The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Gunite Pool

Gunite is a type of concrete.

The three best-known materials for a swimming pool are vinyl, fiberglass and concrete. But wait--where's gunite? Actually, gunite is a type of concrete, a mixture of sand and cement that's sprayed onto a framework of rebar to build the shell of the pool. After the gunite is sprayed, workers trowel the material to a smooth finish. Gunite is used to construct spas and swimming pools, zoo habitats and to repair concrete. Gunite's many advantages make it a popular choice, but it also has a few disadvantages to consider.

What's Great about Gunite
  • Gunite is durable. It's impact resistant and if damage does occur repairs are made onsite
  • When it comes to shape and size, gunite is the most versatile material for building a swimming pool. Literally any depth, shape and size can be accommodated because the pool is built on site, not made from a pre-made shell and shipped from a factory
  • A variety of finishes are available with gunite, including concrete paint, pebble, aggregate, fiberglass or tile
  • A gunite pool may add more equity to your home than other types of pools. Because gunite is the most popular pool material, it is the most highly valued by home buyers

Gunite offers the most flexibility and adds morevalue to your property.

What's Not so Great about Gunite
  • A gunite pool takes the longest to install. It can take up to 2 months to complete a gunite swimming pool from start to finish 
  • Maintenance costs are higher than with other materials. Bacteria and algae cling to the pools rough surface and require more chemicals and more frequent cleaning. In addition, the finishing layer applied to gunite pools must typically be replaced about every 10 years.
  • A gunite pool costs more to operate due to the constant use of the pool filter. Metals and alkaloids from the pool's frame can leech into the water causing the filter to work overtime
  • The rough surface of a gunite pool is uncomfortable for some swimmers, especially children. Wet feet are vulnerable to scrapes and irritations when they brush against the abrasive surface 
  • A concrete pool is the most expensive type of backyard swimming pool to build, largely because of the many hours of labor involved

Even with its disadvantages, gunite may be the best choice if you have a unique site that deserves a custom pool. No other material offers the flexibility and possibilities of concrete, and no other adds as much value to your property as gunite.

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