Are Concrete Pools Better Than Fibreglass?

November 20, 2023

If you’re considering installing a swimming pool for your home, there is one big decision to make. Concrete or fibreglass? Each has pros and cons, which we’ll discuss in this article to help you make an informed choice.

 Both types of pools are very attractive, but they have specific differences that may appeal to homeowners. So, without any further delay, let’s dive into the pros and cons of concrete and fibreglass swimming pools.


The benefits of concrete pools

Concrete pools are stylish, solid and highly customisable to suit your needs. This is appealing to a lot of buyers, so let’s explore the benefits of concrete swimming pools.


Built to last

Concrete is your preferred choice if you want a solid, sturdy swimming pool that stands the test of time. Of course, fibreglass is an extremely durable material, but it’s no match for concrete. In reality, you shouldn’t have much trouble with either when it comes to durability, but put it this way – taking a hammer to a fibreglass pool would cause far more damage than it would to a concrete pool.

Fortunately, any swimming pool you buy from a reputable pool company should be built to last, but there’s no argument that concrete is more durable.


Several options for finishes

While fibreglass pools offer a smooth, gel coat finish (albeit in a variety of colours), that’s about the only option you have. Concrete, on the other hand, can be customised for a variety of different finishes. It can be smooth or rough, decorated with tiles in various patterns, and you have complete control over the design.

 This is where the elegance of concrete swimming pools comes in. You can tile mosaic patterns on the walls and use different surfaces for tanning ledges or the area around the pool. When it comes to versatility, concrete is a surprisingly great option.


Customised designs to suit your needs

When it comes to customisation, concrete pools are a clear winner. While there are some exceptions when you choose Blue Haven Pools, fibreglass pools are usually prefabricated and sold in a selection of designs. With concrete, however, you can design and customise it any way you like. Concrete pools give you more design flexibility if you want a pool that makes a statement.

 You can design your concrete pool’s shape, size, layout and additional features. You can incorporate tanning ledges, walls, alcoves, fountains, or any other interesting feature. You have all the design freedom in the world, which isn’t always possible with fibreglass pools.


The drawbacks of concrete pools

While concrete pools have some significant advantages, there are a few downsides that you may want to consider.


More expensive

While we’ve talked about the great design flexibility when installing a concrete pool, this naturally comes at a cost. The more complex your design, the more labour is required for installation. In fact, it’s fair to say that even a simplistic concrete pool design will cost more than its fibreglass counterpart.

 This can be a turnoff for families on a budget, but for those who want a touch of luxury and elegance in their backyard pool, the extra cost is certainly worth it.


More maintenance is required

Unfortunately, concrete pools come with more maintenance requirements and ongoing costs. While Blue Haven concrete pools have an extremely smooth surface, most concrete pools are porous, meaning there’s more room for bacteria and algae to grow. This shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a drawback, but you’ll just need to pay more attention to your chemical balances, and your pool should be cleaned more frequently.

 In addition, some concrete pools require resurfacing every 10 years or so, or they will need to be acid-washed, which is an issue you don’t typically find with fibreglass. So, while the maintenance is a bit more intensive than a fibreglass pool, most pool owners are aware their pool will require some degree of maintenance over its lifespan.


They take longer to install

Concrete pools are usually built on-site, which takes much longer than simply dropping a fibreglass pool into your yard. You also need to consider whether a concrete pool is suited to your soil type. If installed incorrectly or if your soil isn’t compacted enough, a concrete pool can start to sink, making it uneven.

 Blue Haven offers concrete pools made from precast concrete. Of course, this option may not apply to large-scale pools, but if you’re after a lap pool, plunge pool or something smaller, precast concrete is certainly an option. This reduces the installation time and complexity considerably, hence saving you money.


The benefits of fibreglass pools

Fibreglass swimming pools have been incredibly popular in Australia for a long time. These affordable, safe and smooth pools are great for families, especially those who don’t enjoy a lot of pool maintenance. Here’s what we love about them.


Faster to install

Installing a fibreglass pool is a lot less labour-intensive than concrete pools. This is because they’re manufactured off-site and delivered to your home. Of course, you’ll still require expert excavation to carve out the required space, but then it’s just a matter of lowering your prefabricated pool into the ground. Then, you just need to fill the pool and backfill around it.

 Of course, we’re simplifying this process somewhat, but fibreglass pools are certainly easier and faster to install than concrete pools built from scratch on-site.


Less maintenance required

Fibreglass swimming pools are coated in a hi-tech gel that protects them from damage. The beauty of this smooth surface is that there’s far less opportunity for algae to grow. This means your pool requires fewer chemicals and less frequent cleaning.

 This special coating can also last for the pool’s entire lifespan, meaning you shouldn’t need to resurface your fibreglass pool at all. You’ll still need to take care of your pool and maintain it correctly to achieve this longevity, but fibreglass pools are a winner if you’re after low maintenance and ongoing costs.


Better heat retention

If you’re not a fan of chilly water, fibreglass could be the perfect option for you. While the difference may not be enormous, fibreglass pools do warm up faster and retain heat better when compared with concrete pools. So, fibreglass is a good choice if you want your swimming pool to capture the sun’s rays and warm up quickly.


Smooth surfaces

If you have small children, you may appreciate the smooth surfaces provided by fibreglass. The floor is still slip-resistant and safe, but it’s smooth enough for kids to play in with virtually no risk of scratching or grazing themselves.

 Concrete pools have a rougher surface, making it more possible for injuries to occur. Even if you tile your concrete pool to make it smoother, there is a risk that tiles can break and present a hazard. Fibreglass is a safer option if you want to avoid those nasty scrapes and cuts.


The drawbacks of fibreglass pools

With so many benefits, fibreglass pools are bound to have a few drawbacks. Fortunately, there aren’t many, and Blue Haven has solved some of these traditional negatives.


Fewer design options

Generally speaking, fibreglass pools offer fewer customisation options. Because fibreglass pools are made off-site and transported to your home for installation, you often only have a choice of generic shapes and sizes. Unlike concrete pools that can come in any size, shape and design, you might be slightly more limited with fibreglass.

 With that said, Blue Haven has been in the fibreglass pool business for decades. We have a huge range of unique designs and shapes available, plus we can build to any shape you want. So, while a lack of design flexibility might be an issue in general terms, it isn’t when you choose Blue Haven.


Potential for blistering

While you shouldn’t have any problem with a fibreglass pool from Blue Haven, many manufacturers still struggle to eradicate blistering from the surface. We’re talking about small bubbles or bumps on the fibreglass surface of your pool. These occur when molecules get stuck behind the layer of protective gel coat. They won’t cause any problems functionally or structurally, but they don’t look visually appealing.

 If you’re buying a fibreglass pool and have concerns about blistering, always ask your retailer or manufacturer what they do to combat this. As we said, the blister won’t cause any real damage, but if you’re investing heavily in your swimming pool, it should have defects such as these.


So, which is better? Concrete of fibreglass?

Ultimately, it’s a very personal decision. Blue Haven offers a range of different pools in prefabricated concrete or fibreglass, and we also offer a customised design service. So, some of the drawbacks commonly associated with both pool types have been addressed by our team of experts already.

 In simple terms, fibreglass pools are cheaper and easier to install, with less maintenance requirements. Concrete pools give you more design freedom and a more elegant appearance despite the extra cost and installation time.

 We think both types are great, but it depends on your preference, your type of backyard and your budget. Contact our friendly team today if you’d like to know more about our customised pool designs.

Read More:

More insights on

Follow Us On