Everyone who loves swimming and spas appreciates the role that ceramic tile plays in spaces like these, where the potential problems that water can cause are substantially reduced by using this material.
Places such as public baths, gymnasiums, spas and hot spring centers, where hundreds of people walk around every day, need a solid material that can withstand permanent dampness, the aggression of water jets and constant abrasive cleaning. The material also needs to offer superior adhesion to provide ultimate sustainability as well as be aesthetically pleasing to complement the layout and design of the venue.
It is true that certain plastics and glass will deliver some of these requirements, but they are not suitable for many applications and are most definitely relegated to second place when issues of safety and efficiency are taken into account. As far as coefficient friction and anti-slip properties, ceramic tile is far superior and a much safer material for around the pool. It is a natural paring, ceramic tile and areas that house water in some manner.
The main feature that is specific to ceramic tiles is the surface glaze, which prevents dampness reaching the body of the tile which, if it is not porcelain, is very porous. With porcelain there is no need for the tile to be glazed as porcelain is in itself virtually impermeable, with an absorption rate of practically 0%. The other fundamental issue to consider is the joins between tiles which, when grouted with the appropriate materials, are guaranteed to be waterproof.
Another advantage to specifying ceramic tile poolside is the easy care and maintenance it provides. The long lifespan is something to consider; ceramic tile is simple to install, it is a material that is competitive in price, and it also saves energy.
Aesthetic variety is another point to bear in mind. Things have moved far beyond the collections that used to show all swimming pools blue and all baths white. Today, floor and wall tiles for baths and public areas are certainly a major item, and can be found in many styles, shapes and colors. Extruded tiles, with their extensive variety of formats and special pieces, have enhanced this area significantly. The products currently available as special systems for swimming pools have increased in recent years and now include porcelain, stoneware, mosaic and extruded stoneware.
Linked to well-being and pleasure, the new leisure culture is enabling the industry to reach new customers. Tile of Spain branded manufacturers have been aware that the match between water and ceramic tile is a long-lasting partnership. Apavisa manufactures ceramic tile for both indoor and outdoor use, and has done a lovely job of creating tile that has been used to seamlessly blend the exterior style to its surroundings to flow directly into any outdoor living spaces. Another Tile of Spain branded manufacturer, Ticsa, with their old world terracotta tiles, brings a Spanish mode to beautifully crafted pools and home spas in a completely different, more traditional style.
Tile of Spain branded manufacturer Rosa Gres has long understood the concept of ceramic tile surrounding and containing water. With a more contemporary approach to design, their soft tones and clean lines of their ceramic tile are synonymous with providing a tranquil vessel for most water situations. Special attention is paid to anti-slip properties in both their solid ceramic tiles, and mosaic details.
We see within various tile categories, satin, polished, matt, overlaid, undulating or smooth finishes, tiles with relief finishes that are barely visible, and finishes that offer everything from classic looks to contemporary designs. There are a multitude of finishes of the most diverse kind that can create personalized spaces for everyone.
Interestingly, we find that in the commercial environment, trends in pools, spas, and public baths are even more whimsical than those of residential spaces. Mostly because creativity in the strategic part of the design takes place because many designers are trying to create environments associated with safety, well-being, energy conservation and health all in a beautiful space. High standards from the public have demanded designers to become more sophisticated with the lay-out of their shapes and spaces.
Ceramic tile has helped to push the envelope in a much more creative direction with its versatile choices and unique sensibilities as an aesthetically pleasing material. Ceramic tile and water: a partnership that should last a lifetime.