Are you thinking about taking the plunge and installing your very own backyard oasis?

Before you dive into constructing your pool, you should probably know a thing or two about pool liners. So what exactly are they?

A pool liner is the way to hold water inside the pool. The liner attaches to  the siding and structure of the pool creating a watertight space. It stops leaks, provides a comfortable surface to stand on and can define and change the appearance of your pool.

Vinyl pool liners are a great way to extend the longevity of your pool and add a bit of flavor and spice to an lackluster swimming hole.

How to Choose Pool Liners to Fit Your Needs

When choosing a liner for your pool there are a few important things to think about. First of all, do you have an inground or above ground pool? There are several defining characteristics of each one that may be important in helping you choose.

  • Inground pool liners: Inground pool liners can be custom-made to fit any pool and installed by professionals. They are generally more expensive than above-ground liners but more economical than a traditional fiberglass or plaster inground pool.


  • Above ground pool liners: There are generally more options with these types of liners. They come in two different styles. The overlap style is where the vinyl is stretched over the side walls of the pool and overlaps the outside, being visible from away from the pool. The second style is the bead style, where the vinyl attaches to the inner lip of the swimming pool with beads slid along the lip.


With any style of liner it’s important to know the exact specs of your pool before you buy and install your liner. If you mismeasure it could mean the liner will stretch too tight and tear.

There are two ways to measure the thickness of a liner. They are a “gauge” or a “mil”(The measurement of mil means 1/1000 of an inch, not 1 millimeter). A gauge is a little bit bigger than a mil. Typically a 30 gauge liner thickness would be 26 gauge thickness.

The most popular and widely purchased thickness for above-ground pools is 20 mil. For inground pools that rest on rougher surfaces, a 30 mil thickness is ideal. Generally these liners last up to ten years and then need to be replaced.

There are other factors as well which can help you determine which thickness is right for you including sunlight exposure and foot traffic, both of which can contribute to wearing down the vinyl. Ebay has a comprehensive guide to buying pool liners that further details this information.

You may also want to get a textured liner, especially if many children or elderly people plan on using the pool. This is a safeguard against slipping and falling, as feet will catch on the texture and keep you upright. A textured bottom will help keep feet planted firmly on the ground and ensure everyone stays safe.

Beautifying and Stylizing with Pool Liners

The most awesome aspect of having a pool liner is the stylistic versatility that comes with your choice.

The best pool liners add flair and character to your pool as well as protection from outside elements, so choose wisely. Consider the aesthetics of your pool and how you want it to look from far away. Make sure you have the entire layout of your yard in mind — you don’t want the pool to clash with the landscaping or deck.

Many owners choose to go with a blue liner, as it’s generally the safest and most neutral color. However, liners are available in pretty much any color you like, though you should keep in mind that the reflection of the sky on the water will tint the color towards blue anyway.

A dark liner can add an element of mystery to your pool or create a romantic atmosphere. A brighter one may make it easier to keep an eye on swimming children or party guests. The most important thing to think about when choosing a liner is what you love.

After all, the liner will be there for quite a while. The good news is that should you come to get tired of your liner style or wish to change it, you can do so. But it’s more economic to choose one you know you’ll love for years to come.

Picking out a liner is definitely one of the most fun parts of installing a pool, so go wild with it. Whichever color you choose, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you have a source of fun and entertainment to enjoy all summer long.

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