Why Choose a Gunite Pool vs. a Fiberglass Pool vs. a Vinyl Liner Pool

Creating the perfect backyard oasis is more than just an investment; it’s about transforming your outdoor space into a personal retreat for relaxation, entertainment, and enjoyment. The centerpiece of this oasis is often the swimming pool, a symbol of luxury and comfort that sets the tone for your entire backyard.

Choosing the right type of pool is a crucial decision that can greatly influence not only the aesthetics of your backyard but also the quality of your outdoor living experience. This decision involves considering various factors such as cost, maintenance, durability, and design flexibility, all of which can vary significantly depending on the type of pool.

At Coastal Luxury Outdoors, we understand the importance of this decision. As a prominent pool building and maintenance business serving the Jacksonville, FL area, we are committed to helping you navigate this complex process. Our team of experienced professionals provides comprehensive services, from initial consultation and design to construction and ongoing maintenance. We believe in empowering our clients with information, enabling them to make informed decisions that suit their needs, preferences, and lifestyle.

In this article, we delve deeper into the pros and cons of three popular types of pools: Gunite, Fiberglass, and Vinyl Liner pools. Each of these pool types offers unique advantages and considerations. By providing a detailed comparison, we aim to equip you with the knowledge you need to choose the best pool type for your home.

Whether you envision a custom-designed Gunite pool that complements your landscape, a low-maintenance Fiberglass pool that allows for more leisure time, or a cost-effective Vinyl Liner pool that fits your budget, Coastal Luxury Outdoors is here to bring your vision to life. Let us guide you on this journey to create your perfect backyard oasis. Your dream pool is just a decision away.

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Also referred to as concrete pools, Gunite pools are a premier choice for homeowners who prioritize a combination of long-lasting durability and extensive design flexibility. These pools are constructed using a distinctive method that involves a rebar framework. This framework is then sprayed over with a mixture of concrete and sand, creating a robust and enduring pool structure that stands the test of time.

The construction process of Gunite pools is both an art and a science, meticulously carried out by skilled professionals. The first step involves the careful shaping and formation of the rebar framework, which serves as the skeleton of the pool. This framework is then sprayed with a high-pressure hose, applying the concrete and sand mixture that forms the shell of the pool. Once the concrete cures, it is smoothed and finished with plaster, pebble, or other specialized coatings to create the final look of the pool.

Pros of Gunite Pools

Customization and Flexibility

One of the most significant advantages of Gunite pools is their unparalleled customization potential. Unlike other pool types that come in predefined shapes and sizes, Gunite pools offer a blank canvas for your imagination. You can design your pool to fit the unique contours of your backyard, creating a harmonious integration with your existing landscape.

For those seeking a more natural look, Gunite pools can be designed to mimic natural bodies of water, complete with irregular shapes, rock formations, and even beach-like entries. Moreover, the flexibility of Gunite pools extends to the addition of custom features. You can enhance your pool with waterfalls, custom steps, tanning ledges, and even incorporate an integrated spa or hot tub. This level of customization allows you to create a truly unique pool that reflects your personal style and meets your specific needs.

Cove Blue plaster example 1


Gunite pools are renowned for their exceptional durability. Constructed with a sturdy concrete structure, they are built to withstand harsh weather conditions and the test of time. With proper care and maintenance, Gunite pools can last for several decades, making them a worthwhile long-term investment for your home.

The durability of Gunite pools also means they require less frequent major repairs compared to other pool types. While regular maintenance is necessary to keep the pool in top condition, you won’t have to worry about replacing the entire structure or liner, as you might with vinyl liner pools.

Artistic pavers

Resale Value

Investing in a Gunite pool can significantly enhance the resale value of your home. A well-designed and well-maintained Gunite pool can transform your backyard into an enticing outdoor oasis, making your property more attractive to potential buyers.

In addition to providing a luxurious amenity, a Gunite pool can also signal to buyers that the home is well-cared for and high-quality. This can give buyers confidence in the value of the home, potentially leading to higher offers and a quicker sale.

