You can’t talk about custom pool building in 2023 without hearing the term “gunite” thrown around a lot - and that's because it's used to build the majority of pools in the United States. But if you're not a builder, and if you don't have a pool yet, you're probably unfamiliar with the term.
So let’s talk a little about this beloved and ubiquitous material. Invented by, of all people, a taxidermist named Carl Akeley in 1907, gunite is a popular material used in swimming pool construction because of its strength, durability, and versatility. Also called shotcrete or sprayed concrete, gunite is just that -- a type of concrete that is sprayed onto a steel frame or rebar and then smoothed and shaped. Here are some of the reasons it has become so popular in custom pool building:
Strength and Durability: Gunite is a very strong and durable material, making it ideal for swimming pools. It can withstand extreme temperatures (aka Dripping Springs summers), weather conditions, and the weight of the water in the pool.
Versatility: Gunite can be used to create pools of almost any size or shape. The material can be molded and shaped to fit the desired design, allowing for custom-built pools that meet the specific needs of the homeowner.
Resistance to Leaks: Gunite is a porous material, which makes it less likely to crack or leak. It also resists the effects of freeze-thaw cycles that can damage other types of concrete.
Easy to Maintain: Gunite is easy to maintain, which reduces the cost of pool upkeep. The surface can be easily cleaned with a pool brush, and algae and other contaminants can be removed with pool chemicals.
Aesthetics: Gunite can be finished with a variety of materials, including tile, plaster, and aggregate. This allows pool owners to choose the look and feel that best fits their style preferences.
We'll leave you with two fun facts:
1.) Mr. Akeley named his invention gunite because it could be shot it from a gun (hence the origin of the alternate name shotcrete as well).
2.) Although he's known as the Father of Taxidermy (and worked for the Smithsonian, the American Museum of Natural History and the Field Museum in Chicago), he swears he never used gunite in any of his animal mounts....
To learn more about the materials and methodology behind custom pool design, be sure to follow us on social media at: @ranchroadpools