Shotcrete or Gunite: What’s the Difference? Which Is Better?

People have spent almost a century arguing which of these two materials is better, but the truth is that only a qualified pool contractor can help you decide which one will work best for your specific situation. Each of these specialty materials has its advantages, but we have always used shotcrete because of its incredible strength and widespread availability in middle Tennessee.

Gunite was first invented more than 100 years ago. Gunite pools are created by shooting a dry concrete mix out of a hose with compressed air while simultaneously shooting water from a separate hose that is often mounted beneath. The concrete and water mix on contact and dry to form a very hard surface. Gunite is ideal for very challenging and time-consuming installations, particularly when it’s very hot outside. However, its strength is limited because it lacks aggregate rock in the mix, and it is often only 2,500 psi, as opposed to shotcrete, which is a minimum of 4,000 psi.

Shotcrete was invented after gunite but it’s very similar to it. The biggest difference is that with shotcrete, the concrete is premixed with water before being sprayed through the pneumatic gun as opposed to having separate water and concrete hoses. It also contains stone aggregate, which gives it much more strength than gunite. Shotcrete is often difficult to work with in extreme weather conditions, but that can be largely worked around by adding retarders or accelerants depending on the weather. The key is using an experienced shotcrete crew. At Absolute Pools, we use the best shotcrete crew and the best equipment.

All in all, despite its limitations, we feel that shotcrete is a better product which offers far more strength and durability than gunite. Call us today at 615-354-1840 to get started on designing your custom shotcrete pool.