Your family is buzzing with excitement because you’ve just announced that you’re finally getting the backyard pool you’ve all been wishing for. You know you want an inground pool, but now what? Vinyl-lined, fiberglass, concrete…what’s the best pool for your family?
When it comes to picking the type of pool you want, there is no right or wrong answer. There are pros to every type of pool material. Which is why, at Orange County Pools, we offer all three! When you pick the material for your inground pool, we want you to be 100% happy with your choice. That’s why we put together this no-spin comparison of vinyl, fiberglass, and concrete pools. We’re not biased; they’re all great! Here are the facts so you can pick which is best for your backyard.
If you’re envisioning a show-stopping dream pool, concrete (also called gunite) may be the way to go. There are literally no limits when it comes to size, shape, depth, or design on a concrete pool.
- Completely customizable
- Can be any size, shape, or depth
- Designs like vanishing edges, beach entrances, lazy rivers, grottos, and tanning ledges are all possible
- Extremely durable
- Longest installation process: can be several months
- It has the most expensive upfront cost
- Concrete is porous, meaning algae will find little nooks and crannies to grow in
- Because of the porosity, it requires more chemicals, time, and energy to maintain
- Needs to be acid-washed every 3-5 years
- Needs to be resurfaced every 10-15 years
- Not a good choice if you want a saltwater pool since salt corrodes concrete over time
When it comes to easy maintenance, nothing beats a fiberglass pool. The surface is completely smooth and non-porous. No rough surface equals zero nooks and crannies for algae to make their home. This means fewer chemicals and less work for you! On the downside, fiberglass pools are pre-manufactured, so you have fewer shapes and sizes to choose from.
- Completely smooth and non-porous
- Takes less time, less electricity, and fewer chemicals to maintain
- Shortest installation timeframe (just a couple of days)
- Ideal pool material for saltwater (won’t corrode)
- Extremely durable
- Available in quite a few popular shapes
- Less expensive than concrete pools
- Gelcoat finish resists fading and rarely needs repairs
- Ships in one-piece so limited sizes and shapes (16’ wide is the largest width available)
- If installed improperly, there can be serious issues with a fiberglass pool.
- More expensive initial cost than vinyl liner pools
When it comes to inground pools, a vinyl-lined pool, on average, has the lowest initial cost. And, like a concrete pool, your size and shape options are endless.
- Lowest initial cost
- Customizable in shape and size
- Soft, comfortable surface
- Smooth and not very porous. Resists algae growth better than a concrete pool
- For maintenance, it uses fewer chemicals and takes less time than concrete pools
- The most fragile surface of the three. It can be damaged by tree branches, pet claws, and other sharp objects
- Vinyl needs replaced periodically (every 8-10 years on average)
- The surface can become slick if the water is not properly balanced
- Creases and wrinkles in the vinyl can happen, and when they do, they foster algae growth
When it comes down to it, the only thing that matters is which material fits your family’s needs best.
Want a customized, one of a kind pool? Concrete is for you.
Is easy maintenance your #1 priority? Go for fiberglass.
Looking for a budget-friendly pool, but you still want a customized design? Choose a vinyl-liner pool.
Still not sure? That’s what we’re here for! Stop by for a visit and one of our trained and enthusiastic staff would love to talk pools with you.