Swimming pool liner buying guide
Patrick, Handyman, Bath11 guides
- Method of attachment
What is a pool liner?
The aesthetics of your pool rely heavily on the pool liner you choose.
Material quality, colour and finish all have an impact on the overall look of your pool basin.
Liners are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), rendering the pool basin waterproof.
On inground pools, they are shaped to fit the pool and are attached to the pool walls.
On above-ground pools, they usually take the form of a hanging bag.
Overall, plastic liners are the most common type of pool lining.
Apart from providing waterproofing, they're also visually attractive thanks to the varied range of colours and patterns available.
How to install a swimming pool liner?
Although it might be impractical to change the liner yourself on an inground pool, it might be quite feasible on an above-ground pool.
Whatever type of pool you have, liners are typically made to measure. Ensure you take accurate measurements of your pool basin dimensions.
With above-ground pools, whether they're round, rectangular or octagonal, spare liners can be found easily for well-known brands and products. So there's not much to go wrong!
For a larger pool, if you go for a high-end liner, bear in mind that they come in rolls and are laid by heat-welding immediately on installation.
What different types of pool liner are there?
There's an extensive range of liners available.
The lifespan of a pool liner is between 5 and 20 years depending on the quality of the material, the installation and of course your habits of pool maintenance.
Given the cost of labour (if you hire a professional contractor) and the necessary downtime while the liner is changed, it may be wise to choose a good quality liner, even if it's a fair bit more expensive!
For inground pools, assuming equal levels of maintenance, a high-end liner will last up to three times longer than a cheaper alternative.
What materials are pool liners made of?
Pool liners are composed primarily of plasticized PVC.
High-end liners may be reinforced with a polyester weave, making them very resistant, especially to tearing.
Liners can be treated to increase UV resistance or provide a non-slip surface.
Some liners, designed for spas and indoor pools, are treated to withstand high temperatures; this of course has an impact on the price.
What thicknesses of liner are available?
Reinforced liners start at 85/100. These are recommended for high-use swimming pools, especially if used lots by children. Thinner liners can be vulnerable to damage from rowdy play.
In addition, thicker liners are better at withstanding pH imbalances, the risk of which increases with the number of bathers.
For small above-ground pools, a 50/100 liner is generally sufficient; 75/100 is the minimum recommended thickness for inground pools.
To make your liner more pleasant to the touch, a rot-proof felt can be placed under the plastic layer - especially on the steps and the pool floor. The felt works to even out surface irregularities in the surface of the basin.
As for colour, manufacturers offer an extensive pallette: you are sure to find the one for you!
Any tips on choosing a colour for your pool liner?
Be aware that light colours age better, while darker ones are more likely to discolour. Even better, the water looks more transparent with a lighter-coloured liner!
Liner colour will above all influence the appearance of your pool water. And it's ultimately a matter of taste!
You might want to harmonize with the surroundings for example... If you want your pool to chime in with your lawn, then choose a green liner!
A white liner will make your water appear blue.
If you want to imagine yourself in the Caribbean, make it a sandy colour!
A dark blue liner enhances the appearance of depth.
You can even add decorative tiles along the waterline.
What method of attachment is best for your pool liner?
There are three methods:
- Hung is the most common system for inground pools. The edge of the liner is fitted with beads that slide along rail positioned along the poolside under the edging;
- Unibead is similar to the Hung system except that it is suitable for above-ground pools;
- Overlap is suitable for both types of swimming pools. In this system, you fold down the liner over the pool edges and clip a rounded rod over it to keep it in place. This system makes allowance for imprecise pool measurements. The liner comes oversized and the excess is cut down.
So, how to choose your pool liner?
Adding a frieze is a good strategy against waterline stains; and don't forget, to keep your liner in good condition, maintain your water at a neutral pH level!
Learn more about swimming pool equipment...
How to choose your swimming pool liner?
How to choose your pool cleaning products?
How to choose your pool maintenance products?
How to choose your pool robot?
How to choose your pool cover?
How to choose your pool filtration system?
How to choose your pool heat pump?
How to choose your pool heat exchanger?
How to choose your electric swimming pool heater?
How to choose your pool alarm?
How to clean your pool?
How to filter your pool?
How to cover your pool?
How to heat your pool?
How to secure your pool?
How to choose your pool?
Patrick, Handyman, Bath 11 guides écrits
It's also a family affair. I love nothing more than spending weekends in the workshop with my kids, who have inherited my love of tinkering. We motivate each other and share ideas about different projects - most of which are successful, I'm not shy to admit. But that’s one of the best parts of a DIY lifestyle: working together and having fun doing it.
By the way, should you ever need some advice or guidance, I'm happy to help you, too!