please note: Minimum intervals between construction stages

As per BS 5385: Part 4, there are minimum time intervals between different stages of the construction process:

Stage Time interval
Between completion of shell and rendering/screeding 6 weeks
Between rendering/screeding and commencement of tile fixing 3 weeks
Between completion of fixing and commencement of grouting 3 days
Between completion of grouting/movement joints, and filling the pool 3 weeks

Please also be aware that:

  • The maximum filling and emptying rate should be 750mm/day
  • The pool water should be heated at a maximum rate of 0.25°C/hour

These time periods should never be reduced but may need to be extended in wet weather. If the shell of the pool requires rendering before tiling we would recommend using weberend OCR-T.

For further information The Tile Association (TTA) have produced a range of comprehensive documents including tiling advice for swimming pools.

2. Tile fixing

Fix the tiles with weberset SPF — or any of our other tile adhesives for swimming pools — and use the solid bed method, pressing the tiles firmly into the adhesive to ensure that there are no voids behind them. Back buttering the tiles is good practice when tiling a swimming pool shell to help eliminate the possibility of voids behind the tile. It is also good practice to occasionally lift a tile to ensure a solid bed is being achieved. Wipe away any excess adhesive from between the joints.

Movement joints

Movement joints should be incorporated as in BS 5385: Part 4:2015

  • In the pool lining around the pool perimeter at the junction of the bottom and sides, at vertical corners and at any change of plane.
  • If the joints between tiles are less than 6mm wide, insert additional movement joints down the pool sides and across the bottom at a maximum of 6m intervals.
  • Where pool surround tiling abuts walls, drainage channels or other features

3. Tile grouting

When choosing a grout for swimming pools, you'll need to choose either an epoxy or a cement-based grout with a high level of redispersable polymers.

Although a cement-based grout may be used, it will gradually become damaged by corrosion from the pool water and by erosion from water movement and cleaning, for this reason it is better to choose a grout with a high level of redispersable polymer included in the powder such as weberjoint premium (available in a wide range of swimming pool tile grout colours).

Epoxy grouts are also recommended swimming pool tile grouts as their longer working life outweighs the higher initial cost. This is especially so for salt-water pools. Pools surrounds are particularly sensitive areas where the above requirements also apply, due to the alternate wetting and drying and high frequency of cleaning.

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like assistance, please contact our technical team which is available Monday to Friday, 8:30am until 5.00pm.

Click Compare to help you choose the right product for your project, if you need further assistance please email technical@netweber.co.uk