The use of porcelain stoneware in sports centres, public swimming pools, wellness centres and spas

Jan. 18, 2021

L’utilizzo del gres porcellanato nei centri sportivi, nelle piscine pubbliche, nei centri wellness e spa

by Sara Costi

Large swimming facilities, water parks, spa resorts, wellness areas, large spa centres and wellness centres are important architectural works designed to awaken emotions and stimulate the senses, and porcelain stoneware coverings are the material most frequently chosen for these inviting, comfortable settings where the key role is played by water, in all its energy and vigour, or with its calm, relaxing properties.

Multiplex Aquatique du Saint Gilles Croix de Vie (France) – Landscape Ocean and Tundra

The presence of surfaces that are either wet or completely under water means that materials with specific anti-slip characteristics must be used. To meet all kinds of project requirements, Casalgrande Padana has developed a selection of porcelain stoneware collections that offer floors featuring superbly attractive colours and excellent technical performance, with safe, reliable anti-slip finishes that are easy to clean, hygienic and antibacterial.

What Casalgrande Padana has to offer

Landscape Collection

Specifically studied for pool floors and wall coverings, the Landscape collection teams the technical qualities of porcelain stoneware with the distinctive appearance of the various types of mosaics and decorations it is composed of: from those created using the waterjet cutting technique to decorate the waterline, the bottom or the walls of the pool, with customised options also available (Decor Jet), to decorations created by teaming tiles of different formats and colours (Decor Mix), particularly suitable for creating large-size decorative patterns.

St. Priest (France) – Landscape Collection

Elementi Collection

The fully vitrified, non-glazed, full-body coloured porcelain stoneware gives the Elementi collection greater resistance to physical, mechanical and chemical stress, making it suitable – with the right surfaces – for all types of indoor and outdoor flooring in swimming pool areas. The various anti-slip surfaces are all created by profiling the tiles to ensure their original anti-slip coefficients are maintained over time.

Leffrincuke swimming pool (France) – Elementi Collection

Atolli Collection

The offer of porcelain stoneware tiles for swimming pools is completed by the Atolli collection of glass paste mosaics. The 2x2 cm tesserae are just 3 mm thick, and can be used to tile curved surfaces, edges and corners of any shape, both in the pools and in the surrounding areas. Atolli comprises two variants: the plain-coloured mosaics (Atolli-Uni) and the mix of mosaics in different colours (Atolli-Mix); a versatile tool in the hands of the project designer that can be used to recreate appealing shades of water and pleasant backdrops for the wall coverings.

Atolli Collection

From its huge variety of ranges of porcelain stoneware tiles, Casalgrande Padana has also chosen a selection of ceramic collections able to guarantee style, duration and safety, as well as a slip resistance for barefoot areas that makes them suitable for flooring that is mainly wet or covered in water, and thus for use in public swimming pools, wellness centres or spa centres.

The stone-effect (Amazzonia, Chalon, Marte, Mineral Chrom and Pietra Baugè) or wood-effect (Country Wood and Newood) collections selected also come complete with mosaics, decorations and trims.

For all other uses, from the wall coverings of areas adjacent to swimming pools, such as changing rooms, showers and wellness areas, to the floors of common areas such as catering, relaxation or waiting areas, the choice of floor and wall tiles can also be extended to the other porcelain stoneware products in the Casalgrande Padana range.

Marte Collection
Newood Collection

Pool borders and other building elements

Swimming pools, sports facilities and wellness centres are constructions that must be able to guarantee high performance, so they require an extremely careful project approach and construction technique (from water recovery systems to safe coverings for the architectural elements), as well as the use of a large number of ceramic trims to cover particular profiles and adapt to the shapes of the building elements.

Finnish system

The Finnish pool border is an overflow system with a channel for the continual collection and recirculation of the water.

Deck-level Wiesbaden system

The Wiesbaden deck-level border is generally used for indoor pools where, due to space constraints, the total width of the pool edge must be limited.

Wiesbaden deck-level border
Wiesbaden deck-level border

Wall-level Wiesbaden system

The wall-level Wiesbaden system leaves the upper border of the pool completely free, so it does not require any particular finishing trims. This is an older system that these days is mainly installed in particular pools, such as therapy pools or pools that water slides come into.

Zurigo system

The concept of the Zurich pool border is similar to that of the Wiesbaden deck-level system, except for the greater distance between the water collection channel and the overflow edge.

St. Moritz system

The St. Moritz pool border is usually used for therapy pools, or when, due to technical requirements, a part of the pool must remain above ground level. This system is also suitable for creating attractive waterfall effects in play and recreational pools.

Overflow channels

Overflow channels are necessary in all pool areas, to collect the water that ends up around the pools during both swimming activities and floor cleaning operations. A set of trims and systems for this kind of finishes makes it possible to recover water both with specific systems and by creating complete conduits, with or without a covering grid.