In conclusion, Gunite pools offer a host of benefits, from extensive customization options and impressive durability to enhanced resale value. These factors make them an excellent choice for homeowners looking to invest in a high-quality, long-lasting pool that can be tailored to their specific needs and preferences. At Coastal Luxury Outdoors, we specialize in the design and construction of Gunite pools, helping you bring your dream backyard to life.

An outdoor swimming pool with a built-in jacuzzi next to it. Both have blue tiles, and they're surrounded by tall greenery and a black fence. The jacuzzi has two large stone planters on either side of its entrance. The water in the pool is clear and blue.

Cons of Gunite Pools


The initial cost of installing a Gunite pool can be higher than other types, such as vinyl liner or fiberglass pools. This is primarily due to the labor-intensive process involved in its construction. Constructing a Gunite pool involves creating a rebar framework, applying a mixture of concrete and sand, and then finishing it with plaster or another material. Each of these steps requires skilled labor and time, contributing to the higher initial cleaning.However, it’s important to consider this cost as an investment. A Gunite pool adds significant long-term value to your home, both in terms of durability and increased property value. Unlike other pool types, Gunite pools are built to last, reducing the likelihood of needing a costly replacement in the future. Furthermore, the aesthetic appeal and customization potential of a Gunite pool can enhance your property’s appeal, potentially increasing its market value.


Gunite pools require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. This includes balancing the water chemistry to prevent algae growth, regular cleaning to remove debris, and occasional resurfacing to maintain the pool’s aesthetic appeal.

Balancing the water chemistry involves regularly testing the water and adjusting the levels of chemicals like chlorine and pH to maintain a healthy swimming environment. Regular cleaning is necessary to remove any debris that could affect the water quality or damage the pool’s surface. Over time, the pool’s surface may show signs of wear and tear, requiring resurfacing to restore its appearance and protect the underlying structure.

While this may seem like a lot of work, with a professional pool maintenance service like Coastal Luxury Outdoors, this maintenance can be hassle-free. Our team of experienced professionals can take care of all your pool maintenance needs, ensuring your Gunite pool remains in top condition year-round. This allows you to enjoy your pool without the stress of maintenance, making your backyard oasis a source of relaxation and enjoyment.

In summary, Gunite pools, with their robust construction, enduring durability, and limitless design flexibility, offer homeowners the ability to bring their dream pool to life. They are an excellent choice for those seeking a pool that not only enhances the beauty of their backyard but also serves as a long-lasting investment for their home. At Coastal Luxury Outdoors, we specialize in the design and construction of Gunite pools, helping you transform your backyard into the perfect outdoor oasis. Let us assist you in making an informed decision that suits your needs, preferences, and lifestyle.

In the realm of backyard transformations, fiberglass pools have emerged as a favored choice among homeowners, winning hearts with their unique amalgamation of convenience, comfort, and cost-effectiveness. These pools are born in factories, meticulously molded into large, bowl-shaped structures that embody precision and quality.

Once these structures take shape, they embark on a journey to their new home - your backyard. Here, they are gently lowered into a pre-excavated hole using a crane, a process that is as fascinating to watch as it is efficient. This well-orchestrated symphony of manufacturing and installation processes not only ensures a high-quality end product but also brings with it a host of distinct advantages.

From rapid installation to easy maintenance, fiberglass pools are transforming backyards into personal retreats, one home at a time. Let’s dive deeper into the world of fiberglass pools and uncover the benefits they bring to your outdoor living space.

Pros Of Fiberglass Pools

Low Maintenance

One of the most compelling advantages of Fiberglass pools is their low maintenance requirements. This benefit stems from the unique characteristics of the fiberglass material used in the construction of these pools.

The surface of a Fiberglass pool is smooth and nonporous. This characteristic is crucial as it inhibits the growth of algae, a common issue in pools. Algae not only discolors the pool but also makes the surface slippery, posing a safety risk. By inhibiting algae growth, Fiberglass pools reduce the need for frequent cleaning and scrubbing, saving you considerable time and effort. This means more time enjoying your pool and less time worrying about upkeep.

