Pool Liner Alternatives

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A number of different pool types range in price, maintenance and durability.

Swimming pool liners help ensure water stays in the pool. Depending on the kind of liner you choose, they can also enhance the pool's visual appearance. In-ground pools offer several varieties of pools, including vinyl lined. Although vinyl-lined pools cost about one-third the price of other pool types as Pool Captain, a pool retailer, found, they are not as durable as other alternatives.



A tiled pool is an option for in-ground swimming pools. Pool installation companies seal tiles with a protective, waterproof coating to prevent leaks. One advantage of using tile is that you can custom design the interior lining of the pool with a number of colors and textured tiles available. A tile pool is more resilient than vinyl-lined pools. According to Swimming Pool Liners, a swimming pool online resource, the one drawback to tile is that it's more expensive than vinyl to install and repair.


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Fiberglass pools are preformed, fabricated pools. Since their shape is determined at the factory when they are made, homeowners have less choice in the shape. These pools are produced in mass quantities, which means they cost less than other pool types, such as tile, gunite and cement. The benefit to fiberglass pools is that they frequently last longer than vinyl-lined pools and do not require the periodic upkeep that gunite and cement pools need. Another benefit is that these pools use fewer chemicals, like chlorine, as less alkai seeps into the pool compared to other pool varieties.



Pool Captain considers gunite pools the cousins of cement swimming pools. Gunite pools are poured into a hole in the ground, which provides homeowners more choice in their shape than preformed fiberglass pools. The main difference between gunite and cement pools is that gunite pools are coated with a plaster finish. Furthermore, homeowners usually accompany the pool with a wood decking, whereas concrete pools generally are surrounded by a concrete patio. Gunite pools are more expensive than concrete and vinyl-lined pools but last significantly longer than vinyl. The downside to gunite pools is that you usually need to refinish the plaster about every 15 years.



Cement pools are yet another alternative to vinyl-lined pools. Cement is poured into a hole in the ground, which serves as the pool's mold. Like gunite pools, homeowners with cement pools have more freedom to design the shape of their pools than those with vinyl-lined pools. Cement pools, however, require more maintenance than vinyl-lined pools because they mandate an acid wash to get rid of stains from the pool's interior. Cement pools cost more to build than vinyl-lined pools.



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