An Ultimate Buying Guide Of The Best Pond Liner: 2017 Reviews

The construction of a pond, whether for residential decorations, commercial use or agricultural retention, a liner is a necessity. Before you buy a liner, it is important that one does detailed research so that they can end up choosing only the best pond liner for their desired purposes.

But you can’t know which one is the best if you still don’t know what features are used to gauge the quality of a product. The main factor of consideration is the material with the most popular being just three of which we are going to discuss below.

how to choose pond liner

Considerations When Buying Pond Liners

  • Exposure

When choosing a pond liner, the most important consideration should be whether the product will be exposed to direct UV rays from the sun or not. This is because one of the most important evils to pond liners is sun exposure. And in many cases, your consideration will only hold water if at all the liner will be placed under cement as dirt will keep on sliding from the sloppy edges thereby exposing your liner. If UV performance is a nuisance, and you aren’t planning to use cement on the platform, you can consider going for EPDM as the best option.

  • Bio Friendly

A number of materials are very prone to interfering with the life of the flora and fauna to be put in the pond. Such include some of the PVC materials. You most probably are buying the liner to use in lining a pond you will use to raise some life in it. If it comes with chemicals such as arsenic, however mild, the next thing we will hear of is that either all the fish are dead, or those eating the fish are suffering from very serious degenerative diseases that often end up being fatal.

  • Warranty

RPE takes an average of 40 years. However, different manufacturers may make liners with a better durability or a far less durability performance. It is, therefore, important that you go for a product that is accompanied with some of the best warranties on the market. This is the same scenario with the EPDMs as well as the PVCs among other liner options.

pond liner buying guide

Via Amazon.com

The Pond Liner Material for Koi Ponds

Koi ponds are ideally swimming pools for the beautiful Koi. Such ponds have no aquatic plants, gravel or rocks and the ponds feature straight downsides that prevent potential predators from easily walking and making a meal of the koi. There are other design features of such a pond but for the purposes of our pond liner subject, all the important features have been exhausted.

With this in mind, the best material for the liners would be the EPDM or the RPEs. The RPEs are arguably the best in almost all the cases. The only limiting factor would be if the pond would be exposed to regular direct UVs, which is a rare occurrence. These ponds are in most cases situated in the backyard, partly under a shade. If the conditions are sunnier and UV rays vulnerable, the koi pond liner would feature an EPDM material as it is very UV resistant. The only challenge with EPDM is that you will have to be ready for a more regular maintenance practice.

But the very best of all will be the Reinforced Polypropylene. This has been designed for exposure applications. Under UV exposure while in water, it will serve you for over 20 years with no or very minimal service being required.

Top 5 Best Pond Liners Reviews & Our Ratings

Product NamePriceOur Rating
TotalPond 13 ft. x 20 ft. pond skins Pond Liner$$5
Firestone W56PL451015 EPDM Rubber Pond Liner$$$5
aquanique Pond Skins Pond Liner, 10 by 13-Feet$$4.5
Patriot 15 ft. x 20 ft. 45 mil EPDM Pond Liner$$$4.5

1. TotalPond Skins Pond Liner 13 ft. x 20 ft

TotalPond 13 ft. x 20 ft. pond skins Pond Liner

Via Amazon.com

This is a lightweight pond liner as compared with its predecessors. It is, therefore, easier to ship and also much easier to handle during installation. Even though lightweight, at 14.5-mil, it performs the same, if not better than the ordinary 20 mils PVCs. This is due to the fact that the liners are reinforced with strong polyester weaves.

Special Features and Benefits

  • Large Pond Capacity: It is capable of withstanding large amounts of water, up to 1000 gallons capacity. This makes it fit for the large ponds.
  • Durability and Quality Construction: Comes with UV resistance, inner polyester weaving as well as puncture resistance, all of which are quality construction features meant to improve the durability of the product.
  • Healthy Microbial Growth: This is made possible by the textured surface that facilitates for such growths. The result is a more balanced ecosystem.

Cons

  • Has no shiny side hence not easy to know which side up.

2. Firestone W56PL451015 EPDM Rubber Pond Liner, 10-Foot Length x 15-Foot Width x 0.045-Inch Thick

Firestone EPDM Rubber Pond Liner

Via Amazon.com

It is another EPDM rubber pond liner that comes pre-cut and boxed. It is one of the most versatile pond liner types as it can be used in virtually all the pond types, fountain basins, cracked hard shell pond lining, bog gardens and water gardens among others. Its membrane is highly flexible but also waterproof, with a history of performance even when exposed.

Special Features and Benefits

  • Environmentally Friendly: It doesn’t come with the many harmful chemicals that are characterized by other forms of pond liners
  • Versatility: It can be used in the lining of not only the garden ponds and fish ponds but all water applications that rely on liners
  • Elegance: It is very flexible thus making it possible for users to come up with numerous creative designs from the same. Maintenance that follows is also pretty easy and the beauty lasts long.

3. Aquanique Pond Skins 10 by 13-Feet Pond Liner

aquanique Pond Skins Pond Liner

Via Amazon.com

This Aquanique pond liner is a 20 mil thick product that is 1/3 less thick than the popular 60 mil EPDM pond liners on the market. It is a PVC based liner that is, therefore, more than 30% lighter than its PVC counterparts but much lighter than any EPDM on the market. The result is an extremely flexible piece of liner that is incredibly easy to handle.

