5 Beautiful Pool Tile Ideas That Will Bring Life to the Water

5 Beautiful Pool Tile Ideas That Will Bring Life to the Water

A visit to the seaside is an exhilarating experience, not just because of the waves and tidal pools, but also because of the variety of interesting sea life that lives in that ecosystem. When simulating the same experience at home with pool tiles, I always try to include both sea life and the look of moving water in my pool tile designs. Pool tile ideas aren’t just limited to fish tiles, though. They include a variety of above ground and underwater creatures that can be as lifelike as the real thing. Here are a few examples.

1. Fishes Instantly Add Motion and Color to Your Pool

Fish tiles can create instant color, motion, and depth to the look and feel of a pool.

A bat fish, for instance, draws the eye instantly to the black and gold colorations along its body.

When a shadow is added within the mosaic design, it creates depth and movement as the image distorts with the water and sunlight on the surface. It’s this type of illusion that makes a pool look alive, not just a flat expanse of antiseptic-looking water.

Include fishes seen from different angles to mimic the look of a real life tidal pool.

The types of fishes you can include in your pool tiles are practically limitless.

Take a look at this striking butterfly and angel fish design to get some ideas for your own pool design.

2. Include Other Aquatic Creatures for Fun

While fishes are the most common elements of a water scene, there’s no reason a turtle or a crab can’t be included too.

A smiling brown sea turtle can add a bit of whimsy to a pool design, while adding to the illusion of life like the one seen in this pool design.

Need some inspiration? Just take a look at this video of 5 of the most beautiful creatures in the sea.

There’s no reason you can’t custom order a neon blue and yellow ribboned eel, like the one included in the video, for you choice of mosaic. You can also include manta rays, starfish, and lobsters to add some color and spice to your aquatic scenes.

3. Create a Custom Aquarium

Imagine you are setting up your own aquarium. You’ll get to choose the inhabitants of your pool and their habitat, except these little ones don’t need feeding to come alive. Brainstorm the type of sea life you want to include and then put it all together in your custom aquarium.

Here’s one that includes numerous unique fish designs, plants, and even a sea shell.

It gives you a very good idea of the possibilities. Like a real life aquarium, you can also change the look and feel of these images with colored lighting options available in pool designs and installations.

Get one look during the day and a completely different one when the light comes on at night.

4. Envision Unique Coral Reef Beds

What is prettier than an ocean garden full of colorful corals? You can have the same look for your pool and make a coral reef the star of pool by putting it in the center of a shallow area in the pool, like this design.

It can be a meeting place for all the aquatic creatures you selected for your custom aquarium. Corals not only lend themselves well to bold color choices, but they can also take on geometric patterns. This provides contrast against the fishes and drama to the bottom of a pool.

Take a look at this fish mosaic for an idea of how to put it all together.

If you prefer, a coral reef garden can be used as subtle backdrop on the sides of the pool (instead of on the bottom) to make you feel like you’re walking along the bottom of a beautiful, coral, sea garden when you hop in.

5. Make Your Water Come Alive Too

Ever notice how hypnotizing it is to watch the water in a tidal pool or the waves crashing into the shore? Why does it seem so hard to capture the same look and feel at home in your aquatic getaway?

It could be because you aren’t capturing the subtle variations of light playing on the water surface that can be simulated with different gradations of pool tiles.

Take a look at this fish mosaic closely.

The beautiful grayish marble blue tiles in the background are not all the same color or pattern. They give a “dappled” look to the bottom of a pool which will change and shift with the shade and sunlight above the pool.

Don’t forget to add a little visual cue to stairways with diamond-shaped mosaic tiles along the edges of each step to help your visitors see the stairway when they get in the water.

If you want to make it more alive, try a waveform pattern along the edge to simulate the waves crashing on the shore.

No More Sterile Pool Designs

Personally, a flat pool design that offers nothing visually evocative can leave me disappointed, since it’s not hard to make that area come alive with sparkle and color. With the use of creative mosaic design, sunlight, color, and shadows, you can create the illusion of motion and life along your pool bottom.

Include stone mosaics as a mesmerizing "watery" backdrop, to make your water have different tones of color and flow, which also adds a lot to the movement of the eye and the play of light in your aquatic scenes. Tiled designs are perfect for a pool and so should be maximized as much as possible.

Did you like the list I created? What was your favorite sea creature? Comment below and let me know what it is.

Any other ideas? Share with us and your friends to let us know what custom pool tile ideas you would include in your next pool design.

About the Author

Nelson Londono founded Artsaics in 1998 after learning the ins and outs of designing custom artistic tiles and stone mosaics. The New York-based surfacing company specializes in producing stunning artistic tiles & stone designs with fine natural stone from around the world. Nelson and his team's passion lies in working with their hands, heads and hearts to make each and every space a unique reflection of self expression. You can learn more about Artsaics here.