If you have been thinking of building an in-ground swimming pool in your backyard, you must first decide what material you want your new pool to be constructed of. So how do you choose between the two most common options, an in-ground pool with a vinyl liner and one with a fiberglass liner? Read this comparison guide to find out which type of pool is best for your home.
Fiberglass pools have been on the market since the 1950s. They are an excellent choice if you have the cash to spend upfront. Unlike vinyl liner pools, fiberglass pools are not built on-site. Instead, they are manufactured in a factory using an existing mold and transported to your home as a single piece.
What are the advantages of fiberglass pools?
One of the most apparent advantages of fiberglass swimming pools is their ease (and speed) of installation. A fiberglass pool is an excellent way to give your backyard an instant visual lift. Because they can be manufactured off-site and transported in a truck, installation time is relatively short. When a fiberglass pool arrives at your home, the hole is already dug, and the shell is already leveled; in other words, it comes ready to install. Of course, there are many variables to consider, such as where it will be installed as well as its shape and size, but the installation itself is relatively quick. Compared to the time it takes to install concrete pools (3-6 months) and even vinyl liner pools (4-6 weeks), it is easy to see why this is a huge benefit.
Another advantage of installing a fiberglass pool is that, while it is more expensive at first, it will cost much less in the long run because of its durability. The materials that go into manufacturing a vinyl liner pool are pretty fragile and require a great deal of TLC. The fiberglass pool shell and gelcoat, on the other hand, are sturdy and long-lasting. Once installed, your fiberglass pool should last you for as long as 25 years!
What are the disadvantages of fiberglass pools?
Fiberglass pools are less expensive in the long run than vinyl liner pools. However, their upfront cost is much, much higher.
When you choose a fiberglass pool, you are also tied to the manufacturer’s shapes and sizes. Because fiberglass pools are manufactured at a factory and delivered to your home by truck, there is a maximum width or length limit of 16 feet and a depth limit of 8 feet. As a result, they may be unsuitable for some properties.
Vinyl Liner Pools
A vinyl pool liner may be the best option if you want to start with a lower initial investment. As the name suggests, vinyl liners are simply liners laid over a steel or polymer frame. This makes them easier to install and more customizable.
What are the advantages of vinyl liner pools?
The primary reason vinyl pools are so popular is because of the low cost of materials. Furthermore, a vinyl liner pool installation can be a DIY project, resulting in even greater savings, particularly when it comes to one of the most expensive aspects of pool installation: labor.
When you choose a vinyl liner, you get a pool in any shape you desire created by your installer. This is thanks to the vinyl liner’s ability to accommodate any size or shape. A vinyl liner pool is an excellent choice for homeowners wanting a one-of-a-kind pool that will complement their backyard design. Whether it be a basic rectangular shape, the increasingly trending kidney shape, or any other geometric or abstract shape, a vinyl liner can accommodate. You can also choose from an infinite number of colors and patterns for even more customization.
In addition to the low cost of materials and the customizations available, vinyl liner pools are reasonably easy to maintain. They have a soft, non-porous lining that allows fewer chemicals to be used for cleaning and less overall upkeep. The gel coat on the surface of fiberglass pools is mostly non-porous, too, however, it may require weekly cleaning and chemical treatment to keep it protected.
What are the disadvantages of vinyl liner pools?
In-ground pool vinyl liners are typically less than 1 mm thick. Pool toys and broken branches can easily tear it. Even critters like ants and termites can nibble through a vinyl liner. The material can also easily fall prey to the sun’s intense UV rays and fade over time. This means that vinyl liner pools must be replaced frequently. A vinyl liner pool structure can last for more than 35 years; however, the liner will need to be replaced every 5 to 9 years on average. So, while vinyl liner pools are initially less expensive, they can cost you more in the long run than fiberglass pools.
The Last Word
Vinyl and fiberglass both have their pros and cons. We strongly advise you to study both types of pools you are considering on your own and hang your hat on what you think will be best for you in the long run. That being said, if you can spend a little more money upfront, a fiberglass pool will be the best choice for you.