Inground Pool 101 (What is a Gunite Pool + Gunite vs. Vinyl Differences)

by | Aug 8, 2020 | Pool Design, Backyard Lifestyle

An inground pool for your backyard is an important investment that requires research and commitment. Did you know that there are different types of inground pools? Once you have made the decision that you are ready for an inground pool in your backyard, there is another another choice to make. Before anything else, evaluate whether you want a gunite or vinyl inground pool.

What is a Gunite Pool?

Gunite is the same thing as concrete. It is basically identical material to the concrete in a house foundation or a concrete floor. The only real difference is the application process. Gunite is applied using compressed air to force the material down a hose. That material is then shot into place, instead of being poured, like your foundation. The high velocity of this application allows the gunite stick to whatever structure it is shot against. The characteristics of gunite make it the perfect way to build an inground pool. Gunite allows for very versatile shapes and designs without the use of extensive form work.

However, the complexity of the application makes it more difficult to get a good finish result. For this reason, not all gunite pool builders are created equal. As a result, every builder applying gunite should have a certification from the American Shotcrete Association. That stamp of approval demonstrates that they have undergone the correct training and know how to apply this product.

Other common questions include gunite pool pricing and how long gunite pools take to build. SSG has explained these topics and many more in our blogs.

standard gunite pool shape

Here is an example of a typical gunite pool.

Inground Pool Types: Gunite vs. Vinyl Liner

Gunite and vinyl liner are both viable inground pool options for your backyard. In some cases, these two types of pools can even look similar from a distance. Although, there are distinct differences between them. Gunite pools have many benefits over a vinyl liner pool. Vinyl liner pools come pre-designed in certain shapes and the options of a customization pool are limited.Gunite pools are built to last forever whereas a vinyl liner pool has an expiration date. The architectural options on a gunite pool are unlimited where the standard construction practices of a vinyl liner pool highly limit your options. Therefore, if you are considering a unique fit your backyard, you will likely prefer gunite pools.

standard vinyl liner pool shape

Here is an example of a typical vinyl liner pool.


Let’s recap the key differences between these inground pool options. First, gunite pools allow for a higher level of customization. Second, gunite pools are more durable, so they last longer when built correctly. Lastly, vinyl liner pools are usually less expensive.

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Our Work Brings Great Reviews


“They build a gorgeous pool. The finished product is exactly what I wanted. I came very close to working with another vendor as I did not think I could afford a quality Gunite pool. I quickly made the switch as SSG worked with me to customize a pool within my price range. Best decision I made and best pool ever! I am very happy with my decision”


– Susan L. | Plymouth, PA | Facebook Review

“These folks did a great job building and finishing our pool. We also needed them to move the equipment after adding an outbuilding, which they did on time and on budget and without complaining! The service people are friendly, punctual, and very professional. Overall, an excellent customer experience.”


– Frank I. | Saunderstown, RI | Google Review

"The staff at SSG went above and beyond to make this pool happen for us, in the least stressful manner possible, amidst a Pandemic that shut down manufacturers, suppliers, deliveries. They worked outdoors in masks in 90 plus degree weather. They designed and created a beautiful backyard oasis for us. SSG is an exceptional company. They do high quality, gorgeous work, and they stand behind their name. They are a FIVE star company!"


– Susan L. | Hampstead, NH | Google Review

"We had an excellent experience with SSG Pools! Professional, accessible, informative, easy to deal with describes everyone from start to finish! And we thoroughly enjoyed watching the installation process of our beautiful new pool. We will recommend to everyone. Thank you SSG Pools!"


– Dot C. | Nantucket, MA | Google Review

"South Shore Gunite Pools know how to build a pool. They showed up when they promised and were always courteous and cordial and competent. Best regards to Rachel, John Fitz, Enrico, Anita, and many others who helped with this project. The pool is fabulous."


– John O. | Biddeford, ME | Google Review

"Expensive, but you get what you pay for. Good service and quality construction. Responsive to service requests. Provided guidance to me as a new pool owner throughout the process of designing, pricing, constructing, and equipping the pool."


– Steve Q. | Tyngsboro, MA | Google Review

"Couldn’t be happier with the whole service from start to finish. The quality of the work was exceptionally good and you can tell that they approach their work with professionalism and enthusiasm. They pay attention to detail and don’t cut corners. The price for the work was very reasonable and they were always responsive and pleasant to work with. Very happy I went with SSG and will be using them again for any future projects/renovations/openings and closings."


– Adam W. | North Reading, MA | Google Review

"We worked with SSG Pools for the installation of our gunite pool and deck. We found them wonderful to work with and the pool turned out spectacular. Stunning! It is a wonderful gathering space for our family and friends now. SSG Pools has a wonderful and skilled staff. Through the whole process we were in good hands and the pool they built was the one we dreamed about. I highly recommend this company and also love the lifetime warranty."


– Danielle D. | Scituate, MA | Houzz Review

"On time and on budget. I have used South Shore over the last 10+ years on 2 pools I have, one at home the other at my vacation home . They repaired a major problems on one pool that other pool companies had been unable to fixed and they completely rebuilt a second pool starting in April and had the job completed and ready to swim by Memorial day. I also use them for weekly service to make sure things run well. In New England you get 3 months to really enjoy your pool why would trust anyone else."


– Paul D. | Weston & Osterville, MA | Houzz Review

"We just had a beautiful gunite pool and deck completed by South Shore Gunite pools and spa last summer. From the very first meeting at our home they understood what we were looking for and made us feel very comfortable with their ability to deliver a beautiful result. Their attention to detail and their ability to connect us with a wonderful landscape architect guided us through the planning and construction phases. Their work crew was well organized, efficient, pleasant and very respectful of our property. It was an amazing process to watch and an amazing result to enjoy. We would be happy to recommend them to anyone looking for a high quality pool company."


– Louis Y. | Orleans, MA | Houzz Review

"SSG was wonderful to work with throughout the pool building process. I anticipated being overwhelmed given that I had never had a pool before, but they helped put my mind at ease with their professionalism and responsiveness to all my needs. Rick (sales) Mark (builder) and Karen (Admin) were outstanding!"


– Michael E. | Pembroke, MA | Houzz Review

"After interviewing 3 pool companies, we chose South Shore Gunite based on their expertise, their willingness to guide us through the process, and their great communication. We chose a filtration system recommended by them that uses an ozonator. Love our pool. Very happy with every step of the way."


– Ruth J. | Westwood, MA | Facebook Review



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