Fiberglass Swimming Pools vs. Gunite Pools – Which is Best for Your Family?

You’ve decided to make your backyard dreams come true by adding an inground pool to your home. It’s an exciting time for your family! While visions of pool parties and relaxing by the water may be dancing in your head, you’ll have a lot of big decisions to make before the party starts or the first poolside cocktail is poured.

fiberglass poolPossibly the biggest decision you will make regarding your inground pool will be whether to choose concrete (gunite) or fiberglass. How does one choose between a gunite pool and a pre-made fiberglass pool shell? Consider the following factors, which will help you decide what is right for you:

Installation

Fiberglass pool shells are available as ready-to-install, factory-manufactured structures, whereas a concrete or gunite pool is built entirely on your premises. The cost of installation of your fiberglass swimming pool will be relatively lower than that of a gunite pool.

A fiberglass pool can be installed within weeks. So, if you are looking for a quicker build, a premade fiberglass pool is the ideal choice. While fiberglass pools come in many shapes and sizes, you will be limited in your selection.

A gunite pool is built from scratch at your location, therefore, the process for a gunite pool takes longer to complete. One of the biggest pluses to a gunite pool is that it can be created in just about any size or shape you envision. Since a gunite pool is labor-intensive, the costs can be far higher than a fiberglass pool install.

Maintenance Needs

Gunite PoolFiberglass pools have a gel coat that doesn’t alter pool water pH.  Fiberglass pools require fewer chemicals to keep pool water clean. This keeps pool maintenance costs and time spent on pool cleaning down.

Fiberglass is a nonporous material that deters algae growth. The smooth finish of fiberglass is easier to maintain than its concrete counterpart.

In contrast, gunite pools have porous and rough surfaces, which do not resist algae build-up as effectively. Time spent on weekly maintenance will be higher. Also, concrete pool finishes may need resurfacing every 10-15 years.

Customization Options

Both fiberglass and concrete pools can create architectural masterpieces in your backyard. However, pre-designed molds of fiberglass pools may pose some size restrictions; they can be up to 16 feet wide and 40 feet long to facilitate the ease of transportation.

Although pre-formed shells offer some limitations, you will still be able to tailor your pool by adding tanning ledges, water features, in-pool light fixtures, tiles, and finish options.

With a gunite pool, there is no lack of choices in customization. You can build a backyard paradise with a dramatic waterfall and grotto or a functional and fun pool with water slides. A gunite pool also gives you the freedom to pick any pool finish, from plaster to beads and aggregates.

Interior Texture

gunite poolGunite’s texture is rough and uneven. This is especially evident when walking barefoot on the pool floor or sitting on the steps. Pebbles and other aggregates can scrape your body. But you can remedy this with polished surfaces, plaster, or tile.

When you think of the comfort of the whole family – kids, elders, and pets, fiberglass interiors win hands down. The surface is soft and gentle on the skin, so there is little chance for bruises or scratches.

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