Hard Side vs Soft Side Pools

On a sweltering hot summer day, nothing sounds as delightful as a refreshing splash in a pool. In our experience at HotSpring Spas and Pool Tables 2, the popularity of above-ground pools (soft-sided and hard-sided) has grown tremendously due to the affordability and the ease of set-up. To help you decide which kind of above-ground pool you want, we are going to take a look at the two most common styles.

Hard Sided Pools

A ‘hard side’ pool uses a vinyl lining to hold water and a sheet metal or resin material for framing. Designed in the 1920’s, it’s a silo or grain-bend engineered design that gives strength to its structure. It may be a good option for those with a tighter up-front budget.

Side Note: Some prefer the sturdier look of hard side pools, thinking it’s sturdier based on the name, but this is not the case. Additionally, you’ll likely pay more in the long run. This is due to perfectly level ground prep, long installation times, and eventually needing to replace the walls and liner. It also is costly and difficult to disassemble, and transport should you choose to move. Thus, we say a hard-sided pool is a temporary pool you set up permanently.hard pool

Soft-Sided Pool
The ‘soft-sided’ pool is different than the ‘hard-sided’ pool in that it is one big ‘bladder’. The bladder serves as the frame and liner in one. The material used in the ‘soft-sided’ pool varies by manufacturer. We consider a Denier polyester liner to be the best. It’s not only used for commercial pools, but other purposes such as commercial roofing.

Denier polyester is an extremely durable polyester coated with a urethane sealant. This makes denier polyester waterproof, tough, and pliable. For the framework, we recommend solid steel (just like the Eiffel Tower) for its strength.

Soft-sided pools are very easy to set up, portable, and surprisingly strong. That’s why we refer to them as a permanent pool you set up temporarily. This pool’s strength and extreme portability also provide a great resale value.soft pool

Additionally, you can get them in nearly any size, it is the most cost-effective, and easy to store. They need only minimal ground prep. Many conjure images of tacky, floppy “big box” store pools when thinking of a soft-sided pool. The initial investment of the pool itself can be greater than a hard-sided pool, but the ease of use will pay back in dividends in comparison.

Whichever pool is right for you, make sure you’ll enjoy using it for years to come, consider what it’s made of, and provides “Every Day Made Better.” For a peek at some that fit this bill, check out our pools page or stop by one of our showrooms!



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