The homeowners of a private residence in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, wanted a resort-like pool to be built in their backyard and for it to coalesce with the surrounding stunning natural landscape — Okanagan Lake in particular. They wanted to take full advantage of the view, starting from the pool and reaching out to the natural scenic backdrop. To achieve the design goals, three collections of tile – each whose color complements the shades of the lake’s water — were used for the design of their 4- to 10-foot-deep pool.

Before making a final decision of which tile to use, the homeowners considered several options. “Several showrooms were definitely visited and tile samples were brought home,” said the homeowner. “Quality was the ultimate factor in choosing the tile. Due to our geographical location and the severity of our winters, the tile had to be guaranteed for freezing conditions.

“Color was the next important factor in choosing the tile,” continued the homeowner. “It was important that a color complementary of the lake would be achieved with the tile that was installed.”

The homeowners chose porcelain and glass mosaics that would achieve their goals. Blue ceramic tile with a glossy finish in the color “Ocean” was used on the vertical surfaces such as the walls and on the vertical part of the trough’s surface. The tiles, which are an exclusive line from Noble Tile of Phoenix, AZ, were also used as a decorative inlay of the perimeter of the pool’s floor. The tiles measure 3 x 3 inches and came on a 12- x 12-inch meshed-back sheet.

Great Britain Tile Inc. of Land O’Lakes, FL, supplied that tile to be used for the decorative scum line, which is located below the water line. These were Daltile’s Cristallo 4- x 4- and 1- x 8-inch glass tiles with a thickness of 5/6 inch in the color “Aquamarine.”

In order to complement the shades of blue, the design also incorporates a white ceramic tile — manufactured by Agrob Buchtal Ceramics in Germany and supplied by V.P. Tile Imports Ltd of Delta, British Columbia — for the pool’s floor surfaces. The 4- x 4-inch individual white tiles have a non-slip surface.

Overcoming harsh conditions

Once the tiles were selected, installers from Exquisite Tile Surfaces in Kelowna, British Columbia, could begin the installation of the interior of the pool as well as a small portion of the exterior of the pool around the fiberglass hot tub.

INSTALLATION DETAILS

INSTALLER: Exquisite Tile Surfaces, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

TILE PRODUCTS:  3- x 3-inch tiles in the color “Ocean” from Noble Tile of Phoenix, AZ; 4- x 4- and 1- x 8-inch glass tiles in the color “Aquamarine” from Daltile’s Cristallo Collection, supplied by Great Britain Tile Inc. of Land O’Lakes, FL, and 4- x 4-inch non-slip white ceramic tile from Agrob Buchtal Ceramics in Germany and supplied by V.P. Tile Imports Ltd of Delta, British Columbia

INSTALLATION PRODUCTS: Ardex Ardifix Low Viscosity Rigid Polyurethane, Crack and Joint Repair, Ardex 8+9 Waterproofing and Crack Isolation Compound, Ardex X 77 Microtec Fiber Reinforced Thin Set Mortar, Ardex WA Epoxy Grout and Adhesive from Ardex Americas of Aliquippa, PA

NUMBER OF INSTALLERS: an average of 3 per day

INSTALLATION TIME: 8 weeks

With three installers on site at all times, the installation time went from the beginning of June to the end of July 2013. Weather conditions stood out as being the biggest challenge to the installation of the tiles. “The direct sun and rain was most concerning, so we constructed a shrink-wrapped ‘roof’ to cover the entire pool project,” explained the homeowner. “This created a dry environment, and it worked better than a blue tarp.”

The homeowners were on site everyday to help combat any issues that may have come up. “The tile setters we hired were absolutely fabulous, and their quality of workmanship impeccable,” said the homeowner. “We were only there to deal with layout or design issues.”

With the weather and design challenges accounted for, the tile installers could focus solely on overcoming the challenges that came with setting the tile. To do this, they had decided to use Ardex Products, including Ardex Ardifix Low Viscosity Rigid Polyurethane, Crack and Joint Repair, Ardex 8+9 Waterproofing and Crack Isolation Compound, Ardex X 77 Microtec Fiber Reinforced Thin Set Mortar and Ardex WA Epoxy Grout and Adhesive.

Ardex provided a 10-year SystemOne Warranty on the complete Ardex Tile & Stone Installation Systems installation. This warranty assured the installer and homeowners a durable and dependable installation.

“Ardex products are superior, and they can handle the stress that comes with being in harsh, winter weather conditions,” said Christian Bader, owner and president of Exquisite Tile Surfaces. “Specifically, a big help with this project was the product Ardex X 77 Thin Set Mortar. Ardex 77’s strength and flexibility helped enormously with this project because it is a non-sag product. When you apply the tile on the wall, it won’t slide down on you.”

The installation was very time consuming, and overall, very detail oriented. “It was not a quick installation,” said Bader. “In addition to the tiling, waterproofing and grouting, we had to put a scratch coat on every tile.”

Since its completion, there has been overwhelming satisfaction with the project. “It is absolutely breathtaking,” said the homeowner. “We were not quite prepared for the beautiful results, as this is the first pool we have ever built.”

Furthermore, because the installation was done in time, the pool was ready to go for its first major event — hosting family and friends for a graduation party at the home.