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Thread: Choosing a pool liner brand, thickness, and pattern

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    Join Date
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    Choosing a pool liner brand, thickness, and pattern

    Hello, I'm in the process of choosing a new pool liner. I called in some estimates and quickly realized I was getting a lot of contradictory information. First was thickness, 20 mil vs 27 mil vs 28 mil. Most advocated for thinner over thicker because it's easier to work with, "less likely to pop off the liner channel, less likely to wrinkle, and just "results in a nicer looking finished product". Most looked at my pool and saw a 8'+ deep end and recommended 20 mil for it. I showed the extra liner I had, which turned out to be 28 mil, and lasted for 20 years. There was severe discoloration largely due to low ph for a number of years.

    The first question pool brand: Pool Liner Manufacturers List | SPP Inground Pool Kit Blog
    This site answered most of my questions. The forum has some pictures of Latham Ultra seams, and they really look the best. Merlin calls it silk seam but the end result didn't appear as nice. I'm not sure if Loop Loc or other brands offer similar camouflaged seams.

    From what I've gathered on the forum, 28 mil isn't more durable for a soft bottom pool. With padding that all installers are adding into their quotes, it doesn't even seem necessary. When feeling 20 mil vs 28 mil the different is significant to the touch and feel of the liner. Also the thicker liner should reveal imperfections in the sand troweling less than the thinner liner. I did also see some with 28 wall 20 bottoms say the 28 mil faded slower than the the 20 mil, even in places where both were at approximately the same height under water. In the end I don't think it is a big deal, the consensus seems to be liners are just as durable, patterns are less durable, due to EPA regulations on dyes. So are the claims of vinyl liners with special antifungul, antibacterial, antialgae, UV resistant coatings bogus? I don't think it's bogus, but I believe most manufacturers will be producing a similar material. The differences really do come down to pattern choices, and seam technology, dealers, and support. Finding actual pictures of installed liners is actually hard for some reason, I did see a video of loop loc liners rolled across a pool side by side, which is useful. Searching the Under Construction thread would be best for this, but probably very time consuming.

    Warranty seems to be standard across different brands. I haven't gotten a break down with numbers for the pro rating, which I presume you can get from either the manufacturer as a percentage or as a dollar amount from your dealer. The pool builder might offer you a full warranty in the 3-6 year range which include labor, install, water, and chemicals.

    Lop-Loc seems to be the dominant brand in NY, with dealers wanting little to do with any other brand. Their patterns are really nice, I'm unsure if their seams and dye's are as nice as some of the other brands.

    I thought I would share this info, not to hurt any installers, but to help people make an informed decision quicker. Not wasting time saves everyone money, and gives them more pool time . I hope anyone can share their experience and thoughts about liner changes. I've got a pattern picked out not sure on the brand and company yet. Has anyone seen the Lop Loc seams?

    TL;DR see the samples, seams, and patterns in person if possible. There are many liner manufacturers, your dealer should be able to accommodate your request (some offer consumer rebates). So basically I would recommend getting a quote from a Merlin dealer, Lop Loc dealer, Latham dealer etc. Ask the dealer for a full warranty to be listed on the contract. The thicker liners cost about 5-10% more despite most PB pricing things out to be the same across the board.
    14K gallons vinyl IG pool, L shaped diving, hayward s-200 sand filter/side mounted multiport, hayward cl200 chlorinator, Pentair Intelliflo VSP, 1.5" cemented plumbing, Dolphin diagnostic. 3 Returns, 2 skimmers, 1 MD, 1 polaris port.

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing a pool liner brand, thickness, and pattern

    My pool is about the same size as yours.

    They couldn't find the serial number on the old one so it had to be custom measured and that added around 1,000 more to the cost.

    I went with a Plastimayd (owned by Latham pretty sure) as that is what my pool co (good reliable company out of all I tried in my region) uses
    and the factory where they are made is 30 miles away.

    I can make out 3 of the seams in the shallow end especially if pollen or dirt gets into them but they are difficult to see if the pool is perfectly clean.

    My total invoice including the custom measuring was around $ 3,800. of course it will be less next time as I have the serial number now.

    The previous liner had failed and was over 20 years old when I bought the house.

    And yes it does seem true that thicker makes little if any difference.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Re: Choosing a pool liner brand, thickness, and pattern

    Hi, thanks for the update. The link I referenced has all the info like plastimayd buying VYNALL. Latham is a big brand, with lots of experience, and guaranteed fast liners around the country. Their products look great, CS good, distribution seems poor in my area.

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    Re: Choosing a pool liner brand, thickness, and pattern

    If anyone wants pictures of the 2016 loop loc liners in a sink let me know and I'l post it here. I also have pics loop loc sent me of the new liners jnstalled in pools, which I can pm a link to.

    I'm actually in favor of the black platinum onyx liner. It feels very durable, has a great shine, pattern, and the backing is black so fading to white doesn't seem like an issue.

    The video does a great job of illustrating the liners. LOOP LOCS Pearl Essence Liners - YouTube

    One thing to note is that the metallic shine, is only visible when light hits it at an angle. Notice the steps and corners are shining the most. If you have many corners don't get the ultra reflective patterns like bronze reflections. Some patterns like the opulecent blue looked extremely dull in person. The designer series patterns look more vibrant.

    Again loop loc claims the pearl series has a durable paint finish, with special properties. Not sure if it only looks good in rounded shallow pools.

    As for other brands, I couldn't find anyone wanting to install anything else.

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Choosing a pool liner brand, thickness, and pattern

    I hate it when I see threads like this. It makes me want a new liner! Mine has fading all around from the granular chlorine the previous owner used thanks to the illustrious pool store. Apparently he never used the brush to move it either. Anyway, the onyx and bronze reflections are my favorites, but it's super hard to choose. They all look better than mine.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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