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The Pros and Cons of Each Type of Pool Liner

Having a new pool installed in your backyard is exciting. Still, the process calls for you to make a few important decisions. One of these decisions involves choosing the right liner for your pool. With a few materials to choose from, your liner may differ in price, durability, appearance, and in many other ways. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of each style of pool liner.

What is a Pool Liner?

Most in-ground pools are made using a similar installation process: a large hole is dug in your backyard, and a liner is placed in the hole before being filled with water. The liner is meant to keep dirt or other outside materials out of the water, while also providing smooth edges and a sleek appearance. Pool liners are most often made from one of three materials: fibreglass, concrete, or vinyl.

READ MORE: The Best Time of Year to Build Inground Pools

Fibreglass Pools

The installation process for fibreglass pools differs from the other kinds. The fibreglass shell is built separately, and is delivered to your yard in one piece.

Pros of Fibreglass Pools

Fibreglass pools are pre-designed, meaning things like ladders and steps are usually built into the fibreglass shell. These pools also last a long time, fading slowly and requiring fewer repairs.

Cons of Fibreglass Pools

Fibreglass pools are relatively expensive when compared to other kinds of pools. You are also limited by the fact that these pools have pre-determined sizes and shapes. It may be difficult to find one that works for you. Finally, the process of repairing a fibreglass pool may be difficult, as it is hard to find a material that matches your pool to patch up tears with.

Concrete Pools

These pools are made by filling a large hole in the ground with a mold, which is then filled with concrete. When the concrete dries, it is covered with plaster, pebble, tile, or another material.

Pros of Concrete Pools

Concrete pools offer plenty of opportunities to customize. From additional ladders to diving pools and unique fixtures, there are plenty of ways to spruce up your concrete pool.

Cons of Concrete Pools

Concrete pools are relatively costly to build. They are also both expensive and tedious to maintain. Since concrete walls are porous, they can soak in chemicals and allow algae to thrive. As a result, you will need to carefully maintain your concrete pool. This means using plenty of chemicals and periodically resurfacing and acid washing.

Vinyl Pools

Vinyl liners are the most popular choice among pool owners. To build a vinyl pool, steel or polymer walls are installed in the hole in the ground. Then, a thin vinyl layer is placed over the walls.

Pros of Vinyl Pools

Vinyl pools are the least expensive material to use for a liner. They also use comfortable materials that protect against algae buildup. These pools require little maintenance, and far less chemicals than other kinds of pools.

Cons of Vinyl Pools

Vinyl liners are built to last a decade, so you will need to eventually replace them. Before choosing a vinyl pool, learn about your retailer’s warranty offers, and whether they can help you if you need a replacement liner.

How Do All Three Options Compare?

As explained above, each type of pool has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and it’s important to compare each one as you make your final decision. Here are some of the most important criteria:

  • Maintenance – all three kinds of pools require some level of maintenance, but concrete pools are significantly more costly and exhausting.
  • Flexibility – concrete and vinyl pools allow you to customize your surroundings, while fibreglass pools are limited by shape and size
  • Cost – vinyl is the least expensive kind of pool; concrete is the most expensive kind in the long run
READ MORE: Tips for Finding the Best Liner for You and Your Pool

Which One Should You Choose?

Ultimately, you should base your final decision on your individual circumstances, and how the pros and cons of each kind of pool relate to them. However, it’s important to note that vinyl liners offer the most benefits with the lowest amount of drawbacks.

READ MORE: Why Vinyl Liners Beat Concrete and Fibreglass

You may not think that the type of material used in your pool’s interior shell requires much thought. After all, your mind will be on other things when you’re lounging under the sun or splashing around in your pool. However, aspects like cost and maintenance are important and will affect the level of satisfaction you reach with your pool. Speak to a pool care professional if you are uncertain about any aspect of the pool selection process.