Keeping your pool in top condition is an ongoing job, requiring regular maintenance and care.
Sometimes, the only option for a surface suffering from serious damage is a total replacement.
Even with the best care, an in-ground pool will need to be resurfaced every 10 years or so.
Pool resurfacing costs vary widely depending on the type of pool you have, how much work is involved and what kind of materials are used to resurface it.
The average cost for a typical swimming pool resurfacing job ranges from $1,000 to $100,000.
There are three main factors that influence this cost: the size of the pool, the materials used, and the labor required.
Take a look at this guide to find out how much you might expect to pay for a pool resurfacing, and which is the right choice for your budget.
What Is The Average Cost Of Resurfacing A Pool?
In the United States, the average cost of pool resurfacing is $7,000 per 1,000 square feet.
This price includes the labor and materials needed for a complete project.
However, this is just an average. Where you live, the surface in place, and what work you want done can drastically alter the price.
When estimating the cost of a pool resurfacing, you must consider both labor and materials.
For a long-lasting, durable finish, it’s worth paying for quality in both areas.
A good pool resurfacing relies heavily on the correct materials. This is often the bulk of the cost.
While some materials, such as plaster, are relatively inexpensive, a quality tile might set you back tens of thousands of dollars.
Labor costs will often form a smaller part of the budget, but this is another area where you want to pay more for a job well done.
Expect to pay around $55 an hour for labor, over a time period of one to two weeks. The average labor cost of a pool resurfacing is around $3000.
The size of the pool, any upgrades you may be installing, and the surface used will all affect the price.
This is only an overview of the average cost you can expect to spend.
In this guide, we’ll consider the different pool resurfacing options, and how much you might expect to spend.
Average Cost Of Restoration For In-Ground And Above Ground Pools
The average cost of restoration depends on whether your existing pool is above ground or below ground.
Below ground pools tend to have higher restoration costs than their above ground counterparts.
Above ground pools are easier to access, which makes restoration and fixes significantly easier.
You might even be able to do it yourself, especially if the pool only requires a small patch fix. This sort of DIY kit can often be bought for around $10.
If an above ground pool is severely damaged, it might need to be replaced.
Again, this can be done on a smaller budget. An above ground pool can be replaced for less than $1000.
In-ground pools are more expensive to restore. For small patch fixes, a DIY kit might get the job done for under $50.
But the average cost of resurfacing is $7,000, and even with minimal damage, a resurfacing might cost you over $5,000.
If both the base and surface of an in-ground pool need replacing, expect to pay upwards of $30,000.
At this point, the cost is similar to that of installing the pool in the first place.
The cost you expect to pay to resurface an in-ground pool will highly depend on the materials you want to use.
A quick plaster refresh is a relatively small job, while completely new tiling will be an expensive workload.
Read on to find out more about how the type of pool and the materials affect costs.
Fiberglass Pool Resurfacing
Fiberglass pools are popular because they’re easy to install and maintain.
They also come in many shapes and sizes, so they’re great for homeowners who don’t want to invest in a large pool.
Durable fiberglass is a long-lasting material, and a fiberglass pool can last several decades before resurfacing is necessary.
In some cases, the fiberglass can last a lifetime.
However, fiberglass isn’t invincible, and it may need to be resurfaced eventually. Expect to pay an average of $7,500 for materials and labor.
Fiberglass pools come with several common finishes, with variable costs.
Polymer can be an expensive finish, but it does an excellent job at resisting wear and tear. It’s also very durable, and it doesn’t require frequent maintenance.
Thermoplastic polymer powders are resistant to both extreme weathers and sudden temperature changes.
Expect to pay around $10,000 to cover a small pool, and $14,500 to cover a mid-sized pool in polymer powders.
Epoxy is another popular option for pool resurfacing.
Epoxies are usually used as a coating for concrete and fiberglass pools, and are popular for their attractive finishes and lower costs.
A coating of epoxy might cost as little as $1,500. However, epoxy does take a long time, even weeks, to cure.
