Trying to decide on Fiberglass as an option

Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
504
Martinez, CA
Gunite has many advantages over fiberglass which is why fiberglass is usually cheaper. Structurally stronger, no flex pipe, Any design and size you want, less chance of pool popping out of the ground Or settling. Finish will last years longer than fiberglass- Some pebbletec pools are approaching 40 years old And still look brand new. Mine is 17 and looks as good as the day it was built. If prices are comparable, go gunite.
 

Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
504
Martinez, CA
Gunite has many advantages over fiberglass which is why fiberglass is usually cheaper. Structurally stronger, no flex pipe, Any design and size you want, less chance of pool popping out of the ground Or settling. Finish will last years longer than fiberglass- Some pebbletec pools are approaching 40 years old And still look brand new. Mine is 17 and looks as good as the day it was built. If prices are comparable, go gunite.
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
190
Wylie, Texas
Gunite has many advantages over fiberglass which is why fiberglass is usually cheaper. Structurally stronger, no flex pipe, Any design and size you want, less chance of pool popping out of the ground Or settling. Finish will last years longer than fiberglass- Some pebbletec pools are approaching 40 years old And still look brand new. Mine is 17 and looks as good as the day it was built. If prices are comparable, go gunite.
Yes I have a gunite pool now. I assumed (incorrectly it seems) that fiberglass would be less but the speed of construction was another factor. I am a ways off though until the house is finished so will just have to see how everything goes. Both fiberglass and gunite pool builders in my area were about 6 month out anyways.
 
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cltguy

New member
Jul 31, 2020
1
Charlotte
Gunite has many advantages over fiberglass which is why fiberglass is usually cheaper. Structurally stronger, no flex pipe, Any design and size you want, less chance of pool popping out of the ground Or settling. Finish will last years longer than fiberglass- Some pebbletec pools are approaching 40 years old And still look brand new. Mine is 17 and looks as good as the day it was built. If prices are comparable, go gunite.
First - I agree if price is the same, I am going concrete over FG. As far as advantages, it comes down to customization now, what you see is what you get on a FG pool - even on designs I like, they would need to be mirrored for our yard (steps on wrong side, bench not where I want, etc.). Either way I won't go near a liner pool as the 7 people I know that have them have had multiple leaks at some point in their lifespan.

As for piping, every FG pool I've looked at is hard piped - some cheaper installers offer flex, but everyone I've looked at is schedule 40 PVC - the same as what the gunite pools offered standard (but why upgrade to SCH80 or CPVC for a small pool?)

Structurally they all depend on the install and how the ground settles, concrete pools can pop out of the ground too, but they can't be reset. Concrete is guaranteed to crack - it's just what it does, and as long as they are surface cracks it's not a big deal. I thought it would be less concerning for a FG installer to be reputable - but if you get a bad installer for Gunite or FG - you can have really bad results.

Strength of FG is good now - it flexes a lot more than concrete before it will crack - ALOT more. Some FG mfg actually warranty the structure for years and will actually back it up! Plaster and tile will fall off and chip on a concrete pool, just the facts of life. Even Pebbletec can fall off (From Pebble Tec " It is normal for pebbles to come loose during the initial curing process. It is also normal for some small loss of pebbles over time. Maintaining proper water chemistry is pivotal to preserving the integrity of the finish. "). Recoating a FG pool is easy compared to concrete - it's literally a air sprayer and a lot cheaper than getting the pool a new plastering.

The biggest thing for me is that Tile, Plaster and pebble tec tear my feet up, just from using my neighbors pool with pebble tec one day I had torn skin off to the point of bleeding.

With all those pros of FG for me - I still think that if prices are the same, a Gunite pool just looks a little better. :)
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
190
Wylie, Texas
First - I agree if price is the same, I am going concrete over FG. As far as advantages, it comes down to customization now, what you see is what you get on a FG pool - even on designs I like, they would need to be mirrored for our yard (steps on wrong side, bench not where I want, etc.). Either way I won't go near a liner pool as the 7 people I know that have them have had multiple leaks at some point in their lifespan.

As for piping, every FG pool I've looked at is hard piped - some cheaper installers offer flex, but everyone I've looked at is schedule 40 PVC - the same as what the gunite pools offered standard (but why upgrade to SCH80 or CPVC for a small pool?)

Structurally they all depend on the install and how the ground settles, concrete pools can pop out of the ground too, but they can't be reset. Concrete is guaranteed to crack - it's just what it does, and as long as they are surface cracks it's not a big deal. I thought it would be less concerning for a FG installer to be reputable - but if you get a bad installer for Gunite or FG - you can have really bad results.

Strength of FG is good now - it flexes a lot more than concrete before it will crack - ALOT more. Some FG mfg actually warranty the structure for years and will actually back it up! Plaster and tile will fall off and chip on a concrete pool, just the facts of life. Even Pebbletec can fall off (From Pebble Tec " It is normal for pebbles to come loose during the initial curing process. It is also normal for some small loss of pebbles over time. Maintaining proper water chemistry is pivotal to preserving the integrity of the finish. "). Recoating a FG pool is easy compared to concrete - it's literally a air sprayer and a lot cheaper than getting the pool a new plastering.

The biggest thing for me is that Tile, Plaster and pebble tec tear my feet up, just from using my neighbors pool with pebble tec one day I had torn skin off to the point of bleeding.

With all those pros of FG for me - I still think that if prices are the same, a Gunite pool just looks a little better. :)
Yes we have the pebbled finish on our pool now and it can be rough especially if you play any water sports. I think I am going to just price out both options fully and then consider al the pros/cons including installation times. We did. free form on our first pool but leaning towards rectangular this time and I actually really like the size/design of some of the fiberglass options I have seen.