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Do Fiberglass Pools Look Like Bathtubs? A Prevention Guide

By: Marcus Sheridan on September 6th, 2009

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Do Fiberglass Pools Look Like Bathtubs? A Prevention Guide

Fiberglass Pool Information  |  Fiberglass vs Concrete vs Vinyl Liner  |  Installation & Construction  |  Patio and Coping  |  Options and Accessories

I've been talking quite a bit about this subject lately, but because there are still so many misconceptions out there regarding fiberglass pools and how they look I feel it necessary to further address the ‘bathtub' phenomenon.

You see, when fiberglass pools came of age about 40 years ago, they had some major drawbacks for various reasons. In fact, when it came to their structures (poor choices of resins used) and their aesthetics (white shells), they were quite a flawed product. Luckily though, fiberglass pools have advanced light-years in the past 40 years but notwithstanding, there is still the occasional perception by some consumers that they have a bathtub-like appearance.

In order to address this 'bathtub' concern, I've listed here the five keys to ensuring that your fiberglass pools looks beautiful, permanent, and aesthetically dynamic—enough so to rival the best concrete pool available on the market today.


5 Ways to Ensure Your Fiberglass Pool Doesn't Look Like a Bathtub

1. Non-White Surfaces

With 2009 coming to a close, every fiberglass pool manufacturer in the industry (Sun, San Juan, Viking, Leisure, Trilogy, Aloha, etc) is now offering colored surfaces (typically deep blues) on their pools...finally! Although some of these colored finishes are better than others in terms of quality (as we've discussed in detail with other blogs), they still give the pool a much more pleasing aesthetic appearance than a plain white or cloud blue surface color.

2. Cantilevered Concrete

The old method of pouring concrete decking around a fiberglass pool was to pour the concrete up to the fiberglass lip, versus on top of the fiberglass lip. Pouring concrete up to the lip left a 6 inch strip of fiberglass around the top edge of the patio, giving the pool a very ‘modular' and ‘temporary' appearance. Cantilevered concrete is also the most structurally sound way of building a fiberglass swimming pool because it acts as a structural bond beam around the pool, locking the shell in place and completely integrating it with the decking.

3. Waterline Tile

Although waterline tile isn't a functional requisite on a fiberglass pool, many people do feel that an inground pool just isn't an inground pool without this tile highlighting the water's edge. My general recommendation to pool shoppers is that waterline tile becomes more necessary the lighter the pool's surface. For example, if someone chooses a white fiberglass pool, waterline tile is an aesthetic imperative. On the other hand, if someone goes with a very deep blue or black pool surface, tile becomes much less important.

4. Inlay Tile

Inlay tile in a fiberglass pool's steps and seats is a great way to at character to the pool and also give it quite the ‘custom' appearance. Beyond this aesthetic enhancement though, inlay tiles in steps and seats also serve a functional purpose, highlighting clearly for swimmers the different entry and exit points of the pool.

5. Water Features

Although water features really have very little to do with a fiberglass pool's surface, they still put off a custom, classy, and permanent feel to the swimming pool.


If you can think of any more ideas to share with your fellow pool enthusiasts just add them to the comment section below and as always, happy swimming!

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