Vinyl Liner Vs. Cement Pool

Overview

A backyard swimming pool provides a cool oasis from everyday stress, a place to relax, exercise or spend time with family and friends without leaving your back yard. If you decide to add an in-ground pool to your home, you'll be faced with dozens of options, including a selection of building materials. Both vinyl and cement liners, also known as gunite, are popular choices for pool construction.

Characteristics

Vinyl pools consist of steel, polymer of concrete walls lined with a thin sheet of vinyl. Concrete pools are made by spraying a mixture of Portland cement, fly ash, calcium chloride, sand and pebbles, onto a mesh form. This mixture, also known as gunite or shotcrete, hardens to a smooth surface.

Installation

All pools start with excavation. For vinyl pools, the walls are erected in sections, a sand or concrete floor is added, and the liner is installed. For concrete pools, the builder constructs a wooden frame, reinforces this with steel rebar, then sprays on the concrete.

Costs

According the PoolandSpa.com, an industry website, the estimated cost for a 20-foot by 40-foot vinyl-lined pool ranges from $19,000 to $21,000, while the same size concrete pool would cost about $39,000. Extras such as waterfalls, lights, diving boards and other features can add significantly to the cost.

Maintenance

All pools require filtering the water, the application of chlorine and other chemicals to keep the water free of algae and bacteria, and regular cleaning.

Drawbacks

Vinyl liners can be punctured and leak. You can patch some punctures and tears, but the liner will eventually need to be replaced. The life of the liner depends on the thickness of the liner, how well the pool is maintained and even weather conditions for the pool's location. Concrete pools are not as subject to leaks. The surface may roughen or discolor over time, but this can be remedied with re-plastering.

Removal

Should you decide you don't want the pool anymore, removing a concrete pool requires major demolition. The pool must be broken up and the concrete and framing removed in pieces. Vinyl-lined pools can be disassembled. The liner is removed, then the wall sections.

References

  • How Do They Build an In-Ground Swimming Pool?
  • Finishing the Pool's Interior

Who Can Help

  • Swimming Pools 101: Pool Comparison
Keywords: in-ground pool, backyard swimming pool, vinyl-lined pool

About this Author

Cynthia Myers is the author of more than 40 novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University. Before turning to freelancing full time, Myers worked as a newspaper reporter, travel agent and medical clinic manager.

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