Credit: Graphic by Denise Baker
Many of the materials used in pool design are very tasteful. A
few surpass that mark and can be called beautiful. A tiny handful
go further still to become art. But only glass tile is sheer
Looking at a pool that’s completely clad in high-quality
glass tile gives me an almost physical sensation of joy like
watching a cheetah run. The rich, luminous colors are otherworldly,
But that phenomenon comes with a price.
Glass tile pools have exploded in popularity in recent years
and, as is often the case when an niche market goes mainstream, the
increase in demand has led to an influx of cheaper product and
installers who don’t know what they’re doing. This in
turn has created more pools with failed tile, angry consumers,
finger-pointing, lawsuits and a black mark on the reputation of the
world’s most spectacular finishing material.
Complicating things even more is the fact that every industry
member you talk with has a different opinion about the severity and
cause of the problems. This makes it challenging to publish a story
that brings clarity to the glass tile issue because there’s
no real consensus on the topic.
But we love a good challenge.
You’ll find Rebecca Robledo’s in-depth look at this
contentious subject, with multiple offshoots and side arguments
fully examined. This article has been a long time in the making,
and frequently over the past few months, when we were talking with
a builder or manufacturer and mentioned what we were working on,
they would perk up and say, “Glass tile! You want to know
what I think? What we have is a situation where
We listened closely to those comments and many others, and now are
reporting on what we heard. Every effort was made to be inclusive
and unbiased. Send a note letting me know if you think we got it