Taking the Dive: Fiberglass vs. Concrete In-Ground Pools

You will need to factor in the time and cost that go into installation and maintenance – both now and in the future – when deciding between fiberglass vs concrete in-ground pools.

fiberglass vs concrete in-ground pools””A swimming pool is an investment that you want to get  right the first time. You want the best location, design, and materials so your pool provides relaxation and enjoyment for many years to come. Taking into account how much money and time you want to spend, not only on the installation but throughout the life of the pool, will give you a clear choice when considering fiberglass vs concrete inground pools.


During the first few years after a pool installation, the aesthetic differences between fiberglass and concrete pools is very subjective. The biggest difference is the depth of the water’s blue tones. With fiberglass pools, the jewel toned blues come through due to the color of the liner. The water in concrete pools, on the other hand, appears as a sky blue array covered in light ripples.

Unfortunately, missed water treatments over the years will lead to unsightly cobalt staining of a fiberglass liner. The cobalt staining happens due to low CH, or calcium hardness, over an extended period of time. If the CH is low then the water becomes corrosive, causing the fiberglass liner to become rough and eventually crumble. Although keeping ideal mineral and chemical levels is important for all in-ground pool surfaces, you get to worry less about concrete because it does not stain due to imbalances.


With the required frame and reinforcements, the installation process for in-ground concrete pools is a lot more involved and time consuming than fiberglass. The shell of a fiberglass pool easily drops into the prepared hole with minimal adjustments needed to complete its placement. Concrete in-ground pools not only require additional labor steps, but also extended waiting periods for the materials to dry and cure. This process can take a few days or weeks depending on the composition and thickness of the concrete.


The extended installation process does translate into increased durability for concrete pools. The concrete materials are not as susceptible to damage as the relatively brittle fiberglass materials are. With proper cleaning and regular water treatments, the surface of the concrete remains free of cracks, divots, and staining. Unlike concrete, fiberglass pools are more prone to cracking if the pool is improperly drained or maintained.


Since concrete materials are more porous when compared to fiberglass, they require more frequent chemical treatments to keep the water balanced. Sometimes, it is necessary to use a higher concentration of chemicals than you would for fiberglass, which can drive up maintenance costs considerably over the years. Manual cleaning of concrete is often more time consuming than fiberglass, due to the need for deep brushing of the surface to remove the beginning stages of algae growth. Yet, the concrete pool will not have to be resurfaced as soon or as often as the fiberglass pool, which can be very expensive.

If you would like to learn more about installing a concrete pool, contact Razorback Concrete at 870-455-0700 to speak with our experienced staff. We can help make your dream pool a reality this summer.

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