I am researching the same question and this is what I have found so far: having a "freeze line" is not a good condition for fiberglass pools. Fiberglass pools are cheaper to install and use less chemicals to maintain. I was told the chemicals also do less damage to fiberglass, if any?, than to gunite pools. Fiberglass pools must be filled at all times to avoid "popping up". The only thing that still has me leaning towards gunite is a custom pool shape we have in mind. Hope this helps. I am also trying to decide between fibergalss and gunite. I have been told (by a gunite dealer) that there is a problem with staining in fiberglass pools. Besides a low water level, what else might cause a fiberglass pool to pop up?
A fiberglass pool is better, because it will NEVER need to be resurfaced. A concrete pool will need to be resurfaced and acid washed every few years. Because fiberglass is non porous you save as much as 70 percent on chemicals and about 30 percent on electric bills. Fiberglass is also more friendly on the skin, it is basically like a big bath tub.
The idea that fiberglass NEVER needs to be resurfaced is a myth. All fiberglass pools will need new gel coat when the original gel coat, and each succeeding coating, becomes porous. The time frame ranges from 28 years (for just one manufacturer). to as little as 5 years for the worst three manufacturers.
Excluding these two extremes, the average fiberglass pool will require new gel coat every 18-20 years. -Bill
I had a fiberglass finish applied to my in ground cement pool in 1998. I live in Jacksonville, Fl. I enjoyed the smooth texture of the pool and minimal maintenance for several years; but I was never informed that the fiberglass will "de-laminate", causing the leeching of fibers into the water. After several years of tolerating the "itch" from fiberglass, I learned that I could have it "gel coated"; so I hired a team to apply it (2011). They started by sanding down the exposed fibers and quickly discovered several "pockets" or blisters in the fiberglass. When pressure was applied (by stepping on the blister); liquid (water?) seeped out from under it. This started the beginning of a long process of researching alternatives to the fiberglass. In the meantime additional blisters appeared and continued to 'grow'. Six days later, I refilled the pool so that I could use it while the research continues. I will probably have to have the fiberglass removed and an alternative material applied. Right now I am looking at a product called Hydrazzo. It is a cementitious material with a polished finish. I am also investigating the possibility of having a vinyl liner installed; but the jagged edges of the peeling fiberglass would have to be addressed first. I am not unsatisfied with the fiberglass finish - I just wish that I had known that it could and should have been gel coated after 5 or 6 years. Had I done that I probably would not be in the situation that I am today. Gunite versus fiberglass is a personal choice. I prefer a smooth finish to the rough feel of most cementitious materials. Additionally the porous attributes of cementitious materials can make the process of maintaining a proper chemical balance more challenging. Porosity also makes staining a challenge. Just be aware of all the pros and cons before you make this decision.
I think gunite, they stay looking good for longer and when they they tart to look a bit lack luster in time you can refurbish them to look like new again far more easily then fiber glass. they also sit in the ground better. however there are many people that are very happy with fiberglass pools.
Both pools have many features Both fiberglass and gunite Swimming Pools can have almost all the same custom accessories and great equipment. You can design any size or shape gunite pool shell and customize the surface to almost any color quite easily. A fiberglass pool shell manufacturer is like a boat dealer with a catalog of models produced and custom sizes are generally not available. A fiberglass pool can be installed a bit faster than a gunite pool but the major investment you will make in either project usually never warrants a decision based on a few weeks time built sooner. Your gunite pool can have a built in hot tub or water feature , but your fiberglass pool can also. You have more options with coping on a gunite pool than fiberglass, but your fiberglass pool can still be made to look like a gunite pool if you like. A fiberglass pool shell can have a lifetime warranty for factory defects and most gunite builders also offer a similar warranty, I always say though when is the last time you saw a defective bag of concrete or tub of fiberglass resin? The surfaces of both pools can be as diverse as the pools themselves, you can go with white polyester gel coat on fiberglass or white marcite on gunite, your choice can be a custom quartz finish with a fiberglass pool or a custom quartz finish with a gunite shell also, with each pool shell having a respective warranty for finish from as little as one year to as many as 10 full years or more. Both finishes are very dependent on your skills as a pool-owner to manage them, all information you learned when you bought your pool from a licensed , insured swimming pool professional. Fiberglass pool shells rarely get deeper than 8 foot the minimum standard for a diving pool, while a custom shell with gunite can be built to exceed many standards. The old myths of falty fiberglass and gunite swimming pools have been propagated by dealers long since gone out of business. If your looking for a reliable and safe pool that keeps its value backed by strong dealer sales and service networks fiberglass and gunite are equally great choices and readily available. It's never been a better time to be in the circle of pool ownership. getapool.com good swimming
Advantages of fiberglass versus gunite(concrete) There are many things such as lifetime structure warranty, very low maintenance, cheaper heating costs, and they can be moved. Disadvantages would be depth, size, and finish colors even though there are many colors available for fiberglass pools. Viking Fiberglass pools are the most expensive but you know the saying you get what you pay for. In the northeast you have more of a chance of having a fiberglass pool pop out of the ground. I have always perfered gunite over any other finish (even vinyl) I think the look is lush but again you do get what you pay for. Which is why gunite is more expensive.
gunite is a type of sprayed sand cement used for the bottoms and sides of pools then fiberglass panels are fitted in to form the complete side to the top
Fiberglass pools are also produced as complete pools and shipped to site by truck. the obvious difference here is that one pool is made from reinforced cement "Gunite", reinforced concrete, "shotcrete" and reinforced fiberglass and all kinds of systems in between.
