Fiberglass vs сoncrete inground pools: which is better?

There are lots of differences between fiberglass and concrete pools. They have different exterior and interior. And of course, both of them have their pros and cons.

Since they have so many distinctions, there’s usually not much argument over concrete and fiberglass inground pools. Both of them have lots of enthusiastic fans, but no one can state that one of them is actually better than the other. It’s a matter of taste.

As soon as you realize the distinctions between concrete and fiberglass, you will also have no problems choosing the pool. Below are some of the major fields that distinguish various types of pools.


Differences between fiberglass and concrete pools
FiberglassConcrete
Estimated value$50.000$55.000
DesignPrefab pool shellsConsiderable variation
PersonalizationLimitedUnlimited
SensationSmoothBased on finishing
Time of installationUp to a few weeksUp to a few months
StrengthControversialControversial

Concrete and fiberglass usually have approximately the same price. Both of them are regarded as high-end pool construction materials.

However, as regards the final price of ownership, we should note that maintaining a fiberglass pool is usually less expensive. The reason is that fiberglass is more algae-resistant, which allows you to save significantly on chemicals for the pool.

But if you do want to save money on a pool, you should give up the idea of building the pool from concrete or fiberglass. Alternatively, think about purchasing a vinyl pool or an above ground pool. If you still prefer concrete or fiberglass models, you should install a smaller pool.

Design

Both varieties of the pool can look amazing when installed correctly and supplemented by the beautiful landscape design and decking.

However, you can improvise more with concrete pools since they can take any shape you want. The only limitations are your imagination, funds, and the experience of your pool contractor.

On the contrary, fiberglass pool shells are manufactured at the factory and delivered untouched to your doorstep; thus, you have to select from all the available options are. Since fiberglass shells are available in lots of different forms, this generally isn’t a problem. Nevertheless, if you want something extraordinary, you’ll definitely need the flexibility of concrete to realize your ideas.

Customization

In this case, concrete is an absolute winner. As was noted, concrete swimming pools are fully configurable. The customer can choose any form, adjust the pool to your exterior design and add new functions such as a spa or a tanning ledge.

On the other side, fiberglass shells are prefab. This is not to say that you can’t personalize your fiberglass pool installation; however, it really restricts your options. You can usually find any function you wish in a fiberglass pool shell.

As you can imagine, the problem of customization enters the battlefield, usually when it comes to expensive and chic pools. The average household doesn’t require more pool configurations than what are usually provided by famous fiberglass pool firms. Actually, most people prefer having a restricted amount of options since the selection can become overwhelming.

Sensation

In the case of concrete, the sensation depends on the finishing used. Plaster is the most common option and is usually located on the rough side. Nevertheless, if you’re ready to pay extra, you can use tile made of stone, glass, or ceramic for finishing. If your budget allows it, you can actually get any surface you want.

On the contrary, fiberglass is usually smooth to the touch. The downside of that is that it can become slippery, a special concern for pool steps where falls usually occur. Nevertheless, a loose surface isn’t obligatory a defect in the pool shell, but an indication that there’s an algae issue.

So what’s the conclusion? If you wish to make a surface less slippery, you should choose concrete. If the most important thing for you is that a surface that’s foot-friendly, give preference to fiberglass. But if your budget allows for any finishing, it’s not a problem.

Installation

As for installation, there’s one big difference. Fiberglass pools are usually very fast and simple to install. Since the shell is delivered assembled from the manufacturer, the installation is as easy as to drop the shell in a hole and connect the plumbing.

Installation of a concrete pool is way more complex, as all the work is performed in situ. While a fiberglass pool can be installed within a few days, concrete pools may take several months.

In general, the simplicity of installation is a score of one fiberglass pool. However, don’t forget that a pool is a long-term investment. In the long run, does it really matter that your side yard will be ripped apart for a few extra months?

Durability

Concrete and fiberglass models are both firmer than vinyl and can serve you for decades. However, which kind of pool is more durable is still a subject of discussion.

Some claim that concrete is the most durable option. Others note that such a pool will require an overhaul at some point, while fiberglass is almost immune to wear and tear.

However, fiberglass pool shells can easily crack. Some pool owners even said that such pools came out of the ground. Even though the majority of pool shells include a lifetime warranty, it won’t cover everything.

Conclusion

Obviously, there’s no clear winner in the debate between concrete and fiberglass inground pools. Concrete pools are definitely the most sought-after, but it seems fiberglass options are gradually catching up with them.

No matter what you choose, you’ll have to look for a pool builder experienced in the installation of the chosen type of pool. Ask them to show examples of their previous works to make sure you will get a good result. After all, if you find a skilled pool contractor, any choice will be the right one.

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