Fiberglass Pools vs. Vinyl Pools. Which One is For You?

by | Mar 31, 2023

Each type of pool has its advantages and disadvantages. In many ways, it’s just like buying a car. There are options and features you may be looking for, and you’ll have to weigh many options to find the right one for you.

When choosing an in-ground pool you have a variety of choices, including vinyl liner and fiberglass. Either of these could serve you well, but we want to dig into the pros and cons for each so you can make the best choice for your needs!

Pros of Fiberglass Pools 


An important thing to consider when it comes to your pool selection is durability. One of the great things about fiberglass pools is that they’re super strong and durable, which allows them to potentially last a lifetime. Unlike vinyl liner pools, a fiberglass pool does not have a liner that must be replaced every 4-9 years. Because it has a smooth gel coat surface rather than a liner, it is much more difficult to puncture the surface of a fiberglass pool through daily use. Therefore, you don’t have to worry as much about animals or foreign objects damaging the pool!

Low Cost 

Fiberglass pools appear to cost more at the initial purchase, but if you factor in their annual maintenance cost over ten years, fiberglass pools are significantly less expensive than vinyl liner pools and concrete pools overall. Vinyl liner pools are less expensive than fiberglass pools at the initial purchase. However, the difference in cost is quickly recovered over a 10-year period due to the durability of fiberglass and lower maintenance costs.

Low Maintenance 

Fiberglass pools are low maintenance because of their extraordinarily smooth and non-porous finished gel coat surface. This type of surface eliminates dirt and hinders algae’s ability to gather as it does in concrete pools and vinyl liner pools. When it comes to algae growth, you will need to scrub the walls and bottom to remove the growth that can ultimately cause stains.

Cons of Fiberglass Pools


While there are a variety of fiberglass pool designs in different shapes and sizes, it is not possible to customize the design if you cannot find one that fits your wants and needs.

However, it’s important to note that 80% of potential pool owners who do their due diligence when searching for a pool find a fiberglass shape and size to accommodate their lifestyle.

Initial High Cost 

While a fiberglass pool is more costly upon initial purchase, you can see from the fiberglass vs. vinyl pool 10-year comparison chart that the overall cost of a fiberglass pool is much less over time. It’s significantly less over a 20-year period!

Fiberglass vs. Vinyl Liner pools cost

Pros of Vinyl Pools 

Initial Lower Cost

Traditionally, vinyl liner pools offer the lowest cost of entry into owning an inground pool. They provide an economical, budget solution to families looking to enter the inground pool market.

Ability to Customize

Even though you’re limited to shapes and sizes, vinyl liner pools have more customization options than fiberglass pools. Though most vinyl liner pools you’ll find are rectangular, they have a broader range of shapes and sizes available than fiberglass can currently offer.

Cons of Vinyl Pools

Liner Replacements 

Through normal wear and tear, there will come a point where you’ll inevitably have to replace your pool’s liner. This usually occurs between 4-9 years of owning a vinyl liner pool.  

So, you will have to factor in somewhere between $6,000-$6,500 each time you need to replace the liner, which means you could end up spending more on your pool than you had imagined when you first got it.

Liner Warranty 

Liner warranties usually run for about 20-25 years on manufacturer defects. However, they aren’t as straightforward as you might be led to believe. Warranties may include specific details such as: 

  • Only sections where the material is fused together (seam and bead) are covered. 
  • Labor, water, and other expenses are not covered. 

What you may not know are the hidden details, or what we call the “fine print.” It goes a little something like this: 

  • You’re given full coverage for the first 2-5 years on manufacturer defect. 
  • At the end of this period the warranty becomes prorated. 
  • As you own the liner for a longer period, the warranty covers less and less of the cost to fix any defects.

Algae Growth 

While the surface of vinyl liner pools is not rough like a concrete pool, it’s not completely non-porous.

This means that the areas where steps are attached, lights are located, and even seams may have small openings that harbor algae growth. You may not be able to see these areas with the naked eye and thus have difficulty cleaning and preventing algae from growing.

At Procare, We’re Ready When You Are!

Are you ready to think about pool construction for your Michigan home? Get in touch with the best pool builders in the area to design a pool that’s beautiful and within your budget!

We know swimming pool design and installation inside and out, and we’d love to help with your project.

Contact Procare Landscape today!

Still curious? Read what our experts have to say about how early you should book your pool installation!