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Thread: Vinyl Install - Use Foam Backing or Not?

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    Vinyl Install - Use Foam Backing or Not?

    I will be installing a liner soon, and the kit I bought came with a roll of foam and some adhesive. I have since talked to a few pool pros in the area, and they never use the foam between the wall and the vinyl.

    My question is:
    What are the pros and cons of using the foam wall backing?

    Any help making this decision is appreciated.

    16 x 32 IGV, steel wall, Hayward SuperPump, Hayward 24in Sand Filter, Jandy LRZ 250K BTU Heater.

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    Casey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW PA

    Re: Vinyl Install - Use Foam Backing or Not?

    I like the feel the foam gives to the walls instead of feeling a hard surface.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Vinyl Install - Use Foam Backing or Not?

    Most pros don't use it because the owners don't insist and it takes time to install and time is money.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    In the Industry

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Batavia, IL

    Re: Vinyl Install - Use Foam Backing or Not?

    I like the feel of foam and have it on my pool. We've actually foamed the shallow end floor for a few customers and always foam vinyl covered stairs. Foam is also great after making wall repairs to hide seams and pop rivet heads that have been taped over.

    I leave it up to the customer and charge extra for it unless it's part of a wall repair or stair covering.
    20 x 45 Inground vinyl, ~34,500 gallons,
    4 returns, 2 skimmers, dual main drain
    Pentair EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, MiniMaxNT 400, TR100 sand filter,
    Whisperflo .34/2 hp 2 speed, Polaris 280 w/ polaris booster pump,
    Wild ride slide, InterFab techni spring base w/ 8' InterFab olympian board
    APC 365 dark gray auto cover

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    Re: Vinyl Install - Use Foam Backing or Not?

    Wall Foam
    • Gives a nice feel[/*:m:19roo9dp]
    • smooths out rough areas[/*:m:19roo9dp]
    • hides panel joints[/*:m:19roo9dp]

    • If you have a high water table, and your liner floats, this stuff will detach from the wall and make a big mess behind your liner[/*:m:19roo9dp]
    • When the liner gets old and brittle, the foam provides a way to poke your finger through the liner, because of the 'give' behind it.[/*:m:19roo9dp]

    It seems like most dealers that I deal with prefer foam because of the feel it gives to the pool, but the liner will probably last longer without the foam.

    Good luck and enjoy your new pool!
    Making Liners Since 1997
    Pool Liner Factory Outlet

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Coastalish 'down easter'

    Re: Vinyl Install - Use Foam Backing or Not?

    We always install 1/8" wall foam on our pools. It's a nicer feel and a good cushion .

    However, there are times it comes back to bite us! (the pools that it becomes a problem with are ones that are located in a high water area - the foam will float and untuck the liner in high water areas).
    Luv& Luk

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    In the Industry
    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Vinyl Install - Use Foam Backing or Not?

    I put 1/4" foam behind mine and like it. As the depth increase, it gets progresively flatter against the wall. I would suspect it is less than 1/16 at the five foot level.

    I liked the smooth bed it gives the liner since my concrete walls were not finished as well as I should have done.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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