Fiberglass or concrete gunite? Which to choose in NJ for same price


Bronze Supporter
Jul 12, 2020
Hammonton, NJ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
So my husband had several people tell him not to do fiberglass since we can get a gunite pool for the same price. can anyone provide their input for our install area (northeast: south jersey). I know fiberglass people will say fiberglass is easier to maintain and cost less in the long term since you spend less on chemicals with fiberglass being non porous and you have to replaster and acid wash the concrete every so often. Concrete people say concrete is better and that fiberglass gel coatings need to be redone every 4 years.

What’s best for our application:
1. New Jersey (cold winters)
2. I found a fiberglass shell I love so those limitations are not an issue
3. Salt system (we are doing one so will this be ok with gunite or will it corrode the concrete?
4. Gas heater (will either retain heat better)
5. Will concrete make chemicals harder to maintain costing a lot more per season) also heard you have to brush the walls each week for algae.
6. Do u really have to do a redo the gel coat on fiberglass?
7. How often do you have to get gunite professionally cleaned? How often do you have to redo the plaster?
8. If price is the same and we seriously will make the gunite look like the fiberglass shell shape Because we like it so much which do we choose?
9. Do fiberglass pop up or is this a myth? My husband is very concerned about this.
We would have a hydrostatic system
10. Anything else we should compare?




Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
Chapel Hill, NC
Well, fiberglass gel coat doesn't need to be refinished every 4 years. Maybe 15-20 before it gets blisters and cracks. About the same time after which a gunite pool needs to be replastered. The difference is the difficulty finding someone to resurface a fiberglas pool. There are plenty of pool companies to replaster a gunite pool.

You don't have to get a gunite pool "professionally cleaned" if you take care of it.

Salt won't damage a fiberglass or concrete pool. And the difference in chemical use is minimal.

A fiberglass pool is much lighter than a concrete pool so theoretically is more likely to "pop" if you empty it and have a high water table.

My personal preference (having owned a fiberglass hybrid pool and a gunite pool) is definitely gunite, all other things (primarily price) being equal.
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Gold Supporter
First off I'm amazed the two are the same price in your area... most areas the FG is less expensive. The only difference chemical wise you need to consider between FG and G is maintaining your CH. And that is not hard at all. I think the major difference is you have much greater freedom to design the shape of your pool. FG pools are made in a mold someplace and then trucked in to be plopped into the hole. Where as a gunite pool is formed and framed to your liking.

Keith nailed it on the other stuff.

My vote is Gunite Plaster!
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Silver Supporter
Jul 28, 2020
Lincoln University, Pa
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
When we first decided to put in a pool we had the same question, FG or G. I thought FG would be less maintenance. We live in the Northeast and that was the determining factor. FG could shift with the freeze/thaw cycles. One PB said most FG installers up north will not backfill properly and then there could be problems with shifting.

We are going with gunite and I'm ready for any extra work to take care of it(brushing, CH).


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
We went with fiberglass as the time we put a pool in we could not commit to the "care and feeding" of gunite and new plaster during construction and early days when frequent brushing and acid additions are necessay. Skippy had recently had major surgery and I worked long PM shifts. So fiberglass was ideal for us. That we also knew algae couldn't take root into the slick finish of fiberglass was also a selling point to us.

If I wanted an unusual shape or features I'd have gone with gunite for sure.

Maddie :flower:
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