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Last updated: March 17, 2021
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Ponds and other water features add an element of calmness to ay garden while also being great talking points. To create a structure that keeps water in place, many homeowners need to dig a hole and use a pond liner to obtain good results. Using the best pond liner is essential because you need something that is durable, yet flexible enough to create a smooth finish.
We reviewed 27 of the best pond liners available on the market today and came to the conclusion the AQUANIQUE Pond Skin Pond Liner is the best choice for most users. This PVC based liner is thinner than many of the other models we reviewed and we found it one of the easiest to handle. Ideal for fishponds, this liner is highly flexible and supports the growth of algae and healthy bacteria. We also included four other pond liners in our guide, each with its own benefits, so you can easily find one that suits your pond best.
When reviewing the best pond liners on the market, we looked at multiple essential features that contribute to the quality of the products and the results you can get when installing them. These include type of pond liner, material, thickness, size, weight, warranty, and more. To help you find the best pond liner, we compressed all the info in a comparison table and we included in-depth reviews for each of the products that made it to our top. In the end, you’ll also find a buying guide with all the details you might need to make an informed purchase.
The AQUANIQUE Pond Skin Pond Liner is the best pond liner on the market and made it to the top is our editor’s choice because it offers a mix of high quality and durability while also being reasonably priced and easy to install. This lightweight pond liner only weighs 22.7 lbs. and is constructed with a weave mesh material. An eco-friendly choice that slows down the growth of algae to make it plant and fish safe, the AQUANIQUE pond liner is also puncture and UV resistant. This makes the pond liner an ideal option for Koi ponds.
Many of the users who tried the QUANIQUE Pond Skin Pond Liner liked its durability and the fact that it is very easy to handle during the construction of a pond. This is a very thin liner at just 14.5 mil, which means that it is also extremely flexible. If you are worried that the durability of this pond liner could be affected by this thinness, you’ll be happy to find out that it holds up there well under pressure. Some of the reviewers mentioned that the fact that this pond liner comes already formed means that you can’t tailor it to suit specific projects. Instead, you need to make sure from the start that the pond liner is a suitable choice for the type of pond you have in mind.
If you’re looking for a rigid pond liner made from high density polyethylene, the Maccourt LP7824 Grand CAYMAN is one of the best choices out there. Featuring large shelves that can hold several plant baskets comfortably, this is an all-season pond liner that is highly resistant and will not chip, fade, or crack. The total capacity of the Maccourt LP7824 Grand CAYMAN is 100 gallons and most of the users were tested and reviewed it mentioned that the flat bottom is very easy to clean and also makes it easy to place your equipment such as pumps and filters.
The Maccourt LP7824 Grand CAYMAN is UV stabilized, which means that you can use it year-round. The entire structure is constructed from grade a material, which means that the product is non-toxic the fish and plans. This fish and plant friendly one-liner varies in depth, and it is 24 inches deep at its deepest. This makes this fish liner ideal for pond fish habitation, especially if you are planning to use it in colder climates.
Users who reviewed the Maccourt LP7824 Grand CAYMAN liked the fact that the wide shelves can hold multiple plant baskets, which allows you to create a colorful and vibrant pond easily. It is also very simple to put the pond in the ground and users praise the quality of the material and the fact that you can have your pond ready in a matter of minutes. The pond liner has a lifetime warranty, which is something rather difficult to find in other products.
Manufactured by one of the best-known companies in the world of pond liners, the Firestone 45 Mil EPDM Pond Liner is one of the best choices out there if you are looking for an elastic pond liner. Made from EPDM membrane and rubber, this pond liner is heavier than those made of PVC, but the good news is that you can shape it fit the contours of just about any pond. The material has a high flexibility no matter the weather and has a life expectancy of about 75 years. The Firestone 45 Mil EPDM Pond Liner comes with a 25 years warranty for your peace of mind.
