Pool lining structures play a decisive role in ensuring total watertightness, while determining the pool’s aesthetics. Current pool lining options provide the right solution for pool operators’ demanding efficiency and customization.
The importance of choosing the right pool lining should be taken into consideration. Its primary role is to provide a coating layer for swimming pools. However, it’s also relevant for a number of processes, from pool maintenance to establishing the pools’ aesthetics and efficiency.
Pool lining replacements are a common operation in many pool rehabilitation projects, helping to restyle old-fashioned pools while also boosting their durability. At the same time, it’s a key decision in new pool projects that will greatly determine the system’s looks and maintenance needs.
Due to our experience in pool design and pool efficiency, at Fluidra we provide the following comprehensive guide about current pool lining options and the key materials for building an efficient and durable pool.
As said, pool lining plays a key role in a number of features in swimming pool operations and maintenance. In fact, just like with other choices such as choosing the right dehumidifier or efficient heat pumps, this decision can come with an appreciable improvement in terms of savings and durability.
It’s defined as a vinyl surface that is attached to the walls and floor of a pool, and its roles include:
- Acting as a barrier between the pool’s wall and the water inside. Pool lining guarantees water is kept in and provides waterproofing, generating this way an effective coating on the pool’s walls.
- Improving the pool’s look. The pool lining’s aesthetics have a significant impact in inviting users for a swim and generate an appealing pool basin. In current pool lining options, many parameters can be changed to achieve customization, such as material quality, color or finish.
These two are the main factors that should guide pool operators looking for the right pool lining syste
When deciding which pool lining to install, it’s also relevant to consider that, based on different pool needs, there are many variations of pool lining systems—each of them with various installation requirements. For instance, pools that feature a vinyl pool liner also include a foam layer that acts as a cushion and a buffer between the liner and the pool wall.
Pool lining shapes also vary depending on the structure of the pool. On inground pools, on the one hand, pool lining is usually shaped to fit the pool and attached to the pool walls. On the other hand, pool lining in above-ground pools usually takes the form of a hanging bag.
Additionally, there are many different pool shell materials to be considered when choosing a pool lining structure: from painted concrete, to polyester shell, gresite, tiles or stainless steel.
While the options are numerous, a reinforced membrane liner made of PVC stands out currently as the best pool lining system for large public or commercial pools. As an economical, practical and versatile choice, this pool lining option comprises the most advantages.
This system is made of an extremely resistant polyester net which is covered by two PVC sheets that have been fused together, so that the polyester net stays right in the middle of them. This high-quality structure provides total watertightness and great durability.
Furthermore, it acts like an armor for the pool basin structure, guaranteeing that the liner will never lose water. As every raw material is recyclable, responding to growing sustainability concerns among pool users, operators and governmental organizations.
In such systems, liner thickness varies between 0.45 and 1.5mm (a measure usually expressed in 100ths of a millimeter). For example, measures are typically expressed as “45/100” for 0.45 mm or “150/100” for 1.5 mm. Reinforced liners start at 85/100, which are the recommended values for high-use public swimming pools.
Total sealing and watertightness
When choosing a pool lining system, its sealing and barrier effect stands out as the key advantage to look for. In the case of PVC lining, it provides total tightness: as a single sheet, the risk of leaks is minimized, and watertightness enhanced.
This is the case even in extreme incidents such as pool cracks. These can be originated due to many reasons (bad construction, movement or settling of the ground, the passage of time…), and a PVC liner ensures water is kept in at all times—thus representing a key decision to avoid water leaks. This also translates into savings in repairs and maintenance operations.
Quick and easy installation
The easy and fast installation of a PVC pool lining is another key advantage for this system. As an extremely versatile option, it can be installed in a newly built pool.
But it can also be part of a pool rehabilitation project, replacing an already existing lining, regardless of the material itself (concrete, tile, steel, wood, polyester…). This option also includes the possibility of installing it on top of a wide variety of other vessel materials, such as concrete or modular pool panels.
Easy and low maintenance required
A PVC pool lining system is based on a reinforced membrane totally sealed. Installed according to the shape of the swimming pool, it is attached to the edges of the pool through a fastening profile.
This system can be easily placed, repaired or removed at any time without emptying the pool or picking and lifting the coping stone. Besides, pool cleaning operations can be carried out easily (using a specific damp cloth) and there’s no possibility for falling tiles (compared to issues emerging after choosing gresite materials).
In other words, this system is easy, fast and inexpensive to maintain, minimizing many costly processes that would otherwise hamper the pool’s efficiency and guaranteeing the pool to be in perfect condition for years.
Great adaptability and flexibility
A PVC liner system is the best option for lining pools with irregular shapes, as well as for renovating prefabricated pools that are characterized by roundness and irregularity.
Its flexibility and adaptability also means this system is especially resistant to potential seismic movements while delivering the same resistance and hardness as gresite materials.
Great customization and ornamentation possibilities
The pool liner is the most visible element of the pool, since it’s responsible for the water’s tonality and color. For that reason, a PVC pool lining provides endless customization opportunities and attractive designs and finishings, including many mosaic patterns and color possibilities.
In turn, this brings the opportunity of transforming the pool into an attractive aquatic space, which stands out among the growing competitors in commercial pools.
Hygienic and chemically resistant
Reinforced PVC liners present a varnish on both sides of their sheets, protecting it from external elements and stains. The system is also exceptionally resistant to chemicals that are potentially used by pool operators and water treatment systems, while also providing an effective barrier against the proliferation of bacteria.
This reinforced liner can be made with recycled and recyclable materials without compromising its high quality and durability, thus representing an ideal solution with a low environmental impact.
Choosing the right pool liner is a key decision because these elements are subjected to a significant amount of wear and tear. Besides making the right choice of materials and structures, it is important to keep an eye out for potential issues and signs that might indicate the pool liner needs a replacement, such as:
- Color fading in vinyl liners. Vinyl surfaces in pool lining often suffer and become brittle because of accumulated sun exposure. This might lead to an increased risk of punctures, leaks, and rips, as its stretching capabilities are impaired. Therefore, color loss and fading on this surface might indicate it’s time for replacing it.
- Water losses. From users swimming and splashing to evaporation, water loss in swimming pools is inevitable. But water losses that represent more than an inch on a weekly basis indicates a need for replacing pool lining, as there might be a tear or a leak. While small holes might be patched over, other more serious tears would mean that the liner must be replaced altogether.
- Wrinkles on the liner. This is a sign of improper water chemistry, which might lead to a more brittle liner that is at risk of being ripped. The solution to the appearance of wrinkles is a complete replacement of the pool liner.
When undertaking pool rehabilitation operations, the method of attachment will already be decided depending on the previous system. But, if the project starts from scratch, pool owners might choose among the following three methods:
- Hung. In this case, beads are used to fit the edge of the liner along a rail structure along the poolside and under the edging. A hung system is the most common choice for inground pools.
- Unibead. This has a similar performance to the previous method, but it’s designed to fit above-ground pools.
- Overlap. This is an adequate option for both inground and above-ground swimming pools and can be used to fit imprecise pool measurements. In this way, an oversized liner is folded down over the pool edges kept in place using a clipped rounded rod. Then, potential excess liner is cut down.
All in all, the normal lifespan of a pool liner might vary between 5 and 20 years. During this time, the emergence of issues depends on the quality of the chosen pool lining material, its correct installation and its adequate pool maintenance.
Thus, choosing the right pool lining structure remains a crucial decision that can potentially determine a system’s durability and economical performance.