What Are Vinyl Liner Pools And What Are Their Strengths And Weaknesses?
Updated: Mar 7
Vinyl liner pools are the most popular pools on the market today. With its ease of installation, low cost, the flexibility of design, maintenance, and aesthetics, they can be installed in almost any backyard by just about anyone with minimal effort or help needed.
The pool is made of a molded PVC liner attached to the pool’s sidewall with adhesive and then filled with water. It must be installed on a sound, stable surface that will not shift as the ground freezes and thaws during different seasons. This can be an issue in some areas with sharp changes between seasons. This can cause the ground to move and crack the pool, costing you money in repairs and resulting in an embarrassing eyesore in your backyard!
Vinyl liner pools are preferred over other materials because it is less expensive, easier to install and maintain. It requires no plasterwork or painting, unlike concrete or fiberglass pools.
How do vinyl liner pools work?
A vinyl liner is stretched out on a flat, preferably smooth surface. The pool walls are then attached to the ground around the pool’s edges. This creates a secure structure that helps contain the water inside without adding extra weight. In most cases, this is all that's needed for installation in a backyard environment. In some cases, a specialized frame is used to help prevent dirt from spilling into the pool during installation.
What are some strengths of vinyl liner pools?
Vinyl liners are a very convenient option for most people when it comes to pool construction. In-ground pools that use vinyl liners instead of concrete tend to be less expensive in most cases and are relatively easy for most people to install themselves. Standard size inground vinyl liners come in various shapes and sizes, from basic rectangles to freeform kidney-shaped designs.
2. More Affordable
Vinyl liner pools are more affordable than many other types of inground pools, with costs ranging from $20K on up depending on size and shape. Concrete & Gunite - Vinyl liner pools are less expensive than those made from concrete or gunite, as the liner itself is cheaper to produce and uses less material.
3. More Flexible
Vinyl liners can be modified fairly easily as far as their shape is concerned, making it possible for a homeowner to change the size or shape of an inground pool later on with relative ease. This can be very useful in certain situations, such as when you're trying to sell your home and want the pool to look smaller.
4. Easier To Install
Installing a standard-sized vinyl liner pool is pretty easy for most people with some basic DIY experience or handyperson training. Other options such as gunite or concrete pools require more training and experience, not to mention a more significant investment in time and money.
5. More Flexible Shapes
Vinyl liner pools can be made into an almost limitless variety of shapes and sizes, from basic rectangles to kidney-shaped designs of just about any size.
6. Easier To Maintain
One benefit of vinyl liner pools is that they are easier to maintain all-around. This includes running the pool equipment, chemical balance maintenance, etc.
7. Easier To Dismantle
When the time comes to move your vinyl-lined inground pool to a new location, dismantling it can be pretty easy for most people, provided you've kept up with routine maintenance. This is not always the case with pools that are attached to their decks, which can make removing them difficult at times.
8. More Affordable Repairs
Vinyl liner pools are generally more affordable to repair in some cases simply because the lining itself is cheaper than other types of materials used for inground pool construction. This is especially true of pools that use a TPO liner, as those repairs can become very expensive with time.
For all of these reasons, vinyl liner pools are the preferred type in the United States today. But there are some weaknesses to them as well:
What are the weaknesses of vinyl pools?
1. Less Durable
In the long-term, vinyl liners tend to be less durable than other types of inground pool construction materials such as gunite or concrete. - More Susceptible To Damage - Vinyl liners are more susceptible to damage from things such as accidental drops or impacts from tools used on the pool deck. This can lead to punctures or tears in the lining, resulting in leaks that can be difficult or expensive to repair.
2. May Require Larger Debris Net
In some cases, a larger debris net may be required with vinyl liner pools due to their tendency to trap more dirt and other materials as compared to some other types of inground pools. This is primarily due to the material used to construct vinyl liners, which are thicker than many other types of pool liners today.
3. Longer Repairs
Vinyl liner repairs are generally more costly than those that are made with other types of materials, simply because the material used to construct them is far less durable. This means they will need to be replaced more often than some other options available today.
4. Not As Customizable
Many vinyl-lined inground pools can't be customized as much as other types of pools can, especially when it comes to shape. Many vinyl liner pools are either rectangular in shape or come in a kidney-bean configuration, so homeowners looking for a different type of design may have difficulty finding one that suits their needs.
5. Less Durable Bottom
One area where vinyl liner pools tend to be weaker than other types is the bottom. If you're looking for a more durable inground pool bottom, it may be wise to consider pools that are made with concrete or gunite rather than vinyl.
As you can see from this list, the vinyl liner swimming pool has been referred to as a “throw-away” or "disposable" pool because it requires so much maintenance and replacement over time. However, it is also a very popular type of pool in the United States today with many advantages that make it unique among all the different kinds of swimming pools available today.