5 Myths About Fiberglass Pools, Debunked
If you are looking to install an inground pool in your outdoor space, one of the first decisions you will have to make is what type of pool to install.
There are three primary types of pools: fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl liner.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of pool.
A concrete pool is attractive, has a number of add-on features, and can be customized to the size and shape you want.
A vinyl liner pool has the lowest initial cost and has a smooth finish.
A fiberglass pool is low maintenance, can be installed the fastest, and is energy efficient.
Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding fiberglass pools.
If you are looking to determine which type of pool is best for you, you will want to learn the truths surrounding these myths so they don't incorrectly affect your decision.
Here are five common myths surrounding fiberglass pools and the truths involving these myths.
Buying a fiberglass pool? Our thorough guide has answers to all of your questions about size, price, design, manufacturing, installation, and more.
What are the most common myths about fiberglass pools?
- Fiberglass pools float or pop up.
- Fiberglass pools look cheap.
- Fiberglass pools only work in warm climates.
- Fiberglass pools are much more expensive than vinyl liner pools.
- Fiberglass pools cannot be customized.
Myth 1: Fiberglass Pools Float or Pop Up
One of the biggest myths surrounding fiberglass pools is that they can float or pop up. There is some truth to this, but it is not something that a pool owner should worry about.
Any watertight vessel will float if there is enough water underneath it. However, in order for this to happen, the vessel needs to not be sealed into place and not have water in it.
This myth likely came to be because pools that were empty and not maintained floated or popped up.
A fiberglass pool that is properly installed, maintained, and cared for will not float or pop up.
First, most fiberglass pools should be installed over a sump system if there is a large amount of water that can collect under the pool. This helps prevent pop-ups.
Second, your pool should always be filled with water. The weight of the water helps prevent the pool from both popping up and floating.
As long as your pool is installed by someone who knows what they are doing and you don't abandon your pool, you won't have to worry about it popping up or floating.
Myth 2: Fiberglass Pools Look Cheap
Another common myth that surrounds fiberglass pools is that they look cheap.
This myth dates back to when fiberglass pools were relatively new on the market.
Back in those days, fiberglass pools were not the most attractive pool option. They were designed to give a homeowner an affordable and easy way to install an inground pool in their backyard space.
However, since that time, advancements and changes have been made, and fiberglass pools can be designed to look just as stylish and attractive as both vinyl liner and concrete pools.
Some of the options that are available when designing a fiberglass pool include cantilever concrete coping, colored pool finishes, waterline ceramic tile, mosaic inlay tile, fiber-optic lighting, and water features.
You will find that you have many choices in regards to the aesthetic of a fiberglass pool.
This ensures the pool not only has the desired look you're after, but does not look cheap in any way.
Myth 3: Fiberglass Pools Only Work in Warm Climates
If you live in a cold weather climate, you may hear myths that fiberglass pools do not work well in cold weather, only in warm weather climates.
The myth states that water in a fiberglass pool can freeze, causing the fiberglass shell to break.
When it comes to many of the myths on our list, there is some truth to them. But this is not the case at all with this myth. This myth is flat out false.
Fiberglass pools are a great option for both warm weather and cold weather climates.
When water freezes, it expands upward, not outward.
This means that water that freezes would not press against the shell of the pool and cause it to crack. Instead, it would go over the edge of the pool slightly.
Think about it. When you freeze ice in an ice cube tray, the ice does not expand sideways and crack the tray. It expands slightly upward.
The same is true with a fiberglass pool.
It is extremely important to note that if you do live in a cold weather climate, you will want to winterize your pipes for any type of pool, whether it be a concrete pool, a vinyl liner pool, or a fiberglass pool.
Winterizing the pipes involves blowing water out of the pipes. This prevents any water stuck in the pipes from freezing and possibly cracking the pipes.
This is not something that is exclusive to fiberglass pools, but rather is something that is needed with any inground pool in a cold weather climate.
Myth 4: Fiberglass Pools Are Much More Expensive than Vinyl Liner Pools
Let's be honest here. Fiberglass pools are not the cheapest pools to initially install.
