What is the Better Choice of Pool -- Fiberglass or Gunite?

Whether you are a swimming pool industry specialist or homeowner looking to install the perfect pool, it is important to determine the type of swimming pool that will suit you best. Swimming pools come in various forms, with gunite (concrete) and fiberglass being the most popular. Here is a detailed comparison of the two to assist you in making the right decision.

What Are the Long-term and Short-term Investments?

When it comes to costs incurred for installation and lifetime maintenance, fiberglass pools win this round. They are less expensive to install and have less long-term structural maintenance costs. On the other hand, gunite pools can prove to quite a burden on your wallet. Besides the initial installation charges, they also require periodic renovations, generally every 8- 12 years, that can be quite costly. Liner replacement, acid washing, resurfacing and retiling can be financially draining. In both types of pools, however, you will need to purchase pool filter cartridge replacements to maintain excellent water quality.

What is the Durability Factor?

Both fiberglass and gunite pools offer long-term durability. Fiberglass pools have a gel coat finish that is very durable and hence will make them last for about 20- 25 years. The gel coat finish may need to be replaced every ten years. Gunite pools are extremely robust, and the interior finish is relatively resistant to damage from debris. A high-quality finishing product can further increase the longevity of a pool but note that a salt chlorine generator can corrode plaster-based finishes easily. Lack of debris can also prolong the life of a Filbur pool filter cartridge replacement.

What is the Maintenance Needed for the Pool?

Fiberglass pools have non-porous interior walls that reduce the chances of algae growth, thus the need for regular chemical addition to the water is reduced. Gel coat finishes have little impact on the pH of pool water. On the other hand, the plaster finishing in gunite pools makes the water alkaline which requires hydrochloric acid treatment more often. Weekly cleaning of tiles with a brush can help you get rid of algae. Fiberglass pools use less energy and do not require filter cartridge replacements as often as gunite pools. For instance, a Hayward pool filter cartridge replacement is recommended be done every 1- 2 years with a fiberglass pool.

What is the Pool Customization Options?

The choice in shape and size of fiberglass pools is less flexible than gunite. Fiberglass pools are pre-manufactured, so you are limited by the range of molds that the pool manufacturer offers. They are usually about 16 feet wide, 40 feet long, and can be at most be 8.5 feet deep. However, gunite pools allow you to be creative with extensive options to dimensions and accessories. They can be literal works of art with beach entries, vanishing edges, overhead tanning ledges, etc. Although the cost per square foot is more, you can have one hundred per cent freedom in making your pool as long, deep or fancy as you wish.

How Much Time is Needed to Install?

You also need to consider the time it will take to install your dream pool. Fiberglass pools take no more than 3- 4 weeks for installation since the pool shell is built offsite. A gunite pool can be a long and messy process and can take from three to six months depending on customization.

What is the Texture of the Interior Surface Finish of Your Pool?

The solid gel coat finish of fiberglass pools is smooth to the touch and therefore will limit abrasions. Additionally, pool shells come with built-in seats, steps and tanning ledges which are also quite smooth, despite having an anti-slip texture. However, the plaster based interior finish in gunite pools is a bit rough in texture and can easily scrape your skin. This can be avoided with tiling, and polished aggregate on the pool floor can make it more comfortable to walk.

It is impossible to say which pool type is better, since both fiberglass and gunite pools differ from each other in several aspects. Either option will provide a wonderful pool experience for you and your family, and these tips should assist in determining which one will work best for you. This way, when the days heat up and you are craving a dip in the pool, you have made sure you have the perfect one!