Pool liners are an important part of inground pools that aren’t made from waterproof materials like fiberglass, concrete, and gunite. White, maintaining an affordable price, liners protect your pool’s foundation from interior damage, water leaks, and mold, all while giving it a beautiful new look.
According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, poor liner replacement can range from $1,000 to $1,500, with homeowners spending almost $2,400 on average. If it needs to be patched, it can cost anywhere from $350 to $5,000 for a full replacement. In this article, we will include several factors to determine the cost of your inground pool and things to consider.
What Is A Pool Liner?
A pool liner is a vinyl covering that is attached to the walls and floors of a pool to keep water inside and the foundation dry. Whilst protecting the pool, it also gives it a nice clean look that can be customized to the owner’s preference.
How Long Does A Pool Liner Last?
A pool liner can last anywhere from 5 to 20 years, based on the amount of use and proper maintenance. Another factor to consider is the location of your pool and the area’s geography. Places susceptible to groundwater problems have also been known to lessen the pool and pool liner’s lifespan.
What Causes Pool Liner Damage
There are several causes of pool liner damage that you should be on the lookout for:
1. Ultraviolet Rays
Because pools are in spots exposed most to the sun, it means ultraviolet rays are more likely to touch the liner and cause bleaching and tears.
2. Nails and Claws
If you have pets that swim, they likely scratch your liner with their nails and claws when trying to leave the pool.
3. Hot and Cold Weather
As the year continues, the liner’s material will be affected by changes in temperature caused by seasons. They can expand and contract with hot and cold weather, which can begin to crack and wrinkle away the liner.
4. Yard Shrapnel
Regular lawn maintenance or storms can cause sharp objects to land inside your pool.
5. Chemical Damage
While chemicals are used to clean pools, they can degrade your liner with extended use. Much like clothing, chlorine can bleach and wear your liner away.
Factors That Influence Pool Liner Cost
These are the factors that may influence your pool liner cost:
1. Pool Type
There are two types of pools you may already have: in-ground and above-ground pools. For in-ground pool liners, you can expect to pay anywhere from $700 to $1,500. For above-ground liners, you can expect anywhere from $100 to $600.
2. Liner Type
There are three types of pool liners that can affect your price: overlap liners, beaded liners, and uni-bead liners. Overlap liners are the least expensive and easiest to install but have the least lifespan.
Beaded liners are built into the edges of the pool, while uni-bead liners connect over the top of the pool edges. They both vary in price but are easy to install and have good lifespans.
3. Pool Style and Shape
While liners can be fitted, more unique pool shapes can add to the price of your liner due to the labor needed to shape it.
4. Liner Thickness and Design
Having a thicker liner means putting more material into the vinyl as well as intricate designs. Expect the price to be higher.
Material costs vary depending on the type of pool you have. Above-ground materials are from $100 to $600, while in-ground materials are $700 to $1,500.
Installation for above-ground pools can cost anywhere from $250 to $800, while in-ground pools can go from $1,000 to $2,500.
7. Draining and Refilling
When replacing the liner, you must first drain the pool to access the interior. Professional companies can charge anywhere from $500 to $700 to drain and $60 to $120 to refill.
8. Damage Flooring
While a liner protects your interior, your interior cannot be damaged. If there is damage, your liner will be unable to stick properly to the sides. To get it fixed, prices will vary from contractor to contractor.
9. Geographic Location
The location of your home should always be considered. If you live in an urban area, contractors will charge more than if you live in a rural area.
10. Time of Year
Depending on when you get a replacement, warmer months will likely see a rise in pool maintenance prices as opposed to cold months when people aren’t using their pools.
Tips To Choose The Right Inground Pool Liner
Consider the following tips when choosing your inground pool liner:
The two main materials known for pool liners are PVC and vinyl. The most popular vinyl choice is affordable, easy to install, and can be customized. PVC liners are more expensive but add extra protection from leaks and are flexible to interior designs.
When choosing a thickness, there are two options: 20mil and 27mil. If you have poor floors or walls, 27mil is the way to go. If you have tight corners and many curves, the smaller 20mil thickness is preferred.
The warranty for many pool liners is approximately 20-25 years, with some going up to 30 years. Regardless of what you choose, you will have many years of warranty.
When budgeting, consider your above-ground or in-ground pool type. Prices can range from $1,000 to $5,000, though the average price spent is $2,300.
Inground Pool Liner Replacement vs. Repair
Not all pool liners need to be replaced. If there is damage to its appearance, then it may only need repairs. A self-repair DIY liner patch kit can cost you between $20 to $50, while a full replacement can cost thousands if not fully understood.
How To Measure Pool Liner
It is easier to choose a pool liner material than it is to find the actual size of the pool, especially if you have a uniquely shaped pool. Here are some materials to help you find the size.
- The manufacturer’s liner template or paper
- Pen or pencil
- Two 100-ft tape measures
- Two long roles of string
- Utility knife
- Telescoping pole
1. Measure the Length and Width in Two Spots
Pick two parallel locations on the short and long sides to measure. Measure from the liner to the liner and not from the concrete or the outside of the pool. The tape measure should touch the walls of the pool to ensure accuracy. If you have an odd-shaped pool, these steps do not apply*
2. Measure Depths at Several Spots
Get a minimum of three different depth measurements in the deep, shallow, and middle sections of the pool. Measure from the liner track to the shallow end and repeat with the other sections. Be sure to measure a mid-point on the slope.
