We’ve already looked at some pros and cons of Fiberglass liners. Now we’re going to look at the other two options: Vinyl and Concrete.
Pros of Vinyl Liners
Of all three pool liner types for in-ground swimming pools, vinyl liners cost the least to have installed. Another benefit of this style is that vinyl allows for a custom shape and size, with no limitations — aside from your own imagination and space, of course! Like Fiberglass, Vinyl offers a nonabrasive, smooth surface. Vinyl is also pretty non-porous, a characteristic that inhibits the growth of algae.
Cons of Vinyl Liners
While vinyl liners do cost less initially, there is a down side: over the lifetime of your pool, they’ll end up costing more than the other options. You can expect your first liner to last between 8 and 14 years, with ongoing liner replacements ultimately costing you thousands more than your initial investment. For this very reason, a vinyl liner pool might not be a good choice for those concerned about resale value. A savvy realtor or prospective home buyer will ask about the liner type and upon discovering that it’s vinyl, will ask about its age. If it’s more than 4 years old, a replacement liner will probably be requested as a contingency for the sale.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that even with a warranty, you may have to pay more down the road: Most of these warranties are pro-rated over 20 years. So unless your liner bites the dust within the first year, you won’t be covered to purchase a brand new liner.
Another down side of vinyl liners is that they’re a bit less resilient; after all, they’re often only 20-30 millimeters thick! (For comparison, that’s about the same thickness as a few sheets of copy paper.) If you’re expecting dogs and rambunctious kids to be able to play hard in your pool, a vinyl liner might not be the best choice.
Another aspect of vinyl pool liners that could be considered a con is that they come in a variety of thicknesses, which can be a little tricky. Sometimes they’re described in terms of MIL, while others may be measured in Gauge. But we can easily clear that up for you. Basically, if the description includes the label “mil,” you can know that the number describes the bottom, while the sides are 5 Mil thinner. If the description uses the word “Gauge,” then both the bottom and the sidewall will have the same thickness. For instance, if a liner is advertised as being “20 mil,” it will have a bottom that’s 20 mil thick and a sidewall that’s 15 mil thick. One described as “20 Gauge” has a bottom and sidewall that are both 20 mil thick.
Do the pros outweigh the cons, when it comes to vinyl liners? Again, the choice is yours!
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Yoshiko Flora says
I find it helpful when you said that a person can opt for a pool liner made out of vinyl since it is the cheapest option available in the market. With that in mind, I will look for a contractor starting tomorrow who can help my cousin revamp his pool this month. That way, he can get it ready for his kids to safely enjoy their summer staycation.
Daphne Gilpin says
Thanks for explaining that vinyl pool liners have the benefit of being non-porous, which is a good quality because it prevents algae growth. My husband and I want to renovate our home’s pool and are considering replacing our current pool liner with a vinyl one. I’m glad I read your article because you helped me understand why choosing a vinyl pool liner would be a smart move.
Kate Hansen says
I loved how you mentioned that they are non-porous! My husband and I are wanting to look into getting a pool built for our backyard in a couple of weeks, and we were wondering which liner would be best for it. I really appreciate you helping me learn more about the benefit of vinyl liners for a pool.
Thomson Smith says
It’s awesome that you point out that a vinyl liner can help protect your swimming pool from algae. I want to make sure that my home’s swimming pool stays free of algae, so I’m thinking about buying a vinyl liner for it this month. I’m going to look for a good business in my area that can sell me a vinyl swimming pool liner.