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The Differences Between Concrete and Vinyl Pools by Cleo Gib

The Differences Between Concrete and Vinyl Pools by
Article Posted: 02/03/2016
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The Differences Between Concrete and Vinyl Pools


When a homeowner is on the market for a custom pool, there is a lot to consider. What shape should the pool to be? Where in the yard should the pool be installed? What company should do the work? These are all very important questions to consider, but, there is one even more important question— whether to install a concrete pool or a vinyl pool. Considering the installation of pools in Cumming is a big decision. There are advantages and disadvantages to both concrete and vinyl, but ultimately, the answer to this question will determine a homeowner’s options.


Vinyl pools are the least expensive custom pool a homeowner can have installed. While the term “vinyl pool” likely evokes images of above-ground pools, they are definitely not what is being referred to. The vinyl only refers to the liner used in the pool—the frame of a vinyl pool is often made of concrete, wood, metal, or plastic.

Aside from the initial price, one of the biggest advantages to having a vinyl pool installed is the timeframe of the installation. Vinyl pools are typically able to be installed within 1 week. These pools are, however, more limited in the shapes they can be because of the vinyl—in complex shapes, the vinyl may not lay as flat, which will in turn make the pool look cheaper. While custom shapes can be achieved with vinyl, a homeowner needs to be sure the contractor they hire to install the pool is skilled and can achieve a flawless finished product.

Another advantage to vinyl is that it is easier to maintain, and with vinyl, chemicals tend to stay balanced more easily. Also, a homeowner does not have to worry about the pool potentially cracking from freezing cold weather. A disadvantage, however, is that vinyl can tear. When vinyl is torn, the entire sheet will need to be replaced. Even when a vinyl pool is perfectly maintained, the vinyl will need to be replaced every 15 to 25 years.


A concrete pool can cost a homeowner upwards of $50,000 for the initial installation. The price tag is often what deters homeowners from this choice, but if they can afford it, concrete is definitely an option worth considering. Concrete pools are typically made using shortcrete, a material made from sand, cement, and water. The installation of a concrete pool takes about a month to complete, however, the finished product is incredibly durable and usually functions very well in any climate.

Concrete pools can be custom made to any shape a homeowner desires—there are no factors to restrict the design. A grid of steel rebar is placed in the hole dug for the pool and shorcrete is shot through an applicator onto the frame. Once this concrete dries, it is smoothed out, and plaster is applied, on which any number of finish can be used, including tiles, rocks, or colored plaster. With a concrete pool, there can be more uniformity between the pool and the decking that surrounds it.

One disadvantage to a concrete pool is that greater care must be taken in maintaining the chemical balance within the water. When the balance is off, pitting may occur in the floor and sides of the pool. While this pitting can be treated with an acid wash, the acid wash can only be done 2 or 3 times on the pool before it has to be re-plastered completely. When a concrete pool is cared for properly, however, it should only need to be resurfaced about every 15 years.

When considering pools in Cumming, it is important for a homeowner to determine whether a concrete pool or vinyl pool will be best for the budget and needs. While each type of pool has its advantages and disadvantages, both will provide fun and entertainment to a homeowner for years to come. 

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