A number of years ago I met up with Skip Phillips to look at a few projects he had going on in Colorado. Phillips is a pool
builder and co-founder of the Genesis 3 Design Group. One sunny
afternoon, we drove out to view an all-tile pool he had designed in
a glass-walled room attached to the client’s house. The
project was complete except for a few minor details and one major
one — the water.
It was the first time I had ever seen an all-tile pool in
person. I remember standing there and just staring at the tiny
pieces of glass that flowed effortlessly across curves and around
the inside of a circular spa. The installation was flawless —
no bumps, uneven lines or trimmed rows to break the perfect visual
rhythm. Light poured in through the walls, making the blue tile
shine with a hue somewhere between sapphire and robin’s egg.
That particular shade is my favorite color. I call it the good
Looking at the beauty of that tiled pool gave me an almost
physical thrill, and at that moment I would have handed over all
the cash in my wallet to see it filled with water. Though
it’s been a number of years, I never forgot the impression
that project made. So when senior editor Rebecca Robledo suggested
we publish an in-depth, two-part series on installing glass tile, I
jumped at the idea. Skip’s project was an example of tile
that’s been set properly.
Sadly, not every pool turns out this well. A few key errors,
especially in planning and craftsmanship, can ruin the effect. The
first part of our series discusses how to prepare a concrete
surface so that all unforgiving pieces of glass will lodge with
perfect symmetry around curves and corners. It starts here. Part 2, scheduled
to appear Feb. 29, will discuss the actual placement of the glass.
The package is rounded out by detailed photographs depicting the