When first installing your garden pond, there are a few different important decisions you must make. Do you want fish and plants? Are you going to add fountains and waterfalls? How many gallons are you going to shoot for? The list of concerns goes on and on, it seems. One of the most important things to consider, though, is what pond liner will best suit your setup and needs. In today’s highly saturated market, it can be a bit of a blur to attempt to decide which liner will best benefit your pond. Here is our guide to the best pond liners on the market today and what situations they best apply to.
A Bit of Background
Pond liners are geomembranes added after the initial hole for your pond is dug to seal the area. Generally, the liners prevent water from leaking and keep your pond looking cleaner and clearer than a clay or dirt bottom since there is little sediment getting into the water, though it is not mandatory or vital for a healthy pond in most cases. Pond liners are relatively inexpensive and can last quite a while when properly cared for, making them a good place to invest a little extra money if possible to help ensure access to a high quality product.
Liner or Pond Armor?
Traditional Pond Liners
If you are going to choose to use a liner, you should understand what exactly they are made of. Pond liners are typically made of one of three different materials: reinforced polyethylene, ethylene propylene diene monomers, or HDPE. For those looking to DIY a pond at home, reinforced polyethylene is the way to go. This lightweight product is easy to install and quite moldable with seperate sheets being easily molded together. Ethylene propylene diene monomer based liners have been the industry standard for quite some time due to their flexibility and UV resistance. Unfortunately, they are easy to tear or puncture, so they do require a bit of maintenance. HDPE liners are a hybrid product that requires professional installation but looks amazing and is incredibly durable, making it more expensive initially but a good investment due to its lasting abilities. Of course, other products do exist made of different materials but these three comprise most that you will find today.
Most people choose to use a liner when constructing a pond since it is generally thought to be much easier. If you are going to opt for a liner-less pond, you need to make sure that your surface is suitable. Pond Armor can be applied to:
- Tile wood
- Metals: steel, aluminum, copper, cast iron, brass
- Some plastics
Top 7 Best Pond Liners
Here are some of the best pond liners we have found through Amazon. These are easily accessible options that get the job done and are of an incredibly high level of quality!
1. Pond Armor – Non Toxic Pond Shield Epoxy Paint
- Easy to use
- Wrinkle free
- No need for professional installation
- Clean finish
- Can get pricey for larger projects
- Unable to be reused like traditional pond liners (Permanent)
The Pond Armor Non Toxic Pond Shield Epoxy Paint is a bit of a different spin on a traditional pond liner. This product eliminates the unsightly creases, lines, seams, and texture that comes along with using sheet style liners and grants users the freedom to create ponds in any shape or size with ease. The unique formula can be applied much like traditional paint. The brand recommends using a squeegee, brush, sprayer, or other painting tool based on your own skills and preferences.
The universal product is amazing for those who are creating something in a unique format or with rounded edges that would typically create wrinkles in a sheet liner. One five quart tub of the paint will coat around sixty square feet in a single coat; more than one coat is recommended, though, so be sure to purchase more than you may need. The waterproof liner paint is amazing for other small tasks like waterproofing fish tanks and is completely plant and aquatic animal safe, too!
2. TotalPond Pond Liner, 13 x 20 Feet
- Easy to use
- Plenty of sizing options
- Discrepancies between the packaging and advertising (Product advertised as 20 mm thick but packaging states it is 14.5 mm)
This classic style pond liner sheet is an amazing bargain for just under one hundred dollars for thirteen by twenty feet of product. Perfect for ponds up to one thousand and two hundred gallons, this sheet liner is made of 14.5 PVC that is lightweight, durable, and easy to use for even novices in pond creation. These liners are a classic choice and have been used for years due to their puncture resistant dual fiber weave that ensures years of easy usage.
The textured surface of the liner encourages good bacteria growth, too, helping keep your pond healthy and any plants or fish thriving. These environmentally safe and nontoxic liners are also available in other sizing options to accommodate any pond size and can typically be joined in a professional installation setting to ensure full coverage of larger pond surfaces. For smaller ponds, they offer smaller sizes such as 7 x 10 feet and 10 x 13 feet.
3. Aquascape 45 Mil Rubber Liner PRO Grade
- Tons of different sizes available
- Amazing warranty
- Easy to use
- No tool installation
If you want a product that is professional grade and of the absolute highest quality, this Aquascape EPDM Rubber Liner is an absolutely stellar choice. The 45 mm thick liner is incredibly durable and puncture resistant while retaining the ability to be stretched, shaped, and molded to suit the shape of any pond, waterfall, or water feature with minimal wrinkling or creasing.
This product is frequently chosen by professional pond and water feature installers due to its incredible lifespan and amazing quality; with professionals backing a product you know you cannot go wrong. Additionally, this liner comes with an amazing twenty year guarantee, allowing it to be replaced or repaired should anything happen to it during those two decades. There are around ten different sizes available to allow easy customization and perfect sizing for any pond out there!
4. Firestone 45mil EPDM Rubber Pond Liner (15-feet x 20-feet)
- Easy to mold
- Repair kit available
- High quality material
- Some users report difficulty cutting the liner
This simple liner is perfect if you want something easy to install and rather heavy duty. The .045 inch thick EPDM rubber will last for years if cared for properly and works amazingly as a liner for ponds, waterfalls, or just about any other water fixture. The product is environmentally friendly and fish safe, making it fantastic for backyard ponds and larger projects alike. Additionally, the product is flexible which allows more freedom in its usage.
