Pool 101: Different Pool Types Explained

Different Pool Types

Swimming pools have been part of homesteads since the Ancient Romans popularised the concept. Now, more and more developers and homeowners are seeking or adding pools to private residences. There is a staggering prevalence of swimming pools throughout the country, with a vast number of public pools dotted throughout the cities as well. Let’s see the different pool types explained.

While swimming pools have a long and storied history, one of the most recent changes they have undergone is in their design. Before around 1940, pools were standard rectangular features primarily made of concrete. In contrast, new technologies have allowed designers and consumers alike to explore further afield. As a result, there are more novel designs and innovative materials in use today than there have ever been before. This increased range means that there is always something to suit a variety of tastes and preferences.

With such a range of options available, you may be overwhelmed by choice when you start the purchasing process. There are so many different types of pools that some classification is needed to avoid veering off the rails altogether. To mitigate such a scenario, here is a list detailing different pool types through various lenses.

Types based on use

If you classify pools by their use, these can be broken into three types:

  • Commercial Pools: For example, hotel and public pools. These are built to cater for large crowds. They operate under stringent safety requirements, including locking gates, lifeguards on duty and controlled access.
  • Residential Pools: Mostly found in private backyards or community clubhouses in the case of apartment buildings. Single families or community guidelines dictate access to these types.
  • Competition Pools: These maintain the conventional rectangular shape with size variants. Competition pools can be anywhere from 6-lanes (75 feet long by 36 feet wide) to 12-lane Olympic size (150 feet long by 75 feet wide).

Types based on Position

In this case, you must consider where the pool is located with reference to the ground. There are also three main types here:

  • Above-ground: These are usually circular or rectangular and have rounded edges. The ‘walls’ are made using fibreglass composites or vinyl liners held up by a frame made of pipes. These pools are often prefabricated; therefore, installing them is often as simple as purchasing a DIY kit.
  • Semi in-ground: These are recommended if the space you plan to use for your pool is sloping. Semi in-ground pools are a mix of above-ground and in-ground pools.
  • In-ground: Commonly made of poured concrete or fibreglass composite, they are prevalent in this category. In-ground pools allow freedom in the design and size you choose. Therefore, you have few restrictions on what you can do.

Types based on construction material

There is a wide variety of materials in use today:


These pools are the most common type. Concrete was the original material used in pool construction, and it is still a go-to. Its main advantages include durability – concrete is tough and enduring – and flexibility. Concrete also allows you to make use of numerous finishes.


Fibreglass pools are pre-moulded in a factory before they are transported to their intended location. As a result, these pools come fitted with all their features, such as benches, love seats, or sun decks. Unfortunately, these additions make fibreglass pools challenging to customise, as their designs are more restrictive.


You can use vinyl for above-ground, in-ground and semi in-ground pools. In every case, you or your pool builder lays the vinyl on a frame made of plastic or metal. From here, it is a matter of your desired location. If it is above-ground, then you may place it on optional wooden decking. For an in-ground vinyl pool, you will have to lower it into a hole prepared for the purpose. Additionally, the structure is often joined to metal or plastic walls and a bottom structure made of plastic, sand or metal.

Enviro-Smart Pools

Enviro-smart pools are made of concrete but have the added benefit of valuable extra features to bump up your swimming pool experience. Using water infused with minerals like potassium and magnesium, you will have the chance to immerse yourself in a mineral-infused haven where your skin will benefit greatly. In addition, this type of pool boasts increased efficiency for better use of resources. With such significant changes, you may be able to bring down the cost of running your pool by up to 80%.

At this juncture, you have concluded your lesson on pool type 101. Now that you have a clearer idea of the options available, you may start to consider which pools work for you. Remember that no matter what you select, be it an above-ground vinyl pool or an in-ground fibreglass residential type, there is always an expert pool builder in the Sydney area ready to help you.


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