Vinyl vs Fiberglass vs Gunite/Shotcrete

It can become a little overwhelming when creating your dream pool with all the choices that you will need to make. This article will look at the three different types of pools available, and some of their advantages or disadvantages in different areas. For your convenience it will broken into four important categories: Price, Maintenance (upkeep), Build-time and Aesthetics

3 types of pools


In terms of affordability, Vinyl liners are usually the most affordable option available. Vinyl liners have been around a long time, and they have seen many advancements in technology over the years. Fiberglass pools are the next cheapest option available, as they usually made from standard molds which helps keep cost standardized, however install and delivery fees can make the price go up drastically. Gunite pools are generally the most expensive option available as they are created in custom designs specified by the pool designer based on the customers preferences and backyard space. It is important to note, that some regions may have different pricing for different pools. If you have any questions about your region, please contact Premier Pools and Spas today so we can assist you in figuring out which pool will work best with your budget.

Winner: Vinyl


In terms of maintenance, or upkeep by the pool owner, Fiberglass pools require the least amount of maintenance due to their non-porous lining, which helps reduce algae build up. Fiberglass pools are very durable, however if they are damaged the patch repair can look different from the rest of the pool. Gunite pools and Vinyl pools both require more care than Fiberglass pools. Gunite pools requires an acid wash every 10+ years to remove algae and help make the abrasive texture feel smoother. Gunite pools also require more chemicals since the Gunite material is comprised of cement and sand mix, which can leech into the water if left unchecked. Vinyl pools require the most care as the liners are fragile and require replacement every 7-10 years.

Winner: Fiberglass


Fiberglass pools have the quickest install time (~1-2 weeks) since the pools are made from a mold. One disadvantage to fiberglass pools is the need for special delivery, and cranes, to assist in the install process. Vinyl pools take almost double the time (~4-8 weeks) depending on the size and shape of the pool. Gunite pools take the longest to build (~2-3 months) as the pools are sprayed and shaped on-site. Gunite pools require more time to dry before putting the special finishing plaster on and filling the pool with water.

Winner: Fiberglass


Gunite pools are the hands down winner in this category, as they are custom designs built to look exactly as the customer has dreamed it up. With the option to put special finishing plaster that will take the design to the next level, Gunite pools are the most beautiful creations by far. Fiberglass pools are usually standard molds which gives fiberglass pools a very traditional look. While there is some variety to fiberglass pool options, it is like comparing custom built homes to track homes. Vinyl liners are the least aesthetically pleasing and are very delicate; they can begin to fade if the improper chemical balances are used. However, Vinyl liners require replacements every 7-10 years, which will leave the pool looking brand new upon replacement.

Winner: Gunite

Which is best?

There are pros and cons to all three types of pool, and the final decision will always be based on the customer’s preference. This article is information that is not meant to steer you one way or the other, we simply want you to have all the information available so when the time comes there are no regrets. As an industry leading company, Premier Pools and Spas is here to answer any questions you may have, and we are ready to create the perfect pool for you and your family today.

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