Deciding you want an in-ground swimming pool is just the beginning. Now you need to choose which type of pool is the best fit for you and your yard. There are three basic categories of in-ground pool types and they include gunite, fiberglass and vinyl.
Gunite In-Ground Pool Types
The first option is a gunite pool. Gunite pools are one of the most popular in-ground pool types. Gunite is the dry mixed form of sprayed concrete. In order to construct a gunite pool, builders load a pre-mixed dry material into the delivery equipment. Compressed air is then sent through a nozzle where it mixes with water. When it’s mixed it sprays out in a super strength which helps to compact the material.
Gunite pools are built with rebar framework which is sprayed over with a sand and concrete mixture rather than being poured like regular cement. This makes gunite highly durable and flexible in that it can be made into many different shapes. Many people opt for gunite pools over other types because of the value they can add to a home.
People also like gunite pools because they can select from a variety of finishes. Plaster finishes are popular because they come in a variety of shades to match with pool decking. Pool owners can also choose from glass or pebbles for a more high-end finish.
Besides the type of finish, gunite pools also offer a variety of features that can be added on to them. This can include waterfalls and custom steps.
Drawbacks of Gunite Pools
If you are considering a gunite pool, you need to take the whole picture into consideration before making the investment. Here are some possible drawbacks:
- Extremely time-consuming because all mixing and shaping is done onsite
- Bottom of pool can be abrasive and uncomfortable
- Pools have a porous surface which makes them more prone to algae growth
- Gunite application requires a highly skilled team; one wrong move in the sand/cement/water ratio area and your pool could be sunk…literally
- More expensive than other types of pools
Fiberglass In-ground Pool Types
If you don’t want to go with a gunite pool, fiberglass is another option. Fiberglass is quite a strong and lightweight material. It is made by weaving small threads made of glass into fabric. The fabric is then hardened with a special resin made from polyester. Fiberglass pools get their smooth finish from a weather-resistant gel that is later added.
Fiberglass pools are popular because they are molded into many shapes and sizes which make them perfect for all types of yards. The pools are pre-molded and installed in one-piece. Because of this they can be installed much quicker than gunite pools. Once the excavation and electrical work is done, the pool itself can be installed in a matter of days.
Once the pool is installed, it is low-maintenance in that it never needs to be resurfaced nor does it need a liner replacement. Because of their smooth texture, fiberglass pools don’t get as much algae build-up as other types of pools. They also have more consistent pH levels.
An added bonus of fiberglass pools is that fiber optic lights can be installed if you plan to do frequent night swimming. Pools can also be heated so you can get more use out of them year-round. Fiberglass pools are also optimal if you plan on using salt water because there is no potential for corrosion or other issues.
Drawbacks of Fiberglass Pools
Although there are many advantages of owning a fiberglass pool, there are also some drawbacks.
Initial Cost is More. Due to the fact that you have no liner to replace, the initial cost of a fiberglass pool will be more than other types. In the long run you will be saving money if you had a liner that would need to be replaced.
Cannot be Customized. Although they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, fiberglass pools cannot be customized for your yard like gunite pools.
Must be Carefully Installed. If you decide to go with a fiberglass pool be sure those installing it are experienced. There is a high chance for damage during delivery and installation.
Vinyl In-ground Pool Types
Another choice in the world of in-ground pools is the vinyl in-ground pool. In this type of pool, there is a custom-made sheet of vinyl that goes between the water and actual pool. Liners typically lock into a track at the top and bottom to stay in place. Beneath the liner lies a cement or sand floor which meets all four walls. The walls are usually made from thermoplastic or galvanized steel.
People like vinyl pools because there’s no chance of them cracking as with gunite pools. They can also choose from a variety of colors or patterns when it comes to the actual liner. Vinyl pools never have to be re-painted or re-plastered. They can also be made into whatever shape or size you’d like making them ideal for any yard. You can choose to add many accessories including waterfalls, spas, and heaters. Many people opt for vinyl pools because they are less expensive than gunite or fiberglass pools. Due to the vinyl liner being non-porous, there is also less algae growth than with other pools.
Drawbacks of Vinyl In-ground Pool Types
If you are considering a vinyl pool, there are some things to think about before making a final decision.
Cost of replacing the liner. Eventually the liner will need to be replaced. It will typically last anywhere from five to nine years. When it does need to be replaced expect to pay $2,500 to $3,500 for the liner itself depending on the size of your pool. You also need to factor in the price of water to refill the pool once the new liner is installed.
Use with caution. Although the vinyl liner can sustain its fair share of wear and tear, it can still rip. Things like sharp branches, dogs, or anything else falling into the pool can surely shorten the life of your liner.
Lower resale value. Due to the cost of replacing the liner, your vinyl pool will result in a lower resale value of your home compared with a different type of pool.
No matter which type of pool you decide to add to your home, maintenance is key. You could do all the upkeep yourself or you can have more time to enjoy your pool and hire someone to worry about all of that for you. Flower Pool Care and Maintenance can set up a maintenance schedule to keep your pool in top shape.