Morehead Pools

What Is a Gunite Swimming Pool?

If you’re doing your research into a swimming pool for your backyard, you may have already come across the term “gunite” a few times already. And while it’s probably easy to ignore as you do some casual reading, when it comes to taking the next step it’s best to be armed with as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

That’s why this month, at Morehead Pools we’ll be talking you through what gunite is, how it’s used, what relationship it has with shotcrete, and, ultimately, what the benefits of a gunite pool are.

Let’s get started with a breakdown of what the material is first of all. 

Swimming pool maintenance gunite pool

What is gunite?

When you break it down to its core elements, gunite is simply a mixture of sand, cement, and water that is combined via the hose. These three key components form gunite, with the dry mixture fed through a hose system controlling how much or how little water is added before being sprayed into place. 

When this gunite concrete mixture sets – called curing in the industry – it creates a thick, solid structure for the project it’s applied to.

Gunite has long been a common material used in swimming pool construction, and that’s what we’re going to take a look at in more detail next.


How is gunite used in pool construction?

Gunite is the substance that will make up the shape of your pool. To create this, the construction process using gunite goes a little bit like this:

  • The area in which you want your pool to be is excavated
  • Any plumbing requirements are put into place
  • Engineered steel rebar is put into place where the gunite shell will be formed
  • The dry materials for gunite are loaded into the equipment
  • Using compressed air, the material is sent through a hose
  • Water is added at the nozzle before it is sprayed into place
  • The gunite shell then has to cure before plaster can be added

This is quite a simplified overview of how gunite is used, but it gives you an idea of the stages for the initial pool construction and how the shape of your pool is achieved. Gunite can also be used in resurfacing, concrete pool repair, or renovating a pool if required.

You can find out more about the pool building process on our dedicated construction process page.


How long does it take to build a gunite pool?

Before we start discussing how long a gunite pool takes to build, it’s important to note that the build time for any pool will depend on the size and complexity of the individual project.

That being said, you need to wait a certain amount of time for gunite to fully cure. This can usually be around 28 days before the next big step can be taken, but the shell should be ok to work around during that time if other steps need to be carried out. Overall, gunite swimming pools can take anywhere between six and eight weeks to complete from start to finish.


What is the difference between shotcrete and gunite?

There is actually very little to separate a shotcrete pool and a gunite pool. Shotcrete is a term you may also have come across regularly during any research into pool construction, and gunite is essentially just a form of shotcrete, with both materials sprayed into place using a hose.

The biggest difference between the two materials is that, whereas gunite is fed into the equipment dry and only mixes with water at the last second in the nozzle, shotcrete is already a wet mix. Shotcrete is pumped through a hose pre-mixed, meaning no additional water is added.


Why choose a gunite pool?

By now, you probably feel like you have a better understanding of what gunite is, but may be wondering why you should choose a gunite pool for your backyard. Here are five benefits of gunite swimming pools:

  1. Customization – You can be flexible on everything from shape to added extras when you choose a gunite pool.
  2. Strength – Because a shotcrete or gunite pool shell is sprayed as one continuous shape, you get no joints or cracks, giving you a stronger pool to stand the test of time.
  3. Simplicity – Compared to other pool building methods, pools built with gunite are a lot easier and the construction team can control the mix more closely to deal with any potential issues.
  4. Depth – You can achieve greater pool depths with gunite than with other pool forms since the strength of the shell can withstand the external pressure from the earth surrounding it.
  5. Cost-effective – All the previous points in this list add up to make gunite a more cost-effective result for many pool builds where the only alternative is reinforced concrete.


If you’re researching the best materials for pool building and would like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact our team here at Morehead Pools. We’re leading pool builders for Bossier City and Shreveport, and we’re also Master Pools Guild members, which means you can count on our expertise for concrete pool ideas. We always begin by finding out your goals and arranging a design appointment to take care of all the details.

So what are you waiting for? Book an appointment with our team today for expert pool building and maintenance services.

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