Gunite vs. Shotcrete: What’s the Difference?

If you’re in the market to have a pool installed, resurfaced or remodeled in your backyard, you’re probably considering between fiber glass, vinyl liner, concrete pools, and you’re just kinda wondering… you keep hearing these two terms, shotcrete and gunite, in reference to concrete pools and you wanna know, what the heck is the difference? Well that’s what we’re going to explain for you here.

Okay, so gunite versus shotcrete, that’s what we’re gonna explain today.  We’re going to give you little differences between the two materials so you can understand the terminology when you’re shopping for a pool for your backyard and considering concrete versus fiberglass versus vinyl liner.

So it really comes down to when the material is mixed. Specifically, 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 and 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, pre-mixed into the hopper and then through compressional pump through a high rate of velocity, sent down the line to the operator, and 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 skill set of the operator or the pool builder. Some concrete pool builders prefer to use gunite, some prefer to use shotcrete and 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 if the company and operator are as skilled as a RePooler is. So if concrete is your decision, now you understand the difference, now you understand the terminology.