What is a Pool Liner?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Swimming pool liners are simple devices that help to protect the floor and walls of a pool. Available in models that are constructed for use with in-ground as well as above ground pools, the liners are often made of a highly resilient vinyl or other synthetic material. The object of the pool liner is to extend the life of the pool by preventing mold and other forms of damage to occur to the pool itself.

Swimming pool liners help to protect the floor and walls of a pool.
Swimming pool liners help to protect the floor and walls of a pool.

Pool liners are usually part of the installation process that takes place when the pool is put into place. The liner is usually secured to the interior sides of the pool using a series of fittings along the edges of the pool. As part of the installation process, the liner is also sometimes installed with the use of water-resistant adhesives that allow the liner to adhere to the construction of the pool.

While the pool is considered to be more or less permanent, the liner is not. Depending on the climate and how well the pool is maintained, the pool liner is likely to last for many years. However, it is not unusual for a liner to be replaced at some point. While a homeowner may find it possible to replace the liner on an above ground pool with little trouble, the process is often more involved for an in-ground pool and requires the services of a professional.

While a pool liner can be constructed with many different materials, the vinyl liner is often an ideal choice. The vinyl is rugged and also capable of molding to the dimensions of the interior section of the pool with no trouble. This is particularly important if the pool design includes ledges or steps in the pool itself. The vinyl is also relatively easy to move around during the installation process, making it easier to smooth out and wrinkles or air bubbles that may appear as the liner is put into place.

Cleaning a pool liner usually involves draining the pool and scrubbing down the surface with cleansers that are formulated for the task. With proper care, a liner can easily last for many years before replacement is required. During the life of the liner, it is important to make note of any small rips or tears that may form in the lining. Repair kits that help to seal smaller rifts in the liner should be kept on hand, as the potential for permanent damage to the pool is increased while the tear remains unsealed.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


I got a discount on a pool liner by buying it during winter. I knew that I would be needing a new one for the following summer, and prices on pool stuff go down a good bit in the off season sometimes.

I love the fact that there are so many different pool liner designs to choose from. I have seen liners that look like tile, liners covered in bubble designs, and liners that are covered in blue waves. I got the one with the dark blue waves, because it makes it look like there is a lot of motion at the bottom of my pool.


@StarJo – My cousin has a concrete pool, and she has to spend a ton on chemicals each season. Concrete is pretty porous, so you have to put a lot of stuff on it to prevent algae and get rid of the algae that is already there.

Even though you might have to pay for swimming pool liner repair every five or ten years, you would save money by having a liner. The cost of pool chemicals is fairly high, and if you are going to have an inground pool, you will have to buy a lot of them to clean the whole thing.


I remember swimming in an inground pool with no liner when I was little. The sides and bottom were concrete, and they were pretty rough to the touch.

Now, I am thinking about building a pool, and I'm wondering if I should go for the concrete kind that doesn't require a liner. Does anyone know if concrete pools are easy to maintain, or are they even worse than pools with liners?


I have a vinyl swimming pool liner in my above-ground pool. For some reason, when my dad and I were putting it in, we had major issues with wrinkles.

It seemed that every time we tried to smooth one out, another one would pop up nearby. We finally just gave up and left several wrinkles on the floor of the pool.

It adhered nicely to the sides of the pool, but the floor is so wrinkly. This makes vacuuming it a nightmare! Algae clings to the undersides of those wrinkles, and I have to scrub hard to get it up.

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