What’s the Difference Between Fiberglass and Gunite Pools?

What’s the Difference Between Fiberglass and Gunite Pools?

Installing a pool in the backyard is always an exciting project. You can relax in the water, get some exercise, or enjoy the comforts of having a personal oasis in your yard. Before installing an in-ground pool, though, you may want to look at the differences between fiberglass and gunite pools. These two materials are the most common options when putting in a pool, but they come with their own pros and cons.


Fiberglass is a plastic material that manufacturers weave and embed with glass fibers to create a smooth, hardened surface. In pools, it typically comes with a gel coating to create a smoother, more protected surface.

Gunite is a specialized material made of cement, water, and sand that hardens into a solid concrete-like surface. Installers carefully spread out the gunite using a pressurized hose and smooth it out to solidify its structural integrity.

Maintenance Requirements

When looking at the differences between fiberglass and gunite pools, one of the largest ones is their maintenance routines. Gunite pools typically require more maintenance. Gunite pools need resurfacing every 7 to 10 years, while fiberglass pools can often go 10 to 15. Because of their materials, gunite pools typically require more chemicals in the water to protect their surfaces from deterioration.

Many homeowners prefer fiberglass pools because of their reduced maintenance. Also, lots of common pool add-ons of the same material, such as fiberglass water slides, require similar maintenance. This makes them easy to care for.


Because manufacturers build fiberglass slides ahead of time, installation is generally quick and easy for homeowners. With a fiberglass pool, contractors may start a project and have a pool running within a few days. Since builders create gunite pools on-site, it’s a much lengthier process that can take weeks or possibly even months.

Shape Options

The largest advantage that gunite pools have over traditional fiberglass options is the shape. Fiberglass pools come in a few standard shape options, such as oblong or rectangular. Unless you pay lots of extra money for a custom shape, your options are more limited. However, gunite pools can form any shape, style, or design of the homeowner’s choice, making them popular for uniquely shaped decorative pools.

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