Canalette per esterni vasche
Canalette per esterni vasche


Headwalls are generally positioned on the short sides of sports pools, and are often preferred because they are cheaper than overflow systems. Headwalls usually have a width of 50 cm, a height of about 30 cm above the water level and an anti-slip surface. Headwalls should be no less than 35-40 cm wide, so that there is enough space to install prefabricated starting blocks. For a more attractive result, and to optimise times and costs, headwall width and length should be modular with complete tiles and trims.

Low walls, islands and flowerbeds

Low walls, islands and flowerbeds are architectural elements with both decorative and practical functions, used to separate spaces that have different uses. They are becoming increasingly popular in large swimming facilities. For these features, sharp edges must be avoided, and shapes should be smooth or rounded.

Benches and seats

Recreational and play pools are becoming increasingly frequent in swimming facilities to provide a relaxing leisure experience for users; in order to make the most of the toning and relaxing effects of the water, these pools are equipped with loungers or seats below the water level and fitted with different types of massaging water jets. This is why it is preferable and advisable for these elements to have an ergonomic shape to ensure comfort, and rounded edges to prevent accidents.

Benches and seats
Seats and loungers

Stairs and steps

Safety regulations require stairs and steps in swimming facilities to have an anti-slip surface, and the ends of the steps must be fitted with contrasting colour strips to indicate the change in depth between one step and the next. The wide range of porcelain stoneware trims and different surface types allow for the creation of steps measuring 25 cm, 27.5 cm, 30 cm, 37.5 cm and 50 cm, without any cutting required.

Routes for the visually disabled

Casalgrande Padana has also developed the project Granitogres Tactile, a system of relief codes impressed directly on the porcelain stoneware tiles, used to create complete tactile routes able to make it easier and safer for the blind and visually impaired to move around independently in public buildings and in the urban environment in general.

Granitogres Tactile

Bios Antibacterial

In traditional swimming facilities, as well as in modern wellness centres, removing bacteria from surfaces offers significant added value to combat mould, yeast and fungi. Bios Antibacterial® is a range of porcelain stoneware flooring and covering products that can remove up to 99.9% of the four most common bacterial strains present in confined environments: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterococcus faecalis.

On pool borders in particular, the concentration of sebum and dead skin cells combines with germs to create stains and slimy deposits that not only ruin the appearance of the coverings, but can also reduce the anti-slip capacity of the surfaces and make them less safe to walk on. In all these cases, the antibacterial effect of Bios Antibacterial® helps remove unpleasant odours and maintain the anti-slip properties of the tiles, offering a wide-ranging series of guarantees.

The active principle of Bios Antibacterial® is based on the use of silver, a noble material widely employed in the production of everyday objects and with antibacterial properties known since ancient times, so it is non-toxic and absolutely harmless to health, non-allergenic in contact with the skin and does not release substances that are toxic for the environment.

Bios Antibacterial® uses a technology based on the slow, controlled release of silver ions that block the metabolism of the bacteria, removing them and preventing them from spreading. Because this antibacterial treatment is permanently integrated into the ceramic product, the wear and tear of the floor does not alter the antibacterial performance of the tile. The protective shield formed by Bios Antibacterial® remains active day and night, with or without sunlight, and does not require UV rays to activate it.

Overflow channel, outside and inside of pool – Mineral Chrom
Hotel Hubertus (Italy) – Amazzonia Dragon Black

Why choose Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware for tiling swimming pools?

Made exclusively from natural raw materials, Casalgrande Padana porcelain stoneware is free from plastic and harmful substances; it is durable, non-absorbent, resistant to thermal shock, frost and atmospheric agents, as well as chlorine and the most aggressive chemical agents (with the sole exception of hydrofluoric acid). It does not warp, guarantees excellent mechanical resistance, does not decay and maintains colour fastness over time; it is resistant to UV rays, and thanks to Bios Antibacterial® technology, it is able to combat mould, yeast and unpleasant odours in any type of setting, both indoors and outdoors.

Nature, comfort and well-being, as well as safety and durability: a sound combination of technology and contemporary style.

Swimming Pool Vilnius (Lithuania) – Elementi Lava – Landscape Tundra
Swimming Pool Vilnius (Lithuania) – Elementi Lava – Landscape Tundra
Wellness Thermal Complex “Nymhaea” – Oradea (Romania) – Elementi Avorio – Landscape (Bahama, Bay, Baltic, Beach, Carribe, Ocean, Tundra)
Wellness Thermal Complex “Nymhaea” – Oradea (Romania) – Elementi Avorio – Landscape (Bahama, Bay, Baltic, Beach, Carribe, Ocean, Tundra)
Hotel Ajda (Slovenia) – Elementi Talco – Landscape Bay and Tundra Hotel Ajda (Slovenia) – Amazzonia Dragon Chocolate
Hotel Ajda (Slovenia) – Elementi Talco – Landscape Bay and Tundra Hotel Ajda (Slovenia) – Amazzonia Dragon Chocolate
Hotel Hubertus (Italy) – Amazzonia Dragon Black
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