Special Features and Benefits

  • Bio Supporter: It comes with a fairly rough texture that makes it algae growth-friendly and beneficial bacteria promoter.
  • Environmental Friendly: It is no toxic, this fish safe, thanks to the clean PVC material that has been used in the construction
  • Durable Construction: It has been reinforced with a strong mesh weave that is responsible for the puncture resistance attribute of the product
  • Lightweight: It’s one of the lightest pond liners on the market. This makes it a suitable shipping product. It’s also very flexible, making it easy to work with.

Cons

  • It is thinner than most of the liners you know off. This may make you doubt its performance. The good news is that its performance is outstanding.

4. Patriot EPDM Pond Liner 15 ft. x 20 ft. 45-Mil

Patriot EPDM Pond Liner

Via Amazon.com

It is a foundation pond liner for the best koi ponds in the world. It is also a great choice for waterfall as well as water garden ponds among other water features. Residential backyard ponds find it to be a great addition same as is the case with commercial water. You are guaranteed that it will serve you your lifetime.

Benefits and Special Features

  • Durability: It comes with a standard 25-year warranty and a lifetime guarantee. The product resists harmful UV deterioration a feature that is partly responsible for its durability
  • Bio Friendly: It comes with no plasticizers hence no risks of splits and cracks which would have otherwise posed a threat to aqua life
  • Easy to Use: You don’t need Patriot Geotextile underlayment to install. It is known to easily attach on skimmers and filtering waterfalls and will readily accept hose pipe penetration without the risks of leaking.

Cons

  • It is a bit pricey

More Highlights: Pond Type Materials

choosing the quality pond liners

Via Amazon.com

The Reinforced Polyethylene Pond Liners (RPE)

These are inarguably the most durable of any pond liner materials to have ever been released for the market. Their strength and puncture resistance are mainly due to their reinforcement. Below are a few factors that make the RPE be better than the other two forms

Features of the RPE and Comparison with the EPDM and the PVCs

  • The EPDM & PVC liners are twice as thick as the RPE liners
  • The RPE liners can be welded together using heat
  • They are the most durable pond liners available and can last up to more than 40 years
  • Due to lesser thickness, they pack smaller and are easier to install
  • They are plant safe and can be given a finish of choice
  • Due to pressure and puncture resistance, underlayment is a necessity
  • They are lighter than the other two, with the PVCs and EPDMs weighing thrice as much.

With all these features, I bet you are wondering how much expensive the reinforced pond liners are. Incidentally, they are the cheapest of all the three. I can’t explain why. All I can do is to grab this golden opportunity and go for it.

Drawbacks

There is one downside of the reinforced liners and that is they aren’t very UV resistant. They are therefore best used in areas that aren’t subjected to direct sunlight. Alternatively, bury it with some little soil so that it isn’t directly exposed to the sun rays. Unfortunately, it may almost be impossible to bury the liner on the sloppy edges. It is thus a good option to go under cement.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

Before the RPE came to overtake the EPDM, it had been the best material choice for many years. Below are some of its important factors and features

Features and Benefits

  • They are heavy thus a bit difficult to ship
  • They feature a rubber material construction hence are easily foldable around corners, thanks to the high flexibility degree
  • They are plant and finish safe
  • They can’t be welded together by the use of heat but are instead adhered together by the use of liner tapes
  • Of the three materials, they are the easiest to puncture as they have very little resistance against puncture.
  • Of the three materials, they are the heaviest
  • Because of the material softness and flexibility, underlayment is required
  • Of the three, they have the best UV stability

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Pond Liners

This is the third pond liner material and the least expensive. The price should not, however, drive you to run for it as it comes with more downsides than the benefits and the low cost. Below are its details

Special Features and Benefits

  • Though lighter than the EPDM, they are still much heavier than the RPEs
  • They at times come with trace arsenic amounts among other toxins that will be lethal to pond fish or intoxicates those who eat the fish from such ponds
  • For better flexibility, plasticizers have been added to the PVCs
  • These plasticizers are also known to pose a potential danger to the wildlife as they can cause splits and cracks
  • They are very inexpensive and laying them is pretty easy. However, in cold weather, they cause a lot of discomfort to the fish.
  • They are more puncture resistant than their EPDM brothers but less resistant than the RPE
  • They can together be seamed by the use of heat or liner tapes
  • They lack Ultra Violent ray stability thus direct sunlight is prone to cause negative effects

Drawbacks

  • They don’t last as long as their RPE brothers

Conclusion

Though the main and most popular pond liner materials are the ones mentioned above, it doesn’t mean that they are the only ones available. We still have others such as plastic and others. The three expounded above are just the leaders in the pack. Upon a side by side comparison of the three pond liner material, it is evident that the RPEs carry the day as far as the best liners are concerned. It leads the pack in virtually everything. It is lightweight, more puncture resistant, strong, and able to sheet large panels and is the easiest to install. All these are features that qualify it to be the top pond liner you can ever use for any project.

Jonathan E. Bass
 

Graduated from Middle Tennessee State University. I am currently a gardener. I have a small garden behind my house. I love it.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments