How to use natural stone tiles for a modern pool design

Using natural stone for a modern swimming pool design.

In Australia, almost 2.7 million of us have a swimming pool at home – and the figure has increased over recent years, according to Ray Morgan research. If you're thinking of a swimming pool revamp, or are about to join the club, how do you achieve a modern design that's also practical and affordable?

Let's take a look at choosing the best tiles for your design dreams, and the benefits of some of the most popular natural options.

Choosing the right natural stone for your modern pool design

There's a lot you need to consider when designing a pool. Practical decisions include making sure your stone is properly sealed to avoid staining or chemical damage, and ensuring it's suitably non-slip to keep your friends and family safe when they're having fun. Luckily, natural stone presents some great options for blending health and safety with beautiful design.

Pool design encompasses the tiles you use in the water, the surrounding deck and the coping – which is the bit that immediately surrounds the pool. In the water, design tends to be limited to ceramic tiles that are treated so as not to absorb liquid. However, the pool surrounds are open to any design your imagination desires.

For a sleek and neat ultra-contemporary look, choose darker natural stone such as granite or basalt. Meanwhile, if it's a romantic Tuscan feel you're after, opt for lighter coloured tiles like sandstone or try colourful mosaics for a more Moroccan bohemian vibe.

Depending on the type of stone, you might get a variation in colour between tiles which can create an all-over effect. This is seen with green sukabumi, which ranges from jade to emerald. For modern and sleek designs, try stones without much variation, but for a rustic and natural look, why not mix and match the hues?

The finish of your natural stone also has a big impact on the overall feel. For a rural farmhouse vibe, you might opt for a material like limestone, with a hammered or otherwise rough finish. Choose soft, rounded edges if you're after a gentle look that flows into the landscape around it. Opt for straight edges and corners for a polished yet understated look.

The benefits of four of our most popular natural stones

Get the tropical look with green sukabumi

Green sukabumi has become synonymous with tropical Balinese pools and is a great option for luxury design that evokes relaxing holidays. Naturally anti-slip, this unique stone also contains zeolites which contribute to keeping your pool clean. The exact shade of each tile varies so you're guaranteed to have a unique colour scheme.

Invite a natural feel with limestone

Limestone provides a warm feel for a cosy pool area or lighter colour scheme. It's popular for pool surrounds, and is available in a variety of shades from grey through to beige. With the right finish, limestone can bring a rustic feel to your design. Travertine pool tiles are also very popular and are a type of limestone.

Make sure your design lasts with granite

One of the hardest natural stones available, granite is a great option for high-traffic areas, such as pool decks or pavers. A bush-hammered finish provides a non-slip surface. It's also highly water resistant and has a natural shine that creates an elegant look. Some granite contains specks of colour throughout, which provide interest and a touch of sparkle to your project. It works equally well in very modern designs or more traditional surrounds. 

Basalt is a similar stone that's available in a range of colours, and is also a hard wearing and decorative swimming pool option.

Soften your surrounds with sandstone

Inspire an open, beachy feel with the earthy tones of sandstone. It evokes a classic, timeless style suitable for modern or historic buildings alike. Sandstone also has non-slip properties but is highly porous so should be appropriately sealed before being used around a pool. 

Show your luxurious side with marble

Admittedly a more expensive option, marble exudes luxury and quality. It brings a classic and opulent look to your pool design, and glows beautifully when the sun touches its surface. Make sure not to polish your marble or it could be too slippery for use around a pool. It's another of the more porous natural stones around so make sure to seal it first.

At BauMart, we supply a wide range of natural stone tiles and cut them to various sizes to ensure your project looks just as you hoped. Reach out to our friendly team today to talk about how to make your plans a reality.