It may be daunting to choose your new liner, but we are here to help!
Choosing A Manufacturer: At Premier Pool and Spa, we have been installing liners for 25 years, so we have seen the lives of many liners and have recognized which ones last the longest, with the best color retention and least sun fading, along with the ones that are more likely to crack or wrinkle. All the of the Liner Manufacturers we carry use the highest quality materials and stand behind their liners, so don't worry too much about choosing one over another.
Choosing A Liner Base Color: We have tons of pictures to help you get a feel for what each liner looks like in a swimming pool. We also have samples at our store in Chanhassen that you can take home to look at in your own settings.
Keep in mind that each color base will look different in every pool. We have images of liner patterns in pools, but there are still variables that will make it look different from your own pool. For example, the shape of the pool will make a difference, as well as the amount of shade around the pool. These can affect how dark or light the water looks. Even the depth of the pool will make it a deeper, darker blue the deeper the pool gets. When you are looking at images, keep in mind the time of day will make it look a little different, and if you are looking at images online, your monitor settings can also affect the color. We tell you this just so you realize that while you can get a very good idea of what the finished product will look like, you will never know for certain so keep an open mind. All of the liner base colors are designed to make swimming pools and the water itself look its best, so your pool will look great no matter which base color you choose.
Tile Border or No Border: If you are looking for a border-free liner, all manufacturers we offer have Border-Free options if you are looking for a more seamless look. If you would like a border, which is more common, bring the samples out to your personal pool to see where the border ends in comparison to your water line and how it looks with your own space.
Choosing a Thickness: While a popular trend in the last few years has been to switch to a thicker liner, with the idea simply that thicker will lead to less cracking and less likelihood of punctures, this is not the case. The thicker liners do not fit as well into the pools, which can cause more wrinkles, and especially do not conform to corners as well, which can cause liners to pull away from the walls and corners. They also become more brittle in the sunlight due to the heat that can build up in the open spaces behind the liner if it doesn't conform perfectly to the pool corners, adding to the likelihood of cracks. They are also heavier as well, so they are constantly pulling on the liner above the water line.
Punctures are not usually the reason a liner gets replaced, but if an item is strong enough to puncture a 20 mil liner, it is almost as likely to be able to puncture a 27 mil liner as well. Finally, 27 or 28 mil liners do not resist fading any more than a 20 mil liner does, which is the other most common reason a liner gets replaced. For all of these reasons we recommend focusing on the pattern, not the mil. The pattern is the most important feature of the liner that you will have to see every day the pool is opened. We can get the thicker mil liners for most of the liners as well, so if you prefer a thicker liner we can certainly get it for you, but we have found, as have most of the manufacturers, that a thicker liner doesn't necessarily mean better.
Tara, one of the Liner Manufacturers, has a great article about the difference between liner thicknesses and the potential pitfalls of thicker liners.