Fiberglass vs Vinyl

Catbrug

New member
May 12, 2020
2
Appling, Georgia
We need help deciding between a vinyl or fiberglass. Our PB is very reputable and well respected in our area, so we trust their judgement. Both have the VS pump and cartridge filter

Vinyl pool (675 gal Lazy L): brick coping, SWG, gray thermoplastic latham steps and swim out, 20 or 27 ml Latham liner, 2 LED lights, 10" concrete walls, padding, vermiculite/cement mix for bottom $52K
  • our builder will not do freeform vinyl pools
  • he will also not do vinyl over steps
Thursday Pools Goliath 37' fiberglass: graphite color, 2 LED lights, brick coping, SWG $ $59K

We are super concerned about the vinyl liner "looking cheap" in our neighborhood and the durability of the liner with 3 kids, friends, etc. We are also concerned about the longevity of the fiberglass gelcoat still looking nice over 7-10+ years and the obstacles with updating/repairing fiberglass surfaces. There are upscale homes in our area with vinyl liner pools, but the trend seems to be leaning towardsdoing fiberglass or gunite (too expensive). Picture below is typical of the PB work. His vinyl pools look very upscale, but at the end of the day, its still a liner pool. I do often feel like he prefers to do liner pools, although he wont actually give an opinion on a preference. But he does say "new liner, new pool" fairly frequently....and commented that at a certain point with bells and whistles ($68K+), he can build a gunite for the same price.
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,801
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

You want to borrow my coin to flip? I think you understand the tradeoffs. All pools need periodic maintenance - gunite pools need new plaster; liner pools need new liners; FG pools have gel coat issues. There is no perfect pool. Pick your poison for your budget.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,510
NY
There are upscale homes in our area with vinyl liner pools, but the trend seems to be leaning towardsdoing fiberglass or gunite (too expensive
Trends don’t matter unless you are planning on selling soon. In 3 years, no pool may be the trend. Do what you like the best.
 

l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
590
Walnutport, PA
We have dogs, foster for two rescues and a dog boarding business in our home. Dogs were a BIG concern for us as well. We did a liner with two 11' Roman fiberglass steps. Our PB told us that *most* incidents with dogs nails are on a grip surface (steps, ledge, etc). That is why we went with grey fiberglass over liner covered.

Another trick if you go liner is to do a borderless pattern. IMO, it doesn't look as 'vinyl-y'. We were supposed to be borderless, but an ordering error mixed with my impatience led us to one with a border. I didn't think to ask this when we built, but if the bead line at the top of the liner and just under the concrete coping could be colored to match, it would be a really nice touch. My eye goes straight to ours (but I am also pretty picky :LOL:).

We don't have many FG pools in my area, so it wasn't even considered. I'm no help there!
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,628
Evans, Georgia
Hey there....we went with fiberglass because we couldn't commit the time to babysit a new gunnite pool.

Fiberglass appealed to me as the surface is so smooth it doesn't really allow anything like the dreaded black algae I'd read about dig into the surface.

While vinyl is initially cheaper, I knew that ultimately down the line you spend the difference on replacement liners.

Maddie :flower:
 
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GrandizerGo

Active member
Jun 21, 2019
39
Ontario, Canada
As @ajw22 said, pick your poison. Take a look at what issues people have. Also take a look at the warranty and what requirements there are to stay in warranty. Would it bother you if the pool didn't look perfect? I'm wondering if its a "grass is greener on the other side" kind of thing. I have a FB because I was looking for easier maintenance and it comes with stairs/benches already built in. I was worried about leaks and stuff so a single shell was appealing. I'm pretty OCD to this stuff and I see every defect in my FB pool all of which are likely considered standard within the build variances. Sometimes the idea of being able to replace a liner if all goes bad is kind of appealing as a safety net. As my wife says, a pool is meant to be enjoyed so just enjoy it. Some people buy expensive cars but we chose a family pool instead. My family is in the pool now while I type this so maybe my wife is right.....just don't tell her I said that :)