10 May 2023, Read Time : 8 Min

Pool Tile Cleaning – Maintenance & Care

wood look swimming pool tiles

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The sweltering summer is here and with the rise in temperatures it is getting more and more enticing to splash in a pool or even lounge around it. A question that comes into our heads when the word pool is mentioned is – how is the maintenance of the pool? One of the key elements of a pool is the tiles used inside the pool as well as around it. Maintaining these tiles is just as important as keeping the water clean. Unclean tiles can be a breeding ground for germs. 

From the traditional plain ceramic tiles to the contemporary mosaics – tiles help infuse personality into your swimming pool, elevate its look and also protect your pool against buildup of minerals. 

So, how to maintain your pool tiles? Is there a different routine for indoor vs. outdoor pools? Which tiles should be used around the pool?

If these are the questions that plague you, read on to know more!

Common Problems Faced In Swimming Pool Tiles

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Swimming pools can be fun, but they also need work and regular maintenance, without which your pool will turn into a mess.

With swimming pool tiles there are mainly three issues: 

  • Calcium Buildup
  • Scale,grime, grease and dirt
  • Green Algae Buildup

Calcium buildup is one of the most common issues when it comes to maintaining swimming pool tiles. The white, scale-like buildup that you often see is a result of increased alkalinity or pH levels. This causes the calcium carbonate present in the pool water to separate and form a buildup on the tiles.

Apart from this, this buildup can also be attributed to:

1. Heat

With the increase in temperature the water in the pool evaporates at a quicker rate and leaves behind the calcium deposits that slowly build up on your tiles. This issue is more prevalent in the tropical areas of the country, where summers are long and hot.

2. Hard Water

If the water supply you receive is hard water there is an increase in the amount of calcium buildup on your swimming pool tiles.

Green algae, on the other hand, can not only make the water of the swimming pool unhealthy and unhygienic, but also make your swimming pool tiles highly slippery and lead to accidents. Green algae can build up in the swimming pool due to various reasons, such as low or inconsistent chlorine levels, poor filtration, out of balance pH levels or poor water circulation.

Getting Rid Of Calcium Deposits

Water and vinegar has been known to work for thin layers of deposits. However, if that does not work for you, you can replace the vinegar with muriatic acid or buy some ready, store-bought gentle pool tile cleaner.

person cleaning swimming pool with jet spray

If the calcium deposits are thicker or your pool is too big to be able to manually scrub each tile you can also use a pressure washer. Pressure washers can easily be rented or bought for long term use. Use it on a low setting and make sure you do not pressure wash loose, cracked or broken tiles and you are good to go!

Getting Rid Of The Algae

While preventing algae buildup is the best way to go, if algae does develop in your pool, you should get rid of it as soon as possible. Here is how:

  1. Check the chemical levels of your water and adjust them accordingly.
  2. Clean out your pool filter to make sure there is no algae in the filter.
  3. Thoroughly brush the tiles, steps, and walls of the swimming pool to get rid of the built up layers of algae.
  4. Shock the pool with calcium hypochlorite and do this post sunset as the sun can burn off the chlorine.
  5. Test the water level again to make sure there is enough chlorine.
  6. Add algaecide and allow it to circulate for at least 24 hours.
  7. Vigorously brush all the surfaces of the pool again.
  8. Use a pool vacuum to get rid of all the debris and algae from the water.
  9. Run the filter for 24 hours or until the water is clear.
  10. Clean your filter again as during the process of shocking and cleaning algae can enter the filter again.

Cleaning Out The Grout

The grout is an area that is prone to algae growth and should be cleaned regularly to prevent algae buildup. If you find algae in the grout, rub the grout with a stiff scrubber and once all the algae is out, rub in a chlorine tablet. After cleaning it, shock your pool so that there is no algae re-growth.

Difference Between Maintaining An Indoor Pool Vs. An Outdoor Pool

indoor swimming pool

The maintenance tip for a pool will vary based on the location the pool is installed in. It is important to understand how the location of the pool affects the maintenance process of the tiles. Indoor pools and outdoor pool maintenance will differ because the exposure to dust, sun varies. 

Another thing you need to keep in mind is that the impurities and contaminants will be a lot greater in outdoor pools than indoor pools. So, outdoor pools require a more thorough and regular skimming and cleaning routine as opposed to a once a week cycle for irregularly used indoor pools.

The process of shocking will also be different for both types of pools. Since the outdoor pools are often exposed to direct sunlight in daylight hours, the algae growth is reduced. Indoor pools often do not have access to direct sunlight. This means that you will need to add an extra UV based treatment system to your indoor pool to battle algae growth.

