Pool Owner’s Quick Guide – Getting the Best Inground Pool Liner for You

If you’re in the market for a new pool liner, the first step might be the most challenging. There are several factors to consider when selecting the perfect liner for your pool, from size to color to design. When placed and maintained correctly, a inground pool liner will last your family for years, so you …

If you’re in the market for a new pool liner, the first step might be the most challenging. There are several factors to consider when selecting the perfect liner for your pool, from size to color to design.

When placed and maintained correctly, a inground pool liner will last your family for years, so you want to select one that makes you happy. We’ve put together some tips and suggestions to help you search for the best pool liner that’s perfect for you.

Measuring Your Pool

A tape measure with pool background

Before you start your search for a new pool liner, take time to measure the size of your pool accurately. Your pool may not be the precise size you think because of sagging, bent walls, and other issues. Always measure instead of relying on past measurements, receipts, etc.

With a tape measure, you’ll want to measure the pool wall from the inside to the pool’s interior. Suppose you think of your pool as a clock face; you should measure from 12 to 6 and 9 to 3 o’clock.

To measure the bowed walls and other abnormalities that may affect the liner fit, you should measure each diameter, once at the top of the wall, once at the center of the wall, and once at the bottom of the wall. We recommend asking for the assistance of a friend or family member to achieve accurate measurement.

Of course, if your pool has a unique form or other abnormalities, you should consult with a pool professional to ensure you receive the correct measurement.

The Thickness of the Inground Pool Liner

The most frequent words used to describe pool liner thickness are “mil” and “gauge.” While these two dimensions are close, it is crucial to remember that they are not the same.

  • “Mil” is the equivalent of 1/1000 of an inch and is used to describe the thickness of some pool liner manufacturers.
  • “Gauge” is the standard system for measuring liner thickness. When it comes to pool liners, the greater the gauge number, the thicker the liner it is. You can also use the gauge to determine the thickness of wire, metal, and film.

While thickness is crucial for the quality and lifespan of your swimming pool liner, it shouldn’t be the decisive element in your purchase decision. It is almost always the case that a thinner but well-fitting liner will outlast a thicker liner that has not been correctly installed. In general, a 20-28 mil liner will be sufficient for most pool owners.

Liner Colors

An empty in ground pool in replacement of vinyl liner

After you’ve accurately determined the size of your pool, you can start having some fun with the color and pattern selection. The design of your pool liner may undoubtedly have a good influence on the overall appearance of your backyard and patio space.

When looking at patterns and colors, pay close attention to the pool liner’s color, whether dark or light.

Dark Pool Liner Colors

A darker pool liner will absorb more sunshine, which will help warm the water. The darker the liner, the more difficult it will be to spot any debris or dirt in your swimming pool. Moreover, a deeper color is more vulnerable to fading due to UV exposure and chlorine. Deep blue liners appear to retain their color for a longer time, even though it fades through time.

Light Blue Pool Liner Colors

Lighter-colored liners don’t fade quickly. They absorb less sunlight, making them less prone to bleaching and fading through time due to less UV damage. A lighter liner will expose more dirt and will thus need to be cleaned on a more frequent basis than a darker liner. A good reason for adopting this design is that the pattern’s appearance does not change significantly over time, making it a good choice for the long term.

Aqua Pool Liner Colors

Aqua is becoming increasingly popular as a color profile. Traditionally, when people think of pool colors, they think of blue, not just any blue, but a BLUE blue. Tan-colored pool liners are becoming increasingly popular among individuals who do not want a basic blue pool.

Sandstone liners will give your pool a more aquatint and lagoon appearance instead of concrete liners. Combining it with copings, stairs, skimmers, or even a slide is an excellent choice to get the best aesthetic results when using an aqua liner.

Vivid Pool Liner Colors

Even though vivid blue-colored liners are a shade darker than light blue or aqua, they seem brighter in direct sunshine, emitting a brilliant hue that may draw attention to your pool and enhance its appearance.

The deeper, more intense blue shade is inherently pleasing to the eye, and it complements a wide range of landscape and patio furniture styles. This is one of the more prevalent looks available today, and it is often what new pool owners are aiming for.

Pool Liner Pattern

Empty pool with liner and pattern

When you think of a pool and some design or pattern, the possibilities can go on and on. From animals and flowers to countries and characters, the choices are unlimited. It is essential to keep in mind that your liner will last for a long time; therefore, choosing something that will bring pleasure to you and your family is necessary.

