Concrete vs Fibreglass pools, Which one to pick?

When the weather begins to warm up and the temperature soars, everyone wants to stay cool in a swimming pool. And for installing a pool in your backyard, inground concrete and Fibreglass pools are two options widely available to choose from.

Today, in this blog post, we have tried to highlight the major differences between these two available options, to help you make the right choice. However, each of these options has plenty of passionate fans, and no one can claim which one is objectively better than the other one. It is just a matter of preference.

Installation

The installation of concrete pools is a large, complex, and time-consuming task and is best left to professionals. It requires reinforcing bars, and formwork built within a large excavated hole. So, the installation is lengthy and can stretch over many months.

Fiberglass pools come pre-cast from a factory and can be installed as a single piece on site. Hence these are far easier and quicker to install and their installation can be completed in three to five weeks.

Conclusion

As the installation part of the fiberglass pool is not messy and takes weeks instead of months. 

Winner: Fiberglass

Costs

The cost of the installation of a concrete pool depends on the type of concrete and gunite you choose to build. The cost includes site excavation and preparation, concrete, pump, tubing, interior finishing supplies like sealant and paint, ladder, and labor charges. There are few additional costs also, like a water heating system, a perimeter walkway, fencing, and decking. Concrete pools need a lot of long-term maintenance such as acid washing, refinishing, and energy usage. 

Whereas a fiberglass pool is already constructed in the factory. It simply needs to be transported directly to the site of installation. However, the cost of installation includes the cost for site excavation and preparation, a pump, tubing, a lamp, ladder, water heating system, fencing, vinyl pool cover, and labor charges. Fiberglass pools come prefinished with a smooth gel surface. Hence do not require to add an additional sealant. In long term, only maintenance expenses will be in electricity and chemicals. 

Conclusion

The upfront costs for both the pools are almost the same, but concrete pools cost more in the long term. 

Winner: Fiberglass

Durability

With regular maintenance, cleaning, and resurfacing, concrete pools can last for decades. The concrete structure of a concrete pool is incredibly durable. With the use of a salt-chlorine generator, the salts dissolved in the water, further shorten the life expectancy of the plaster-based interior finish of the concrete pools.

The gel-coat finish and the pool structure make fiberglass pools super durable. A fiberglass pool usually lasts between 20–25 years. However, fiberglass pools are comparatively less durable than concrete pools, as they do not use reinforced construction methods. In a fiberglass pool, you can also use a salt-chlorine generator for silkier water. The salt has no damaging effects on the fiberglass shell.

Conclusion

Both concrete and fiberglass pool surfaces are durable, but concrete pool surfaces are weak against salt.

Winner: Fiberglass

Maintenance

A concrete pool requires considerably more maintenance, like weekly cleaning, scrubbing, and regular rebalancing of chemicals. Also, a complete resurfacing every 10–15 years is a must for concrete pools to maintain their surface and keep the moisture out.

Fiberglass pools are much easier to keep clean. The smooth surface of the Fibreglass pools controls bacteria and algae. Also, fewer chemicals are required to control the bacteria. 

Conclusion

The lifetime cost of a fiberglass pool is substantially lower than a concrete pool. 

Winner: Fiberglass

Surface

Concrete pools have a rough and porous surface. So it requires a chemical sealant to prevent moisture absorption. Also, the rough surface easily traps bacteria and leads to excessive algae growth. It can also be dangerous while jumping or playing in the Fibreglass pools as it may cause cuts and scratches if you hit the bottom of the pool.

In the case of a fiberglass pool, the surface is smooth and non-porous. So there is no bacteria and algae growth. However, when wet, the fiberglass pool surfaces can become slippery.

Conclusion

Maintenance of a fiberglass pool is much easier. Whereas concrete pools require lots of maintenance efforts to prevent them from becoming ponds. 

Winner: Fiberglass

The verdict

Consider these characteristics to finalize a pool that best fits you and your family. No doubt, concrete pools are probably most popular, but fiberglass pools are also gaining on them nowadays.

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