Gunite vs. Fiberglass Pool: Pros and Cons
Published November 22, 2023
Are you planning on constructing a pool in your backyard? The most common types of pools are made of fiberglass or gunite, another term for concrete. While both materials have advantages, they also have downsides you must be aware of.
In this guide, we’ll be looking into a gunite vs. fiberglass pool comparison so you may determine the best type of pool for you. We’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of each material. Besides that, we’ll also explore other things that you should know about. That way, you’ll not be left with any questions. So, without further ado, let’s get right into it!
What Is Gunite Pool?
Gunite pools are concrete pools made of sand, cement, and water. During construction, the mix is applied by spraying using a special high-pressure hose.
Like other concrete structures, gunite pools are made to last. Thanks to their structural integrity, they can last for decades. Moreover, gunite pools are always made to the pool owner’s specific needs. Hence, no two pools are the same.
What Is A Fiberglass Pool?
Simply put, a fiberglass pool is constructed out of fiberglass. One of the usual concerns is—are fiberglass pools good? Such pools are often prefabricated off-site and then craned into your backyard. It’s possible to place them both over and above ground, making them quite versatile.
Sadly, though, fiberglass pools lack the exclusivity that gunite pools have. Why? Because they’re often prefabricated, someone out there is bound to have the same pool as you.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Gunite Pool?
These pools offer several advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore the pros and cons of gunite pools.
- Wide selection of design options. Gunite pools can be built in any design you want, with deeper areas for swimming or diving.
- Access to extra features. Make your gunite pool unique by adding fountains, rock formations, or waterfalls to stand out.
- Custom finishes. Gunite pools come in different colors for the plaster. You can also choose to tile or pebble your pool to match the landscaping and look of your outdoor area.
- Longer installation time. Constructing a gunite pool on-site can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The duration depends on how intricate the design is.
- Increased chemical usage. Gunite pools need more water and specific chemicals for maintenance than fiberglass pools.
- Higher maintenance costs. Using more pool chemicals and erosion can make maintenance expenses higher. Resurfacing a gunite pool every seven to ten years is recommended.
A Close Look At The Pros And Cons Of Fiberglass Pools
Fiberglass pools have many benefits. They’re durable, easy to maintain, and have smooth surfaces. But, they might not offer many choices to customize and can be expensive to set up.
- Cost-effective. Fiberglass pools are cheaper than gunite pools, costing between $20,000 and $60,000. The cost varies based on the pool’s size, design, and manufacturer, with many affordable options available.
- Low maintenance. The smooth surface of fiberglass stops algae from sticking, so it needs less care. Additionally, fiberglass pools need fewer chemicals due to their smaller size and water volume.
- Easy installation. Installing a fiberglass pool is a breeze. The process involves digging a hole and positioning the prefabricated pool with a crane. Your pool can be ready for use in two to three days.
- Limited customization. Unlike gunite pools, fiberglass pools have limitations when it comes to customization. You cannot add features like waterfalls or rock formations. In addition, these pools aren’t ideal for diving or swimming laps because they’re small and shallow.
- Availability challenges. Fiberglass pools face high demand during the summer, making it difficult to find the specific pool model you desire.
- Manufacturing flaws. Like any prefabricated product, fiberglass pools can have manufacturing flaws. Inspection of your pool before installation by a reputable Excel Pool and Patio Solutions is crucial if any issues arise post-installation.
Fiberglass Vs. Gunite Pool Installation
As mentioned, fiberglass swimming pool installation is speedy and easy. The only thing needed is to crane the prefabricated pool into a dug-up hole. After that, all that’s left to do is connect the necessary plumbing and heating elements.
Meanwhile, gunite pool installation is a lot more complicated.
Boca Raton pool construction professionals will initially inspect your outdoor space and develop a suitable design. After that, workers will lay the groundwork and start construction. Depending on your swimming pool’s size and design, it should take at least several weeks or months to finish.
Which Type Of Pool Lasts Longer?
For many, a common question is—how long do fiberglass pools last? A lot of people mistakenly believe that fiberglass pools aren’t long-lasting. They don’t need to be resurfaced as frequently as gunite pools. If built by a top-quality manufacturer and installed correctly, you’ve got fifteen to a whopping fifty years.
In comparison, gunite swimming pools boast a lifespan of 50 years. However, pools may need Diamond Brite pool resurfacing every 7-10 years to stay in good condition.
For that reason, a fiberglass pool is the better choice if you care about longevity—which you should, as it’s a significant factor when you’re looking to install any kind of pool.
Gunite Vs. Fiberglass Pool: Design Options
You’ve got unlimited options when it comes to the size and design of gunite pools. Building them on a sloped yard, incorporating a hot tub, or making them as deep as possible is achievable. Aside from that, you’ve got a plethora of customization options. Lastly, it’s also easier to landscape around gunite pools.
On the other hand, prefabricated fiberglass pools usually come in these shapes:
Meanwhile, they’re commonly sold in these large sizes:
- 16×40 – 8 ft (Rectangle)
- 16×40 – 6’6 ft (Freeform)
Alternatively, you can opt for small fiberglass pools that measure:
- 10×16 – 4ft (Rectangle)
- 11×22 – 5 ft (Freeform)
Of course, there are some exceptions to the shapes and dimensions mentioned. This is especially true for those who opt for a custom fiberglass pool, like a gunite pool, designed and built from scratch. Remember, though, that such pools are more expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gunite Vs. Fiberglass Pools
1. Do fiberglass pools crack easily?
The likelihood of a fiberglass pool cracking from wear and tear is extremely low. By consistently maintaining your pool, you can extend its lifespan for years before encountering any signs of damage. It’s important to keep in mind that fiberglass is both durable and flexible, allowing it to withstand significant pressure.
2. What is the longest-lasting pool finish?
Glass tile, when installed correctly, is renowned for its exceptional durability as a surface material for swimming pools. Its resistance to chemicals, fading, staining, and discoloration makes glass mosaic tile an ideal choice for pool surfaces.
3. Can a fiberglass pool rust?
The presence of brownish stains in and around a fiberglass pool is a clear indication of iron buildup. If you come across minor rust stains, a simple solution is to apply a vitamin C tablet directly on the affected area. Afterward, use a brush to scrub away the stains. Your pool will regain its pristine appearance and look as good as new.
4. What is one of the disadvantages of a gunite pool?
Removing algae from the surface of a gunite pool can be a daunting task once it becomes embedded. Algae stubbornly clings to the surface, necessitating the use of additional chemicals to eradicate it completely. In the grand scheme, proper pool maintenance demands more of your time, effort, and financial resources.
Making Waves: Choosing Between Gunite and Fiberglass Pools
Choosing between gunite and fiberglass pools hinges on your individual preferences and needs. Opt for gunite for a personalized, expansive, and striking pool. On the other hand, fiberglass pools offer time, cost, and space efficiency, albeit with less uniqueness. Ultimately, make an informed decision based on what aligns best with your priorities and lifestyle. Take the time to assess your requirements before diving into the pool-buying process!
Hire Boca’s Favorite Pool Builders
Excel Pool and Patio Solutions is your trustworthy provider of pool services in Boca Raton. We are experts in pool and patio remodeling and can handle your resurfacing needs as well. Our technicians are vetted and trained for your guaranteed satisfaction. Get to know us by browsing our website or reaching out to us with any questions.
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