Gunite vs Fiberglass Pools

gunite vs fiberglass pools: everything you need to know. cartoon of two swimming pools stacked on top of each other separated by thick wavy orange line

Gunite vs Fiberglass Pools

Which One Is Right For You?

Installing a pool in your backyard is one of the most exciting ways to elevate your summer. But with all the options on the market, it’s hard to know what kind of pool is right for your home. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to see our gunite vs fiberglass line up, and see which will suit your home best. 

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Let's Talk Gunite vs Fiberglass

The best place to start when trying to decide what pool material is right for you is understanding what gunite and fiberglass are. 

Gunite is a concrete like material that’s sprayed onto a metal frame installed where your pool will go. Although they have similar properties, gunite is not the same as concrete. Concrete is made up of larger pieces and gets mixed with water before application.

two men spraying gunite into a swimming pool during installation

Gunite on the other hand is made up of finer particles that gets mixed with water as it’s sprayed. This allows gunite pools to come in a variety of shapes and locations that typical concrete would not be suited for. 

Fiberglass is made up of tiny threads of interwoven glass coated with resin to create a strong and durable material. Unlike gunite, fiberglass pools are not created on site. They come premolded and are installed directly into the ground.

What's Your Style?

The style you’re going for is going to heavily dictate what kind of pool is best for you. If you’re looking for a more interesting or unconventional shape, you want to go with gunite. Since gunite is sprayed onto a frame and not delivered premade, you can choose any design you want. This is also beneficial if you want to include any structures or add ons in your pool, such as seating, waterfalls, and more. 

If you’re looking for a more standard pool that’s great for the whole family, then fiberglass delivers perfectly. Even though you have fewer options on the shape of your pool, there’s still a variety of choices to go with. If you’re going to be using your pool for primarily swimming and playing, fiberglass gets you the most bang for your buck. 

Cost Comparison of Gunite vs Fiberglass

gunite pool viewed from side

Due to the installation process, material, and labor required, gunite is going to be quite a bit more expensive than fiberglass. The cost can vary greatly between projects, but expect to pay at least $50,000 and up to $150,000 for a gunite pool. This increased price tag does come with the promise of a longer life span and often a better warranty than a fiberglass pool.

Since they come pre-manufactured and lowered into the ground, fiberglass pools are perfect if you’re looking to save money. On the low end, fiberglass pools cost around $20,000 with the higher end being around $70,000. 

Upkeep & Maintenance of Gunite vs Fiberglass

One of the downsides to gunite is that the nature of the material leaves it susceptible to algae. This means you have to spend extra time ensuring your pool is well scrubbed and free of growth. Additionally, you need to keep a careful eye on the pH and chemicals that go into your pool. 

Fiberglass, on the other hand, is much more resistant to algae growth. It’s smooth texture is hard for algae to latch on to, deterring it from growing. Additionally, fiberglass pools come with most filtration and maintenance aspects built into the shell. This means you won’t have to take as many extra steps to get your pool summer ready.

Lifespan - Which Lasts Longer?

In the gunite vs fiberglass match up, one of the biggest differences is their lifespan. Gunite comes out on top with a lifespan of, well, a lifetime. Though they have the possibility to crack, gunite is highly durable which means you likely won’t need to make any major repairs.

Fiberglass, on the other hand, is built to last around 50 years. Its material is more susceptible to damage, and can be more difficult to drain for repairs.  Fiberglass pools simply aren’t designed to support the weight of the surrounding soil without being filled with water.

overhead shot of custom gunite pool

However, this doesn’t mean that fiberglass isn’t durable. The material is strong and far more resistant to some of the chemicals that gunite is sensitive to. 

Final Thoughts on Gunite vs Fiberglass Pools

When deciding whether to install a gunite or fiberglass pool, it’s key to be well informed. Even after reading this post you might be confused what the right choice is, and that’s completely expected. That’s why it’s always best to consult an expert to get their opinion on what the best option is for you. If you’re looking to installing a new pool, we’ve got you covered. Get started on your dream pool by requesting a free estimate from Clear Choice Contractors today!

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