What you like most about the Firestone pond liner is the fact that it has outstanding resistance to UV radiation and other types of environmental conditions. It also resists punctures because it has a high tensile strength, and many of the users reviewed it agreed that the material feels very strong while also being easy to install.
We think that the Firestone 45 Mil EPDM Pond Liner is one of the best choices on the market for those who intend to create very shallow ponds, but it is also a good solution for those who need a liner for their work environments or fountains. If you want a pond liner for a creatively designed pond that is oddly shaped, the fantastic flexibility of this Firestone liner will help you obtain the results you want.
The Pond Liner – 20-mil Black PVC for Koi Ponds is one of the best choices we have found for those who are interested in a quality liner for a Koi pond. Made from PVC and manufactured in the USA, this pond liner is flexible enough to suit projects of all shapes and weighs 55 lbs. Because it is not very heavy and flexible, many users praised it for the ease of use. And if you’re worried about the environment, learn that this liner is 100% recyclable.
The texture of the Pond Liner – 20-mil Black PVC for Koi Ponds is almost rubber-like, which means that you can easily stretch it and fit it into smaller spaces. It is a good option for those who want a pond liner that can handle waterfall tubing. It is also UV stable, so you can use it in all kinds of weather. This is a rather affordable pond liner, mostly due to the fact that it is made from PVC, a low-cost plastic that you’ll often encounter in budget pond kits. Keep in mind that liners made from PVC have a lower puncture resistance than those made from vinyl or hard plastic, which means that you need to pay more attention to any abrasion that might be caused by rocks, roots, animals and any tool you may use for the installation. The Pond Liner – 20-mil Black PVC for Koi Ponds comes with a 15-year warranty for your peace of mind.
Our budget pick is the Algreen 91901, a rigid pond liner that is constructed from UV stable thick recycled plastic material that is also weather-resistant. With a flat base that allows you to place plants and baskets easily, this pond liner is safe for both plants and fish and has a total capacity of 33 gallons. Users who tested it were impressed by the ease of installation, as basically all you need to do is place it in the pond and start adding your plants and fish. The pond liner only weighs 4 lbs., which means that you don’t have to struggle with heavy liners that need to be unpacked and fitted in the corners of your pond. If you want to obtain a more natural look with this pond liner, you can use some surrounding rocks for extra support.
We liked that the Algreen 91901 is sturdy and thicker than you might expect, and that is has a nice size for corner gardens. Some users mentioned that the liner might leak occasionally after some time, but overall, this is a durable liner for the price. One thing to keep in mind is that it has a slight buckle on one side, which means that you can only fill it up to about an inch below the rim. The Algreen 91901 comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
What we liked:
Sturdy and durable
Ideal for holding plants
Easy to install
What could be better:
Not suitable for oddly shaped ponds
Things to Consider
Choosing a pond liner for your koi pond or other garden water feature may seem like a daunting task, especially if it is your first time. The good news is that you can find a good selection of pond liners out there that can suit your need even when you are juggling budget and quality. If you have excavated a large pond in your garden and are now looking for the best pond liner to finish up your water feature, this buying guide will help you choose the most suitable one.
Why do I need a pond liner?
The main purpose of a pond liner is to prevent the water in a pond from seeping into the ground.
Pond liners are either pieces of vinyl or PVC or pre-formed liners made from hard plastic that you can use to line a hole you dug in the ground so you can avoid an empty pond and dead fish.
Because not all pond liners are created equal, it’s important to look at multiple characteristics to find one that suits your project best.
How to pick the pond liner?
When choosing a pond liner, you first need to take into account the type that would work best for your project. There are multiple types of liners to choose from, each of them with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most important factors to take into account when shopping for a pond liner include the material it is made from, its flexibility, environmental friendliness and warranty.
Rubber pond liners are a popular option for many users because they are very flexible and dynamic and work well for all kinds of ponds, no matter their shape. They are also a bit less flexible than liners made from PVC, which are the best option out there if you’re particularly interested in the flexibility of the material.
