To set up the perfect outdoor pond, it’s essential to use the best pond liner possible.
The pond liner serves as your pond’s foundation – the better it is, the more likely it is that your pond will thrive.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about choosing a pond liner and some of the best products out there to help you get your pond started right.
Table of Contents
- What is a Pond Liner?
- Benefits of Using Liner for Pond
- The 10 Best Quality Pond Liners to Use
- Best Pond Liner Reviews
- 1. TotalPond pond skins Pond Liner
- 2. TotalPond EPDM1015 Pond Liner
- 3. Firestone W56PL451015 EPDM Rubber Pond Liner
- 4. Aquascape PRO Grade EPDM Boxed 45 Mil Liner
- 5. Firestone PondGard PL45-1010 Rubber Pond Liner
- 6. Vinyl Pond Liner Heavy Duty Black Tarp
- 7. USA Pond Products – 4′ x 6′ Pond Liner
- 8. Beckett Corporation Pond Liner Pre Cut PVC
- 9. Beckett Corporation Preformed Pond
- 10. Algreen 91901 Avonlea Rigid Preformed Pond Liner
- How much Pond Liner will I need?
- How to Install a Pond Liner in a Large Pond?
What is a Pond Liner?
A pond liner in a waterproof, impenetrable membrane that covers the bottom of a pond.
It prevents pond water from being absorbed into the ground and keeps unwanted contaminants from seeping in.
Benefits of Using Liner for Pond
The most important function of a pond liner is to prevent water from leaking out of your pond. Important nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and selenium are pulled out of the pond with the leaking water.
In order to maintain a pond with a natural bottom, you will need to continuously add water to it. While this might not be a big deal with a small pond, the water loss can be quite significant with large ponds and replenishing water a few times a week can be a burden.
A liner not only protects against water leaving the pond, but it also acts as a barrier to keep contaminants from entering. Because the water won’t mix with the soil around it, you have more control over water parameters and keeping your pond clean.
Another bonus is you don’t have to worry about fertilizers, bug sprays, or any other chemicals seeping through the ground and getting into your pond. Having this control over the purity of the water can help maintain a healthier environment for your plants and fish.
Pond liners also prevent erosion around your pond. If you use a natural bottom, rain and fluctuating temperatures can cause the edges of the pond to wear away which, over time, can significantly alter the pond’s shape and size.
To maintain the shape of your pond and prevent erosion around the banks, using a pond liner is an easy solution. Pre-formed pond liners are particularly good for this because they maintain the shape of the bank without required support from the underlying soil.
The 10 Best Quality Pond Liners to Use
Now that you know a little more about the importance of a pond liner, let’s take a look at some of the best products on the market. There is a lot to choose from and each has something unique to offer.
|TotalPond pond skins Pond Liner||7 x 10 ft, |
10 x 13 ft
13 x 20 ft
|TotalPond EPDM1015 Pond Liner||10 x 15 ft|
15 x 15 ft
15 x 20 ft
|Firestone W56PL451015 EPDM Rubber Pond Liner||10 x 15 ft|
|Aquascape PRO Grade EPDM Boxed 45 Mil Liner||8 x 10, 10 x 10, 10 x 12, 10 x 20, 10 x 30, 12 x 15, 15 x 15, 15 x 20, 20 x 25 ft|
|Firestone PondGard PL45-1010 Rubber Pond Liner||10 x 10 ft|
|Vinyl Pond Liner Heavy Duty Black Tarp||10 x 10, 10 x 15, 10 x 20, 10 x 25, 10 x 30, 10 x 40, 10 x 50, 10 x 60, 10 x 80, 15 x 20, 20 x 20, 20 x 25, 20 x 30, 20 x 35, 20 x 40, 25 x 30, 30 x 30 ft|
|USA Pond Products – 4′ x 6′ Pond Liner||4 x 6 ft|
|Beckett Corporation Pond Liner Pre Cut PVC||8 x 10 ft|
|Beckett Corporation Preformed Pond||35-Gallon|
|Algreen 91901 Avonlea Rigid Preformed Pond Liner||33-Gallon|
Best Pond Liner Reviews
1. TotalPond pond skins Pond Liner
This liner from TotalPon measures approximately 13 x 20 feet, though smaller sizes are also available. It’s a good size for a large pond measuring about 9 x 16 x 1.5 feet or about 1,200 gallons of water and the black color blends naturally into your pond environment.
