Adding a design to the bottom of your pool? You’ve got a couple of options depending on the use case and budget. Adding custom emblems or graphics can be a great idea if you are looking to add that extra ‘pop’ to your swimming pool, and also extremely effective branding if that is your goal.
In this post, I’ll break down what you need to know about the different materials you can go with, and how to go about getting them installed.
Vinyl pool emblems: Perfect for parties and events
You may have seen those fancy resort hotels or rooftop pools with custom lettering or logos. These types of bottom of pool designs most likely fall into the category of vinyl pool emblems. A company called AquaArt actually specializes in these custom PoolArt™ images that you can have customized with your own logo or design.
Vinyl pool emblems are great if you are simply looking for a more temporary solution for a party or event. Vinyl ideal as a decorative piece or for corporate branding, but not a permanent solution. Vinyl pool emblems basically cling to the surface of the bottom of the pool due to hydraulic forces and the weight of the mat.
Vinyl pool emblems don’t require any adhesion to install. Simply drop them in your pool, and they will float to the bottom.
- Relatively inexpensive
- Easy to install
- Can be easily removed and repositioned if desired
- Tend to fade rather easily, especially in saltwater
- May wear out over time
- Some are not resistant to some pool cleaners or manual vacuums
- Need to be removed when painting
Where to buy vinyl pool emblems
Some local pool installers offer standard or customization vinyl pool emblems; if not, you can always order them online and have them added on installation. Just provide the specifications of the file you will need to provide a designer in order to have these ordered.
There are a few online websites that allow you to do this, including PoolMats.net. They offer a template that you can forward to a designer you either know or find online. I’m a big fan of using Upwork or Fiverr for logo design, since you can find designers at a pretty reasonable rate.
Simply upload your design to the website or deliver it to your designer, and you’re on your way.
How to order a custom pool mosaic
Custom pool mosaics are created by artists using materials like glass, porcelain, or ceramic; companies like AquaBlueMosaics.com provide skilled artisans to create custom pool mosaics that can then be installed by a professional installer.
AquaBlue Mosaics I’ve found has quite a few of these large mosaics, ranging from typical dolphin or starfish designs you would traditionally see in most custom pools, to more expensive center medallion pieces for a more sophisticated and less cartoonish look.
Your local pool installer should give you a variety of options for installing either small tiles or larger ones, depending on your preference.
Covering your pool bottom with mosaic tiles
Many custom pool builders now install glass mosaic tile on the entire pool surface, including on the bottom and the side of pool. This is probably the most expensive route, but can really make your pool stand out among the rest.
Glass tiles for a pool bottom
For bottom of pool designs, it’s a good idea to select something durable like glass, although this is the most expensive option. Most people opt for ceramic or glass waterline tiles, but if you’re planning to tile the entire pool, you can technically use these. Just keep in mind that maintenance will be significantly more than concrete or plaster.
One thing to note, is that with technology, they actually make glass sheets (with a mesh backing) which makes them a lot easier to install. Most of the pool builders will have a few patterns to choose from, ranging from mermaids, to starfish, and everything in between.
Using small glass mosaic tiles in sheets is more affordable than it used to be (because they come in sheets), but if you desire a custom design made of these small mosaic tiles, just be prepared to spend more.
Glow in the dark tiles
Yes, you read it right, glow in the dark tiles is a thing. These can be a little more difficult to find, but are really stunning at night, especially if you have underwater pool lights reflecting off of them.
These can be found at AquaBlu Mosaics or on Amazon, and really look cool on ledges and steps in my opinion. Google these, and see what I mean1
Things to keep in mind with bottom of pool mosaic tiles (with mesh)
Mosaic mesh can be a problem, when used with a water based additive, because when the tiles are placed too close together.
Without grout, and not enough space between them, these tiles can move around due to the pressure of the water, potentially dislodging them or forming a ridge.
Just something to keep in mind or discuss with your pool installer.
Underwater murals and painted designs for your pool
If you’re thinking about a really custom design for the bottom of your pool, another option is to have a mural painted. This can be done using special underwater epoxy or acrylic paint, depending on your budget.
Most of the epoxy paints will be more expensive, but also last a bit longer. You will want to pick a good range of paints to work with if your logo or design has different colors.
Based on my research, many pool paints range from light to dark blue, although some are tinted and you can technically find other colors. Whenever getting a design painted, finding a local muralist or painter can be a great option.
How Long Do Bottom of Pool Designs Last?
Although the answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, the longest lasting material you can use is obviously tile (as well as the most expensive).
According to Davy Merino at IntheSwim, an online retailer of these paints, here are some general guidelines as to how long each material is expected to last:
- Tile: Indefinitely, if cleaned properly
- Painted mural: 5 to 7 years
- Vinyl mats: 2-3 years
Installation and cleaning of bottom of pool emblems
For installing anything permanent, any pool builder or contractor will be able to give you a basic quote, as well as potentially recommend an artist that you may need for custom work. A good luxury swimming pool installer should have a list of recommended artists if you need custom work done, so just be sure that whatever installer you go with has this ability.
Cleaning vinyl or tile bottom of pool artwork
Most of of the more temporary vinyl are compatible with automatic pool cleaners, so you really don’t have anything to worry about there. With any tile emblems you install, these will obviously be safe for vacuum cleaners, but you should be careful whenever using a pressure washer for intricate designs.
Where to Buy
Depending on the route you’re looking to go, your pool installer should be able to point you in the right direction for ordering the materials you need to get started.
If you are looking to install a temporary vinyl or mosaic mat, you can actually find these on marketplaces like Amazon, as well as may online pool store.
This circular design I found on Amazon for a couple hundred dollars, but you can find other similar designs as well. Like any temporary solution, these are great for parties and occasional use, but simply won’t hold up over the course of time.
All in all, custom designs and emblems are a great way to make your pool stand apart from the rest. Whether or not you have permanent mosaic installed or go with a DIY option, they’re sure to make for some great photographs and memories.