Moreover, the nonporous surface of Fiberglass pools offers another significant advantage: it prevents the pool from absorbing water chemicals. In other types of pools, the porous surface can absorb chemicals like chlorine, requiring constant monitoring and adjustment of the water chemistry. However, in a Fiberglass pool, the chemicals stay in the water where they belong, making it easier to maintain a balanced and safe water chemistry.

This characteristic not only simplifies pool maintenance but can also result in significant cost savings. With less chemical absorption, you’ll use fewer chemicals to keep your pool clean and safe, reducing your ongoing maintenance costs.

Fiberglass Pool

Quick Installation

One of the most appealing advantages of Fiberglass pools is their quick installation process. Unlike Gunite or Vinyl Liner pools, which require a lengthy construction process on-site, Fiberglass pools are pre-built in a factory. This means that the pool shell is fully formed and ready for installation upon arrival at your home, significantly reducing the installation time.

The process begins with the excavation of your backyard to create a space for the pool. Once this is complete, the pre-formed Fiberglass pool shell is carefully transported to your home. Using a crane, the shell is then gently lowered into the excavated hole. Because the pool shell arrives fully formed, the installation process is streamlined and can be completed within a matter of days. This is a stark contrast to other pool types, which can take weeks or even months to construct and install.

This quick installation process means you can start enjoying your new pool sooner, reducing the amount of time your backyard is a construction site and allowing you to make the most of the swimming season. This makes Fiberglass pools an excellent choice for those looking for a quick turnaround from decision to dive.

Moreover, the quick installation process also means less labor is required, which can result in lower installation costs compared to other pool types. This, combined with the low maintenance requirements of Fiberglass pools, makes them a cost-effective choice for many homeowners.

fiberglass pool

Smooth Finish

The smooth finish of Fiberglass pools is a defining feature that contributes significantly to their appeal. This characteristic is not only aesthetically pleasing, enhancing the visual appeal of your pool, but also offers practical benefits that enhance the swimming experience.

Unlike concrete pools, which can be rough and abrasive, Fiberglass pools have a nonporous surface that is smooth to the touch. This smoothness is gentle on the feet, providing a comfortable surface for swimmers to walk and play on. It’s also gentle on swimwear, reducing the wear and tear that can occur with rougher pool surfaces.

The smooth finish of Fiberglass pools also contributes to safety, particularly for children and novice swimmers. There are no sharp edges or rough surfaces that could cause scrapes or injuries. This makes Fiberglass pools a safer choice for families with young children or for those who enjoy active water games.

Additionally, the glossy finish of Fiberglass pools is available in a variety of colors. This allows you to choose a look that best fits your backyard aesthetic. Whether you prefer a classic blue, a vibrant turquoise, or a sleek grey, you can select a pool color that complements your outdoor decor and reflects your personal style.


Cons of Fiberglass Pools

Limited Customization

One aspect to consider when choosing Fiberglass pools is their limited customization. These pools are pre-molded in the factory, which means they come in fixed shapes and sizes. While this manufacturing process ensures precision and consistency, it does not offer the same level of design flexibility as with a Gunite pool, which can be custom-built to any shape or size.

If you have a specific design in mind that doesn’t match the available molds, a Fiberglass pool may not be able to accommodate your vision. This could be a limitation if you’re looking for a highly unique or complex pool design. For instance, if you want a pool that perfectly contours to your backyard’s unique landscape or if you desire a pool shape that is truly one-of-a-kind, a Gunite pool might be a better fit.

However, it’s important to note that many homeowners find that the range of designs offered by Fiberglass pool manufacturers is extensive enough to meet their needs and preferences. Manufacturers typically offer a variety of shapes and sizes, from classic rectangles and ovals to more free-form designs.

Moreover, despite this limitation in shape and size, Fiberglass pools can still be beautifully integrated into your backyard design with thoughtful landscaping and decking. With the right design elements, a Fiberglass pool can become a stunning centerpiece in your backyard. You can enhance the area around the pool with patio stones, decking, plants, and outdoor furniture to create a cohesive and inviting outdoor space.