Something really great about this liner is the textured surface. It’s an easy way to promote beneficial bacterial growth to help maintain a healthy pond environment.
The PVC material is lightweight, flexible, and easy to handle which makes installation easy. It’s really durable, too. It’s puncture-resistant and won’t degrade under the sun’s UV rays so it should last years without any problems.
What makes it so strong? Between the layers of PVC, it’s reinforced with strong, woven polyester that adds more durability without adding weight. It was specially designed to weigh less than comparable liners.
2. TotalPond EPDM1015 Pond Liner
Next up is this 10 x 15-foot liner from TotalPond that fits ponds measuring approximately 6 x 9 x 1.5 feet. Larger sizes are also available. If you live in an area with extreme weather, this liner is a great choice. It’s heavy, thick, and designed to last a really long time.
This liner is made of EPDM, a high-quality rubber that’s particularly durable and resistant to light, heat, and UV light. It’s strong enough to tolerate extreme weather and is recommended for use in ponds at least 18 inches deep.
One of the best things about this liner is that it comes with a 20-year manufacturer’s warranty. It’s a reliable product trusted by commercial landscapers and suitable for any backyard pond or water feature. The black color blends into the environment so you can create just the look you want.
3. Firestone W56PL451015 EPDM Rubber Pond Liner
This liner from Firestone is also made of EPDM rubber which stands up to UV rays, light, heat, and has a reputation of lasting a really long time. This pre-cut liner measures 10 x 15-feet and is flexible and easy to install into the contours of your pond.
One of the great things about this liner is the material remains flexible even in cold weather which means it’s less likely to crack and wear during the winter. It’s puncture-resistant and safe for all of your pond plants and fish.
Because this pond liner resists the overgrowth of harmful microbial growth and algae, it helps protect the chemistry of the water and maintains a healthy environment for your fish and plant life. The black color blends into the background and gives the illusion that your pond is deeper than it is.
4. Aquascape PRO Grade EPDM Boxed 45 Mil Liner
Aquascape PRO Grand liners are made of durable EPDM and come in a wide range of sizes, ranging from 8 x 10 feet to 20 x 25 feet with a lot of different shapes and sized in between. The material is thick and durable with a little bit of stretch which makes installation easy.
You don’t need any special tools to install this liner and it’s designed to lay-flat which helps it hug the edges of your pond without pulling away or wrinkling. The black color blends into the surrounding environment while creating the illusion of depth, improving the look of your pond.
This liner resists UV rays, ozone, and oxidation and is resistant to punctures. It’s so tough and reliable that it comes with a 20-year guarantee. Aquascape has been around for a long time. It’s actually been used by professionals and homeowners for more than 25 years.
5. Firestone PondGard PL45-1010 Rubber Pond Liner
If the name “Firestone” looks familiar, it should. They’re one of the leading tire manufacturers in the world. But did you also know they make pond liners? Well, they do. And they’re just as strong and reliable as their tires.
This liner is 10 x 10 feet and is made of thin, flexible EPDM rubber. It’s great for ponds and creating waterfalls and other water features.
Installation is easy and it reliably forms to the shape and curves of your pond without any special tools. EPDM is UV resistant and able to tolerate extreme weather so it’s perfect for a pond environment.
Homeowners and professionals rely on this liner to create beautiful ponds that require minimal maintenance and still remain beautiful. It’s covered by a 20-year warranty, as long as you install it with a proper underlayment.