Can You Resurface A Fiberglass Pool Yourself?
It is possible to resurface a fiberglass pool yourself, although be careful to do so in an area with good ventilation.
After the initial installation, a fiberglass pool should rarely require professional care.
However, if you’re working with noxious fumes, you may prefer to get a professional in.
Concrete Pool Resurfacing
Concrete pools have a reputation for being difficult to repair. Concrete is heavy, and it takes a lot of effort to move or remove.
The process of resurfacing a concrete pool is complex, and it requires the right tools, expertise, and some large labor costs.
Resurfacing a concrete pool might cost upwards of $10,000.
Painted concrete pools used to be popular, but have faded out of fashion as durable finishes have become more common.
Painting directly over the concrete is a cheap way to resurface, but not a hugely effective one.
As well as being cheap, paint is versatile. It comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes, so you can really personalize your pool on a budget.
And, as long as there are no major repairs needed, you can paint the pool yourself and save on labor costs.
Expect to pay a professional around $1,500 to paint a concrete pool.
However, painted pools attract dust, and will often peel away from the plaster.
Paint is only a good choice if the surface is already painted and you’re looking to save money.
Pool plaster is a step up from paint, offering a stronger finish with a good look.
Pool plaster is generally made of cement, sand, and water, and costs upwards of $7,000 to install.
A plaster finish does require consistent maintenance, to keep it looking at its best.
Many concrete pools are plastered when first built. Sometimes, when the pool ages, the old plaster will be covered with another finish.
However, the plaster underneath has to be in good condition for the new surface to work.
An advantage of plaster is that it is possible to carry out repairs yourself, without the use of a professional.
Exposed Aggregate Pool Plaster
Exposed aggregate pool plaster is similar to regular pool plaster, but with features such as sand and pebbles creating a fun finish.
More expensive than standard pool plaster, exposed aggregate pool plaster is a good choice for an attractive finish, without the cost of tile.
As well as looking good, exposed aggregate pool plaster is strong, and requires minimal maintenance.
A good quality exposed aggregate might cost over $10,000, but many brands compensate for a high initial cost with an impressive warranty.
Another option is polished aggregate. This has similar embedded design elements, but polished back to a smooth surface.
This is even easier to maintain and can last for many years.
Tile is one of the most popular resurfacing materials, and offers a huge range of styles and designs.
Tiles come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, and offer a great deal of flexibility. They also provide a very durable finish, with easy maintenance.
An expensive material, tile also comes with associated labor costs.
Although it is possible to tile a pool yourself, if you plan on covering the entire surface, it’s often better to get a professional in.
Tiling can cost more than $30,000, even for cheaper porcelain tiles. Expensive glass tiles can set you back $25 for each square foot.
However, once you have finished the pool, the tile lasts. And when a single tile breaks, even those with limited DIY experience can perform a patch job.
Tile also looks fantastic, even when used sparingly.
If you’re planning on resurfacing in tile, then consider the substrate beneath. Tile needs to be thin-set, which won’t bond to a non-porous surface.
Vinyl Pool Resurfacing
Vinyl pools are becoming more popular due to their affordability and adaptability.
Vinyl pools use a vinyl liner sheet that is fitted tightly to the pool base, and locks onto the deck. Thanks to the flexibility, vinyl liners can fit in a range of pools.
A vinyl liner typically has a relatively short lifespan of 5 to 9 years. Small patch jobs can extend the life, but when vinyl starts leaking, it has to be replaced.
A patch job can be done for around $100, but a larger fix might cost closer to $500 — assuming no labor costs.
When a vinyl liner starts to leak, it will need to be completely replaced. For a small pool, materials and labor together can cost around $1,000.
For a larger pool, expect to pay something closer to $3,500.
As the pool will have to be completely drained, there are the additional costs of refilling to consider.
Fiberglass Or Vinyl?
After a few cycles of installing and replacing vinyl, many choose to upgrade to a fiberglass pool.
The cost of replacement can be large, as the old pool has to be removed, and the new pool installed.