When it comes to the durability of Fiberglass pools, it’s important to understand that while they are robust and can last many years, they may not match the longevity of Gunite pools. The typical lifespan of a well-maintained Fiberglass pool is around 20 to 30 years with proper care and maintenance. This is a considerable amount of time, offering decades of enjoyment for you and your family. However, when compared to the potential 50-year lifespan of a well-maintained Gunite pool, it may seem shorter.

It’s crucial to note that Fiberglass pools are still a highly durable option. One of their standout features is their resistance to algae growth and staining. The smooth, nonporous surface of a Fiberglass pool makes it difficult for algae to take hold, reducing the need for frequent cleaning and chemical treatments. This resistance to algae not only contributes to the pool’s durability but also reduces maintenance requirements.

Moreover, the smooth surface of Fiberglass pools is less prone to damage than the rougher surfaces of concrete pools. It’s resistant to cracking and chipping, ensuring that the pool maintains its beautiful appearance over time. With regular care, including maintaining the right chemical balance, cleaning, and promptly repairing any damage, a Fiberglass pool can provide many years of enjoyment.

In conclusion, Fiberglass pools offer a unique blend of convenience, comfort, and cost-effectiveness, making them a popular choice for many homeowners. If you’re seeking a high-quality pool with a quick installation process and lower maintenance requirements, a Fiberglass pool could be the perfect fit for your backyard oasis.

Vinyl liner pools have emerged as a favored choice among homeowners who are seeking a blend of affordability, customization, and comfort in their swimming pool option. These pools are ingeniously constructed using a custom-made sheet of vinyl. This vinyl sheet, tailored to the pool’s dimensions, serves as the pool’s interior surface and fits snugly over the pool structure, creating a smooth and inviting finish.

A unique feature of these pools is the top edge of the vinyl liner, commonly referred to as the bead. This bead is designed to lock into a track that is strategically located on the bottom of the coping at deck level. This innovative design ensures a secure fit and a clean, finished look.

This unique construction methodology of Vinyl liner pools offers several distinct advantages, making it an attractive option for potential pool owners. However, like any option, it also presents certain considerations that should be taken into account. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into these pros and cons, providing you with comprehensive information to help you make an informed decision about whether a Vinyl liner pool is the right choice for your backyard oasis. Let’s dive in!

Pros of Vinyl Liner Pools

Low Initial Cost

One of the most appealing features of Vinyl liner pools is their low initial cost. Generally, they are considered the most affordable type of in-ground pool, making them an excellent choice for homeowners working within a budget or those venturing into pool ownership for the first time.

The lower cost of Vinyl liner pools can be attributed to several factors:

  • Materials: Vinyl liner pools are constructed using a custom-made sheet of vinyl, which is less expensive than the materials used in Gunite or Fiberglass pools. The vinyl liner is fitted over a frame, typically made of plastic or metal, which is also relatively inexpensive.
  • Construction Process: The construction process for Vinyl liner pools is simpler and less labor-intensive compared to Gunite or Fiberglass pools. The pool structure is assembled on site, the liner is installed, and then the pool is filled with water. This process requires fewer specialized skills and less time, which contributes to the lower cost.
  • Installation Time: As the shells of Vinyl liner pools are pre-built, they can be installed much faster than Gunite pools. This quicker installation time translates into lower labor costs, further reducing the overall cost of the pool.

It’s important to note that while the initial cost of a Vinyl liner pool is generally lower, there may be additional costs over the lifetime of the pool. For example, the vinyl liner may need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years, depending on use and care. However, many homeowners find that the low initial cost and the benefits of a Vinyl liner pool make it a worthwhile investment.

vinyl liner pool

Customizable Shape and Size

One of the most appealing aspects of Vinyl liner pools is the high degree of customization they offer. Unlike Fiberglass pools, which are limited to the pre-formed shapes and sizes available from the manufacturer, Vinyl liner pools provide a canvas for creativity and personalization.

Vinyl liner pools are constructed using a custom-made sheet of vinyl that fits over the pool structure. This structure can be built in nearly any shape or size, offering a level of design flexibility that is hard to match. Whether you desire a classic rectangular pool for lap swimming, a kidney-shaped pool for its aesthetic appeal, or a freeform design that mimics a natural lagoon, a Vinyl liner pool can accommodate your vision.

