3 Best Pond Liner Material Choices Review
Every artificial pond, stream, or water garden begins with good quality pond liner materials. When building a pond, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is choosing the best pond liner material for the health and safety of your pond. There are many kinds of pond liners available but it is difficult to know which one is the right one for you.
A good pond liner material must be strong enough to prevent water from leaking into their dug-out foundations and also made of materials friendly to aquatic life. First of all, it is important to determine the size of your pond before buying a pond lining material.
When it comes to choosing the best pond liner materials, there are many things you need to consider. Different materials have different strengths and weaknesses depending on the specific application. One thing we always emphasize is, to ensure you choose the right product for the specific job. Although a particular pond liner material may be a great choice for one application, it may be the wrong choice in a different situation.
If you are building a pond in your garden space, you will likely use a pond liner in the dug hole before adding water. The pond liner creates the pond walls, helping to prevent water from entering the soil and mud, which will create the boundaries of the pond. When it comes to choosing a pond liner, there are several different materials to choose from. And in this article, we will take a look at the three common pond liner materials and their pros and cons.
Related: Koi Goldfish Pond Starter Guide
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
|PVC Liner Small, Med, Large||Title||Buy|
|Beckett Corporation Flexible Pre-Cut PVC Liner - Ideal for Small Ponds, Koi Ponds, Water Gardens, and Fountains - 8 Foot x 10 Foot, Black, 8 Foot x 10 Foot Pond||Check price on Amazon|
|14 Sizes Available PolyGuard Liners PVC - From, 7ft x 7ft up to 20 ft. x 30 ft. 20-Mil Pond Liner||Check price on Amazon|
|POND BOSS 10x13||Check price on Amazon|
This pond liner material has been used in pond construction for decades. It is also one of the most popular materials for above ground ponds. The material is very low-cost, which means you can use it if you are on a budget.
PVC liners are generally thinner than other materials. This means that it is lighter and easier to work with when lining a pond. The only problem with this liner is that it has a shorter lifespan compared to other types of liner materials. If the PVC liner does not contain UV inhibitors, it will become brittle and crack quickly.
PVC has low perforation resistance. Pressure and abrasion caused by rocks, roots, pets, animals, and working in the pond can cause leaks.
Pros of PVC Pond Liner
- One of the biggest advantages of a PVC pond liner material is the cost. This liner is usually the cheapest liner option. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a liner or you are on a tight budget, this might be the best choice for you.
- It is perfect for short term ponds; this is another great feature of PVC pond liner. If you want a short-term or temporary pond for any event, or you need a pond but you are not sure if it’s something you want to keep for an extended period of time. In such cases, you may not want to spend much on expensive liners that may be difficult to remove. This kind of liner is perfect for such a situation because it is cheap and easy to remove.
Cons of PVC Pond Liner
- These liners don’t stretch: One of the disadvantages of a PVC pond liner is that it doesn’t stretch much. Meaning you have to carefully measure the liner to be sure it fits the space correctly.
- One of the common disadvantages of this pond liner is that the lifespan is shorter than other materials. This means that you will need to spend more time maintaining it.
Liner to Be Wary of Long term
Also beware of this inexpensive liner here if you head to Amazon. Its not all what its cracked up to be unless you plan on doing it over every year or two or need just a temporary pond for an exhibition then its fine. Otherwise its a small pond choice or good for temporary ponds only. Try not to stand in it while laying it out. Its inexpensive for a reason. You might regret standing on it later. Pull it out along the pond hole like they show in one of the pictures.
EPDM (Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Monomer)
|Top||9 Selections: Aquascape 85009 EPDM 45 Mil Rubber Liner for Pond, Waterfall and Water Features 8x10 up to 20x25 feet||Check price on Amazon|
|Firestone W56PL451015 EPDM Rubber Pond Liner, 10-Foot Length x 15-Foot Width x 0.045-Inch Thick||Check price on Amazon|
|Firestone 45mil EPDM Rubber Pond Liner 15ft.x15ft||Check price on Amazon|
This is the most popular pond liner material, it is available in different thicknesses and is known for its flexibility because it is easy to install. EPDM can withstand temperatures from -40 to 79 ° C (-40 to 175 ° F) but it is also the most expensive liner. Quality EPDM materials, like those produced by Firestone, carry a 20-30 year warranty.
This is the standard material used for small or medium ponds decoration. The major reason for its popularity is that it is very flexible. This makes it easy and good to conform to irregularly shaped ponds with plenty of corners, bends, and shelves.
However, due to how soft and flexible this liner is, it is sometimes very easy to tear or puncture. EPDM liner is also very heavy and somewhat uncomfortable to pull around due to the weight. So, it is advisable to use an underlayment material to help prevent sticks, rocks, and anything else in the soil from damaging the liner.
Pros of EPDM
- It is very soft and flexible, which is good for custom-shaped ponds
- It has high strength
- It can strongly hold even rough surfaces
- Reliable in high and low temperatures
- Good UV, ozone, and weather resistance
- It is safe for fishponds
- It has more than 27 year’s lifespan when covered
Cons of EPDM
- It has poor resistance to chemicals, which make it vulnerable to degradation from solvents and oils.
- EPDM is thermoset, this means it can’t be welded without losing quality
HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
This liner material is perfect for a large pond or water garden; it has good UV resistance and works well in cold temperatures. HDPE is also very strong and stiff, which means it’s not vulnerable to sudden tears along the length. But, the most important feature of HDPE maybe its superior resistance to a wide range of chemicals.
This, also adds to its relatively inexpensive price and the fact that multiple sheets can be joined using welding. This has made HDPE one of the most popular types of liner material.
HDPE liners are commonly used in chemical containment sites and landfills. They are safe and suitable for fish ponds. HDPE liners are extremely strong as they are known to last up to 36 years when it is covered.
The Pros of HDPE liners
- Relatively cheap
- Good chemical resistance
- Good UV resistance
- Safe for fish
- It is somewhat durable
- Good performance in cold temperatures
Cons of HDPE liners
- Low flexibility
- Prone to puncture
- It can expand at very high temperatures.
- Not recommended
Some people like it. However its not as highly rated as the top 2 selections. I would not recommend this liner.
Conclusion: Number One Picks for pond liner material
Get yourself an underlay for a good base and a heavy EPDM best pond liner. The slight increase in your investment now is to save you from having to redo your liner every couple of years vs using a cheaper thinner liner and is worth the extra price. Save aggravation and money in the long run and get what you pay for. Your time is valuable and so are your fish.
- Protect liner from punctures, rocks and debris
- Extra layer of support adds longevity
- Flexible and sturdy polypropylene material
- Good base foundation
- Pre cut 6x12
- Enhanced durability with 45 mil thickness
- UV Solar resistant
- Also resistant to ozone and oxidation
- 10 choices in size: Choose from 8 x 10 feet up to 20 x 25 feet sizes
- 20 year guarantee
I hope this helps you in your choice of pond liners. Thanks for your support.
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