Fibreglass vs Concrete Pool

Fibreglass vs Concrete Pool - Which Is Better? Why?

If you are looking to invest in a new swimming pool, it can seem difficult to choose between concrete and fibreglass pools. While concrete pools are the more tried and traditional option, fibreglass pools are making an increasingly popular pick for many reasons.

In this article, we will compare and contrast concrete and fibreglass pools to help you determine which pool type is the best for you.

Cost (Upfront & Ongoing)

Concrete Pools

Concrete pools tend to be slightly more expensive than fibreglass pools, costing upwards of $50,000 to build.

Not only is construction more expensive, but concrete pools are also more expensive in terms of ongoing upkeep costs.

Concrete pools tend to require regular maintenance throughout their life, which typically includes acid washing, resurfacing, and repairs to any tiling.

Fibreglass Pools

Fibreglass pools cost upwards of $45,000 to install.

Unlike concrete pools, there are fewer long-term maintenance costs associated with fibreglass pools, as they do not need to be acid washed or replastered to maintain their appearance or integrity.

While the initial cost of a fibreglass pool is only marginally cheaper than that of a concrete pool, you may save money in the long run by opting for a fibreglass installation.

Installation & Customisation

Concrete Pools

Concrete pools can take anywhere from 3-6 months to install, which is quite a long time when you consider that most of your backyard will be unusable for the length of the build.

Concrete pools are built on-site, as the concrete is poured piece-by-piece. While this makes construction more difficult, it does mean that concrete pools are infinitely more customizable than fibreglass pools and can be built to suit almost any depth and shape imaginable.

If you do want a custom designed pool, make sure you engage concrete pool builders who can do this for you.

Fibreglass Pools

The installation process for fibreglass pools is significantly shorter than that of concrete pools, and can typically be completed in 3-6 weeks.

Fibreglass pools are produced off-site and then sent to your home for further assembly and installation, which is what really speeds up the installation time.

Due to the prefabricated nature of fibreglass pools, they are not very customizable in terms of shape and depth.

While you still may be able to choose add-ons such as steps, ladders, or tanning ledges, far more customization is available with concrete swimming pools.


Concrete Pools

Concrete pools tend to have a rough surface, especially when they are finished with plaster.

Many pool owners select pebblecrete or beadcrete surfaces for their concrete pools, while it is also possible to fully tile your pool interior for smoother surfaces and a more luxurious appearance.

The rough surfaces of concrete pools have a few downsides when compared to the smooth gel-coating of fibreglass pools.

Rough surfaces such as plaster and pebblecrete allow for debris to latch on more easily, giving nuisances like black spot algae a more accessible foothold as they try to develop in your pool’s water.

Because these rough surfaces are more porous, they are also more sensitive to chemicals in the water.

If you choose to have a saltwater pool for example, the salt present in your water will act as a mildly corrosive agent on plaster surfaces, requiring them to be replastered more frequently.

Fibreglass Pools

The texture of fibreglass pools is entirely smooth, except in areas where grippy surfaces are added intentionally to aid in using features such as steps or tanning benches.

The smooth, non-porous surface of a fibreglass pool is far less prone to developing algae infestations than that of plastered concrete pools. This is because the smooth texture of the gel-coating does not allow many opportunities for algae particles to cling to as they develop.

Fibreglass pools are also less sensitive to salt for those who are interested in going for a saltwater swimming pool.

They also require marginally less maintenance than concrete pools, so while these factors are important to mention, you should also remember that fibreglass pools are far from being maintenance-free (they do come with their own problems).

Fibreglass vs Concrete Pool: Which To Choose?

If you are seeking a customisable pool that can be built to suit your imagination, we recommend concrete pools. While standard designs are still available for the less creative among us, concrete pools allow a wide range of choices in terms of shape, size, depth, and water features.

Concrete pools also allow you to install a variety of pool surfaces, such as pebblecrete, beadcrete, and pool tiles, whether you are seeking a fully-tiled pool or decorative waterline tiling.

Fibreglass pools are less customisable, but are cheaper and take much less time to install. If you are uncomfortable about the idea of seeing your backyard as a muddy construction zone for upwards of three months, fibreglass pools may make a much better option for you.

Although they offer less customizability, the smooth surface of fibreglass pools is often regarded as a nice alternative to the traditional plaster surfaces found in concrete pools.

We urge you not to base your decision solely on expected upkeep costs or maintenance factors.

While most sources do agree that fibreglass pools require fewer upkeep costs, so long as concrete pools are taken care of properly, they can last a significantly long amount of time before requiring acid washing or replastering.

Also, although saltwater may contribute to faster deterioration of plaster in concrete pools, many pool owners happily operate saltwater concrete pools with no issues.

Whether you decide to go with fibreglass or concrete, make sure that you budget more than you think you will need, and select a reputable builder licensed with your local building authority.


Fibreglass pools are a great option for those seeking smooth surfaces, shorter installation time, and marginally lower startup costs. In turn, concrete pools make a great option for those seeking more customizability in terms of the shape, size, depth, and surfaces in your pool.

Do you have any questions about concrete vs fibreglass pools? Get in touch with us in the comments, we’d love to help!

Louis from Pool Advisor


A chemical engineer by trade, Louis is committed to debunking myths in the pool industry by explaining the underlying chemistry and making it accessible to all.