3. Measure Floor Length
From within the pool walls, measure the shallow endpoint to where the liner connects to the wall. Repeat for the slope and then measure the slope from top to bottom. Measure the deep end where it is flat, and finally, measure the deep end slope where the liner connects to the wall.
4. Measure the Hopper Width and Slope
Vertically drop one pole to the point where the side slope meets the deep flat end. From the side of the pool, horizontally place another pole to meet the vertical pole. After getting a measurement on both poles, subtract the sidewall slopes from the full pool width to get the width of the deep end.
The complexity of pool measurements can seem overwhelming. At best, hire a professional to take measurements. Some pool liner companies offer the service without fully replacing or repairing your liner.
16×32 & 20×40 Pool Linear Cost
The average cost of a 16×32 inground pool is around $4,000. If you need to upgrade your pool bottom, the total average can be upwards of $5,400. Regardless, larger pool sizes, such as 18×36 and 20×40, will cost a lot more.
How Long Does Pool Liner Replacement Take?
The cost to replace an inground swimming pool liner varies by company and pool size. For someone to clean, drain, and remove your old pool liner, you can expect to pay $2,500 for labor. The job can take anywhere from 1 to 2 days, depending on the size of your pool.
Unless you have a small pool in great condition and no groundwater problems, your pool should take at least two days to complete. If your installer manages to complete the job in as little time as possible, it may mean it was done incorrectly, and that future problem could happen.
Pool Liner Warranties
In most cases, 25-year liner warranties have a 2-5 year full warranty before the prorate begins. Liner warranties do not cover the cost of filling the pool with water or the cost of labor.
This means you want to look out for potential hazards to the longevity of your pool.
Things like water chemistry, chemicals used to clean, and other environmental factors should be considered.
Many pool builders argue that properly installed liners will guarantee longevity, but that outside factors have been known to make a negative long-term impact.
Regardless of the causes, be sure to mitigate damages to avoid extra water and labor costs that come with pool maintenance.
How To Replace Pool Liner (DIY)
When purchasing a DIY liner kit, it should come with installation instructions. While the need differs between pool types, you should closely follow the guidelines to ensure proper replacement. Here are some tools you will need:
- Push broom
- Utility knife
- Garden hose
- Wall foam
- Other items recommended by the liner manufacturer
If you’re replacing the liner yourself, here is a guide to help.
1. Remove the liner
Remove all faceplates and gaskets. Then remove the liner from the coping tracks. You may need to cut the liner as needed
2. Fix the Foundation and Walls
If the walls of your pool are cracked, be sure to repair them before replacing the liner. While your liner helps prevent water leaks into the foundation, it does not mean your pool cannot be damaged.
3. Prepare the Walls and Foundation
Manufacturer steps may vary depending on your purchase. Some may require foam strips to stick to the walls, but all instructions prepare you to attach the liner.
4. Center and Attach the Liner
To minimize damage to your liner, be sure to remove your shoes and any items from within the area. After spreading the liner, center it on the foundation and spread it into the coping tracks to tuck it into place.
5. Smooth the Liner
Using a vacuum, suck the air out of the liner by removing a small section of the liner to insert the vacuum. A shop vac is a good tool for this step.
6. Attach The Fixtures and Fill the Pool.
Once the liner is smooth and centered, reattach the facings, gaskets, and drain covers before filling the pool with water. After a foot of water is filled, check the liner to make sure everything is in place.
DIY vs. Pro
If you are doing it yourself, the cost should be no more than the kit, liner, and maybe some tools you purchased. While it may take up your day, it can save you thousands compared to professional installers.
Some companies charge thousands to properly measure, cut and install the liner. Along with labor and water costs, you can expect to pay up to $5,000 more than if you did it yourself.
If you can handle the instructions and time, your liner should be as good as a professional’s.
Tips To Make Inground Pool Liner Last Longer
The process of keeping your pool liner longer is simple and easy to understand. When cleaning, properly balance pool chemicals to avoid degradation. Avoid abrasive cleaning products.
Try to keep your pet from the pool or give them an easy exit. Install a cover against natural causes. And make repairs as soon as possible.
Regardless of your pool type, pool liners are useful tools to help preserve the thousands of dollars you’ve spent. With proper maintenance, they can last for over a decade or more. But with improper care, you can expect your pool to be as damaged as the liner itself in years.
While the price of a pool is not low, it is an investment worth keeping. If companies are sent to replace or repair your pool, then it can cost as much as having the pool built. By spending a portion of your time doing it yourself, then you may save thousands of dollars.
No matter the situation, pool liners are meant to help the longevity of your pool. If they are not maintained, then your pool may be worse than if you never had one.
Ruben has a diverse background in the home services industry, with experience running a construction company, a kitchen and bath showroom, and a moving and relocation company. This breadth of experience has provided him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in various areas of home improvement in general and specifically in the heating and plumbing niche.