6. Vinyl Pond Liner Heavy Duty Black Tarp
This heavy-duty vinyl pond liner is available in a range of sizes, including 10 x 10 feet, 20 x 40 feet, and as large as 10 x 80 feet. It’s a safe bet you’ll be able to find one that’s just the size you need.
If you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly, this is a great choice. It costs less than EPDM rubber and is much easier to work with. You can even cut it to size without worrying about excessive fraying.
Just because it’s a better bargain doesn’t mean it isn’t durable. The three-ply vinyl material is tear-resistant, UV protected and resists mildew. It’s coated in PVC vinyl and the center has poly-mesh for added strength to prevent any rips or tears.
Another great thing about this liner is you can cut and alter it if you wish, just seal the seam with vinyl cement. It’s also thin enough to contour to the curves of your pond perfectly and very easy to install.
7. USA Pond Products – 4′ x 6′ Pond Liner
If you have a smaller pond, this 4 x 6-foot liner is a great choice. It’s fish and plant-safe and made of PVC which makes installation simple, no matter how many tricky contours, steps, and curves it has.
The black color is great for adding the look of depth to your pond as well as blending into the surroundings so it doesn’t take away from the rest of the landscape. The company does suggest that you prevent the material from direct sunlight so it lasts as long as possible.
Keep in mind that this liner is quite small so make sure you include enough overlap and depth when determining is this is a good fit for your pond. This product is made in the USA and is recyclable so if you ever replace it, you can dispose of it responsibly.
8. Beckett Corporation Pond Liner Pre Cut PVC
Next up is this simple, reliable pond liner from Beckett Corporation. They’ve been in the business for more than 60 years and making pond liners for more than 40 years so you can trust that their products are reliable.
This pond liner is made of black PVC that blends into the surrounds and doesn’t draw attention away from the plants, waterfalls, and fish in your pond. It’s lighter than EDPM and more flexible, which makes installation easier.
If you want something simple that’s durable and easy to use but don’t have a lot of room in your budget, this Beckett pond liner is definitely worth checking out.
9. Beckett Corporation Preformed Pond
A lot of people like flexible liners because you can shape them however you want but, for a lot of people, a preformed liner is a way to go. This product from Beckett Corporation is made of high-grade, flexible plastic. The circular shape creates a 35-gallon pond.
One of the nice things about this liner is the flat bottom which makes it easy to place plants and pumps without worrying about anything falling over or adding additional supports. The black color serves as a great base and background for the plants and fish you add to your pond.
Ths pond is perfect for in-ground installation but can be used above ground, too. The material is UV resistant so it will last a long time in the sun. It’s made in the USA and covered with a 10-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
10. Algreen 91901 Avonlea Rigid Preformed Pond Liner
Another good choice if you want a pre-formed liner is this one from Algreen. Something that we really like about it is it’s made of recycled plastic. Its rigid construction holds 33 gallons of water and is safe for plants and fish.
The flat bottom gives you a good foundation for plants and pump placement and has integrated plant shelves to make setup a little easier for you.
As far as the material goes, it’s durable and won’t chip, crack, or fade. It’s UV stable so sun exposure won’t degrade the plastic, either. This is a good choice for people who live in areas with cold winters, too. It’s weather-resistant and covered with a five-year limited warranty from Algreen.
How much Pond Liner will I need?
There are plenty of calculators available online to help you figure out how much plant liner you need. That said, it helps to know how to figure it out yourself so you have a better understanding of the size and shape of your pond.
This calculation is not as straightforward as you might think. You have to account for the depth of all the curves at the pond’s bottom as well as along the banks plus you have to leave enough overlap to install the liner correctly.
When figuring out the dimensions of your pond, where you obtain your measurements is very important. Make sure you get the width at the widest point, the length at the longest point, and the depth at the deepest point.
This will likely give you a measurement that’s a little larger than the actual dimensions of your pond unless you have one that’s perfectly square, rectangular, or perfectly round – and that’s a good thing. If your measurements were smaller, the liner wouldn’t fit.
