Pond liners are an essential part of a pond environment. They keep water from leaking. Without them, you may have to refill your pond daily.
While clay-rich soil may prevent leaking, it will not be as effective as pond liner. You should not install pond liner in a filled pond, so it is best to start with a good liner. When you get a pond liner, you will need to decide if you want a preformed one or a flexible one. Flexible ones are harder to install, but can be made in odd shapes.
You will need a durable pond liner that resists punctures. If you live in a cold area, you will want something cold-resistant, as well. Cold and sunlight can crack some liners.
Pond Liner Reviews
HDPE Liner or high-density polyethylene liner is called polyethylene liner. It is durable and gives a natural look to your pond. It also lets you make the pond any shape.
This polyethylene liner is more puncture-resistant than other flexible liners, such as EPDM and PVC. It should still have underlayment, but will hold up better against twigs and rocks.
The liner is flexible. It contours to the ground and create a more natural look for the bottom of your pond. This also lets you make the pond any shape you want.
This lightweight material is easier to ship than heavier materials. This means you can make large ponds out of it without struggling to get the liner to your location.
- Can be welded together to increase its size
- Can be fit to any shape pond
- Safe for fish and other animals
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Cannot be taped together easily; requires welding skill
- Does not hold shape without landscaping underneath to support it
- Not as flexible as other flexible liners
This pond liner kit has components you would need to install it, including both the pond liner and underlayment. It also comes with fittings and a waterfall filter.
The EPDM pond liner is flexible. This means you can create any shape pond with it by cutting and taping the pieces together. Unlike many liners, you do not need to weld it.
The pond liner is less durable than many others. It can easily be torn, and needs and underlayment to protect it. This kit comes with an underlayment for this reason.
This liner comes in a kit. This means you have everything you need for a pond. It also means that you do not get to pick which filters and other materials you want to use.
- Flexible to contour to and shape
- Can be taped together with no need to weld anything
- Comes with everything you need to set it up
- Heavier than other flexible liners, so harder to ship
- Needs to have underlayment to keep from tearing
- You cannot pick your own filter and other materials
You can brush or roll this epoxy paint liner on an existing surface, such as wood or stone. It must have a surface under it, but can conform to any surface.
The paint liner is not solid. It cannot go directly on dirt, but can be put on other surfaces. This means it conforms to any shaped pond.
This is a versatile liner. You can paint it on concrete, wood, metal, stone, most plastics, and other coatings. That makes it great for patching existing liners, or for making existing things waterproof.
The liner comes in multiple colors and can coat water fixtures. This means you can create a cohesive color theme for your pond area or fish pond.
- Can be applied anywhere, including water fixtures
- Safe for fish and animals
- It creates a smooth surface that is easy to wipe algae off of
- It does not crack in cold or heat
- It has to go on an existing surface
- It cannot go on every surface, though it goes on most porous ones
- It will take time to paint it on
This liner is made from PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. It is light and flexible, and resists punctures. It has some harmful chemicals, and can crack in sunlight and cold.
PVC pond liner is light and flexible. It can be shaped to fit your pond, and if the piece is too small, you can tape it together without the trouble of welding it.
The liner is reinforced with polyester woven between layers of PVC. This makes it strong and durable, so it is less likely to get holes and start leaking.
PVC is not UV resistant or cold resistant. This means that it can crack in cold temperatures and sunlight. It should be buried in a foot or more of soil to lower the chance of cracking.
- Flexible and foldable for easy storage and installation
- Less likely to get punctures by sticks and debris
- Resistant to chemicals
- Weighs less than most PVC liners
- Must be buried in at least a foot of soil so the sun will not degrade it
- Has toxic chemicals that can harm fish
- Cracks in cold temperatures, so must be buried
This EPDM liner comes with underlayment, but none of the other things needed to set up a pond. It is very flexible and can be fitted to almost any shape and situation.
EPDM liners need underlayment because they tear more easily than most liners. Since this one comes with underlayment, you do not need to worry about buying it separately.
This pond liner is flexible and safe for animals and fish. This means that you can create any shape fish pond or other inhabited ponds without hassle.
The liner is resistant to UV and cold. This means it will no get brittle over time when exposed to sunlight. If used in cold places, it will not crack during the winter.
- Safe for fish and other animals
- UV and cold resistant so it will not crack when exposed to the elements
- Can be made into any shape you want without being welded.
