Swimming pools come in numerous shapes and sizes, but the first thing to decide is what type of construction material to use. When comparing pool surfaces, the three main types of in-ground pools are concrete, vinyl-lined, and fiberglass. Each have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, but after comparing the fiberglass pools pros and cons, you’ll discover why they are often the best option.
The biggest selling point for fiberglass swimming pools is they’re very easy to install — the easiest and most efficient of all options. Fiberglass pools are factory-molded shells manufactured off-site, transported to your home in a single piece, then placed inside an excavated hole with a crane.
The pool is then leveled and components like filtration, heating, and plumbing completed. Depending on the location of your home, the entire process can take as little as three to five weeks.
Ease of Maintenance
Fiberglass pools are also easier to maintain and generally stay cleaner than concrete pools. Most are made from acrylic or similar materials that resist staining. The smooth, gel coat surface is nonporous. This inhibits algae growth, something a porous concrete surface doesn’t combat as well. This means you need fewer sanitizing chemicals to maintain your water. Plus, fiberglass doesn’t impact water balance like concrete can, so there’s also fewer chemicals required to maintain pH and alkalinity.
Overall Fiberglass Pool Cost
Fiberglass pool prices differ based on fiberglass pool manufacturers and complexity of the design. However, your initial fiberglass pool cost is usually higher than a vinyl-lined pool and runs close to that of a concrete pool. After installation, fiberglass pools are generally more affordable over the life of the pool. The liner of a vinyl-lined pool will need to be replaced at some point, usually between five and 10 years. Concrete pools also must be relined or resurfaced over time. Fiberglass pools are a single shell without any corrosive properties, so they should never require resurfacing. With little to no upkeep cost, this makes them more cost-effective in the long run. So if price is something you’re considering when it comes to concrete vs. fiberglass pools, fiberglass has the edge.
Durability & Comfort
Fiberglass is extremely durable because it’s UV resilient, a good insulator and repels stains. This durability makes in-ground or above ground fiberglass pools an ideal choice, but their flexibility makes them especially good for in-ground installations.
No matter the soil conditions, fiberglass is flexible enough to resist ground movement and can bend with the shrink or swell of the surrounding environment. It’s also strong enough to deal with external elements. This makes them more suitable for regions with seasonal weather conditions. Best of all, the non-abrasive, gel coat surface is soft and smooth to the touch, unlike rough concrete surfaces that can scrape sensitive skin.
Issues that were previously perceived as distinct disadvantages of fiberglass pools have mostly been eliminated with increased design choices in recent years. Because all of the best fiberglass pools are pre-fabricated, you are limited to some set choices, but according to AQUA magazine, these choices have expanded tremendously. You’re no longer stuck with a standard rectangle because some fiberglass pool manufacturers offer up to 80 shapes and sizes. Many designs come with built-in steps and seats incorporated into the shell for added convenience and can be installed with similar components as concrete pools like attached spas and water features. Best of all, fiberglass offers beautiful colored finishes that won’t change over time.
When contemplating a fiberglass swimming pool for your home, consider reasons why it makes the best option, like:
- Fiberglass pools offer the quickest, most efficient installation.
- Ease of maintenance makes pool ownership more enjoyable.
- Fiberglass pool prices are initially higher at installation, but pools actually cost less over its lifetime.
- Durability and flexibility mean longevity.
- Design choices are much more favorable, so you can get the pool you really want.
Choose a Premiere Pool Installer
Aqua Spas and Pools, located in Gig Harbor, Washington, installs in-ground swimming pools of all types, including stunning fiberglass pools. We can also perform fiberglass pool repairs, pool surface refinishing and pool and spa maintenance on all model types. Contact us to learn more about your swimming pool options.