Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use glass mosaics outside?
Yes, most of the glass mosaics applications our company does are for exterior applications either to be used as murals, facades or swimming pools. It is composed of glass and does not absorb water or freeze.
2. Does the color fade with time or with sunlight (UV)?
3. Can I use Glass tile on permanently submerged applications as in all-tile swimming pools?
Yes. Of our daily production, around 12,000 sq.ft is produced for swimming pool applications and most are for all-tile pools. We have been specialized in glass mosaic for pools for nearly 65 years, so our products are very reliable and have very good performance.
4. Does glass tile have sharp edges that would be detrimental on a pool floor or spa?
The Kolorines glass mosaics have beveled edges and are designed to be used in pools, spas, and bathrooms, as well as bathroom floors. Before purchasing your tile for these applications, you should avoid tile with sharp edges or tile that would crack with temperature changes, producing sharp edges as well.
5. I have seen on some all-tile hotel pools in the Caribbean that some tiles come off. How can this problem be avoided?
6. Are the tiles affected by chemical deterioration from regular products used in the pools like chlorine, soda, ash, acid cleaners, etc?
No, chemical products like muriatic acid and caustic soda used to balance the pH or products to clean the pool does not affect the mosaics at all. Our glass tile mosaics have the same physical and chemical properties as glass- they are just affected by the rarely used hydrofluoric acid.
7. Are glass mosaic tiles mounted on sheets?
8. Can you help me with installation?
Yes, we can provide advice on installation methods, materials and even recommend a team of installers.
9. Which installation method do you recommend?
We recommend primarily two methods of installation: the thin set method or the mortar wet set method. Both described in the Builder Resources section of this site.
Frequently Asked Questions from Builders
1. How much notice is needed to arrange labor teams?
The average time required to arrange labor teams is approximately 30 days. Teams for pool builders who are not familiar with our installation method or with an all-Kolorines tile swimming pool may take longer to prep. Once the builders are familiar with the method or there is a repeated operation, the installation is easier. A.) Our labor teams and recommended installers will be coordinated by Kolorines, but will only install Kolorines brands. Our glass mosaics are specialized to perform under water and have desired features like: Paper face mounting (post-submersion bond strength) to create full contact with the cement; Bevelled edges to avoid sharp edges; Special design of the chips with improved anchorage which prevents tiles from falling off; Chemical resistance as well as proper annealing to behave correctly in different pool environments (thermal shock resistance); and a wide range of colors and finishes to enhance the beauty of the pools. When you use the experience of our installers, you be able to avoid the main issues in all-tile pools. B.) Once our tile is bought or chosen, blue print or auto cad plans are required for us to plan how many installers are needed. This will also help us determine the deadline of the tile installation and any special requirements like infinity edges, corners, steps and benches, attached spas, border tile and mosaic designs. C) It is important to determine the installation method required in advance. We recommend either the traditional mortar bed method which requires a rougher surface and suits shotcrete pools. Floating (1/2″) and installing the glass tiles are done simultaneously. This extra floating levels out unevenness in the substrate and creates an ideal surface to which the tile can be bonded, and better esthetic quality and performance is achieved. If thinset method is used, precise prefloating has to be done by the pool builder and special adhesives or system has to be used before our installers come in. D) Once the method is defined, the installation materials are requested and the fixtures must be ready to receive the tile. Then, labor teams are programmed according to the readiness of the pool.
2. How many sq.ft. can a team do a day on-average?
Once the pool is ready to install and all the materials and tools are at the job site, an official installer and his assistant can cover an average of 100 sq.ft. per day. This can increase or decrease depending on shape of the pool. A rectangular pool with few amenities is faster, and free form pools or pools with infinity edges, circular spas, curved beach entries, grottos, or curved steps may require extra time since rows of tiles are desired. High quality installation on these areas should be preferred over a faster installation, but that must be specified. If the grout is portland cement as in the mortar method, the install time is faster since backbuttering is integrated to the method. But if an epoxy grout or a special color grout not integrated to the cement is desired, the install is slower. If required, two or more teams of two people each can work on larger pools.
