How to DIY Your Own Pool Tile Installation

Step 1: Plan the Project

Before you start installing pool tiles, it’s important to plan the project thoroughly. This will help you avoid any potential problems that could arise during the installation process. Here are some things to consider when planning your pool tile installation project:

  • Materials: Ensure you have all the materials you need for the project, such as tiles, adhesives, grout, and tools. Make a list of the materials you’ll need and purchase them beforehand.
  • Tile selection: Decide on the type of tile you want to use for your pool. There are many different types of pool tiles available at Choose a tile that is durable, slip-resistant, and complements the overall design of your pool area.
  • Layout: Plan the layout of your tiles and determine how many tiles you’ll need for the project. Use graph paper to create a scale drawing of your pool area and experiment with different tile layouts until you find one that you’re happy with, or hire a designer to assist you with the best look.
  • Adhesive selection: Choose an adhesive that is suitable for your tile type and pool surface. There are different types of adhesives available, such as thin-set mortar and epoxy adhesive. Make sure you select an adhesive that is waterproof and compatible with your tile type, pool surface, and climate.
  • Tools: Make sure you have all the necessary tools for the project, such as a trowel, tile cutter, grout float, and sponge. Rent or purchase any tools you need before you start the project.

Step 2: Prepare the Pool

Before you can start installing pool tiles, you’ll need to prepare the pool. It’s important to note that the steps to prepare the pool for tile installation may vary depending on the pool’s surface. For example, if the pool has a concrete surface, you may need to repair any cracks or damage before installing the tiles. If the pool has a fiberglass surface, you may need to sand the surface to create a rough texture for the adhesive to adhere properly. Make sure you research the specific steps needed for your particular pool surface before starting the installation process to ensure the best results.

Can I Install Pool Tiles Over a Fiberglass Pool?

If you are renovating your pool, here are the steps you should take to prepare your pool for tile installation:

  • Drain the pool: Before you start, you’ll need to drain the pool. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for draining your particular pool type.
  • Clean the surface: Once the pool is drained, clean the surface where you plan to install the tiles. Use a pool cleaner and a scrub brush to remove any debris, dirt, or algae from the surface. Rinse the surface thoroughly with water and let it dry completely.

Step 3: Apply the Adhesive

Once the pool is clean and dry, you can start applying the adhesive. Here’s how to do it:

  • Mix the adhesive: Mix the adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a drill with a mixing paddle to ensure the adhesive is well-mixed.
  • Apply the adhesive: Using a trowel, apply the adhesive to the pool surface in small sections. Start at the bottom of the pool and work your way up. Work in sections to prevent the adhesive from drying out before laying the tiles.
  • Spread the adhesive: Spread the adhesive evenly using the flat side of the trowel. Create grooves in the adhesive using the notched side of the trowel. This will help the tiles adhere better to the surface.
  • Keep the adhesive consistent: Make sure the adhesive is applied evenly and consistently throughout the pool. This will ensure that the tiles are level and properly aligned.

Step 4: Install the Tiles

Once the adhesive is applied, you can start installing the tiles. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place the tiles: Place the tiles firmly into the adhesive, ensuring they are level and evenly spaced. Use spacers to keep the tiles spaced apart. It’s important to work quickly to prevent the adhesive from drying out before placing the tiles.
  • Cut tiles to fit: Use a tile cutter to cut tiles to fit around the edges or in tight spaces. Measure the area you need to cut and mark the tile with a pencil or marker. Place the tile in the cutter and score it along the line. Apply pressure to the tile to break it along the score line.
  • Check alignment: As you install the tiles, check their alignment frequently to ensure they are level and properly aligned. Use a level to ensure that the tiles are even, and use a straight edge to check their alignment.
  • Keep a clean surface: Clean the tiles frequently as you work to prevent the adhesive from drying on the surface of the tiles. Use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe away any excess adhesive.

Step 5: Grout the Tiles

After installing the tiles, you can begin grouting the gaps between them. Here’s how to do it:

  • Mix the grout: Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a drill with a mixing paddle to ensure the grout is well-mixed.
  • Apply the grout: Using a grout float, apply the grout to the gaps between the tiles. Work in small sections and apply the grout at a 45-degree angle to the tiles. Make sure the gaps are completely filled with grout.
  • Remove excess grout: Once you’ve applied the grout, use the edge of the grout float to remove any excess grout from the surface of the tiles. Use a damp sponge to wipe away any remaining grout. Rinse the sponge frequently to keep it clean.
  • Wait for the grout to set: Wait for the grout to set for the recommended amount of time. This will vary depending on the type of grout you’re using. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Clean the tiles: Once the grout is set, clean the tiles with a tile cleaner and a damp sponge. This will remove any haze or residue left behind by the grout.



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Step 6: Finish the Project

Once the tiles are installed and grouted, you can finish the project by doing the following:

  • Fill the pool with water: Wait at least 24 hours after grouting before filling the pool with water. This will give the grout time to set properly.
  • Seal the grout: Once the grout is dry, seal it with a grout sealer. This will help prevent water damage and staining. If you use epoxy grout sealing, the grout is not required.
  • Enjoy your new pool tiles: With your new pool tiles installed, you can now enjoy your pool with a fresh new look.


Installing pool tiles can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. With the right tools and materials, you can transform your pool into a beautiful oasis. However, it’s important to take the time to plan the project carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each step of the process. If you don’t feel comfortable with DIY projects, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional to ensure that they install the tiles properly. With a little effort and patience, you can create a stunning pool that will be the envy of all your friends and family.

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