Vinyl Install - Use Foam Backing or Not?


Apr 25, 2010
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.



TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 16, 2007
I like the feel the foam gives to the walls instead of feeling a hard surface. :cool:


In The Industry
May 23, 2007
Batavia, IL
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.


In The Industry
Jun 16, 2010
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!


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
Coastalish 'down easter'
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).


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
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.
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