Concrete vs Fiberglass Pool

Old 11-14-05, 12:06 PM
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Concrete vs Fiberglass Pool

Hi, we're just planning on putting in a pool. The last one we had at a previous house was concrete. I'd like to get some opinions on concrete vs fiberglass.

The quoted benefits of fiberglass (probably mostly from people selling them) are a smooth surface, fast installation, reduced cost both in electricity and chemicals at a lower initial cost than concrete. The downside is that you accept a standard design over the design freedom of concrete.

Any opinions out there? Has anyone had experience with a fiberglass pool?

Old 11-16-05, 07:28 AM
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I am not sure what happen on the first post but here it is again in full text. I have to first confess that I am old school, when I first started in the pool industry Concrete was the dominant pool. Things have changed over the years and the options are many now all have their advantages and disadvantages. Here in, the best non-biased format I can muster is my opinion of the choices you list.

CONCRETE ADVANTAGES- This pool if built by a reputable builder will last several generations. The surface of the pool, if the water chemistry is well maintained will last for many years. I have seen a 25-year-old concrete pool that was in mint condition, it just needed an acid washing to bring back the dull color. This pool just looks great and you are not limited to what size or shape you want. The sky is the limit to what you can build. There are some pretty impressive concrete pools being built these days.

CONCRETE DISADVANTAGE- the price, depending on where you live, can be steep. If you are in a northern climate frost heaving can be a problem with the tiles in older pools. After a number of years the pool will have to be acid washed to bring back the bright white color of the plaster if you choose a white plaster finish. Acid washing tends to rough up the surface and after awhile it will begin to cut the feet. To solve this problem you will either have to resurface (expensive or paint, once you start painting you will be painting every 2-5 years depending on the type of paint you use.)

FIBERGLASS ADVANTAGE- This pool is easy to install so it makes it less expensive in most areas than a concrete pool. The surface is smooth and easy on the feet. They have done some great things in recent years with fiberglass pools and you can really dress them up. The pool is easy to maintain.

FIBERGLASS DISADVANTAGE-You are limited in size and form. The size of pool they make is limited to how big they can transport on the back of a truck, usually in the 14' wide range. Shapes vary from manufacture to manufacture and there are quite a few choices compared to 20 years ago. The surface of the pool is smooth and can be slick on the steps creating a slip hazard. If you are installing the pool in a sandy area it can tend to shift over a few years and then need to be reset. If you do not maintain the chemistry properly the pool surface can be ruined and the pool would have to be replaced or re-gel coated.

Well there you have it as un-biased as I can make it. I am sure there are some points I may have missed, but I believe I have hit the major points. I hope this helps everyone with their decision making process.

Guru of Pools
at DPW

Last edited by DPW; 11-16-05 at 07:45 AM.
Old 12-05-05, 06:47 PM
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if I could answer that question for you --- I'd be a millionaire

There are the advantages and disadvantages between fiberglass and gunite (might as well throw in vinyl too) ---

each can do this, each can that, each is better, each is worse

when it comes down to it, it is what appeals to YOU

Either one (properly constructed/installed) will hold up as well as the other. Each type can develop problems if not taken care of properly (and ---any three of them are easier to maintain than a vehicle, lol)

point is --- you'll find nothing but opinions and sales pitches on the internet (or at least it will be difficult to separate fact from fiction) ... and talking to people is good, but in the end you get biased remarks ---

the best thing to do is find several pools and go see them --- find out what appeals to you about one over the other and THEN factor that into other variables such as price, etc. It's like shopping for anything else.

in other words, see, touch, and taste (ok, maybe don't taste them, but you get the idea, right??) it is all what appeals to you

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