New Pool Construction: Gunite vs. Shotcrete

The “shell” of your swimming pool can be made of almost any durable material, but two particularly popular choices stand out: gunite and shotcrete. Both are forms of concrete, but their formation and consequently expected lifespan differ enough to give any homeowner pause. In the debate of gunite vs. shotcrete, which is superior?

During construction, both gunite and shotcrete are shot at high velocity out of hoses to cover the shell of the pool. The major difference between the two is that shotcrete is applied pre-mixed with water, so it simply hardens where it falls. On the other hand, gunite is applied as a dry plaster which mixes with water as it leaves the hose. Opting for a gunite pool gives you a few advantages over shotcrete.

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Durability

Gunite generally lasts longer and maintains a higher quality than shotcrete. For instance, gunite tends to dry faster than shotcrete, leading to a much smoother surface and avoiding significant cracks from shrinking. Gunite can also withstand up to 9500 psi, a much higher psi than shotcrete. If you expect your pool to have to withstand a large amount of pressure, gunite is the better choice.

Pro Tip: Additional reinforcements for the gunite may be necessary if you expect a very high amount of pressure on your pool–for instance, if your neighborhood has a high water table. Talk to your pool builder for more information.

Installation

Like standard concrete, gunite is applied over a steel frame to form the pool. However, unlike standard concrete, the process takes less time. This is partially due to gunite’s quick drying time, but the pool builder also deserves credit. Only trained professionals are permitted to install a gunite pool. You can rest assured that your pool builder will make your gunite pool to a high standard in as little time as possible.

Cost

Because of the relatively simple construction process, gunite pools are generally noticeably cheaper than shotcrete or typical concrete pools. As with any pool project, potential delays or accidents may add additional time or money to the construction process. However, you can trust your professional pool builder to keep costs as low as possible for you.  

Gunite vs. Shotcrete: Gunite Wins

With its high durability and relatively low cost, gunite more than earns its reputation as an excellent building material for your swimming pool. The result will be smooth, durable, and quickly completed.

Wondering what a completed gunite pool looks like? Connect with us and browse our photos of finished gunite swimming pools!