Porcelain stoneware: which tiles to choose for an inground swimming pool

June 15, 2021

Feinsteinzeug: Die Wahl der passenden Fliese für einen im Boden eingelassenen Swimmingpool

by Sara Costi

Once the privilege of a select few, a pool has now become a more feasible dream, thanks to the variety of different solutions on offer: inground, on-ground, above-ground, self-supporting and waterjet pools.

Swimming pools require excellent technical performance and a very careful approach to design and construction, in terms of both the critical issues regarding the project and the type of materials required.

What coverings to choose for an inground swimming pool

Inground swimming pools require not only the right morphological conditions of the ground; specific attention must also be paid to choosing both the right size and model and the material to be used for tiling it, as well as the right water recirculating system.

The covering material must have a number of particular characteristics: it must be frostproof, non-absorbent, unalterable over time and whatever the weather, resistant to all kinds of stress and chemicals, stains, wear and tear and abrasion. It must also be able to guarantee colour fastness, hygienic, resistant to humidity, moss and mould, and be easy to install and clean.

Identifying the right water circulation system is also particularly important, because it is fundamental to the pool sanitation process. This system channels the dirty water towards the filter for purification, thus guaranteeing constant monitoring of the safety and hygiene parameters. Choosing the right system is essential, because it will also influence the choice of covering materials for the different pool edges.

Outdoor flooring, pool edge: Pietra Baugè Beige

Inground swimming pool: skimmer edge

The skimmer edge is the most common system, because it is the easiest to build and therefore the most economical. It is characterised by the presence of openings commonly known as “skimmer holes”, which, together with the plug at the bottom, suck in the water and channel it towards the filtering system, before returning it to the pool through the inlet vents on the walls of the pool. For this circulation system to work properly, the water level can never reach the edge of the pool, and must be kept about 15/20 cm below the perimeter edge. In order to function correctly and suck away the water and dirt from the surface, at least half of the rectangular skimmer hole openings must be free from water, so they cannot be positioned right on the edge of the pool.

This type of pool is undoubtedly the simplest, and does not require a compensation tank or additional works. This system is generally used in small pools, and its main function, in addition to giving users something to hold onto, is to prevent the water present on the poolside from entering the pool.

Example of a pool with a skimmer system - Inside of the pool and external flooring: Mineral Chrom Grey
Example of a pool with a skimmer system - Inside of the pool and external flooring: Patio Beige

Inground swimming pool: infinity edge

In “infinity” pools, the water reaches the perimeter edge, forming a sort of visually appealing “mirror” effect that in some circumstances can be described as an ‘infinity view’. The grids, slits or channels of the infinity system allow the water that flows over the edge to be collected in a compensation tank, from where it is then channelled into the filtering system. Here, the water is treated and sent back into the pool through the return inlets that are generally positioned on the pool bottom. Thanks to this system, the water flows towards one of more lowered edges, creating an optical effect that gives the impression of swimming in a pool that goes on forever. Infinity pools can be personalised in many ways: depending on requirements and on the space available, the infinity edge can be created on all four sides, or just one.

Outdoor flooring: Patio Grey
Example of a private pool with infinity edge on just one side - Mineral Chrome White
Example of a private pool with infinity edge and channels - Inside of the pool and external flooring: Marte Crema Marfil

The infinity edge is more complex to create, because the pool must be perfectly level to allow the water to overflow evenly on all sides. In addition, it requires a channel to be created right around the perimeter edge, to be covered with a grid, as well as a compensation tank, which must have the same waterproof characteristics as the swimming pool. The compensation tank has a particularly important function, in that it compensates the volume of the water, which, as a result of various factors, tends to diminish regularly, thus helping to maintain an optimal level so that the overflow can function correctly. Thanks to the mirror effect created, pools with infinity edges are a particularly attractive, designer solution, and the constant exchange of water due to the overflow system means that the surface of the water can be kept clean all the time, boosting hygiene.

Example of a private pool with infinity edge - Inside of the pool and external flooring: Pietra Baugè Antracite

Porcelain stoneware: the Casalgrande Padana collections for swimming pools

In addition to the two classic stoneware lines Elementi and Landscape, the extensive Casalgrande Padana range offers a number of collections with a particularly sophisticated style, thanks to the leading-edge production technology employed.

The options offered include the stone-effect tiles from the Amazzonia, Basaltina, Marte, Mineral Chrom, Pietra Baugè and Pietre di Paragone collections, and the wood-effect tiles from the Country Wood and Newood collections. The range is completed with an extensive choice of both single-colour and mixed mosaics. The 2x2 cm mosaic tesserae, just 3 mm thick, can be used to tile curved surfaces, edges and corners on both horizontal and vertical surfaces of any shape, both in pools and in the surrounding areas. This versatile resource can be used by designers to recreate the appealing shades of colour of water and create pleasant backgrounds on walls.

The selection of stoneware collections for tiling the bottom and edges of pools or for paving the poolside area, specifically studied to guarantee style and safety (thanks to the anti-slip surfaces), as well as durability and hygiene, is complemented with trims such as grids and channels for the outside of the pools.

Infinity edge and channels - Inside of the pool and external flooring: Marte Crema Marfil

Maximum hygiene with Bios Antibacterial®

Bios Antibacterial® is the exclusive silver-based treatment Casalgrande Padana applies to its tiles, and which is able to eliminate 99% of the bacteria present on the ceramic surface. The antibacterial capacity is permanently incorporated into the stoneware tiles, and is active at all times, both in the presence of light and in the dark, and does not require UV rays for activation.

Bios Antibacterial® uses a silver ion technology that blocks the metabolism of bacteria, eliminating them and preventing them from spreading, with efficacy tested on the four main strains of bacteria. Following strict laboratory tests, Bios Antibacterial® proved capable of eliminating 99% of the four main strains of bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The protective shield formed by Bios Antibacterial® is always active, day and night, with or without sunlight, and does not require UV rays for activation. The exclusive formula of Bios Antibacterial® guarantees excellent performance in all lighting conditions, and even when there is no light whatsoever. Bios Antibacterial® treatment is composed of the dispersion in water of silver nanoparticles, incorporated irreversibly into the tile body during the production process.

The active principle of Bios Antibacterial® is based on the use of silver, a noble material used in the production of everyday objects (cutlery, teapots, coins, ornaments), and renowned for its antibacterial properties since ancient times. Small amounts of the additive are sufficient to obtain an efficient treatment. Silver is also absolutely harmless for health, non-allergenic in contact with the skin, and does not give off substances that are harmful for the environment.

Lastly, the antibacterial treatment is permanently incorporated into the ceramic product, so the wear and tear of the flooring has no impact on the antibacterial performance of the tile.

External covering: Pietra Baugè Beige
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