3. What is the best way to estimate labor costs?
The labor cost can be arranged per square ft. on items like spas, mosaics, etc or per day. Per square feet price is recommended where big volume and speed are required and for areas not too complicated like field glass tile in simple pools. The per day or per item pricing is recommended when installing on areas where the quality or importance is crucial, like for higher end pools or infinity edges, since leveling of the mortar bed and the mosaic have to be very precise. Other more complicated projects are round spas and curved steps since instead of 1 sf sheets, the installer has to use stripes which follow a curved shape. Borders, mosaics, fish, flowers, corals, murals and designs on the field tile also have to be adjusted. Some questions arise regarding who pays for expenses and transport, per diem and accommodations. The easiest way is to include these expenses is in the price per sq. ft. but these expenses may be reduced for high-volume builders that install several pools and offer work for an extended period of time. For labor cost estimation, the walls & floor surface must also be considered. The pool tank has to be delivered ready to receive the glass mosaics. We recommend if the surface is rough to use the mortar bed installation method (we do a mortar bed aprox. 1/2″ plus mosaic aprox. 3/16″) but if the surface is already smooth and finished we recommend the thinset method with adhesives (we add aprox. 2/16″ of adhesive plus the 3/16″ of mosaic). The mortar bed is similar to what plastering contractors call “brown coat.” It is composed of cement sand and hydrated lime adds workability. We recommend this method since it installs nicely with shotcrete and the pool builder does not have to be very precise with the prefloating as they do with the thinset method. Remember that tile, especially glass mosaics, “copy the shape of the surface.” If the surface is not straight and even, the quality of the installation is affected. With the mortar bed method, the installers are able to float and straighten the wall to a certain level and at the same time the installers apply the glass mosaics on the fresh mortar. The labor is a mixture of plasterer & tile setter. We mention this in the labor costs answer because sometimes the pool tank walls and floors do not have a uniform setting bed, with differences larger than 1″, and additional floating needs to be done. Finally, insurance coverage must also be clarified. These are the main requirements for estimating labor costs. Some high-volume pool builders have reached very competitive pricing once the system of glass time and installation is coordinated efficiently.
4. Sample Availability
For samples, we recommend that you filter the products on our website either by size or by color and once products are chosen, contact Kolorines directly: firstname.lastname@example.org cc:email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org . If a swatch or swatches (small samples glued on transparent plastic usually 1/4 sf, approx 6″x 6″ ) are needed, or if you are a pool builder ask for the complete sample boards.
5. Lead time on tile not in stock at the San Antonio Kolorines Facility
The estimated or average lead time on tile that is not in stock in San Antonio is 2-3 weeks in pallet quantities (favorites or basics are less).
6. What is the turnaround time for a quote once plans are received by Kolorines?
7. How to handle pools with in floor cleaning systems?
Our glass mosaics are easily cut with nippers (with tungsten tip). Installers have to cut the tiles in a similar way they are cut for jacuzzi jets or pipes. This may slow the speed of installation when field glass mosaics are applied. If a design with borders, medallions or underwater scenes like corals are present, the plan of the in-floor cleaning system must be provided in advance so the mosaic is adjusted and in-floor cleaning heads can be integrated in the decoration.
8. What type of materials, transportation, etc. is required to be supplied by the builder?
The materials required depends on the chosen method of installation. The method we recommend for a rough surface is the Mortar bed method. This provides a good mechanical bond for the mortar bed where you need to compensate irregularities in the walls or floors (no more than 1/2″ thick). The mortar bed method requires portland cement type 1, hydrated lime, and washed plaster sand for masonry purposes. Grout- laticrete permacolor select or spectralock epoxy grout- are used for masonry purposes. If experienced installers from our team are requested, we have to fly them in. They cannot fly with tools, so tools of the trade are requested. Where the walls are smooth, plumbed and leveled, we recommend the Thinset method and we use the Laticrete system. Transportation, accommodation, coordination and per diem expenses can be included in the sq. ft. cost or may be handled separately. For high-volume builders, it is better to separate these expenses since they can be optimized. If the builder is installing only one pool, it is better that all expenses are included.
9. Are reference jobs available in written form and are any customers available for references by phone?
We have worked with several builders in the U.S. on residential pool projects. The highest volume builder is Buzz Ghiz, president of Paramount pool cleaning systems and former president of Paddock pool builders. We completed with him approximately 450 all-tile Kolorines pools. In Texas, we have worked with builders including Creative Environments, John Pack, Lew Akins, Scott Waldo, Tyler Worthy, Da-Vida pools, Blake French, Pay Ryan and Greg Smith of The Swimming Man. In Florida and the Caribbean, we work with Brian Van Bower through our distributer Mosaicist. The main distributer we have worked with over the years has been Dal-Tile from Texas (for 40 years), particularly Harold Turk, the former CEO. In Hawaii and The Bahamas, we work with several residential and commercial pool builders. In the hospitality industry, Kolorines tiles have been utilized by many hotel chains and some famous casinos like the Bellagio or hotels like the Grand Wailea in Hawaii and the Atlantis in Dubai, which was specified by EDSA, a well-known U.S. construction company based in Florida. Our brochure includes many more hotels in worldwide locations that can be used as references.
10. How is waterproofing handled?
We recommend two main installation methods and waterproofing can be integrated on special cases, generally depending on method chosen. Waterproofing, expansion joints (in case an architect or pool builder specifies them) and structure of the pool is the responsibility of the builder and not of the tile manufacturer. The concrete tank must be water tight, and generally before tile work is started, test by filling with water. On shotcrete pools, our mortar method is similar to plaster since it has three layers: the scratch coat, the mortar bed and a pure cement slurry for backbuttering the sheets (field report ceramic tile institute 66-2-9 (r85) plus the grout).