Fiberglass and Vinyl Liner Pools: A Comparison
When those hot summer days get the best of you, there’s nothing like diving into a crisp pool of water to help you cool down. There is just one problem. You don’t have a pool – at least not yet. Choosing between a vinyl and fiberglass pool is not an overnight decision. Price, maintenance, design and practicality must all be taken into consideration.
Fiberglass pools lead the way in the low-maintenance category of pool ownership. They have a gel coat finish that makes them non-porous, so it is very difficult for algae to burrow in and bloom. Their smooth surfaces make them easy to clean and a little elbow grease can go a long way toward restoring a fiberglass pool to its original factory finish.
While vinyl liner pools also have a very smooth surface, the liner itself is not impervious to algae harboring. Vinyl liners are much less porous than concrete pools, however. Cleaning and maintaining a vinyl liner pool does require a bit more work than fiberglass pools.
Design and Customization
Fiberglass pools have evolved since they first hit the scene. Size, shape, color, and feature options now abundant and the total back yard scene is more customizable than ever. Homeowners must choose from a pre-determined set of options for the pool itself because the pools are precision-molded in a controlled setting and then transported by freight to the install location, so the depth and width are limited to the molds available. However, the add-on options can add tons of fun and excitement to the pool experience. Tanning ledges, spill-over hot tubs, custom tile work, waterfalls, slides, and many other features can be added to the project.
Vinyl liner pools are almost completely customizable concerning size and shape. Depth, width, and shape can be easily designed by a builder based upon the best fit for the yard, existing landscaping, and homeowner. Many liner patterns are available, and, since the liner must be changed periodically, the entire look of the pool can change as well.
Instead of white being the only finish available, they now come in an array of finishes and shapes. This type of pool is ideal if you want to add attitude to your backyard.
While fiberglass pools are beautiful, the depth and width are limited, which makes them harder to customize. In most instances, they are usually installed no deeper than 8 feet and no wider than 16 feet. If you want something larger, a vinyl liner pool might be a better option. Vinyl pools are easy to customize, so the available styles and shapes are limitless.
Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Pools
– Comparatively easy to maintain
– Upholds original finish well
– Generally requires less chemicals
– Extremely durable
– Pet/kid friendly
– Minimal installation time
– Tons of available features for add-ons
– Pre-determined shapes, sizes, and colors
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Liner Pools
– Almost unlimited design capabilities concerning depth, width, and shape of pool
– Liners are subject to periodic replacement which can be expensive
– Typical installation time spans over a few weeks
Still unsure? Contact our pool experts to help you choose the best pool for your situation.