Gunite pools are the most popular type of inground swimming pool in the United States. Since these pools can be customized to a tee, they come in all shapes and sizes. That makes it difficult to state definitively what their price tag is. Gunite pool cost is determined by many factors, but especially the size (length, width, and depth) of the pool.
What is Gunite?
Gunite is a mixture of cement and sand. When most people talk about concrete or cement pools, they’re talking about gunite (although it’s also possible they’re talking about shotcrete, a similar material).
A big selling point of gunite is that it can be applied to any pool size or shape. Most of the larger, highly customized pools you see at hotels and other places are lined with gunite. This is an advantage over fiberglass pools, whose shells are shipped intact from the manufacturer.
Unlike vinyl lining, gunite is also durable. At some point, a gunite pool does require renovation, but this is typically decades after installation.
How Much Does a Gunite Pool Cost?
As mentioned, gunite pools vary greatly in cost. However, for the same size pool, you can expect to pay significantly more for gunite lining than you would for vinyl. When compared to fiberglass, gunite may be slightly cheaper initially. However, fiberglass pools are often more durable and require less maintenance.
While gunite is rock-solid, the material is also porous. This makes it a little more prone to algae buildup than fiberglass pools. That may seem like a minor point, but the additional cost of chemicals for a gunite pool can quickly add up. Water treatment is one of the biggest ongoing expenses you have to consider when getting a pool.
Full installation of a gunite pool is difficult, and probably beyond the abilities of most do-it-yourselfers. Most likely, you will need to hire professionals to do the job, which typically takes weeks or months to complete.
The Bottom Line
For many people, gunite is the only way to go for an inground swimming pool. The durability, flexibility of design, and that familiar rough texture combine to make it a classic. While there’s no simple answer to the question of gunite pool cost, you can expect to pay something toward the higher end of the swimming pool spectrum – all else being equal, of course.
Is it worth it to you? Only one person can answer that question.