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A Helpful Guide on the Different Types of Inground Pools

With heat waves that swept across many parts of the globe, July 2019 was the hottest month on the global record.

Temperatures show no signs of decreasing in the coming years. Perhaps the best way to beat the heat is to jump into your very own backyard swimming pool.

If you’re in the market for your own personal place to take a refreshing dip, then you’ll have to choose from a number of types of inground pools. Which one is best for you will depend on your budget and the style you’re looking for.

Before making the investment, learn more about the types of pools you can choose from.

Three Types of Pool Materials

There are three basic types of inground pools when we’re talking about materials. These are vinyl-lined, concrete, and fiberglass. Each has its own features, benefits, and costs, which we discuss in more detail below.

Vinyl-Lined Pools

Within the vinyl-lined variety, there are three types of pools. These are steel wall vinyl-lined, polymer/composite wall vinyl-lined, and cement wall vinyl-lined.

Among the three, the most popular is a steel wall vinyl-lined. That’s because steel cuts into any size or shape, making it very customizable. 

On top of the customization that steel offers, the vinyl lining is available in many different colors and patterns. You’ll need to replace the lining every 10 years or so because it deteriorates from exposure to pool chemicals. But there are liners that come with fungus and UV inhibitors, which can extend its life as long as 18 years, provided it’s not punctured.

Concrete or Gunite

Concrete pools are more commonly referred to as gunite or shotcrete. The only difference being how the concrete is mixed and then applied to the pool.

Of all three types of pools, gunite is the most durable. Plus, it’s more customizable. It can be shaped into any size or dimension and finishes range from plaster to colored plaster and quartz to smooth glass beads.

The biggest drawback of a concrete pool is that they’re more expensive than other types. That cost is due to the level of customization as well as the difficulty of installing them. You can cut back on the costs by choosing less expensive finishes or decreasing the size of the pool, but how long it takes to build ranges from weeks to months.


Fiberglass pools are one-piece, pre-fabricated pools. They can come with built-in seats, benches, and even spas.

Fiberglass is typically easier to install than other types of inground pools. The shell arrives at your home via truck and carefully positioned into a precise hole, usually with the help of a crane.

However, because they’re pre-fabricated, fiberglass pools aren’t as customizable as your other pool options. You’re limited by the shapes and sizes the manufacturer makes.

On the upside, fiberglass pools are easy to take care of. They’re resistant to algae and they have a longer lifespan than a vinyl-lined pool. You can expect a fiberglass pool to last anywhere from 10 to 15 years.

Types of Inground Pools and Styles

The type of material you’re looking for is only one of the decisions you’ll have to make when you’re looking for a pool. If you opt for a custom design, you’ll also need to choose the style of the pool. Below we’ve listed some of the most popular pool styles.

Family Pool

A family pool is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a pool big enough for a family or a party.

The main purpose of a family pool is to be fun. That’s why they’re often built with water features such as slides, caves, tunnels, and boulders. And they’re big enough to host pool parties, with plenty of space leftover.

Lap Pool

If your exercise of choice is to swim laps, then a lap pool is what you’re looking for. These pools are primarily for fitness and health, rather than hosting pool parties.

A lap pool is usually long, narrow, and rectangular in shape. They’re usually longer than 50 feet to ensure you have plenty of room to swim back and forth.

Plunge Pool

Another pool made primarily for its health benefits, a plunge pool is a small, cold-water pool. They’re made for swimmers and athletes who seek the health benefits of a cold water dip following a hard workout. But there are also therapeutic benefits to taking a dip in cold water after a sauna or spa session.

Architectural Pool

If you have a custom-built home with sharp architectural lines and design, then your pool should reflect your home. Architectural pools are sophisticated pools that are designed by an architect. They’ll match the design of your home in materials and style to create a unique, one-of-a-kind look.

Infinity Pools

Otherwise known as vanishing edge pools, negative edge pools, or infinity-edge pools, these pools create a unique visual that’s perfect for an elegant home with a beautiful view to show off. Always custom-built, they create the illusion that the pool has no edge and draw your attention to the view at hand. 

Types of Pool Sanitization

You have three options when it comes to keeping your pool clean from bacteria and algae.

The traditional method for sanitizing a pool was chlorine. It can be placed directly into the pool, either in tablet or liquid form.

More recently, saltwater pools have become popular. By creating chlorine from the salt through chlorine generator, your pool is basically self-cleaning. Plus, saltwater has benefits for your skin and isn’t as harsh on your eyes.

Less well-known methods for cleaning your pools include using bromine, ozone, and ultraviolet (UV). But for a residential pool, your best bet is to stick with either chlorine or saltwater.

Ready to Build the Pool Of Your Dreams?

Of all the types of inground pools, there’s nothing quite like the one you’ve customized for your own wants and needs. Customizing your pool gives you control over shape, size, depth, and even finish, for something that echoes the feel of your backyard and your home in general.

For more information on customizing your ultimate backyard pool, find a location close to you.