As inflation creeps up to an all-time high more people are looking for the cheapest options possible when putting in a new inground pool. As fiberglass pool pricing begins to get closer and closer to the gunite pool costs, more people are really trying to differentiate between the two. Gunite vs fiberglass pools. Let’s start by explaining what materials we are dealing with and the primary structural differences.

Gunite is concrete made of blended sand, cement and water that is applied through a high pressure hose. Gunite is known for its strength, durability and long life. Gunite can also be applied to any custom form. With an Emerald pool gunite is covered with PebbleSheen plaster allowing for customization in color.

Fiberglass is a pre-built fiberglass shell known for a smooth finish. The finish is due to the gel coating applied over raw fiberglass.

We can break down some pros and cons for each.

Gunite Pros:

  1. Flexible design and can be any size pool
  2. Extra features can be applied
  3. Customized finishes for materials
  4. Lifetime warranty included with pools constructed by Emerald
  5. Decking is stabilized along with the pool reducing shift. This can be quite significant with the dynamic soils in Texas

Gunite Cons:

  1. Maintenance cost (plaster resurfacing potentially every 8-25 years depending on finish)
  2. Chemical usage as it is a natural porous substance
  3. Longer installation time due to the customization of the build

Fiberglass Pros:

  1. Quick installation
  2. Low maintenance due to surface being smooth and non porous
  3. Range in sizes

Fiberglass Cons:

  1. Reduced home values in comparison to homes with gunite pools. The reduction can be as much as 50% making resale more difficult
  2. Lack of flexibility and design control
  3. Low availability
  4. Manufacturing flaws
  5. Decking is separate and with normal ground movement can separate from the pool
  6. Challenges with access and increasing cost of cranes/delivery
  7. Susceptible to finish damage with chemical imbalance

Our custom gunite pools have a lifetime structural warranty which is significant when living in Texas. Texas soil is known to shift and move. Fiberglass typically have 2 different types of warranties. Some have a structural warranty which is usually between 25-50 years depending on manufacturer. The gelcoat finish ranges between dealers, but is typically 7-15 years. One thing to also keep in mind is with fiberglass pools the pool must be completely drained prior to repairs being made. If repairs are done incorrectly it can result in major damage to the pool shell requiring full replacement. With gunite most repairs can be done without draining the pool. The structure can be repaired without requiring full replacement.

Every family will need to make the choice for their needs. Gunite vs fiberglass pools? There are pros and cons of both types of pools. An Emerald sales consultant is always happy to discuss and compare differences with you in regards to your specific backyard.


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