This flexibility extends beyond just the shape and size of the pool. With a Vinyl liner pool, you can also customize the depth profile of the pool. Whether you want a shallow pool for younger swimmers, a deep pool for diving, or a pool with a gradual depth change, a Vinyl liner pool can be designed to meet these specific needs.

Moreover, the liner itself comes in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to choose a look that complements your backyard decor and reflects your personal style. From vibrant blues that mimic a tropical sea to subtle patterns that resemble natural stone, the options are plentiful.

laying a vinyl liner pool out

Cons of Vinyl Liner Pools


The lifespan of a pool is a critical factor to consider when choosing the type of pool for your backyard, and Vinyl liner pools come with their own unique considerations. While these pools are durable and can withstand regular use, the lifespan of the vinyl liner itself typically ranges from 7 to 15 years, depending on use and care.

This lifespan is shorter when compared to other types of pools. For instance, Gunite pools, with their robust concrete structure, can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. Similarly, Fiberglass pools can offer a lifespan of around 20 to 30 years.

The primary reason for this difference is the nature of the vinyl liner. Over time, the liner can face wear and tear from regular use, exposure to pool chemicals, and environmental factors like sunlight and temperature changes. These factors can cause the liner to become brittle or develop cracks, eventually requiring replacement.

The cost and effort of liner replacement should be factored into the long-term ownership costs of a Vinyl liner pool. While the initial cost of these pools is generally lower than other types, the need for liner replacement adds to the long-term cost. The replacement process involves draining the pool, removing the old liner, installing the new one, and refilling the pool. While this process is straightforward, it does require professional installation to ensure a proper fit and to maintain the warranty on the liner.


When it comes to the durability of Vinyl liner pools, it’s important to understand both their strengths and potential vulnerabilities. The vinyl liner itself is quite durable and designed to withstand the regular use of a busy pool. It’s resistant to the common wear and tear that comes with swimming, playing, and general use.

However, despite its durability, the vinyl liner can be susceptible to punctures. Sharp objects that accidentally find their way into the pool, whether they’re toys, tools, or natural debris like sticks, can potentially puncture the liner. Pets, particularly dogs with sharp claws, can also accidentally damage the liner if they’re allowed in the pool. Even certain types of pool toys or equipment, if not used properly, can cause damage.

Despite this vulnerability, it’s important to note that most punctures in a vinyl liner can be easily repaired without needing to replace the entire liner. Small punctures or tears can often be fixed with a simple patch kit, which can be applied underwater and typically provides a strong, long-lasting repair. For larger damages, professional repair services may be required, but these are generally much less costly and disruptive than a full liner replacement.

In conclusion, while Vinyl liner pools are durable and can withstand regular use, they do have vulnerabilities that pool owners should be aware of. With proper care, including regular inspections for damage, prompt repairs, and thoughtful use of the pool, a Vinyl liner pool can provide many years of enjoyment.

At Coastal Luxury Outdoors, we are more than just a pool building company - we are your partners in transforming your outdoor space into your personal paradise. We understand that choosing the right pool for your home is a significant decision that goes beyond mere aesthetics. It’s about creating a lifestyle, enhancing your leisure time, and bringing a dream to life.

We are dedicated to providing our customers with the best service possible, which begins with understanding your unique needs and vision. Our team of experienced professionals will guide you through every step of the process, from the initial consultation where we discuss your ideas and preferences, to the design phase where those ideas start to take shape.

Our commitment continues through the construction phase, where our attention to detail and commitment to quality ensures that your pool is built to the highest standards. But our service doesn’t stop once your pool is built. We also offer comprehensive maintenance services to keep your pool looking its best and operating efficiently, allowing you to enjoy your pool without any hassles.

We believe that the best pool for you is the one that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle, enhances your outdoor living space, and brings you joy every day. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax, to entertain, or to spend quality time with your family, we’re here to make that dream a reality.

Contact us today to start building your dream backyard oasis. Let Coastal Luxury Outdoors turn your vision into a reality, creating a space that you’ll love for years to come. Remember, your dream backyard is just a phone call away. Let us help you make that dream a reality.

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