What Type of In-Ground Pool Should You Get?
So, you're ready to take the plunge and install an in-ground pool. You can't wait to host pool-side parties and watch your kids splash around. Plus, you'll never have to fight for a lane in the lap pool again.
But just what kind of in-ground pool should you get? What are the benefits to different materials and types of water?
There are a few considerations to make when you're deciding what type of pool will work best for you and your family.
Fibreglass - Low-Maintenance
A fibreglass pool liner means less work for you. You don't have to replace or resurface it, and you don't have to worry as much about algae build-up, as the non-porous surface is less welcoming to tiny creatures.
Less algae and bacteria mean you'll spend less time monitoring your pool levels and shocking the water. A fibreglass liner also feels smooth and pleasant to the touch.
Although you'll enjoy less maintenance and a nicer feel with a fibreglass liner than with some other materials, you'll pay more for it. Fibreglass is an expensive liner material compared to other common options, and it can sustain some damage, such as cracks.
You also have less flexibility on pool shape with fibreglass liners. These shells come pre-made, so you can't customise your pool's design.
Vinyl - Economical
If you want something less expensive than fibreglass, vinyl may be the way to go. Vinyl pool liners are economical to install and extremely customisable. You can get these liners in a huge variety of shapes and colours. As a non-porous material, vinyl doesn't encourage algae growth, and it feels smooth to the touch.
Keep in mind, you'll have to replace a vinyl lining every seven years or so. Vinyl can also tear, meaning it requires patching and maintenance. Consequently, vinyl may not be the best choice if you have rowdy kids or pets.
Concrete - Durable
As a common pool liner, concrete may be the first material you associate with an in-ground pool. Concrete is flexible and easy to use to create any shape, size or pool depth you want. But while it's common, concrete is still expensive. You'll likely pay just as much for concrete as you would for fibreglass, and you'll need to re-surface the pool every decade or so.
The surface of a concrete pool is more porous than vinyl or fibreglass. Algae and bacteria can easily hide out in your pool's lining, so the pool will require more maintenance and chemicals.
However, concrete is extremely durable, and many pool owners use this material to create unique, in-ground designs.
Chlorine - Traditional
Once you pick your pool lining, it's time to focus on the water. A chlorine water system is traditional for in-ground pools, and most pool owners are familiar with its daily maintenance requirements.
However, chlorine pools are fickle and unpredictable. No matter how carefully you maintain your pool, you will always need to watch its chemical levels and adjust the products you add to the water. All that monitoring can add up to a whole lot of tedious maintenance.
Salt Water - Gentle
Salt water pools are becoming more common because they create significantly less work than their chlorine counterparts. Salt water pools still contain chlorine; however, the process is done naturally, using a chlorine generator to produce the substance.
Pools with salt water need less chlorine than traditional pools, and you don't need as many chemicals in the water. However, the generator is expensive to run, and you'll pay more both upfront and in the long term to maintain a salt water pool.
Despite the cost, your skin may thank you. Salt water is gentler and less drying to skin and eyes than traditional chlorine pools.
As you plan your in-ground pool, keep cost, maintenance and personal preference in mind. Whatever options you choose, enjoy your time in the water.