Which Type of Pool Is Right for Me?
Know Your Pool Construction Options
Gunite, shotcrete, fiberglass- you have probably heard these terms bandied about by builders and salesmen as you prepare to purchase a new pool. But what do they mean and which type is right for you?
When it comes to pool construction materials, there are several options on the market. Choosing the one that is right for you will often come down to location and budget. For example, fiberglass pools are unpopular in Texas but preferred in northern states where the ground freezes over in the winter. To choose the best option for you, you’ll need to consider cost, shape, structure, and space, keeping in mind that many pool builders specialize in one type of pool. If you’ve already chosen your pool builder, you may not have access to all of these options.
Quartz finish is a mixture of cement and quartz aggregate. This material is cost efficient and long lasting, with the proper care it can last over a decade. Smooth with a slightly sandy finish, this stain resistant material gives extra traction. If looking for a unique color or design, quartz finish can be dyed to add rich, unique color. Quartz finish is more expensive than traditional plaster but longer lasting and aesthetically pleasing.
When properly designed and constructed gunite provides one of the strongest and watertight pools, especially on free form pools. A gunite pool., or dry shotcrete pool, is created by shooting dry gunite mixed powder through a hose which a “nozzle-man” hydrates by adding water as the mix exits the hose. Due to the low volume of water needed for the mixture the pool will have fewer joints. Gunite compressive strength can range fro 7500 to 9000 psi. While a great choice for a pool material, gunite tends to take more time to apply and might cost more for the homeowner.
Shotcrete, or wet shotcrete, is a factory-mixed wet concrete applied from a concrete truck. Like gunite, it is one of the strongest and watertight pool materials. Because of shotcretes rough finish a plaster material will need to be applied to once the shotcrete is in place. Shotcrete is also ideal for free form pools and allows for fewer joints because of the low volume of water needed for the mixture. It has a compressive strength of anywhere from 6000 to 7500 psi.
Fiberglass pools tend to be less expensive than gunite or shotcrete pools. Their long term expense is low to moderately priced so they are a good type to consider when thinking of pool maintenance in the future. When considering pool shape when choosing a pool material type fiberglass gives limitations. Most fiberglass pools are made from molds, making their shape definite. If looking for a custom designed pool or free form fiberglass is usually not the material to choose.
Vinyl liners are smooth to the touch allowing for only one material for these swimming pools. While vinyl liner is the most cost effective upfront, the maintenance required to maintain this material can add up through over time. On average vinyl liners need to be replaced every eight to twelve years depending on how well the pool owner maintains the pool over time.