Most swimming pools in America are constructed from either Gunite, Fiberglass or Vinyl. All types of inground pools offer their own pros and cons. While most pool buyers already have an image in their mind of what an inground pool looks like in their backyard, the reality can be somewhat different depending on soil conditions and economics.
Which Type of Pool Should I Choose?
Provided you have the space and budget, practically any pool is possible. Still, knowing the different types of inground swimming pools can help if you’re planning on having a swimming pool installed. Here are some of the inground pool types to consider.
Gunite pools are a popular choice in Sunbelt states like California, Texas, and Florida. Many pool buyers prefer this type of material because it is highly durable and it can be created in practically any shape. Gunite pools consist of a rebar framework sprayed over with a concrete and sand mixture. The method is preferable over a old-school poured concrete pools that need a wooden framework to hold the shape of the basin. Gunite is very durable and pools made of this material are built to last.
Get a High End Sophisticated Look With a Gunite Pool
Pool buyers can choose from a variety of finishes to coordinate with the rest of their backyard. Plaster finishes come in a wide variety of shades to match the pool decking you choose. Pebble or glass finishes can be created for a truly unique, high end looking swimming pool.
Typically, pool buyers opt for a variety of features to be attached to gunite pools including custom steps, tables, waterfalls, etc. The flexibility of Gunite Pools means you’re able to customize your swimming pool to your specific taste and budget.
Why Buy a Gunite Pool?
- Pros – Flexibility of design options, can be built in any shape, sophisticated look.
- Cons – Textured plaster surfaces can be uncomfortable and abrasive. Typically most expensive type of pool. Lengthy construction time. Requires maintenance for cracks which may form. Surface can attract algae and bacteria, can also discolor over time.
Fiberglass pools come in many shapes and sizes. They are pre-molded shells that can be installed in your yard in one piece. Fiberglass is a strong, lightweight material that constructed from weaving small glass threads into a fabric and then hardening that fabric with a special resin. A smooth finish is added with a weather-resistant gel.
Fiberglass Pools Offer a Quick Install With a Smooth Finish
One big advantage to installing fiberglass pools is that they can usually be installed pretty quickly – sometimes as quick as a week! The time frame obviously will vary depending on how long excavation, electrical and plumbing take.
Because they’re so smooth, fiberglass pools are resistant to algae. Another bonus is that fiberglass pools require less maintenance and only need to be reglazed every decade or so.
Why Buy a Fiberglass Pool?
- Pros – Quick and easy installation, smooth finish.
- Cons – Limited number of shapes and styles. Higher cost, can cost more than Gunite pools. Very little structural support around the pool to hold up decking. Can shift in the ground in extreme wet or frost conditions.
Vinyl pools are popular all over America. Vinyl liner pool have a sheet of vinyl between the water and the pool structure. Underneath the liner is a sand or cement-like floor. The floors come up to meet the walls, made from galvanized steel or thermoplastic. These walls are supported from behind so that they won’t bow. All of the wall panels are secured together to make up the perimeter of the swimming pool.
Vinyl Pools – An Economical Choice With Many Options
There are lots of advantages to installing a vinyl liner pool. They’re flexible and don’t crack like a concrete pool. Vinyl pools don’t need to be replastered and all surfaces of your pool are smooth to the touch. Because of the flexibility with the steel walls, vinyl pools can come in unlimited shapes and sizes. A vinyl pool is also much less expensive than gunite or fiberglass pools. A wide array of features are available for your vinyl liner pool including spas, waterfalls, decking, laminar jets, lighting effects and pool heaters.
Why Buy a Vinyl Pool?
- Pros – Easy to maintain, less expensive to install. Wide variety of liner patterns available and soft to the touch. Repairs are cheap and easy.
- Cons – Not as durable as Fiberglass or Vinyl. Liner will need to replaced every 5 years or so.