While adding chlorine to an indoor pool make sure your area is well ventilated as chlorine releases contaminants into the air, which can prove to be lethal in a confined, non-ventilated space as with no place to go these contaminants will end up in the water. With outdoor pools you do not need to worry about this.

Which Tiles Should You Use Around The Pool?

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The choice of tiles for the deck is paramount – not just from a safety and maintenance perspective, but also from an aesthetic perspective. Today, there is a wide variety of tiles available in a variety of designs, colours and sizes for you to choose from.

These tiles are manufactured using ceramic and vitrified materials that have low porosity and absorb minimal water, making them a great choice for your pool decks. From rustic natural wooden tiles to rustic stone tiles you can find the right look for your space with tiles.

Common Pool Maintenance Tips

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Here are some pool maintenance tips that are standard across both indoor and outdoor pools:

Pool Cleaning Routine

Cleaning is the first and basic task to perform while maintaining your pool. A dirty pool will make your pool unsafe, leading to allergic reactions and illnesses. Invest in a good pool brush, a pool vacuum and a net for easy cleaning. If your pool often gets thick scales, it would do well to look into investing in a pressure washer too.

leaf floating in swimming pool

While cleaning the pool, the first step is to get rid of all the floating debris from the surface of the water using the pool net. Then, move onto fishing out the sunken debris, such as rocks. Scrub your tiles using a mix of vinegar and water or a tile cleaning solution until you get rid of all the buildup. Pressure wash if necessary and do not forget the grout lines. This is a task that needs to be performed on a weekly basis to keep your pool clean.

Pool Chemistry

chemicals to clean the swimming pool

After you are done cleaning the pool, the next important task is to work out the chemicals you need for your pool. This will ensure safety while swimming and also prevent bacterial and fungal growth.

Start by testing the water – this will help you determine the composition and the chemicals needed to balance it. The pH levels of the water should be between 7.4 to 7.6 – anything lower will make your water too acidic to swim in and anything higher will make the water basic.

The alkalinity of the pool should be between 100 to 150 parts per million (ppm). Higher alkalinity can result in a flourishing environment for algae growth and should be avoided.

Lastly, check the chlorine or sanitizer level. This will depend upon the type of sanitizer you use.

Pool Circulation

Pool circulation machine

One of the biggest issues of a swimming pool is the stagnant water. It is imperative that the water is constantly circulating to prevent cloudy water and algae growth. Ideally, your filter should be running 24/7, but if that is too much, ensure that the filter is on for at least 10 to 12 hours a day. If there is regular pool usage, it is best to run the filter even longer.

Make sure your filter is healthy by backwashing it on a regular basis. Backwashing means reversing the flow of the water to clean the water and get rid of the built up contaminants.

Pools are a great addition and while they require extensive maintenance, the benefits we reap from them are high too. A clean pool is important to prevent skin reactions and illnesses, so make sure you keep your pool clean at all times.

Common Pool FAQs

1. How often should you clean your pool tile?

It is best to have your pool cleaned at least twice a year. If your pool has been closed or has not been in use in the cold seasons, it is best cleaned before you open it up again. 

2. Can I use vinegar to clean my swimming pool tile?

Vinegar is a popular home-pool cleaning option. It helps in removing light calcium buildup and grime on the swimming pool tiles. Cleaning with vinegar is a good option for smaller pools. 

3. What  Equipment You’ll Need to Clean the Pool tile? 

The simplest equipment required to clean the pool tiles are stiff bristled brushes, plastic buckets, skimmer nets and not to forget rubber gloves for your hands. 

4. What Materials will you need to clean the pool tile? 

For cleaning a home-pool, you will need vinegar, baking soda and a sponge. You may also choose to opt for a mild commercial tile cleaning liquid.

How Can Orientbell Tiles Help?

Pool tiles are a great way to add some spunk to the pool while providing functional advantages as well. The collection of swimming pool tiles is extensive and has tiles of various sizes, colours, designs and material for you to choose from. While on the website be sure to try TriaLook, the revolutionary tile visualisation tool that makes tile selection and tile buying easy!



Speak to our Tile Expert


Mannika Mitra

Mannika Mitra is an Arts Graduate from the Delhi University & a Post-Graduate Diploma holder in Journalism and Mass Communication. She has worked as a digital producer with new agency; ANI, NDTV & Hindustan Times before joining Orientbell Tiles as a part of their digital and content marketing team. Her interest in interior design and knowledge of tiles comes from her family of architects and Tile Shop owners. In her quest to write useful blogs that help users pick the right tiles and renovation inspiration, she frequently does research with architects, tile dealers among others. Apart from writing content for the website she loves to travel, know about various cultures and binge watch on OTT platforms.

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