When building a commercial or residential pool, there are lots of aesthetic decisions to make, but the choice between materials is just as important. It’s exciting to choose the shape, color, and landscape of your pool and backyard, but you want to make sure the pool material supports your vision.
There are so many different material choices today, and gunite and concrete are considered similar and popular options. Gunite and concrete are both reliable substances, each with their own advantages and drawbacks. We’ll discuss what they are and their pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision.
Gunite vs Concrete Materials
Gunite is made up of exclusively small aggregates, whereas concrete is made up of both coarse and fine particles. Gunite comes as a dry mix and is combined only with water during the construction process, and concrete comes already mixed with water, ready for construction.
Gunite vs Concrete Construction Process
The construction of gunite pools is similar to that of concrete. Builders first dig out the area for the pool, install plumbing, and then create a steel frame. The gunite is applied through a hose and shot at high speeds onto the frame, where it adheres and hardens over two weeks. Concrete pools also use a frame, but instead of being sprayed on, concrete is poured into the frame to fill out the shape.
Once you begin filling in a concrete pool, you cannot stop and start the process. However, with gunite, you have more flexibility to stop and start as needed. Once complete, your pool contractors apply a smooth finish from plaster, aggregate, pebbles, paint, or fiberglass–it’s up to you!
Pros and Cons of Gunite and Concrete Pools
Ultimately, the decision between gunite and concrete comes down to budget and desired design. However, it’s helpful to understand the pros and cons, so you know exactly what you’re in for.
Gunite Pools Pros:
- Can be applied in layers, allowing for more design flexibility
- Durable and long-lasting
- Can withstand pressure and damage
- Can be manipulated during drying process
- More prestigious material in public opinion
Concrete Pools Pros:
- Cheaper initial cost
- Can be constructed in any shape or size
- Durable and long-lasting
- More expensive initial cost
- Can be difficult to repair
- Needs a lot of maintenance
- More prone to cracking and weather damage
- Takes longer to set and dry
- Porous material of concrete attracts algae
- Requires a lot of chemicals and maintenance
How to Make the Decision
If budget is a main concern, concrete may be the way to go. However, if you prioritize durability and design flexibility, gunite is worth the initial investment. Both materials require maintenance and upkeep, but it’s important to consider long-term costs and how it will hold up in the future.
Consult Pool Professionals
No one can explain gunite vs concrete pools better than your local pool construction company. Hilltop Pools and Spas has constructed both concrete and gunite pools for homes and businesses alike for years. We’re happy to discuss your options and help you make the best decision for your specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about gunite and concrete pools, and get started on building your dream oasis!