Sometimes I like to compare products to see which would hold up best to my family and their aggressiveness. When it comes to large purchases like a pool, I need to know that my dog can’t chew it, my brothers can’t break it and my father can’t run it over. There’s a lot to know before you buy a pool, so I decided I would start with choosing the strongest, long-lasting, low maintenance fiberglass swimming pool. Everyone in the pool industry has said “Ours is the best!”, “We are #1” or something along those lines, but how can you really tell? There’s 1 thing that could help us figure that out; research. I know, it’s not for all of us, which is why I’m going to do that in an easy-to-understand and hopefully entertaining way.
Structure and strength – will it be strong enough?
To be considered the strongest swimming pool, it needs to be capable of withholding a lot of pressure and weight. The structure of the pool needs to be designed and manufactured in a way that the walls of the pool won’t cave in or crumble under extreme pressure. Manufacturer’s spend a lot of time and money into research to ensure that this won’t happen or shouldn’t happen for quite some time.
I did so much research on this, my eyes started to burn. But it was totally worth it, so keep reading!
There were some similarities between the 3 pool brands when it came to the outcome of the pool and the process they used to get there. However, I did notice some interesting details that differentiated them from one another.
Trilogy Pools, Thursday Pools, and Barrier Reef Pools, all use high quality raw materials, vinyl resin as their waterproofing shield, and they all use a high-quality UV-resistant gel coat to protect from fading and other harsh climate conditions. But, every company chose to do something a little different for the inner cores of the fiberglass shell.
Trilogy Pools ‘Unique by Design’
Trilogy Pools, for example, uses a 6-layer design, including 2 different layers of resin for rigidity, a layer of the vinyl ester barrier for extreme resistance to corrosive chemicals, and then they used a maintenance-free HydroStone gel topcoat to ensure durability for many years. The other 2 layers are an interlocking bond beam, which essentially structurally ties your deck to the pool shell (concrete is used for this part). And the other part is the coping. Now for this you have options, brick, concrete, or stone – again creating more strength for the entire perimeter of the pool.
All of this provides a very safe and durable swimming pool, which made me wonder how easy this was going to be. I knew I still had to look at the other 2 pool brands, so I went on to the next 1.
Thursday Pools Manufacturing and ‘Innovations’
With every pool made, Thursday Pools uses a method called the “Composite Sandwich of Awesomeness”. This method, uses 9 layers of raw materials, 5 of which are chopped fiberglass. A ‘Honeycomb core’ to provide rigidity and support, and a layer of hand-woven roving fiberglass which is woven glass, not plastic. Then, there’s a layer of the vinyl ester barrier and a gel topcoat.
All of these layers combined create a thick, structurally sound pool shell. Again, who could top that? Still, I have to look at the other pool brand to make sure I’m not getting ahead of myself.
Barrier Reef Fiberglass Pools Manufacturing Process
Barrier Reef Swimming Pools only uses a 4-layer process when manufacturing their fiberglass shells. This worried me a little at first, but then I read into their process a little more. Yes, there’s only 4 layers; the gel topcoat, vinyl ester barrier, fiberglass, and a coloured flow coat sealer. But, when I read into their application process a little more, I found that they use multiple coats of each layer. Thus, creating more than just 4.
I’m not sure about you, but I remember this saying “less is more”, from those good ol’ Charmin commercials. Well, it appears Barrier Reef Pools has done just that. They found the materials that worked perfectly together and used only those, no need for anything more.
Ok, so far, I’m really liking how Trilogy Pools doesn’t get too fancy with their techniques and uses basic tools to get the job done. Thursday Pools seems to have a better design for the structure but then, like I said before, Barrier Reef uses multiple layers of simple raw materials. So, who’s really the better 1?
Beauty in the Design
The hard part, choosing what colours and style you want. You could do, the simple kidney shape or rectangle, but how will you know if you will like it 5 years from now? I’m going to have to go through every style until we find the perfect 1.
I do have to say, just by looking at the different brands’ websites, Barrier Reef has more variety for shape, Thursday Pools has a huge range of shapes as well as a great variety of typical swimming pool colours to choose from. Trilogy Pools sticks to the standard shapes; rectangle, kidney, freeform, modern freeform, and classic or as some people call it, grecian. It’s a very hard decision to choose from.
I figured that you would be using the pool mostly for; cooling off in the summer time, hanging out with family (including the dog!) and having parties with friends. This means you need something to accommodate large crowds but also something you will enjoy and not take up the entire yard. The rectangle seems too boring for me, but it may not be for you, I wanted something with a little more pizazz!
Look at Trilogy Pools
The brand with a wider variety of sizes. Trilogy Pools doesn’t cut corners when designing their fiberglass pool molds.
The classic and modern form of the freeform shape has such a unique look, every time you look at it you see something new.
There are so many different sizes of the classic rectangle that anyone with at least a little bit of yard can have a pool.
The kidney shape, for anyone who enjoys swimming laps, this could be the pool for you. Trilogy Pools has a very small 10’X20′ kidney shape pool – this can allow so many people to have a pool that thought they couldn’t.
Lastly, their classic or grecian style swimming pool. These are elegant and perfect to add a tanning ledge or splashpad to.
Look at Thursday Pools
Perfect pools for exercise. Thursday Pools is known for being shallow even to the deep end. This could be good for volleyball or basketball sports or even water polo!
The rectangle, anywhere from 13.5’X27.5′ to 16’X41′, this beauty – no matter the size, has so much space for sitting and relaxing and of course swimming.
Freeform pools are a unique shape but look at how Thursday Pools took their design to a whole new level. Great for parties and the kids.
A very unique feature that Thursday Pools has done, is the Infinity edge pool. This is where the water looks like it never ends, but it’s falling over the edge like a waterfall and circling back through the system.
Thursday Pools Grecian or classic style pool was so popular they are coming out with a larger model.
Look at Barrier Reef Pools
Swimming pools that will accommodate your everyday needs. With a variety of depths, even the tallest people can go diving!
Rectangle pools are made more for hanging out with friends and having parties. Rectangle pools have the most space and allow for games and activities.
Barrier Reef’s freeform models are very unique, as they add seating wherever they can without removing swimming space.
The Grecian model from Barrier Reef is pretty standard but comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate different yard sizes.
The kidney shape is a wonderful design and Barrier Reef did a wonderful job by adding seating all the way around.
The ‘Milano’ model called the reminiscent of roman times and would accentuate some very nice patio furniture. At 11’X23′, this pool is perfect for many people.
The most unique by far – the ‘Daydream’. This pool is so unique I don’t even think there’s a name for the shape. Perfect to have people over!
The last thing we need to look at is, maintenance. How much work will this take me to take care of? Will I be capable of doing all of this? Let’s have a look, shall we?
Give me the easiest low-maintenance system you have!
With any fiberglass pool, the maintenance needed is very low. Considering the fiberglass shell is a smooth texture, bacteria and other non-organic compounds can’t attach to it and grow. Thus, allowing you to use less chemicals for water balancing.
Trilogy Pools has a maintenance tool to help the circulation of the pool, pushing debris into a designated area allowing for easy clean up. And Thursday Pools created a skimmer designed specifically for fiberglass swimming pools to improve skimming function, optimize water level and provide the pool with a more uniform appearance.
Taking all of this in to account, I think you will be able to choose from these perfect fiberglass swimming pools – which would you choose? Each brand has a long list of pros and a very short list of cons. I would recommend any of these brands to anyone. So glad I did my research.