Though it is durable, you can have extra peace of mind in knowing that Firestone, the liner’s manufacturer, also produces a repair kit that makes patching up any accidental tears or holes a breeze. No one wants to have to tear apart their entire pond to replace a faulty liner so this extra little precaution taken by the brand is well appreciated and perfect to keep on hand!
5. AQUANIQUE Pond Skin Pond Liner (13-feet by 20-feet)
- Extremely durable due to polyester weave
- Supports beneficial bacteria growth
- Reports of leaks if not installed correctly
If you are on a budget, this liner is the way to go. The product measures thirteen feet by twenty feet and can hold up to one thousand and two hundred gallons, making it perfect for a wide variety of projects. The 14.5 mm thick liner is easy to mold and cut, allowing you to customize your liner to your pond’s desired shape and size. The texture of the liner helps support positive bacterial growth to enhance the nitrogen cycle of your pond, which is especially helpful if you are hoping to keep higher waste fish like koi or large groups of goldfish.
The nitrogen cycle being elevated also helps foster a good environment for aquatic plants, too, leaving a lot of room for customization and personalization with your pond growth. The strong PVC liner is also reinforced with thick, durable polyester weavings to make the liner extra tough and prevent any accidental tears or punctures which would normally result in leaks that could devastate fish and plant populations if unnoticed and unremedied.
6. Firestone PondGard Rubber Pond Liner (10-feet x 10-feet)
- Budget friendly
- Easy to use for unique shapes or shelving
- UV and Ozone resistant
- Can be difficult to seam multiple sheets together for larger ponds
This high rated liner is a fan favorite due to its amazing quality and overall effectiveness as a sheet style liner. The easy to install, flexible liner is also one of the cheapest on the market in its quality range, making it an absolute must have for anyone on a budget or testing the waters in pond ownership. The liner is UV resistant and ozone protected, meaning it will not degrade with sun and outdoor exposure over time like some other similar products are prone to do.
The product claims to be specifically created to be easily applied to contours and shelving, making it a great choice for those looking to add potted plants or waterfalls to their pond or those who wish to use a unique or creative shape for their pond. As a whole, you cannot go wrong with this pocket friendly choice.
7. Beckett Corporation Pond Liner (12-feet by 17-feet)
- Fifteen year warranty for repairs or replacement
- Plant and animal safe
- Easy to install
- Pre-cut PVC
- Not the best for larger ponds if you want seamless appearance
With its fair price point and positive reviews, the Beckett Corporation Pre-Cut PVC Pond Liner is an often overlooked choice that deserves so much more recognition. The 20 mm thick, easy to mold formatting makes it great for rounded or uniquely shaped ponds that would otherwise have wrinkling, cracking, or creasing with lesser products. The liner is safe for plants and fish and is treated to be UV resistant, making it great for those looking to foster a healthy aquatic ecosystem.
The liner is made for smaller ponds and can hold up to nine hundred and forty five gallons of water. It is backed by a fifteen year warranty that allows you to replace or repair the liner at no cost should something go wrong or a leak occur. If you are looking for a small pond liner, this product might be your new best friend.
Questions and Answers About Pond Liners
Can you cut pond liners to better fit smaller ponds, waterfalls, and other water fixtures?
For the most part, liners are able to be trimmed to allow you to customize the size to suit your needs. To do this, use a sharp blade or specialty shears to carefully cut off the unwanted portions of the liner. If the liner has a rough edge after being cut, you can usually gently sand the edges to remove any texture or sharp pieces, though you should double check with the manufacturer’s information to ensure that it is safe to sand the product before attempting any alterations. A little tip: keep any trimmed off pieces in a safe storage place in case of emergency repairs or to use in other projects; these take quite a while to degrade in landfills so reusing them when possible not only helps you get more bang for your buck but also keeps the planet looking nice, as well!
Can you use these pond liners for food gardening purposes?
Many people plant food alongside their pond and some have figured out ways to seamlessly integrate the two hobbies but, unfortunately, many pond liners contain rubber which can release chemicals into the food and make it unsafe to consume. Carcinogens are known to be released by rubber when it gets heated; these cancer causing chemicals can wreak havoc if ingested so it is best to keep your garden separate from your pond and use alternative products that are food safe to grow such plants. Aquatic plants do just fine with rubber liners since you are not consuming them, though. Instead of planting food items in the pond liners, try doing some creative landscaping to create a garden area next to your pond! It will look stunning and keep you completely safe!
How do you clean a pond liner?
When you clean your pond, the liner is usually included in the process. When cleaning your liner, remove any fish from the water and choose a pond safe cleaner like vinegar or a specialized commercial product. Follow the directions on your commercial product or pour a bit of vinegar into the water and scrub the liner gently to remove any debris. Drain out the water and rinse the area well before reintroducing the fish. Alternatively, if you do not want to drain your pond you can quick clean by simply wiping up any debris and removing leaves and other odds and ends from the water, though on occasion you should definitely fully clean everything to keep your pond looking nice and your fish healthy. There are tons of helpful resources for cleaning tutorials online so do a bit of research and find one that suits your set up and you will be all set!
In conclusion, there are tons of different options on the market today for pond liners. The ones we discuss at length are some of the best we could find on Amazon (our retailer of choice due to its easy accessibility and wide range of products). If you are looking for a high quality product with superior durability and ease of installation, any of these options will be absolutely amazing. To choose between them, feel free to check out Amazon customer reviews and questions to get a more personal feel for how the product works and installs. Good luck!
Last update on 2019-07-16 at 22:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API