USA: Fiberglass Pools: Fiberglass Swimming Pool Manufacturers
ABOUT FIBERGLASS SWIMMING POOLS
Fiberglass pools are factory made in a single piece. Although the transport of fiberglass pools is challenging, they have the advantages of being strong, durable, and not containing any joints which can lead to leaking. They are also easy to clean. Fiberglass pools are available in a very wide range of shapes, including rectangular, freeform, kidney shaped, and classic. Custom shaped pools can also be supplied. Additionally, fiberglass pools may be provided with special features including spas, water features, and tanning platforms.
CHOOSING THE BEST TYPE
Advantages of fiberglass
The main alternatives to fiberglass are concrete pools or pools with vinyl liners. The advantages of fiberglass over concrete pools are that the surface is smoother and more comfortable, less maintenance is required, and fiberglass can respond to earth movements without damage. The smoothness of the surface is particularly important for children, who are liable to damage fingers and toes on an even slightly rough concrete surface. One of the reasons less maintenance is required is that algae find it difficult to grow on the smooth non-porous surface of fiberglass. By contast any roughness in concrete can provide an ideal site for algae to grow. This means that fiberglass is easier to clean than a concrete pool. Maintenance cost is also reduced because a good quality pool made of fiberglass will last for tens of years, whereas a concrete pool will typically need re-surfacing, at a cost of up t $10,000, every ten years. The advantage of fiberglass over a vinyl liner pool is that it will have much longer life. Also there is no risk of a vinyl liner being punctured.
The key considerations in making a choice are the size, the shape, and the color.
On size, we recommend if in doubt that you go for a smaller pool. It will be cheaper to install, and cheaper to run because it needs less heating and chemicals for treatment. It will also take up less space in your yard. You can have just as much fun in a pool that is 25 feet long as in one that is 35 feet long. The same arguments, plus safety, argue for keeping the pool shallow rather than deep. A four foot depth of water is ample for a comfortable recreational swim. To keep costs down you can cut down the area of patio - which can always be enlarged later. You can also leave till later the purchase of a heating system and a cover.
Shapes include rectangular, oval, octagonal, and kidney shaped. The choice between these will depend on the space available and the style you are seeking to achieve. Rectangular or octagonal fiberglass pools will go well with a formal layout; kidney shaped pool provide a more informal look, which can be well combined with information planting. Steps can be incorporated within all these designs.
As to color, the most popular is a bright blue. But there other options available. We recommend you also consider a pale light blue, or a dark blue. Both these options are less garish than a bright blue. White is available, but we would advise against it; it looks very clinical, and will tend to show any marks or stains. Another interesting possibility, offered by some suppliers, is a beach sand color. This looks much more natural, and will blend well into the surroundings. Some manufacturers, such as Viking, offer a custom color option. The pool can be purpose made to match an element in the customer's backyard; this is done by selecting a mix of backer colors, flakes, and sparkles unique to each pool.
LEADING USA MANUFACTURERS
The leading manufacturers, described below, have comprehensive websites, with information on all aspects, including online catalogs, colors and materials, and care and maintenance.
Blue Hawaiian. Blue Hawaiian manufactures fiberglass pools at its plants in Largo, Florida, and Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Blue Hawaiian supplies 27 standard models of fiberglass pool. These are in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, ranging in length from 17' to 42'. Bue Hawaiian Pools are made from vinyl ester resin, with multiple layers of woven material. They are finished with a gel coat. Other categories of fiberglass swimming pool include: Pool-Spa Combinations, Special Feature Pools with Water Features and Tanning Shelf, Patio Pools, Condo Pools, Sports Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, and Children's Pools. Shapes include rectangular, oval, octagonal, and kidney shaped. Special features offered by Blue Hawaiian Pools include: Built-in Spa, Swim Jets, Children's Wading Area, Sun Tanning Shelf, and Wet Patio.
Sun. Sun Fiberglass Pools has two manufacturing plants: a 44,000 square foot facility in Brooksville, Florida, and another in Albany, Kentucky. It suppies 30 different models of pool, from spa models to family-sized pools. Five colors are available for the pool shell: Beach Sand, Ice Blue, Dark Blue, Lite Blue, and White. The benefits which Sun claims for their pools include ease of cleaning and strength. Fiberglass is claimed to be 17 times stronger than concrete, and to become stronger with age. Their flexibility, of up to 12", accommodates shifting soils. To manufacture Sun fiberglass pools, a gel coat is applied to a mold. A vinyl ester resin is then added, reinforced with layers of fiberglass fabric. Sun Pools are shipped complete, with light housings, plumbing fittings and waterfalls placed in the factory.
Viking. Viking Pools, which was founded in San Jose, California, in 1975, is a leading manufacturer of fiberglass pools. Viking pools are constructed using a four layer system. The basic layer is hand laid fiberglass; the second layer is ceramic core; the third layer is vinyl ester resin; the fourth and final layer is the Viking pool finish. This may be Crystite or standard gel coat. The ceramic core, sandwiched between the two layers of resin and fiberglass, gives additional stiffness to the pool walls. Designs include: Rectangle, Kidney, Classic, Freeform, and Lap Pools. Viking offers a Kaleido-Center Custom Color Creator. This allows customers to customize the color of the pool to match any element in their backyard. This is done by selecting a combination of backer colors, flakes and sparkles, unique to each customer.
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