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Fiberglass vs. Vinyl Lined Pools: Which is Better?

At Woodfield Landscaping, we have been helping  buyers compare and contrast the different types of Maryland pools available.  Some of our customers prefer a fiber glass pool, while others prefer vinyl liners. Just as decisions in your daily life have pros and cons, there are many pros and cons in deciding on a pool type and it is important to be informed during the purchasing process.

Vinyl Liner Pools

A vinyl liner pool refers only to the interior surface of the pool.  The vinyl liner is the thermoplastic used to waterproof the interior of the in-ground pool, normally having an attractive pattern to serve as the décor of the pool.  Because the liner is not a part of the pool itself, it needs to be replaced when they reach the end of their design life, normally 20-25 years, but varies depending on usage.

Advantages of Vinyl Liner Pools

  • Price:Initially there is a lower price due to low material costs and low labor costs.
  • Customization:Vinyl Liner pools can be built to any shape or depth.

Disadvantages of Vinyl Liner Pools

  • Liner Replacements: Although liner warranties usually last 20-25 years, the warranty loses its value each year.  The warranty also does not cover labor and water costs, and more often than not, you will need to replace your liner more than once in that 20 year span.
  • Bleaching of Liner: Although the liner may stay intact, chlorine tends to fade the color of the liner.

Fiberglass Pools

A fiberglass pool is exactly what it declares to be.  It is a pool, built upon layers of fiberglass, with a surface layer of high quality gel coat that nowadays, is fade resistant.

Advantages of Fiber Glass Pools

  • Lower Maintenance: Fiberglass pools use 1/3 the amount of chemicals that vinyl liner pools use and there are no liner replacements necessary.
  • Aesthetics: With new mold innovations, colored finishes, and fade resistant surfaces, the fiberglass pool is and stays aesthetically pleasing.
  • Long Term Cost: Because of the longevity and low maintenance, the cost over a lifetime is significantly less than that of a vinyl liner pool.

Disadvantages of Fiberglass Pools

  • Shape/Depth Limitations: Fiberglass pools are pre-manufactured to exact conditions.  There is no customization of size, shape, and color.
  • Initial Price: The initial price of a fiberglass pool will be high and is usually a drawback for many customers who can’t fathom spending the money up front.


Making a decision regarding a Maryland pool can be a big one.  You may need to take into account your current budget, future budget, and the intended use of the pool. It is sure to be a tough decision, as are most decisions involving money.  But with summer upon us, these are some things to consider when purchasing an inground pool for your first home, new home, or home of twenty years. Happy swimming!

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