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Do Fiberglass Pools Look Cheap?

Do Fiberglass Pools Look Cheap?

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Once upon a time, fiberglass technology was in its infancy. Fiberglass pools often looked plain or cheap, simply because technology hadn't advanced very far yet.

However, with time, science, and a passion for splashin', modern fiberglass pool manufacturers have blown those outdated appearances out of the water. Today’s fiberglass pools are elegant and stylish, fitting beautifully into any backyard landscape.

Fiberglass isn’t the cheapest pool option to install (although it still typically costs less than concrete). But it does offer a number of advantages, including a lower cost of ownership.

That means that, while fiberglass is a little more expensive to install, it has properties that make it less expensive to own over time. This includes less chemical use, less scrubbing, and lower energy costs to operate.


Do fiberglass pools look cheap?

In the past, fiberglass pools had less advanced technology, so they looked plan or cheap. Modern fiberglass pools look high-quality, because they are. They have high-quality gelcoats and structures, so they last longer and look beautiful. You also have almost limitless options for accessories, patio materials, water features, and more.


So let’s get real. Do fiberglass pools look cheap?

Modern fiberglass pools have very little in common with their ancestors. They are stylish and sleek and can compete with any other pool type in terms of style.

We will concede that any pool that is poorly constructed or poorly designed is going to look cheap, and fiberglass pools are no exception. So, let’s look at some pitfalls that could make a fiberglass pool look cheap.


Outdated aesthetics

Basic kidney-shaped fiberglass pools in a flat color run the risk of looking outdated.

Although this isn’t a blanket statement, these types of pools tend to reflect the basic styles of the past.

In comparison, modern fiberglass pools provide almost infinite options in shape, size, color, accessories, water features, and surround (patio, landscaping, and more).


Cheap materials

The quality of materials makes or breaks the look of a pool. Fiberglass pools that are made cheaply are…cheap.

Thin side walls can cause unsightly bulges. Low-quality gelcoats can scratch and crack more easily.

But, like buying a car or home or boat, a quality fiberglass pool looks elegant and becomes a true focal point within your own personal backyard resort.


Outdated installation techniques

Decades ago, the standard way to install fiberglass pools involved pouring concrete up to the edge of the pool and leaving the top edge of the pool exposed. There was a visible band between the patio and the pool shell.

This technique is ugly and it certainly looks cheap!

Today’s reputable pool builders create a surround that makes the pool look like a quality resort, not a cheap motel pool. You can now choose from many types of patio and coping.


inground fiberglass pool and spa featuring a waterfall


What should you look for in a fiberglass pool to ensure that it won’t look cheap?

Quality materials

High-quality materials are necessary to ensure that you have a fantastic pool.

Thick walls help prevent bulges and structural problems. A quality gelcoat will stay vibrant and help protect your pool from scratches.

With the highest quality materials, a fiberglass pool will look brand new for years to come.


Advanced coping

One of the biggest differences that has come to fiberglass pool installations is the use of advanced coping techniques.

One of the most popular is cantilevered coping. With this style, concrete is poured over the top of the pool edge, above the waterline. A rounded edge is created, giving the pool a very elegant, finished look.

Pavers or natural stone can also be used to create a well-finished edge. These details go a long way towards making a fiberglass pool look high-end. They eliminate that cheap-looking technique of the past.


Modern accessories

Gone are the days of plain white kidney-shaped pools. Can we just say Thank goodness!

Modern fiberglass pools can have all the latest features. Tanning ledges, deep end seating, fountains, and bubblers are all possibilities with fiberglass.

The addition of these high-end features pretty much guarantees that your fiberglass pool will look as high-quality as it is.

River Pools offers numerous lines of fiberglass pools—available in a wide range of shapes, styles, and shimmering colors. Your pool can look like whatever you want it to be! You can choose a deep-blue lagoon look, a classic grey Roman-end, or anything else you can imagine for your glistening oasis.


Stylish patios

Although it isn’t part of the pool itself, planning a stylish patio or deck is an important part of making sure that your pool does not look cheap!

Stamped concrete, pavers, travertine, or natural stone can create a beautiful patio. For examples, check out our pool patio and coping guide. And don't forget the decor!

When the patio around the pool is well designed, the finished product is truly a thing of beauty.

blue inground fiberglass pool with outdoor furniture and a firepit

So yes, fiberglass pools can look cheap, especially older ones, but they don’t have to. When properly built and properly installed, a fiberglass pool will be a thing of beauty.

Here at River Pools we take pride in manufacturing and installing fiberglass pools in Virginia and southern Maryland. We also spread our pools all across the US through our dealers. Get in touch with us—we’d love to help you catch the wave and start your pool project now!

Want to know more about how fiberglass pools compare to the other two types? Download our free e-book for all the details to help you make the best decision for you and your family.


Up Next: 

How to Customize a Fiberglass Pool

What’s the Best Small Fiberglass Pool for Your Needs? Costs, Sizes, Features

The Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Pools