A long-standing discrepancy in swimming pool construction is that concrete is, and always will be, superior to any vinyl swimming pool. These ideas are a reflection of the poor building materials and construction used in the past by vinyl-lined pool installers. The pool industry has continually grown and improved in the last decade, bringing materials into the construction of vinyl-lined pools that are both revolutionary and highly efficient. With the advancement of polymer composite walls, the gap is no longer visible. Over the last 50 years, the structural materials used for pool construction have changed significantly; from plywood, aluminum, steel or concrete to polymer composites. Composites are the most energy efficient of any, even more so than concrete and plaster pools. The amount of heat loss in our pools is the lowest of any structural component. Polymer composites have the widest range of impact, tensile and flexural strength properties, greatly lowering its ability to warp, sheer, crack or deform, regardless of soil or climate conditions. Composites are as versatile as any other building materials, allowing homeowners to chose virtually any shape or size desirable, while gaining superior strength and longevity.
A vinyl liner finish has the most soft and smooth surface texture a pool floor can have, while also being the healthiest in the pool industry. The options are endless – vinyl liners provide the largest selection of colours and patterns, opposed to concrete and plaster, which are limited.
Correct – your vinyl liner colour or pattern may fade over the course of many years; however, the softness and integrity of vinyl from a balanced pool will not. Within a couple years, a plastered pool may begin to break down due to the exposure of chlorine and other pool chemicals. This can leave the surface porous and highly susceptible to staining, especially in areas in that have water with high iron content like the Lower Mainland. If a vinyl liner is stained with iron, the chance of removing the stain and regaining the true colour of the water is very attainable. Opposed to concrete and plaster where this process can be much more difficult.
The costs of pool construction play an integral role in the choice of pool a prospective homeowner may choose to build. While concrete pools have been historically more expensive, thus viewed as superior, the price gap between concrete and polymer has narrowed due to the huge technology advances of the industry. The superiority of each product is largely debatable. The cost of repairs and upgrades can be a large factor as well. When comparing the average cost of re-plastering versus replacing a liner, the cost is nearly 3 times as much. When considering how often a pool requires new plaster or a new liner, the lifespan of each product can be greatly different. A pool liner may fade over the course of multiple years, but plaster can start to break down after 2-5 years, becoming more abrasive on your feet and greatly increasing the chance of your pool staining.
The debate between each pool is relevant. Although, with the advancement of technology and increasing importance of energy efficiency the positives can start to outweigh the negatives on which pool is better suited for residential and home use.