Differences between gunite and shotcrete pools

In Ground Spa Construction

If you’re in the market to have a pool installed in your backyard, you’re considering fiberglass, vinyl liner, concrete pools and you’re just kind of wondering, you keep hearing these two terms shotcrete and gunite in reference to concrete pools. You want to know what the heck is the difference? 

Gunite versus shotcrete, it really comes down to when the material is mixed. When the dry material and the water is mixed, at what point do those two materials come together? That’s the difference between gunite and shotcrete. So in gunite, all of the dry materials are premixed and placed into a hopper. Compressed air is used to send that down the line towards the operator, at which point the water is introduced and the force of it all hits the wall, or allows the material mixed to hit the wall, and that rate of speed creates compression and the material sticks in place either on the wall or the floor of your concrete pool. So that’s gunite. Dry materials and water are introduced at the last second before it’s applied to build the structure of the pool.

In terms of shotcrete, it’s all mixed ahead of time. So what’s put into the hopper, not just the dry ingredients, not just the dry materials, but the water as well and it’s more like concrete at that point. Like we’ve all seen before. So the wet and dry materials are placed together, premixed into the hopper and then through compression a pump at a high rate of velocity sent down the line to the operator. Then again, the force of it coming out of the gun at the end, or the tube, hits the wall of the pool or the floor and that compression at the last second is what makes the material stick.

So why one over the other? Well, it really comes down to the preference and skillset of the operator or the pool builder. Some concrete pool builders prefer to use gunite, some prefer to use shotcrete. So it really comes down to just their preference and skill level with either process. Both produce good concrete pools suitable for any backyard installation.


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