- Comes with underlayment
- Rips easily and needs underlayment
- Heavier than most flexible liners and so harder to transport
- More likely to degrade when exposed to oil and solvents
This liner is preformed and comes in a kit. It is made with recycled materials and comes with many things you may want in your pond.
This liner is preformed. It cannot be shaped after you get it, so it is best for small ponds in standard shapes, rather than unique-shaped areas.
The liner is made from hard plastic. This means that it will hold its shape no matter where it is. It will need support underneath, but it will also support itself somewhat.
The kit materials and preformed liner make this easy to install. You simply place the liner in a hole, backfill the edges, and add the accessories. No, cutting, taping, or welding is needed.
- No need to cut, tape, or weld
- Holds its shape once installed
- Easy to install
- Comes with everything you need
- Cannot customize, and must pick from preformed shapes
- It is heavy for its size
- Cannot pick which lights and other materials you want with it
This liner is one of the more common flexible pond liners. This liner comes with a 20-year guarantee, and is resistant to many elements it could be exposed to.
EDPM is safe for animals, birds, and fish. This means you can use it in a fish pond or to keep other types of animals without worrying that they will become sick.
It can be used on water features. This keeps cracks in hard plastic or concrete fixtures from becoming an issue. Since it can be pieced together without welding, you can put it anywhere.
This liner is less durable than some. It may need underlayment, and it will not be as resistant to chemicals. This could decrease its lifespan.
- Can be cut and taped together in any shape you want
- Safe for use around animals and fish
- Can be used in cold or sun without damage
- Can be put on water fixtures
- More vulnerable to chemicals than other liners
- Less resistant to piercing than other liners
- Heavier than other liners
This hard plastic pond liner does not come in a kit. It is a preformed, 47-inch pond that is 12 inches deep. It is good for many uses.
The material is non-toxic. This means you can keep fish in it, or have other animals nearby without a worry. It is also smooth and easy to clean.
Since it is preformed, you do not need to struggle for hours shaping it yourself. Just put it in the ground and backfill around it.
The material is all-season. It will not crack, chip, or fade in UV light. This keeps it from leaking and means it will last longer without needing to be replaced.
- Will not crack, chip, fade, or leak because of sunlight
- Easy to install, with no cutting, welding, or taping needed
- Not toxic to fish or plants
- Easy to clean and upkeep
- Cannot choose the shape or customize the pond in any way
- Heavy for its size
- Comes with kit accessories that you may not need or want
This PolyGuard LLDPE pond liner is flexible and durable. It can be used on ponds or pond fixtures without cracking. You can put fish or aquatic animals in it.
This liner has high tensile and impact strength. UV does not damage it, either. This means that it is less likely to crack and allow your pond and fixtures to leak.
The liner is somewhat flexible. It can conform to various shapes, but is not good for tight corners. It can attach to waterfalls and skimmers without a problem.
The liner is great for fish ponds. It is not toxic, and does not fit to jagged edges that could injure fish. It also allows for a unique shape to keep fish entertained.
- Not toxic to animals or fish
- Resistant to punctures
- Does not fracture under stress or in sunlight
- Can be used in nonstandard shaped ponds, or on waterfalls and skimmers
- Cannot conform to sharp edges and tight corners
- It is not as resistant to UV rays as HDPE liners
- It may expand when exposed to high temperature
This vinyl Billboard Taps liner is strong and durable, but still flexible. It is resistant to the elements, and can be cut and modified with vinyl cement.
The liner is flexible and can be used for any shape pond. You can cut it with little fraying, but you will need vinyl cement to make changes to the shape of the liner.
There are three layers to the vinyl liner. The poly-mesh makes it less likely to tear, and the three layers are more durable than many pond liners.
All layers of the liner are UV protected, and are less likely to crack from exposure to sun. This means that they will not deteriorate as fast, even when they are exposed to sunlight.
- UV protected to keep them from cracking in the sunlight
- Safe for fish and animals
- Resists mildew
- Durable and less likely to tear than other liners
- Needs heat welding or cement to make changes
- Does not hold its shape on its own
- Takes time and effort to shape the dirt underneath before installing
Reasons to Have a Pond Liner
Ponds in nature do not have liners; however, man-made ponds almost always need them. Since you are putting a pond somewhere it would not naturally go, you need to artificially trap the water in the area. You can do this with a pond liner.
Clay-rich soil does not absorb water as well as most soil. You may hear that pond liners are not needed if you have clay-rich soil, but all soil can have water leakage. If you install your pond and find that it has a leak, you will need to go through the struggle of draining the pond before you can add liner. It is better not to take the chance on soil types.
