26 August 2016
Glass pool finishes: pros and cons
With pool design and construction technology advancing in leaps and bounds in recent years, materials which were once out of reach for those looking to commission a private pool are becoming increasingly affordable and accessible.
We’ve taken a look before at the growing popularity of underwater windows in pools, and with that in mind, let’s turn our attention to one of the most dynamic and unique finish materials out there: glass. Whether you’re after a rustic, artisan look or clean, modern lines, glass is available in a wide range of styles, shapes and sizes.
It’s important to bear in mind that glass may require some special care - as Master Pools Guild point out, you should also consider an “anti-fracture membrane… in frost / freeze climates, this is a must on tile bands and particularly any tiled areas which are above ground, like infinity pools.”
Similarly, glass can be very slippery, so you might want to think twice before placing it in entry/exit areas or anywhere where people will be entering/exiting the pool on foot, such as steps or in shallow areas. Some rows of non-slip tile on the edge of the steps should correct this.
Taking a bit of extra care with glass will ensure it has a long life - it is a robust but often sensitive material. With all this in mind, let’s take a look at just a couple of the ways a glass finish can transform the look and feel of your pool.
A unique property of glass is that it can be painted or stained in any colour of your choosing - while still allowing light to pass through. Unlike ceramic tiles, the colours of which are generally opaque due to the nature of the material, glass does not prove an obstacle to light. This is a result of its natural properties, and the effects it can produce on both light and colour in the water can be positively breathtaking. Combined with quality underwater lights, you can experience a wonderful work of art - your pool - day and night. You can also combine clear glass with white or coloured backing for an even more striking effect.
Mix and match
Glass tiles can be combined with a wide range of other tile materials, giving you a wide range of possibilities when it comes to designing your perfect pool interior. Using a stone or ceramic tiled finish as your canvas in plain colours, you could install a mosaic pattern using glass. As glass is transparent, this can give the mosaic pattern a unique visual depth not available with many other types of finish. Alternatively, you could do it the other way round, with stone or ceramic tiles bringing a punchy visual impact to glass surroundings.