Is a Gunite Swimming Pool Right For Me?

You’ve done it: you’ve decided to take the dive and install a swimming pool in your home or yard. That was the easy part, because choosing the right material to construct your pool’s basin is another story. If you have come across gunite in your research, but aren’t quite sure if it’s right for you, read on for the pros and cons of this popular pool type.

Gunite: What is it?

Gunite is a thick blend of sand and cement that is mixed with water, then applied to a series of steel or iron reinforcing rods that make up a pool’s framework. The gunite is then smoothed out and left to sit for about a week. Once set, the layer is covered with a smooth pool finish.

Finishing Options

A top choice among pool owners, gunite is compatible with a variety of pool finishes including plaster, exposed aggregate, tile, fiberglass, and epoxy paint. While not entirely wow-worthy, plaster gives off a clean appearance, comes in a slew of colors, and is generally your cheapest option. For more style, many homeowners opt for exposed aggregate, a mix of natural stones embedded into a concrete or plaster finish. If a day lapping up luxury poolside fits your preference – and your budget – use ceramic, glass, or porcelain tile to line a gunite pool. Fiberglass and epoxy paint resurfacing, while offering the lowest price points, are not recommended as long-term finishes.

Design Versatility

This gunite pool in East Hampton, NY is by Platinum Pools.  See more work here .

This gunite pool in East Hampton, NY is by Platinum Pools. See more work here.

Gunite is an exceptional choice for creative pool design because it works in virtually any shape, size, and depth. Whether you’d like a classic rectangle or a freeform, abstract shape, gunite has you covered. What’s more, such control and flexibility makes it the perfect selection for those working with small or irregularly shaped spaces. An added bonus? Gunite is a perfect partner in crime if you want accessories such as bar stools or built-in tanning ridges.

Related: Making Your Swimming Pool Safe For Kids.

If a unique decorative finish is your focus, this pool type is likely right for you. Gunite holds plaster, aggregate, and tile well, meaning you can mix and match materials. A few ideas: top plaster with a few rows of smooth ceramic tile or polished natural stones for spectacular results.

Installation, Maintenance, and Cost Considerations

One disadvantage gunite has over other pool types is the installation period, which can take a little longer. Still, many experts consider gunite one of the most durable pool construction materials. Gunite pools also have the longest warranties although, due to their porous surfaces, they do require chemicals, filtration, and regular brushing to keep algae growth at bay. Keep in mind that, besides this, gunite only requires typical pool maintenance. As for cost, gunite pools do run higher to construct than other pool types, but, due to their sturdy structure and simple upkeep routine, may be a wise choice in the long run.

If the above considerations match what you are looking for, a gunite pool may be right for you. Talk to a pool professional to see how your pool dreams can come to fruition (and may we suggest that be us?).

Related: The Ins and Outs of Vinyl Pool Lining