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River Pools Vs. Thursday Pools: Who Is The Better Pool Manufacturer?

At Royal Pools and More, we have offered fiberglass pools in many different shapes and sizes from a wide range of manufacturers for almost 20 years. Today, we’ve narrowed down our options from just two manufacturers: River Pools and Spas or Thursday Pools.

Each manufacturer has created their own designs and made them available to buyers, but a common question we get asked is: “Which manufacturer is better?” And to be honest, we can’t really give you an answer to that question, but the reason why may not be what you think.

You see, as with manufacturers in any other industry, they are all different. So, it’s really about deciding which manufacturer fits your wants and needs the best. And to help you do that, we’re going to discuss fiberglass pool shapes, manufacturing processes, warranties, and recommended installation processes.

Fiberglass Pool Shape Options

When it comes to manufacturers, there are some popular questions about their products. More often than not, the first question that comes to mind is: “What are my options for pool shapes?” And, let’s face the facts, if you don’t find something that you like from one manufacturer, you’ll start looking elsewhere.

Simply put, it’s the law of attraction.

Thursday Pools

As one of the leading manufacturers in the pool industry, Thursday Pools offers a variety of fiberglass pools. In fact, Thursday Pools offers 16 different options catering to multiple needs of clients, including:

Thursday Pools also offers some novelty options that are significantly smaller than fiberglass pools and have innovative features, including:

The great thing about all of these options is that they all have their unique qualities. Some have different depths than others, some have multiple ledges, and some are rectangular while others are more detailed.

Each pool has its twist, making for a ton of possibilities.

River Pools

Another one of the leading pool manufacturers, River Pools, also offers a variety of fiberglass pools and has created different series such as the C Series, D Series, I Series, M Series, and R Series. The L Model and T Model are also included in their fiberglass pool line.

Below, you can find each option the River Pools offers and a link to a more in-depth look at their characteristics:

If you’ve looked at each series and the variations of each model, you’ve probably noticed a common theme–the models in each series are similar in design but different in size.

So essentially River Pools offers 7 different styles with multiple variations of each style.

Pool Manufacturing Process and Innovation

Now, we’ve gone over your pool shape options, but there’s a lot that goes into crafting and creating a strong fiberglass pool which leads us to our next topic of comparison—manufacturing.

For the most part, both Thursday Pools and River Pools construct their fiberglass pools in the same manner with the same high-quality products such as Owens Corning Fiberglass and a perfected lamination schedule—mostly because there is a specific process that needs to be followed to ensure that the structure will last a lifetime.

By perfecting the lamination schedule, both manufacturers cover the main concern of building a fiberglass pool–layering the pool.

Thursday Pools

Without having to bore you with the full-blown manufacturing process check out this video about how Thursday Pools makes their pools!

If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation, check out How is a Fiberglass pool made?


*UPDATE*—Starting in 2020 Thursday Pools is now implementing the industry’s only double gel coat on fiberglass pools.


Thursday Pools has quickly become what pool builders consider a leading in the industry. Below is a list of the innovations that they have created to help strengthen their product, mainstream the installation process for pool builders, and even modernize the style of fiberglass pools.

On top of the essential layers needed to make a fiberglass pool shell strong and durable, Thursday Pools has innovated the game in recent years.

Lucky 7 Skimmer

Almost all skimmers are designed to fit perfectly in vinyl liner and concrete pools, leaving them difficult to install in fiberglass pools. However, Thursday Pools has created the Lucky 7 Skimmerwhicht is specifically designed for fiberglass pools.

Since most fiberglass pool walls are angled, Thursday Pools has designed this skimmer to have a larger mounting plate that will cover all fiberglass material–making for a more polished product.


Backfill Eliminator

Tanning ledges are an awesome feature of some fiberglass pools, but they have presented an issue during the installation process.

During the process of backfilling the area between the pool structure and the earth with stone, it is difficult to fill the area under the tanning ledge completely. For this reason, a gap is present between this portion of the pool and the earth, allowing the pool to flex over time because there is nothing to support it.

That’s where the backfill eliminator comes in.

This structure, with a strengthened honeycomb core, is placed underneath the tanning ledge portion of the pool to give support between itself and the earth. Therefore, the possibility of the pool flexing and losing its original shape is eliminated.


The Only Beach Entry Pool in the World

Thursday Pools has innovated the pool shape game with beach entry pools.

This design gives you the feel of being at the beach as the entrance slopes down into the rest of the pool. The addition of a sloping structure allows the pool to transition easily between the patio that surrounds it, making it all flow together.

