Fibreglass vs Concrete Pool [2021]

Table of Contents

What is a fibreglass pool? | What is a concrete pool? | Difference between a fibreglass vs concrete pool | Advantages of a fibreglass pool | Advantages of a concrete pool | Cost of a fibreglass pool | Cost of a concrete pool | Fibreglass pool installation time | Concrete pool installation time

You have decided to build a pool in your backyard, but you can not decide which type of pool best suits your needs? In fact, there is no right answer.

The most sought-after materials for swimming pools on the market are fibreglass and concrete. Just like any other material, these two have their advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will discuss some of the most important parameters to make your final decision easier.

What is a Fibreglass Pool?

Fibreglass swimming pools are a one-piece structure made entirely of fibreglass materials. They became very popular because of the low installation cost and rapid construction time. The inner gelcoat surface of these pools is coated with paint that provides a beautiful design, protection from UV radiation and resistance to swimming pool chemicals.

The fibreglass pools shell is around ⅜ inches thick, compared to reinforced concrete pools which are roughly 6 inches thick. These pools are characterized by fast and easy installation and low costs of total works. However, when we talk about the installation process, if the work is not approached properly and not handed over to professionals, such pools can be a headache for their owners.

What is a Concrete Pool?

Concrete pools offer a huge range of shapes and designs. The process of building their shell starts from placing the reinforced structure inside the formwork, just after the ground is excavated and finishes by spraying concrete. The technique of spraying concrete depends on the builders and it can be done using gunite or shotcrete.

Concrete strength depends on the amount of cement inside of the mix and it reaches full strength after 28 days. The most important thing to avoid is structural cracks that may appear on the surface due to the action of tensile forces. This causes water permeability of the pool and can be fixed by framing the concrete in a web of steel so that it can flex.

Difference between a Fibreglass vs Concrete Pool

Whether you give a chance to a fibreglass pool or still decide to dig a little deeper into your wallet for your pool and choose a concrete pool, your backyard pool will be a lifelong investment that also gives a luxurious look to your building and raises its market value.

Concrete swimming pools are more porous, which is a great predisposition for algae and bacteria growth. This results in faster water contamination, higher filtration costs, and the use of more chemicals.

Concrete pools also need resurfacing or repainting every 10-15 years (this doesn’t apply to ceramic coating). In terms of final touch and lining, the choice is endless and you can make unimaginable combinations of tiles or pebbles.

As a bonus, a fibreglass swimming pool doesn’t require resurfacing or repainting. The water heating process is faster, as is the cost of maintenance. Fibreglass pools give the impression of a glass interior surface and all the superficies are smooth, without pores in which algae and bacteria accumulate, thanks to gelcoat surface. However, the pool outside is more exposed to the effects of dirt than the one inside the building.

These things should be taken into account when choosing your pool, especially if you have a very busy schedule and you’re not willing to spend large sums of money on maintenance. The only drawback that will arise during construction is that fibreglass pools have limited options when it comes to shapes and also size restrictions. Therefore, before ordering, it’s necessary to state with the fibreglass pools manufacturers what opportunities they offer.

Advantages of a Fibreglass Pool

Aside from being part of modern construction, they offer countless advantages:

  • quick to install – most of the work is done in the factory before your pool arrives on-site, installation can be completed in a week or two
  • visually appealing surface – smooth and treated pool shell surfaces
  • easy maintenance – smooth surface makes the surface resistant to algae and bacteria (less work and fewer chemicals)
  • easy care – no need resurfacing during their lifetime warmer – they require less energy to warm up pool water
  • durable material – fibreglass pools are highly flexible and strong (no fear of cracks)

Advantages of a Concrete Pool

This will sound tempting for pool owners who intend to sacrifice a slightly larger pool budget:

  • flexibility with design – any shape and dimension can be achieved (agreement with your pool builders to make the shape just the way you want it)
  • strength and durability – many concrete pools which were built decades ago are still in use today, so that speaks volumes about their endurance and strength
  • design – appealing look appearance with various combinations of tiles or pebbles
  • long lifespan – can last for about half a century without any investment (may only be done for aesthetics)

Cost of a Fibreglass Pool

Their price ranges from $35,000–$85,000 and this includes the pool shell, the installation itself, as well as accessories. It can vary depending on the dimensions, style, and features you choose. The price is higher in the case of in-ground pools than those which are installed above ground, as there’s ground excavation.

Above-ground fibreglass pools have smaller dimensions and cost a little over $25,000, which is actually a big saving. The price refers only to the shell and installation because there is no additional processing on the site. In general, they come at a lower initial cost and require less ongoing maintenance, which makes the price lower.

Cost of a Concrete pool

Concrete swimming pools are way more expensive than fibreglass pools. Preliminary work will cost more if we consider the very volume of the structure and ground excavation. It will additionally need tiling or pebbling. Also, the constant upkeep and maintenance costs of concrete pools are higher. A concrete pool will take more money from your budget for chemicals and a little more energy for heating.

It’s necessary to add the maintenance costs over the years for repainting and resurfacing after 10-15 years. Concrete pools cost on average $40,000 – $100,000, all depending on what your requirements are. Specific shape, bigger size, and demanding wishes will produce higher costs.

Fibreglass Pool Installation time

Depending on the customer requirements, it can be installed and ready to use within a week or two. Fibreglass pools are pre-made in factories, so just after the ground excavation (1-2 days), the swimming pool shell is transported by road to the construction site. Installation in the planned position is done using s crane. It takes 2-3 days to plumb the equipment, install the filters and water features. Altogether, from the first step to the end, it takes around 4 weeks.

Concrete Pool Installation time

It takes approx. 3 months for the entire construction process which includes obtaining approvals, excavation, construction, and finishing works. The whole construction process takes place in your yard, without the addition of prefabricated elements. This means you’ll have builders on your property all the time until the pool is done. After construction is complete, final works are next in line (installation of tiles or painting the swimming pool surface).

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