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A Quick Guide for Choosing the Right Swimming Pool Liner

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If you’re in the market for a new swimming pool liner, getting started can be the most difficult step. From size to color to pattern, there’s a lot that goes into choosing the correct liner for your pool. When installed and maintained correctly, a swimming pool liner will last your family for years, so you want to choose a liner that makes you happy. We’ve put together our tips and suggestions to help you find the pool liner that’s right for you.

Measuring Your Swimming Pool

Before you begin your search for a new pool liner, it is important to take the time to properly measure your pool. Due to sagging or bowed walls and other issues, your pool might not be the exact size you think it is. Always measure, rather than relying on previous dimensions, receipts, etc.

You’ll want to measure from inside to inside of the pool wall with a tape measure. If you think of your pool as a clock face, measure from 12 to 6 and 9 to 3.

To account for bowed walls and other irregularities that may impact liner fit, you should measure each diameter a few times — once at the top of the wall, once toward the middle of the wall, and once at the bottom.  We recommend asking a friend or family member for help to get the most accurate measurement.

Of course, if your pool has a unique shape or other irregularities, it’s best to work with a pool expert, like AAA Liners, to make sure you get the proper measurement.

Pool Liner Thickness

The most common terms you’ll hear in regards to pool liner thickness are “mil” and “gauge.” While similar, it’s important to note that these two measurements are not equal.

  • “Mil” is a unit of measurement equal to one-thousandth of an inch.
  • “Gauge” can be a little trickier. When it comes to pool liners, the higher the gauge, the thicker the liner material. Wire, metal, and film,  are also measured by their gauge.

While thickness is important when it comes to the quality and longevity of your swimming pool liner, it shouldn’t be your deciding factor. A thinner but well-fitting liner that was properly installed will outlast a thicker liner that doesn’t fit properly every time. Generally somewhere between a 20-25 mil liner will work just fine for the average pool owner.

Liner Color

After you know what size your pool is, you can start to have some fun with your choosing a color and pattern! The design of your pool liner can definitely have a positive impact on the aesthetic of your backyard and patio area.

When looking at patterns and colors, pay special attention to how dark or light the pool liner is.

Dark colors

Dark-colored liners, like our Blue Raleigh liner for in-ground pools, provide a bold look, which makes them a favorite among pool owners. Darker liners naturally help keep your pool warmer by absorbing sunlight. They also hide dirt and debris more easily than some lighter-colored liners.

That being said, one downside is that dark liners can be easily discolored from sunlight and chemicals over time.

Light colors

On the flip-side, light-colored liners, like our Mesa in-ground pool liner, tend to give your pool more of a  warm, bright look. Because they’re light colored, they also tend to attract less sunlight so that discoloration/fading is less noticeable over time.  The light color, however, makes it harder to hide stains, dirt, and debris.

Other Factors

Many pool owners opt for liners in varying shades of blue, but there are plenty of other options available. Varying shades of black, brown, and greys have also become popular over the last few years.

Besides how light or dark the liner is, other factors will also impact the color of your swimming pool. Shade and reflections from trees, shrubs, buildings, and fencing surrounding your pool and patio area can make the water and liner appear darker, and foliage may add a greenish tint. Reflections from the sky and clouds can also impact brightness and the richness of the liner, much like it does on Lake Michigan and all the other amazing rivers here in Illinois. With that in mind, a light-colored liner may be a good option if you have a shadier backyard, and a dark blue liner may seem to pop more when it’s sunny and bright outside.

Depth also plays a role in color appearance, as shallow pools naturally look slightly lighter colored than deep pools due to how light travels through water.

By determining what color liner you like and which one may be best suited for your pool, narrowing down options becomes much simpler. If you know you prefer dark or lighter colors, you can easily start to skip over potential liners that don’t fit the bill.

Liner Pattern

There are so many fun patterns and color options to choose from, your liner selection really makes a statement about your pool and style! From sea creatures to natural-looking stones, there’s a pool liner pattern to suit every backyard.

Picking a pattern is all about the look you want your pool and backyard to have. The pattern can be bright, bold, and eye-catching to make your pool stand out. A more natural-looking, subdued pattern can help your pool better blend in with the surroundings. When looking at patterns, keep in mind your deck, patio, landscaping and other backyard decor items that you may be trying to match, and the overall aesthetic of your home.

When shopping for a liner, you may notice that liners may have two patterns or designs. The tile pattern is a border that goes around the top of your pool wall and blends with the surroundings. Because of the waterline, it is usually the most noticeable part of the liner when you’re nearby the pool. The bottom/floor pattern takes up the majority of your liner and around your pool. If you opt for a liner with a tile pattern, be sure you like the way it blends with the floor pattern and the overall look of the two patterns together.

We recommend discussing patterns and design preferences with your family. That way, you can find a liner that everyone loves and enjoys!

Find Your Perfect Pool Liner

Remember, picking a swimming pool liner should be fun! If you’re struggling to find the right liner for your pool, we can help. From picking the right liner to installation and repairs, we’ve been helping families around Chicago make the most of their pool for more than 20 years. If you need assistance, contact us or request an online quote whenever you’re ready!