Colorful, vibrant, and eye-catching patterns may be used to draw attention to your pool and make it stand out. A more natural-looking design and muted appearance will help your pool fit in better with its surroundings. When searching for patterns, remember the overall design of your home, as well as the deck, patio, landscaping, and other outdoor décor elements that you may attempt to match.

The easiest decision to make is whether you like a tile or no-tile look. Tile is a decorative pattern seen above the waterline on a swimming pool that boards the edge of your liner. Moreover, the last thing to remember if you want a tile or non-tile look is choosing vinyl over steps.

“Vinyl liners are kind of like magic. There’s almost nothing they can’t cover in your pool to create a seamless appearance. You can cover several stair types and other built-in features in your liner of choice: Swim-outs, sundecks, benches, tanning ledges, in-pool bar stools… if it’s under your pool’s water, ask if it can be covered!”

Laci, writer at Royal Swimming Pool

Pool Liners Varieties and Essentials

Types of Pool Liners

At the heart of every pool lies its liner. Different pools have different needs, and when it comes to choosing liners, there’s no one-size-fits-all. There are five distinctive types of pool liners, tailored to fit the specific requirements of various above-ground pools:

  • Overlap Liners: A universal favorite, the most prevalent above-ground pool liner style is the overlap pool liner. These liners hang comfortably over the wall of the swimming pool. Their secure fit is ensured with coping strips, making them an ideal choice for many.
  • Overlap Expandable Liners: An advancement on the standard overlap liner, providing more flexibility for varying pool depths.
  • Rectangular Flat Bottom Liners: Perfectly suited for pools with a simple rectangular design and a flat base.
  • Beaded Liners and J-Hook Unibead Liners: These come with a unique track or bead design that ensures a snug fit. Unlike other liners, they don’t need an additional track or bead receiver. If your pool already has a track or bead receiver, these liners adapt effortlessly.

2. Customer Queries: Thickness

We often encounter an intriguing query from our customers: Does the thickness of the vinyl make a difference? Contrary to popular belief, a thicker liner isn’t necessarily superior. Instead of getting hung up on thickness, focus on the pattern. It’s the design that can truly rejuvenate the look of your pool.

3. Budgeting for Pool Liners: Prices and Factors

The type of liner you choose inevitably impacts the price. But here’s something you should know: the overlap liner is not just about aesthetics; it also plays a role in determining the cost. A replacement liner, especially for inground pools of unique shapes and sizes, can vary in price. Always measure your pool meticulously before seeking a replacement liner to ensure a precise fit and predictable costs.

4. Pool Liner Maintenance

Caring for your pool liner is crucial to extend its lifespan. For cleaning, always opt for specialized vinyl-friendly products. These products, tailored for vinyl liners, ensure that the chemical balance is maintained without causing any harm to the liner’s surface.

5. The Industry Standards

The pool liner industry is vast and varied. Many liners in the market are manufactured using re-processed vinyl. However, there are also those manufactured wholly with U.S.-made materials, which often exceed industry standards. When shopping for liners, it’s essential to inquire about the materials used and their adherence to industry norms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does an inground pool liner typically last?

The lifespan of an inground pool liner can vary but generally ranges from 10 to 15 years, depending on factors like quality, maintenance, and climate.

Can I use an above-ground pool liner for my inground pool?

No, pool liners are designed specifically for either above-ground or inground pools and are not interchangeable.

Can I change the design or color of my inground pool liner during replacement?

Yes, you can choose a different design or color for your new inground pool liner to update the pool’s appearance.

Can I repair a small tear or hole in my inground pool liner?

Minor repairs are possible using patch kits, but for significant damage or multiple tears, replacement is usually recommended.

How do I prevent algae and mold growth on my inground pool liner?

Proper pool water chemistry maintenance, regular cleaning, and the use of algaeecides as needed can help prevent algae and mold growth.

Author’s Note

Your pool is a huge investment, and you should take the time to choose the perfect liner for you and your family. The many options available will allow you to find the right liner that fits your needs and style.

Choose your pool liner color wisely, as this will affect how you feel about the liner.  You could also use multiple colors together to make an impact on your pool area. We hope this article has helped you decide which is the best pool liner for you.

Listed below are a few more pool articles you will surely find useful. Be sure to check them out! Happy swimming!

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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