An advantage of a fibreglass pool is that it would be light.
Another advantage is that it would be strong. A disadvantage would be that it would be expensive.
Another disadvantage is that it could be quite hard to repair smoothly when damaged
Gunite will generally last longer than fibreglass (if you take care of the plaster, and "cure" the gunite properly when it is installed).
You can also make a Gunite pool any shape and size that you like, whereas you're limited to the few molds that a fibreglass manufacturer has.
Personally, I like the feel of a plaster (gunite) pool on my feet *much* better than paint or fibreglass.
The biggest advantage of concrete over fiberglass is the structure. 8in. of concrete and steel versus 3/4 to1in. of fiberglass. I'll take concrete and steel every time. 30 yrs. in the biz. tell me so.
go with vinyl... fiberglass are plain
with a vinyl u can go "custom" shape and liner pattern... with fiberglass u get what they make and that's it.
A fiberglass pool requires less maintenance, less repairs structurally in the future, is quick to install, and is good for smaller pools. Gunite pools are better for a pool deeper than 8 feet, custom shapes, and is a bit harder on the feet than a fiberglass pool.
The in-ground pools are prefabricated. The bodies are made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic. This is an alternative to vinyl-lined, gunite and poured concrete pools.
Swimming pool types include above-ground pools, fiberglass pools, vinyl-lined, gunite and poured-concrete pools. Learn the pros and cons of each type of pool.
Our experience shows that gunite or fiberglass are good. Gunite would probably last the longest. CONCRETE tends to crack over years with normal ground shifts. Had two pools with concrete, so many cracks after 10 years, buried the thing, the repair costs were astronomical.
Hum, not sure if you can actually plaster a fiberglass pool. The glass would have to be removed first. You will have to consult a pool builder, a company that installs fiberglass shells or a company that installs fiberglass in plastered pools - thus converting a gunite/plaster pool into a gunite/fiberglass pool. The later uses the old pool shell as the sub-grade or foundation so to speak. k
Some of the benefits of Gunite swimming pools are extnded warranty and reliability. They are a great brand.
There are several good companies for fiberglass pools. I would go with Blue Hawaiian Fiberglass Pools.
Fiberglass swimming pools are easier to maintain, repair, and are less costly to install.
Yes, fiberglass pools have a smooth finish. Where a concrete pool was a pourus and rougher finish that gives alge something to grab on to. Also staining it. A low calcium level can pit a concrete pool, not a fiberglass, plus a fiberglass pool is more flexible,so ground movement wont crack it. In the long run the extra money you pay for fiberglass is worth it.
If you're in the market for a pool, you've probably heard a lot of good things about fiberglass swimming pools. Before you buy one, you should be aware of the disadvantages of these pools.Emptying-- One of the first disadvantages of fiberglass swimming pools is that emptying it can cause problems. These pools have to be filled with water at all times to keep pressure on the walls if you want to avoid damaging the pool. If you empty it improperly, ground pressure will cause the fiberglass swimming pool to crack or buckle. If you need the pool to be drained, a professional has to do it to prevent damage.Location-- Another disadvantage of fiberglass swimming pools is that you need to live in a suitable location. These pools are manufactured then brought to your home on the back of a large truck. You have to make sure your property will allow a big truck or crane to bring the pool to your home.Customization-- One of the biggest problems with fiberglass swimming pools is the lack of options. They are prefabricated in different shapes, colors, and sizes. Unfortunately, it is not possible to customize them, so you have to choose from existing models. You are also limited in the size and form that you choose. It has to be small enough to be transported on the back of a truck, so you usually can't get a fiberglass swimming pool that is wider than 14 feet.Sand-- One of the final disadvantages of fiberglass swimming pools is the sand. The pools are usually installed over a bed of sand. The problem with this is that the sand has a tendency to shift after a couple of years. When this happens, the pool will need to be reset.
One of the differences between plaster and fiberglass pools is that fiberglass stays smooth. Plaster can become rough. Another difference is that unlike plaster, fiberglass does not chip, and crack.
Fiberglass pools are less susceptible to having problems with the finish if your water chemistry is off. They do tend to have some problems with warping that you won't have with a cement pool. The fiberglass liner is usually cheaper also.