And, unless you have a lot of tools and machinery on hand, you will need to pay for professional labor.
The cost of replacing a vinyl pool with a fiberglass shell is likely to be $50,000.
However, it can work out cheaper in the long run. Fiberglass lasts for decades, and needs little maintenance or repairs.
Vinyl is a good surface, but a short term one. Although the initial costs of fiberglass surfaces can be off-putting, you’ll see the benefit over time.
Resurfacing And Remodeling
Pool resurfacing isn’t just about repairing a finish. It’s also an opportunity to improve your swimming pool.
If you want to add extra features, now could be the perfect time to do it.
Even if nighttime swims aren’t your thing, good lighting can still provide extra hours in the water around dusk.
And they improve safety, particularly if you have eating areas near your pool.
If you already have electrical lines connected to your pool, lighting can be installed for under $1,000.
If there’s still room in the budget, consider upgrading to color-changing lights.
Add A Water Heater
A water heater might be a costly upgrade, typically over $1,000 and sometimes significantly more, but it will extend the use of your pool.
Cooler evenings, chilly mornings, and those awkward in between months when the weather won’t make up its mind — suddenly, these are all prime swimming times.
There are many types of pool heaters available, designed for a range of pools and budgets.
From gas heaters to solar heaters, there’s an option for everyone.
Once installed, the water heater does come with running costs, but it’s worth it for the extra time you can spend in the pool.
Upgrade The Pool Deck
The pool might not be the only thing in need of a resurfacing. The pool deck might be suffering from its share of wear and tear as well.
Pools often have a concrete deck (see also ‘Pool Deck Ideas (Full Deck)‘) around the outside edge, which experiences deterioration from wind, weather, and water.
Resurfacing the deck might be simply a way of improving safety. However, it can also add some style to the pool. A cheaper option is a color stain.
This is likely to cost around $4 per square foot.
A decorative overlay is more expensive, at around $10 per square foot, while a concrete stencil might set you back $15 per square foot.
If you’re looking to build steps into your pool, this is a great project to undertake during a resurfacing.
Building steps adds value to a pool, and makes it easier to get in and out.
They’re also an excellent area to entertain and relax when you don’t want to swim.
A basic set of steps can cost upwards of $6,000, with the price building the more complex the design or finish.
For example, if you want to add tiling, expect to pay another few thousand dollars.
A cheaper option is a ladder. Again, this helps people get in and out of the pool, and can add value.
A Hot Tub Or Jets
Both can be added on to existing pools, and turn a simple backyard pool into a luxury experience.
However, this is an expensive option, and it can be difficult to install.
A jetted hot tub can cost around $5,000 if added to an in-ground pool.
Unless you’re skilled at DIY, adding a hot tub will likely come with labor costs as well.
But when you relax into it on a chilly evening, it might all seem worth it.
Decorate With A Fountain
A fountain has both a practical and an aesthetic benefit. Fountains and waterfalls look good, and they improve the circulation of water in the pool area.
It’s difficult to estimate the cost of a fountain, as the price varies so much depending on the design. However, it isn’t unusual to pay several thousand dollars.
Another option is a waterfall. Again, they look amazing and improve water flow, but can be expensive.
Make It An Infinity Pool
Infinity pools have become synonymous with luxury.
An infinity pool brings the water right up to the edge of the pool, providing a straight line that can look like it disappears into the horizon.
An infinity edge is the most complex upgrade we’ve suggested, and it won’t be right for every pool.
If you do have a space suitable for an infinity pool, it can cost over $35,000.
Creating the infinity design will often require a complete overhaul of the pool, as the edge is such an integral part of the design.
Pool resurfacing is a great investment. Not only does it make your pool safer, it can also transform it into something special.
Whether you want to create a relaxing spa-like atmosphere, or just enjoy the water, resurfacing your pool can improve the appearance, and give it a new lease of life.
There are many ways to resurface depending on your budget, to ensure you have years left to enjoy your pool.