Concrete, Vinyl & Fiberglass Pools - The 7 Major Deciding Factors

In-ground pools come in three main types: fiberglass pools (also known as ceramic composite), vinyl liner pools, and concrete pools (also sometimes called gunite pools). 

Here are the 7 major factors to compare when you decide which of the three pool types is right for you and your family.

1. Installation

In-ground fiberglass pools are typically quicker and easier to install than either concrete or vinyl liner pools. Fiberglass pools are manufactured off-site, which means that you only have to deal with contractors working in your backyard for around two days. In contrast, a concrete pool could take anywhere from three to six months to manufacture in place (that's right, in your backyard), which could be very disruptive to your home life. If you want to be swimming in your new pool this season, a fiberglass pool is the right choice.

2. Maintenance

Fiberglass pools are typically much easier to maintain than concrete. Fiberglass is a non-porous material, which means algae can't worm its way into the structure like it can in a concrete pool. 

If you decide to go with concrete for your pool installation, you will need to brush the pool surface each week to reduce algae build-up and use chemicals like muriatic acid to lower the pH of the water. Vinyl liner pools do make it easy to maintain the pH of your pool, but you have to clean the liner regularly to keep it free from mold.

3. Durability

Both concrete and fiberglass pools are extremely durable. Pools with a vinyl liner, on the other hand, are much more vulnerable to damage. A rogue tree branch or tipped piece of patio furniture that falls into a swimming pool can easily puncture the vinyl liner, which could mean a several thousand dollar bill for a replacement liner. Concrete and fiberglass pools are both pretty impervious to this kind of damage.

4. Attractiveness

Some people worry that a fiberglass pool will spoil the look of their backyard. Several decades ago, fiberglass pools had a white, bathtub-like appearance. Today they're available in a wide range of finishes, including ceramic tile or even various colors. You can also easily add pool lights into a fiberglass pool to enhance the beauty of your backyard space after dark.

5. Fewer Chemicals

Maintaining the pH in a fiberglass pool is much easier than in a concrete pool, as the fiberglass material is inert and does not react with the water in any way. While concrete pool owners need to add acid to the water, fiberglass pool owners don't need to use as many chemicals to keep their pool water at the right pH for safe swimming. In addition, it is also possible to set up a salt water pool in a fiberglass shell if you want to avoid using chlorine to keep your pool clean. On the other hand, salt water can damage concrete pools and cause the metal fittings in many vinyl liner pools to rust.

6. Pool Designs

Fiberglass pools are not as customizable as concrete or vinyl liner pools. You cannot easily change the shape, depth, or overall size of the pool. However, if you plan ahead, there are dozens of shapes and sizes to fit just about any size yard. Be sure to order the exact pool design, shape, size and depth you want before the manufacture makes the fiberglass pool form. We can help you design your dream pool - contact us for a free quote.

7. In-Ground Pool Costs

While the initial cost of a fiberglass pool is higher than a pool with a vinyl liner, the lifetime costs of the pool could be much lower if you choose fiberglass. Vinyl liners require replacement every few years, which adds a huge burden onto the ongoing cost of pool ownership. On the other hand, a fiberglass pool has very low lifetime costs. 

A fiberglass swimming pool could even help you save money compared to a concrete pool, as fiberglass pools require much less cleaning and acid washing to keep them in good condition. Of course, fiberglass pool owners also save a lot of money on chemicals, as they don't need to add as many substances to the water to keep it clean and at the right pH for swimming (or don't need to add any chemicals at all with our copper filtration system - ask us about it).

Fiberglass vs. Concrete vs. Vinyl - Which Pool Should You Pick?

Ultimately, the type of pool you choose for your home is a personal decision. There are many compelling, long-term benefits of a fiberglass pool that you should consider before making your final decision. By investing in a fiberglass pool now, you could reduce the lifetime costs of owning a swimming pool and reduce the amount of maintenance required. That means more time splashing around and having fun in your pool, rather than working to keep it in good condition.

Take a look at the stunning and innovative fiberglass pool designs that are currently available. You might just fall in love with a pool that suits your personal design preferences and fits into both your backyard and your budget.