Gunite, Fiberglass or Vinyl

Timmis

New member
Aug 17, 2020
3
Michigan
Hello,

This is my first post! Pleased to meet you all.
I am in the process of hiring a contractor to get a pool installed next year but I am being pulled in a 100 directions, every contractor gives me their 2 cents about gunite, fiberglass and vinyl. I have spoken with many contractors and one always deters me away from the type of pool construction I should get. I live in Michigan and am looking for a 16x32 rectangle pool, nothing just something for the kids to enjoy.

Everyone here seems knowledgeable, I am looking for a non biased opinion on which pool is the best bang for my buck which is about $100k with my patio.

Thank you all in advanced.
 

sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,887
Chapel Hill, NC
Vinyl is usually the least expensive, followed by fiberglass, followed by gunite. Factors to consider are cost, longevity, local ground conditions (clay, sand, rock, water table). You should be able to get a beautiful pool made from any of these three for $100,000!
 
  • Like
Reactions: dmlk

Timmis

New member
Aug 17, 2020
3
Michigan
Thank you for your reply. I am looking for something that will last. My ground conditions are clay, does that make it a problem for any of these three types of pools?
 

Jeff J.

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2019
221
Staten Island NY
Hello,

This is my first post! Pleased to meet you all.
I am in the process of hiring a contractor to get a pool installed next year but I am being pulled in a 100 directions, every contractor gives me their 2 cents about gunite, fiberglass and vinyl. I have spoken with many contractors and one always deters me away from the type of pool construction I should get. I live in Michigan and am looking for a 16x32 rectangle pool, nothing just something for the kids to enjoy.

Everyone here seems knowledgeable, I am looking for a non biased opinion on which pool is the best bang for my buck which is about $100k with my patio.

Thank you all in advanced.
I only know vinyl, there are a few things things I like about it. It feels very soft on your feet. I like the way it looks. And you don't have to worry about CH. On the other hand, I had to replace the liner years ago when muskrats dug a hole in it (in NYC! Well, Staten Island). It happened to my neighbor, too. Luckily, there's never been a reoccurrence.
 

davidgriffeth

Gold Supporter
Jun 9, 2017
9
Athens, Georgia
We tore out a dilapidated vinyl pool in 2018, and replaced it with a fiberglass pool. Fiberglass pools cost more up front than vinyl, but they usually result in a lower total cost of ownership. They are as maintenance free as pools come. You will never re-plaster or re-line a fiberglass pool, and they are inherently resistant to algae resulting in less chemicals and little brushing. Fiberglass pool builds can be QUICK: our build took 5 days from start to swimming. We love it. Over the past three seasons, we spent maybe a half hour per week tending to it. The robot cleans it, the kids empty the skimmers, and I keep the water right. No brushing.

The big drawback to fiberglass is you are limited in shape and size. We did a classic rectangle with a dive well on one end. Whatever you choose, be sure to hire a contractor that has lots of experience with your material of choice. I've heard fiberglass nightmares from people that hired contractors with little fiberglass experience.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dmlk

dmlk

Active member
Jun 28, 2020
32
Ohio
Our pool is almost finished it’s 16x35 fiberglass with 6.5 deep end. Our first pool build but second fiberglass we owned. We didn’t want vinyl because of the liner replacement. Didn’t want gunite due to doing salt water again and living in the north. The downside of fiberglass is the width imo.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,841
Morris Cnty NJ
Fiberglass is great, it takes knowledge to install properly and alot of proper planning and drainage/water management. Not every site can handle fiberglass. Vinyl has come a long way it's all I do unless project managing. Gunite is tried and tested and the Cadillac of pools. Its labor intensive and the most expensive. Usually reserved for year round use or more than a season due to cost. You can have a gorgeous vinyl pool with a 100k budget and change left over for outdoor kitchen too
 

Timmis

New member
Aug 17, 2020
3
Michigan
I appreciate everyones feedback!

For the people with Fiberglass pools, have you had any issues with cracking or bubbling, if so how is that resolved?
 

Whiskeyfox

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
132
Houston, TX
I did a LOT of research and would have gone fiberglass except the cost! It should be especially good in a northern climate. From all the research I did I think Leisure pools makes the best fiberglass pool. It's reinforced with carbon Kevlar, their gel coat is innovative and should last your lifetime with the pool, and it has a lifetime warranty as well.

My issue with fiberglass was our 30~ ft back wall we wanted, since the fiberglass guy wanted 28k to do it in concrete!!! We got a way better version of the wall in gunite for ~$2000. If you just want a rectangular pool definitely check out leisure!