Once you get the dimensions of your pond, there are two simple calculations to do to figure out what size liner you need:
To figure out the length:
Length of Pond at Longest Point + Twice the Depth + 2 for overlap
To figure out the width:
Width of the Pond at Widest Point + Twice the Depth + 2 for overlap
Here are some examples.
If your pond is 11 feet long x 8 feet wide x 2.5 feet deep, here’s what you would do to figure out the liner size:
Width: 8 (width) + 5 (twice the depth) + 2 = 15
Length: 11 (length) + 5 (twice the depth) + 2 = 18
So, in this example, you would need a liner that’s 15 x 18 feet. For ponds that aren’t a standard size, order one that is larger but closest to the actual dimensions. For example, a 10 x 20 liner would be too small but a 15 x 20 liner would be just right.
Here’s another example. Say your pond is 7 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 2 feet deep. In this case, your calculations are as follows:
Width: 4 (width) + 4 (twice the depth) + 2 = 10
Length: 7 (length) + 4 (twice the depth) + 2 = 13
For this pond, you would need a liner that’s at least 10 x 13 feet. A 10 x 12 liner would be just a little too small so you’d have to go with a 12 x 15.
How to Install a Pond Liner in a Large Pond?
The first thing you have to do before you can install a pond liner is dig out the hole for your pond. Some people prefer to lay out a garden hose to plan the shape so you have a better idea of where to dig.
When digging the hole, keep the bottom as level as you can. If you want to make one end deeper than the other, it’s better to create a gradual slope than a large step-down.
Once you’ve dug out the hole, measure it according to the instructions above so you make sure you’re getting the right size liner.
It’s a good idea to install an underlayment beneath the liner. This is a thicker layer of material that insulates the bottom of the pond from any sharp rocks or roots that may try to poke up through the surface. Once that’s done, you’re ready to install the liner.
1. Spread the liner over the top of the hole. Then, push it into the hole by walking toward the center. Cover the bottom of the pond first and work out toward the edges, being sure to leave an even overhang around the perimeter of the pond’s edge.
2. Once the bottom is covered, move around the edges, pleating the liner as necessary and using large rocks, bricks, or stones to hold it in place.
3. After you’re satisfied with the way the liner looks, add about two inches of water to cover the bottom of the pond. The liner will probably shift as the weight of the water pulls it down. Remove any anchors from around the sides if needed to allow the liner to settle naturally.
4. Trim away any liner that’s sticking out more than a foot or so from the stone ring holding it in place. This gets rid of the bulk so the pond looks neater. Depending on the dimensions of your pond, there may be quite a bit to trim. (Save the pieces you trim off to use as patches later if necessary).
5. Complete the landscaping around the pond, adding more rocks and stones around the edge to add more security to the liner.
6. Add plants and the pump to the pond then fill.
Obviously, the process of installing a preformed liner is a little different. The biggest difference is you should not begin digging the hole for the pond until you have the liner.
1. Place the preformed liner where you want the pond to be. Spray around the perimeter with line-marking spray. You can also use sand to create an outline.
2. Dig a hole that is about 4 or 5 inches larger than the pond outline. Start by digging only as deep as the plant shelf.
3. Once you’ve dug down about a foot or so, place the pond into the hole and press down on the center. This will mark in the dirt where you need to keep digging to reach the right depth.
4. Continue digging until the pond fits into the hole. Be sure to make the bottom as level as possible. Once the pond is in place, fill it halfway with water.
5. Not it’s time to fill in the area around the pond. Fill this with topsoil, rocks, stones, or sand. You can also pour cement around the rim which will allow you to seal the pond once the concrete has dried.
6. Place plants in your pond. Ideally, about one to two-thirds of the surface should be covered with plants.
7. Connect the pump and fill.
Using a top-quality pond liner is the best way to provide a solid foundation for your pond. There are a lot of options to choose from.
Whether you have a large or small pond or prefer a flexible or preformed liner, we gave you plenty of options to find the right one for you.