Vinyl liner pools are often the cheapest option when it comes to building and installing an inground pool.
But this does not mean that fiberglass pools are significantly more expensive than vinyl liner pools.
First, let us take a look at installation costs.
Installation costs can vary drastically based on the size of the pool you are installing, the time of year you are having the pool installed, whether you are doing the installation yourself, and what add-on features you want.
For comparison's sake, we will assume that you are looking at a turn-key pool package that includes professional installation for vinyl liner pools and fiberglass pools.
Most turn-key pool packages for vinyl liner pools run around $45,000 to $85,000, while turn-key fiberglass pool packages run around $35,000 to $55,000.
As such, unless you are looking at the top end of fiberglass pools, the packages are fairly similar in price.
When you are comparing the cost of a pool, there are many factors that you need to look at.
Installation and building costs are simply one of the factors to consider.
Some of the other factors include the electricity costs of running the pool, the chemical cost of maintaining the pool, the lifespan of the pool, and the amount of repairs that the pool will need.
When you look at the initial 10-year cost of owning an inground pool, the average cost for all of these features amounts to $3,750 for a fiberglass pool and $11,500 for a vinyl liner pool.
This means that a fiberglass pool does not cost more. In fact, in the long run, installing a fiberglass pool may be your cheapest option.
Myth 5: Fiberglass Pools Cannot Be Customized
The last myth that involves fiberglass pools is that they cannot be customized. Once again, there is a bit of truth in regards to this.
You may be limited to certain sizes and shapes when it comes to fiberglass pools. This is because the companies that make the shells only make shell sizes based on what is popular and what sells.
If people are not looking for a shape or size in fiberglass pools, there likely won't be a shell made in that shape or size.
This means that in some cases, there may be limited shapes and sizes of pools available.
However, this does not mean that a fiberglass pool cannot be customized.
There are many different ways you can customize a fiberglass pool. Some of the options include:
One of the ways that you can customize your pool is with water features. You can add in bubblers or waterfalls to create a unique look.
Another way that you can customize your fiberglass pool is with the addition of a wet deck.
A wet deck is a large deck inside the pool that is filled with about 3 to 12 inches of water.
This provides a space for little ones to play, allows someone just to dip their toes in, or allows you to place chairs for sunbathing.
A tanning ledge is similar to a wet deck, just on a smaller scale.
The ledge is much smaller, allowing only one or two people to sunbathe while lying in just a few inches of water.
Adding a spa near your pool can also help to customize the look.
Spas can be customized to match or complement your fiberglass pool.
Coping is the material used to cap the pool shell wall.
Coping can be done in a variety of colors and textures, helping to set your pool apart from others.
Fiberglass pool shells are available in a variety of colors, including white, gray, and various shades of blue.
This helps you to personalize your pool.
Adding tile around the edge of the pool allows you to fully customize your pool.
The tile can bring in colors and patterns that set the mood and tone for your space.
While you may be limited on the shapes available when you select a fiberglass pool, there are still many shapes available to select from, including rectangle, square, circle, oval, and kidney-bean.
The last option you have when it comes to a fiberglass pool is the size.
While you may have limited size options, you still get the option of selecting a pool size that works for your family and outdoor space.
There are many myths out there about fiberglass pools.
Some of the most common include that this pool type floats or pops up, that they look cheap, that they only work in warm climates, that they are are lot more expensive than vinyl liner pools, and that they cannot be customized.
Unfortunately, many people shy away from fiberglass pools because they believe these myths.
If you are looking to purchase an inground pool, it is important to do your own research to learn which pool type is best for you. Fiberglass pools are a great option for many people.
When you educate yourself, you will learn that many of the myths that surround these pools are not true and how they can be beneficial for you.
If you are looking to learn more information about fiberglass pools or still have questions about them, take the time to read this ebook.
It will help to answer any questions you may have about these pools and educate you on the pool buying and installing process.
Editor's note: This blog article was updated on April 12, 2019.