Pond liners keep water from leaking out of a pond. Without a liner, you may find that you have to add water to your pond every couple days. Adding a pond liner reduces that.
Soil erodes as water runs into it. Pond liners can keep soil from washing into the pond and filling it in. They also make it easy to keep plants from growing if you do not want them. If you want plants, they can serve as a substrate or you can put soil over them for plants to grow on.
Types of Pond Liner
HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is a flexible pond liner that can conform to any shape. This makes it good for ponds that are irregularly shaped. It is lighter and more durable than most flexible liners. It can also last as many as 40 years.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) liner is flexible and can conform to the shape of its environment. It is less durable than HDPE. It can also have traces of chemicals that are toxic to fish. It is more resistant to puncture than other liners, but it can crack in sunlight or cold. It must be buried under at least a foot of dirt.
EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) is another flexible material. It is more flexible and less durable than other types. It is heavy to ship, and usually needs underlayment. You can use tape to attach pieces to each other.
Butyl Rubber can be conformed to surfaces if you can weld, or can come preformed. It is very puncture-resistant, but cannot be stretched at all.
Fiberglass comes preformed, so it is best in smaller sizes that are easier to transport. It does not need support from the surrounding soil, and will not crack or leak if the temperature is too high or low. It has some flexibility that keeps it from cracking as the pond freezes and thaws.
Concrete can be made into any shape, though it takes skill, and can be dangerous and tiring to work with. You can also hire a contractor to build with concrete for you. Concrete will endure any weather conditions without cracking, and is by far the most durable type of liner.
How to Select a Pond Liner?
Will people be able to see the bottom of the pond? If people cannot see the pond bottom, the shape does not matter as much. If they can see the bottom, HDPE liners are a good choice. HDPE liners conform well to surfaces and have a more natural look. Real ponds are not smooth like a premade liner.
Will it sit above the ground or be completely buried? If you bury your liner, most liners will do. If you want it to sit above the ground and have landscaping right up to the edge, you will need a fiberglass liner. Only fiberglass and concrete can keep their shape above the ground.
What size pond do you want? If the pond is large, you will need a flexible liner. Preformed liners are heavy and cannot fold or compress. Thus, shipping large ones is difficult.
Do you live in a cold area? If you live in a cold area, you will need a liner that is resistant to cold. Some liners will crack with cold or during thawing, which allows leaks.
Do you want to contour the pond to the land, or do you want a simple shape? If you want to contour to the land, you will need a flexible liner. If you want a small oval pond, a preformed one is great.
How much time and effort can you put in? Preformed liners and epoxy paints are easy to maintain and keep clean. Epoxy takes time to install, but has more uses. Flexible liners take time to install and maintain, but are needed for some shapes and sizes of ponds.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pond Liner (FAQ)
How much liner do I need? Take the measurement from the widest point, longest point, and deepest point. Your liner will need to be as wide as the width plus twice the depth. It will need to be as long as the length plus twice the depth. Add 1-5 feet to these numbers to be safe. For most ponds, adding 1-2 feet to each dimension will be plenty.
Should I use a preformed or flexible liner? Preformed liners are best for small ponds in standard shapes. If you want anything large, or in organic shapes, use a flexible liner. Preformed liners are the easiest to use, but have limited applications.
Does my hole need to be the same shape as the preformed liner? The hole for your preformed liner needs to be as big or bigger than your liner. It does not need to be the same shape. You can place the liner in the hole, and it will hold its shape temporarily so you can fill in around it afterward.
What should I use for a pond over 5,000 square feet? If your pond is very large, you will need a durable and flexible liner. EPDM is not durable enough, and preformed liners will not be available for that large of a pond. PVC and reinforced polyethylene are strong enough for these large ponds.
What liner is the most flexible? PVC and EPDM are both very flexible, and work well for custom applications. Check the Types of Pond Liner Guide above to help you choose between these two.
Can I combine two liners to cover a larger area? Most flexible liners can be combined to cover more area. EPDM can be taped together. To combine other liners, you will usually need to weld them.
How To Install Flexible Pond Liners?
When you buy your pond liner, make sure to think about the size and shape of the pond. This will determine whether you want a flexible liner.
Scroll up and look at the advantages and disadvantages of these liners. This will help you make an informed choice. Then, when you are ready, pick the liner that sounds best.
If you have used one of these liners, tell us about your experience? If you did not own one, is there something you wish had been covered in the article?