How to Install Tile on a Fiberglass Pool

Installing tile on a fiberglass pool is not that much different from regular tile installation. A silicone adhesive is used instead of regular thinset to cope with the water, and a silicone grout as well, but otherwise the process is very similar.

Tile adds an attractive feature to fiberglass pools.

Ensure you have a good weather forecast for the day and a helper for the grouting work; if you can get a number of helpers, then the job will be done before you know it.

  1. Drain the water in the pool down to the bottom of the skimmer hole. Mark the level of the water around the entire pool with a pencil, then drain the pool another 3 inches, giving you your tiling area.

  2. Wipe over the entire tiling area with a clean cloth and acetone to prepare it for taking the adhesive and tile.

  3. Lay a tile sheet, mesh-side upwards, and squeeze on a line of adhesive every 1/2 inch across the back of the tiles. Starting at one side of the skimmer, set the tile onto the side of the pool, the bottom of the tile sheet flush with the pencil mark.

  4. Continue in this manner around the entire pool. Once you are finished, place adhesive on around three or four tile sheets at a time, and set them all in place, one after the other. Stop when you are within around 8 inches of the other side of the skimmer.

  5. Dry fit the last 8 inches of tile—if need be, compress the grout joints between the tiles to get a perfect fit, rather than cutting tile. Set the last tiles in place, then wait a half hour while the adhesive sets properly.

  6. Call your helper in to assist with grouting. Open the grout and place a roughly 2-inch dollop on each tile joint for the first 6 feet of tile. Use the rubber grout float to push the grout in between the joints of the tile.

  7. Mix a bucket of water with a dash of dish soap in it, and have your helper start to scrub off the excess grout from the tile once you have reached around 4 feet along. Work in tandem with the helper—her scrubbing off the excess and you applying the grout—staying around 6 feet apart from each other. Once all the grout is applied and the excess rubbed off, go over the tiles with a sponge to clean off the remaining grout haze. Wait at least 48 hours before refilling the pool.