Simply put, you get an even more luxurious feeling with this pool than many others with the illusion that you have a beach in your own backyard!


First and Only Sunken Living Area in a Fiberglass Pool

Once again Thursday Pools has added another feature to their pools that give a completely different vibe than others.

With the addition of sunken living areas, you’ll feel like you’re sitting right amid the water without getting wet.

This feature allows you comfortably relax right in your pool while remaining dry and looking good doing it!


Geo-Anchoring Pool System

One feature that is unique to Thursday Pools’ manufacturing is their Geo-Anchoring Pool System.

What Thursday Pools has done here is created a system that anchors the pool structure to the earth to prevent it from falling into the earth over time.

The geotextile material is infused into the pool walls in the manufacturing process and delivered to the location ready to be implemented.

When the pool shell is placed in the desired location, the material is rolled out from the shell onto the backfill. There are multiple layers of the geotextile material, thus creating a high level of security for the pool.

Please note that the system IS NOT STANDARD in their packages.


River Pools

As is standard in fiberglass pools, the structure consists of multiple layers. During the manufacturing process, River Pools applies these layers to the structure:

  • Gelcoat Surface
  • Vinyl Ester Resin
  • Chopped Fiberglass
  • Hand-Laid Woven Roving
  • Honeycomb Core
  • Chopped Fiberglass

Additional layers of chopped fiberglass may be applied to increase the strength of the pool, but rest assured, each layer serves a very distinct purpose.

For a summary of their manufacturing process, check out this short recap of how River Pools makes a fiberglass pool.


River pools has created a method to fuse the patio that surrounds the pool together with the pool itself. In this method, they use something called the River Rod. 

River Rod

These River Rods, 12-inch-long composite rods, are placed around the perimeter of the pool on top of the pool shell.

Once the backfill is placed around the pool, it’s time to pour the concrete patio.

When the concrete is poured around the pool shell, it encases each rod, locking them into place and fusing the pool with the patio to provide a higher level of security.


River Pools

Under River Pool’s warranty, they offer a Limited Lifetime Structural Warranty and a 15-Year Finish Warranty.

Thursday Pools

Thursday Pools has two different warranties: a Standard One-Time Transferrable Limited Warranty and an FPA Standard One-Time Transferrable Limited Warranty

Recommended Pool Installation Techniques

While the installation process may differ because each location where a pool will be installed is shaped differently, you can expect some of the same procedures from both Thursday Pools and River Pools.

Thursday Pools

A typical installation process from Thursday Pools looks a little something like this:

  • Step 1—Pool is delivered on a trailer
  • Step 2—The hole is dug
  • Step 3—The pool is placed into the ground on a compacted bed of 3/4-inch clean stone or water-permeable stone
  • Step 4—Plumbing is installed with straps
  • Step 5—Must have a de-watering system or the fiberglass pool de-anchoring system
  • Step 6—Backfill placed around pool with only clean 3/4-inch stone
  • Step 7—Patio and decking installed; concrete must be poured 9-12 inches around the bond beam of the pool (coping) tying the pool and concrete deck together

Of course, some may make slight modifications, but you should expect nothing less than this.

River Pools

While River Pools follows a similar installation process as Thursday Pools, they do take some extended measures.

  • Step 1—Pool is delivered on a trailer
  • Step 2—The hole is dug
  • Step 3—The pool is placed into the ground on a compacted bed of 3/4-inch clean stone or water-permeable stone
  • Step 4—Plumbing is installed with hard PVC only and straps
  • Step 5—Must have a de-watering system or
  • Step 6—Backfill placed around pool with only clean 3/4-inch stone
  • Step 7—Patio and decking installed; concrete must be poured 9-12 inches around the bond beam of the pool (coping) tying the pool and concrete deck together

During the installation of plumbing, River Pools has implemented the use of plumbing straps. These are fastened around the pipes and secured to the pool shell, decreasing the amount of stress the plumbing will endure.


Since plumbing has the risk of settling into the earth, the addition of these straps reduces that risk significantly so one less worry is on your mind.

Final Results

In the end, it doesn’t matter which manufacturer you pick! Both make excellent pools and you can be assured that we will take every measure to install them correctly. You need to choose who will fill your wants and needs the best.

Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the cost when discussing these two manufacturers. The ballpark price will be similar between these two manufacturers, but the final price is dependent on innovations and additional features you want to be included.

We just want you to be informed of the product you are purchasing since it is a big investment. And hopefully, we’ve increased your knowledge about two of the leading pool manufacturers in the country!

Get a free swimming pool service quote today!