Vinyl, Fiberglass, or Concrete: Can You Tell The Difference?

August 8th, 2018 by

Many people recall their initial memories of a pool being in a hotel on vacation. What do you remember about those first experiences that help guide you when considering a backyard pool project?

When considering a pool, it’s a good idea to start your research by considering some of the questions below:

What am I going to use the pool for?  For example: Deep end swimming, shallow end activities, pool basketball/volleyball, sun tanning ledges, warm water spa options

Who is going to use the pool?  For example: Children, teenagers, adults, retirees

What features will I look for to enhance the above?  For example: Large shallow ledge play areas for toddlers, sport bottoms for basketball and volleyball, tanning ledges for deck chair relaxing/children monitoring or lounge chair sun bathing, attached spillover spas or nearby stand alone spas

Surface texture for swimming and maintenance.  For example: Gunite (concrete) Pools, Vinyl Liner Pools with dozens of beautiful patterns or Fiberglass Pools that resist algae growth, offering easy maintenance

When do I plan on building?  Depending on where you live, all four seasons are great times to build

Cost? Evaluate your budget and consider different options for financing

In the past gunite or concrete pools might have been considered as the only option for a true “custom built” pool to meet all personal customization requirements. Today’s fiberglass pools and vinyl pools with polymer or steel walls stack up beautifully against even the most customized gunite pool.

Can you tell the difference between vinyl, fiberglass and gunite?


Play a Little Game with Us

  1. Take a look at the images below
  2. See if you can guess whether these gorgeous pools are: gunite, fiberglass, or vinyl
  3. Read on and check your answers

different types of swimming pools


The History of Pools

Before we reveal the answers, a little background on old school concrete pools. While they were the apex of innovation in their day. Little about gunite pools has changed since the first one was placed in the ground decades ago. Innovation has been the name of the game for fiberglass and vinyl liner pools from the start.

Pool Innovation Leads to Nearly Limitless Options

What’s more, the customization options available with fiberglass and vinyl pools are virtually limitless. From tanning ledges to custom steps to water features and tilework, they’re all much easier to implement with anything other than concrete.

Plus… Gunite pools very quickly begin to show their age, ultimately requiring expensive resurfacing. Fiberglass pools are engineered with modern composites offering lifetime warranties on structures and finish. Vinyl pool liners can easily be replaced after many years of use, which also presents the opportunity to make an exciting change to the liner color or pattern.

And, the advanced materials used in fiberglass and vinyl pools naturally resist microorganisms, making it significantly easier to keep them clean. Not only does that save you time, it saves you money on pool chemicals as well.

The Big Reveal

Alright… we’ve kept you waiting long enough.

Click here for the answers to our quiz.

How did you do?

If you struggled to determine what types of pools were in the photos, you’re surely not alone. In addition to all the benefits noted above, fiberglass and vinyl pools allow you to easily customize your pool options, features and design. Learn more about the differences between vinyl, fiberglass and gunite pools.

Meet Our Expert

Written by

Jeremy is the Director of Digital Marketing for Latham. He loves working within a company that has a strong culture built on camaraderie and revolutionizing the industry.

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