Summer Splash: The Pros and Cons of Concrete Vs Fibreglass Pools


An overhead shot of an outdoor pool. The sun glistens off turquoise water, a lady in a pink bikini has just dived in. White tiles frame the pool with a timber deck in the foreground./ There is a glass pool fence on the right and green manicured lawn on the left.

Image Source | Dezeen


With the weather finally warming up and those summer rays starting to make an appearance, it’s the perfect time of year to start thinking about your backyard plans. If you don’t already have a beautiful water-filled paradise on your property, there’s still time to get started. With plenty of pool designs available, the style possibilities are endless. The only question is, will you make a splash with concrete or fibreglass?



Get Creative With Concrete

A circular concrete outdoor pool is in the foreground, surrounded by tan pavers. Two round brown cushions lay on the ground next to the pool. The pool overlooks a breathtaking view of Arizona style desert with brown sand and dark green greenery, with a sunset.

Image Source | Sara & Rich Combs


If your dream pool is a stylish piece unlike any other, concrete is your calling. The fluidity of the material makes anything possible during construction. Limitless sizes and shapes (think clouds, hexagons, and anything else that comes to mind) can be carved into your landscape, and filled with cool blue serenity. If you’re looking for some modern inspiration, make sure you check out Pinterest, and of course get a vision board going!


Half of an outdoor pool is visible in the foreground. It is surrounded by light coloured pavers, with a grey outdoor lounge at the end of the pool. The sun is setting; trees can be seen in the distance.

Image Source | Annabell Kutucu


The other great thing about concrete pools is that your landscape doesn’t have to be perfectly primed for pool installation. Even in relatively inaccessible areas, excavation can be easily arranged, giving you more ways to maximise your space. From there, you’ll have a great range of styling options to choose from. Tile selection, patterns, and colours are all on the menu, giving you complete control over the way your pool looks.



Concrete Cons

An outdoor pool is seen at an angle. It is full of clear-turquoise water. You can see the bottom of the pool which is white concrete. The pool is in the corner of an entertaining space, surrounded by white and brown paving. There is a window with black shades on one wall with a cactus in a white vase, an outdoor lounge (beige) and miscellaneous plants surrounding it. The other wall is painted white but is aging with hanging lights.

Image Source | Alexia Roux


While concrete pools are a great option for a unique look, customisation comes at a cost. Design and installation of a concrete pool can be much steeper in costs than other options, particularly because of the time-frame it takes for the work to be completed. Keep in mind that installing a concrete feature can take from 3 to 6 months, and the work doesn’t stop there.


A photo of a backyard at night. A unique Moroccan tile  shaped pool is in the foreground. It is surrounded by white tiles and filled with clear turqoise water. A manicured green lawn is on the left. Behind the pool is a two storey cream house with archways on the ground floor and lots of top windows. There are lights on casting a soft amber glow onto the pool.

Image Source | Lex Flint


As a porous material, concrete is prone to algae and concrete rot. It needs constant maintenance, which brings running costs up high. You’ll need to call in the experts every three to five years for an acid wash to make sure the surface stays clean and healthy, and there’s also a need for resurfacing every fifteen to twenty years.


For the health-conscious, the extra chemicals and the added maintenance of concrete pools might just overpower their stylishness - but if beauty trumps, these cool pools take the cake.



Fibreglass Pools Are Full Of Goodness

A photo of an outdoor pool at an angle. There is a glass pool fence in the foreground. The pool is fibreglass, rectangular, surrounded by white pavers and filled with clear blue water. Two lounge chairs, two outdoor wooden chairs, a pool umbrella and a firepit sit on the opposite side of the pool. There is a wooden fence at the boundary of the property surrounded by dark green trees.

Image Source | Krista Collard


For those who shy away from the high maintenance of concrete pools, fibreglass is a friend. These pools come ready-made, in prefabricated designs that go straight from store to setting. It takes about three to six weeks for your dream pool to come to life, and once it does, you can dip right into balmy waters.


A photo of an outdoor pool area at an angle. In the foreground is grey decking and steps leading up to the pool area. An orange candle holder sits on one of the steps. There is a grey bench built into the decking with a grey cushion seat and back. A yellow towel is thrown on the bench. A black pergola sits above the deck. A small outdoor pool is seen in the far corner surrounded by green bushes.

Design: Egue y Seta | Photo: Vicugo Studio

Unlike concrete pools, this water doesn’t need a high chemical content. Fibreglass has plenty of magnesium in it, which is full of good things for your skin and body. Additionally, there’s nowhere for nasty algae to cling to on the smooth shell of a fibreglass pool. You could even choose a mineral-enriched solution for more beneficial bathing.


A photo of a backyard. A timber deck is in the foreground with some green trees. Attached to the deck is a large outdoor pool. It is surrounded by white pavers and filled with turqoise water. A man in a white shirt and board shorts sits on the edge of the pool with his feet in the water. There is green grass either side of the pool and deck area and a back fence made from shrubbery. A black and tan beagle walks across the deck

Image Source | Desjoyaux

Fibreglass pools are generally cheaper than concrete, both when installing and for ongoing maintenance. Many fibreglass pools also come with a lifetime warranty - win! And if safety is on your mind, the smooth fibreglass shells will ensure that the kids (and adults!) won’t scratch themselves on any rough surfaces.



The Cons

A photo of a backyard. A large fibreglass pool sits on the left. It is rectangular, filled with clear blue water and surrounded by grey tiles. A manicured green lawn surrounds with pool with blue flowers panted along the fence line, which is a simple wooden post and rail fence. Native trees sit beyond the fence

Image Source | Organized Home

Homeowner: Tiina Laakkonen | Photo: Matthew Williams


Sadly, there are downsides to this great option. Style wise, there are a limited amount of shapes and sizes to choose from with fibreglass, so there’s no customisation like with concrete. You also won’t get the versatility of being able to place a fibreglass pool where you please, as these ready-made pools are rigid, and require the right land layout. If you have the perfect spot for a pool, this won’t be an issue, but you might need to have your space consulted by a professional before making any decisions.


A close up of the corner of a backyard. The edge of an outdoor pool is visible in the foreground, filled with blue water. It is surrounded by light grey pavers. Two wooden outdoor decking chairs sit on the pavers with grey and beige cushions and grey and white throws on them. A firepit sits between the two, it is grey and resembles a circle cut in half. Vines and shrubbery cover the back fence.

Image Source | Krista Collard


Despite these limitations, I lean towards fibreglass pools myself. With a dash of applied design, they can be customised with colour, style, and creativity. Just think of the possibilities - sophisticated storage for pool blankets, natural stone paving that not only looks great (hello limestone!) but also keeps those precious feet away from scorching hot decking, and even a cabana and outdoor fridge so you don’t have too far to go to grab a cold beverage on a hot summer's day.


If you’re looking for pool styling tips, reach out for a consultation. I’d love to help you bring your dream backyard bathing to life with your unique aesthetic on show.


A millennial woman, residential interior designer based on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, Australia. She is wearing a white and grey tweed blazer with a white cami, jeans and black framed glasses. Her hair is dark blonde and she is smiling with her legs crossed and her arm rested on a marble and walnut side table surrounded by native Australian flowers and plants. A watercolour abstract painting in a matted and brass frame hangs on the wall behind her as do charcoal drapes.


Krista Collard Interiors is a full service design-build firm focusing on creating timeless spaces that honour sustainability and functionality across the Greater Sydney area.

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