Next, polyethylene pond liners combine strength and flexibility rather well, and they are also easy to install, while also being puncture resistant, so you can use them in harsher environments as well. Finally, pre-formed pond liners are, as their name suggests, made from hard plastic and shaped into a way that you can’t change. They are often a budget-friendly solution, like, for example, Algreen 91901, but they don’t allow you to modify the shape of the pond in the future.
Exposure to the sun and elements is something that can’t be avoided when it comes to ponds because they are outdoor features. This means that you should look for a model that won’t get brittle or crack when exposed to the sun over a prolonged period of time. Look for pond liners made from materials that are UV resistant to minimize the risk of cracks, as most models, especially those made from PVC, cannot be repaired once the cracks appear.
If you want to be sure the pond liner you choose is friendly to the environment and causes no harm to plants and fish, you should look for a model made from eco-friendly materials. Such an example is our editor’s choice, the AQUANIQUE Pond Skin Pond Liner.
The flexibility of a pond liner is important when it comes to the ease of installation. EPDM liners such as the Firestone 45 Mil EPDM Pond Liner are the most flexible liners available and you can use them in all shapes of ponds. This material is also weather resistant and resists microbial and algae attack. PVC and vinyl are also flexible to a degree, while pre-formed pond liners are not flexible at all.
Installing a protective underlay for your pond liner is important because it forms a protective barrier against potential rodents, while also protecting the liner from being punctured by rough edged rocks into the ground. Moreover, by using underlays, you may also prevent the liner from shifting from ground movement over time.
Most pond liners come with warranty, which can vary from one year to lifetime. An example of pond liner that comes with a lifetime warranty is the Maccourt LP7824 Grand CAYMAN.
How to calculate the right amount of liner needed?
To calculate the right amount of liner you need for your pond, all you need to do is measure the ponds’ length, width and depth and then calculate the length and width of the liner using the following formulas:
Length + 2 x Depth + 2 = Length
Width + 2 x Depth + 2 = Width
Online calculators are also available online for this exact purpose, so you can easily choose the size of liner that works best for your pond.
How to install the pond liner?
The installation process is different according to the type of pond liner you intend to use. Make sure the liner you use is a suitable size for the hole, and consider all the potential plumbing you may want to use for the pond. Flexible liners with underlay require the preparation of the ground and then all you need to do is place the underlay and then the liner, trimming the excess material at the edges. Make sure you only make the trimmings once the pond is filled with water. Pre-formed pond liners are even easier to install, because you only need to place them into the home and fill them with water.
Both these types of pond liners come with pros and cons, but as a rule of thumb, elastic ones are more versatile, as you can use them with all kinds of ponds, even oddly shaped ones. On the other hand, rigid ones tend to be sturdier and they are more puncture resistant, while also being easy to install.
Even though a pond can technically hold water without a line, there are other functions that a pond liner fulfills, including keeping the water clean and the overall pond environment safe for plants and fish. If you don’t have a liner in the pond, the water may eventually disappear, especially in some particular types of soil, which means you’ll be left with a dry hole and your fish may die.
Yes, pond liners are generally only suitable for outdoor use, because you need to dig a hole in the ground and fill it with water to make a koi pond or other type of water garden feature.
The best pond liner currently available on the market is the AQUANIQUE Pond Skin Pond Liner, which is elastic, UV and puncture resistant while also offering fantastic durability. We liked that this pond liner is very easy to install and suitable for all types of ponds, even those with irregular shapes. A second close is the Maccourt LP7824 Grand CAYMAN, which is a perfect option for those who are looking for a liner with extended warranty. This model comes with lifetime warranty and has large shelves hold multiple plant baskets. Finally, if you’re after the best elastic pond liner, you can’t go wrong with the Firestone 45 Mil EPDM Pond Liner, which is elastic from -49ºF to 266ºF while also being UV radiation resistant and a breeze to install. No matter what type of pond liner you decide to go for, make sure it is a good fit for the size and scope of your project.