Cipriano Landscape Design

Custom Glass Tile Swimming Pools -Planning for Success-NJ


Mahwah, NJ -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/13/2014 --If you are thinking about installing a custom swimming pool in your back yard, it is important to first learn a little bit about the process and the options that are out there. One trend that is being used a lot in custom swimming pools is the use of glass tile, either as the entire finish of the pool or as a beautiful mosaic on the floor. Glass tile undoubtedly adds an incredibly elegant finish and can truly transform a nice pool into a breathtaking masterpiece. Installing a glass tile swimming pool is more difficult and intricate than you may think though, and so as a homeowner it is important to decide early on whether you want a glass tile or plaster finish. If your pool builder is experienced at installing glass tile he will prepare all of the beginning stages of construction to smoothly transition into the glass tiling phase. If done correctly, this will save you a lot of time and money, but unfortunately most pool builders are not experienced enough or willing to properly prepare; and not all homeowners choose glass tile from the start and end up switching half way through. Both situations can add a tremendous cost to the consumer.

Being in this business now for over 23 years I’ve had the privilege of traveling around the country and spending time going to professional conferences and seminars.” States Chris Cipriano, President of Cipriano Landscape Design, “The biggest complaint I hear from tile installers across the industry is that when they show up to a job site, they arrive to a gunite pool that has not been properly prepared for the glass tile installation.”

To give you an idea, glass tile while incredibly beautiful will also magnify any imperfection that may exist in the gunite shell. If the walls are not perfectly plum, floors not level, or the radius of curves not accurate, than the glass tile pattern will not match up across the pool. When the gunite shell is deemed not ready by the tile installers, the tile installer has to reconstruct walls or perform what is called a build out.

A build out is the process of adding thin layers of concrete to correct imperfections in the gunite pool shell. Build outs are used to make walls plum, floors level or fix the radii of curves in order to get the gunite shell to its true form. The single biggest hidden expense to a glass tile pool client is the reconstruction of the pool and the build out. Unfortunately through my experience of talking to tile installers they are still a regular occurrence due to poor planning. A tile budget usually includes up to a 1/2” for a build out, as there are always some small corrections that need to be made. Some pools are so poorly prepared that the build out can add up to an additional 50% onto the total cost of the tile installation to the homeowners.

Another issue that I have seen arise is homeowners switching from plaster to glass tile late in the construction of the pool. At one of our projects in Alpine we were called in to finish a pool because the previous contractor was fired for various reasons and the pool was in horrible condition. After seeing our portfolio the homeowner changed the finish of the pool to glass tile instead of plaster. When we took our measurements to see if the pool was true to form, we found that the 25’ by 15’ pool was 6” out of square and the floor was 9” off level. The build out and wall reconstruction that was needed to correct this was extremely expensive for the client.

If a pool is supposed to be plastered, most builders are not concerned whether or not the walls are perfectly plumbed or if the floor is level from side to side because it is very hard to tell looking at a plaster finish underwater. If a client switches from plaster to tile it is not until the tile installer shows up that they realize how out of whack the pool really is. Most of the best tile installers come from out of state so they aren’t at the job site all along monitoring the process and only show up when the pool is supposedly ready for tile.

Because we build our inground pools and are the tile installer we have incredible advantages over competitors. We know exactly what needs to be done each step of the way and can make sure everything is perfect for when the glass tile is ready to be installed. We can guarantee that the tile is installed correctly and that the clients will not be burdened with the expense of having to pay for reconstructing walls or a significant build out. It cannot be said enough though how important it is to let your designer know early that you are interested in an all glass tile finish.

You may be wondering then, is glass tile worth it? Absolutely! It’s hard to argue with the elegant finished look of shimmering glass tile when viewed through the water. The end result and seeing the homeowner’s excitement with their new luxury pool makes all of the extra work and preparation worthwhile. As a homeowner, if a luxury custom pool is something you’ve dreamed about and an all glass tile pool is an option for you, than make sure you convey that information as early as possible in the pool design process and work with a pool builder experienced in installing glass tile. You want someone who you can trust to give you all of the information, and who has successfully installed numerous complex glass tile pools before. Working with the right pool designer and builder will save you time and money and allow you to enjoy your new luxury pool without expensive overruns and delays.

If you have any questions at all about designing or installing an all glass tile custom pool, please Email or call our landscape architecture office and ask for Bill Moore, at 201-785-0800