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5 Best Pond Liners For Small And Large Ponds

Backyard ponds can be a real stand-out feature in any garden. A backyard pond can transform a dying and decrepit space into an oasis of peace and tranquility. This can have a transformative knock on effect on your mood and daily peace of mind.

For centuries people have gazed at natural bodies of water to find serenity, solace, and inspiration. Well if you install your own backyard pond then you can enjoy all the benefits that such a feature brings, without leaving the comfort of your own home.

But before you can get down to the real work of filling your pond with colorful fish and crafting your ideal water feature, you need to set the foundations. Most natural soils will not be suitable to form healthy, stable ponds by just digging out the earth.

That’s why most backyard ponds will have a suitable pond liner to keep the water from seeping out. This will sit on the bottom of your pond, forming a solid, impermeable boundary layer between the water and the soil.

Since this is such a crucial, though seldom seen, aspect of your pond, you need to be confidant that you are buying the best pond liner possible.

In this comprehensive article we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a few of the very best pond liners out there on the market.

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TotalPond Pond Skins Pond Liner

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This is a very solid product from a reputable company. You can be confidant when buying from TotalPond that you are getting a quality pond liner that is unlikely to develop rips or tears. This is important not just during the installation process, but also during the transport stages, when there is risk of damage incurring.

There is a lot of clever material science sitting in the background of this high-quality product. The liner itself is made from PVC (a common polymer, poly vinyl chloride), however, a number of design choices have led to improved strength and performance.

Firstly, the liner has a composite design structure. This means that multiple layers of PVC are overlaid, to increase the strength and stiffness in all directions. What’s more, a strong polyester weave is placed between the layers to give it an extra increment of structural integrity.

Composite designs are used in a great many applications, from ancient bows to modern aircraft, and they are now to increase overall strength and toughness.

Sun’s Rays Protection

The designers of this liner have also played with the chemistry to achieve good results. If left untreated, in certain situations PVC can become brittle and weak when exposed to sunlight. This is because the UV rays in sunlight are known to degrade many types of plastic, and PVC is no exception.

Since the pond liner is intended for outside use, with only the water to protect it from the sun’s rays, it needs to be resistant to this type of damage. For this reason, the designers have added special chemicals to the PVC to ensure it remains strong and ductile throughout its entire design life.

Another benefit of this pond liner is that it is available in a range of different sizes. For example, a 10 x 13-foot sample is available, as is a 13 foot by 20-foot version, for larger ponds. It is advised to use this in conjunction with a soft underlayer, to reduce the risk of puncture damage.

The material is strong, but it is still necessarily thin to make sure it is lightweight and easy to install and adjust.


  • Chemical additives make the PVC ductile and resistant to UV embrittlement
  • Composite structure adds strength
  • Available in a range of sizes
  • Textured surface helps to promote bacteria growth
  • 14.5 mils thick


  • Requires an underlayer to reduce the risk of puncture
  • Premium product with a premium price tag

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Aquanique Pond Skins Pond Liner

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This is another good candidate for the best pond liner on the market. It is similar to the previous product, because it is made from a sandwich of PVC and polyester layers. The PVC provides the impermeable barrier and a degree of strength, while the polyester weave adds extra stiffness and rigidity.

Unlike many of the other pond liners currently available on the market, the Aquanique skin is only 14.5 mils thick. A ‘mil’ is the standard unit of thickness used when comparing pond liners, it equates to 0.001 inches. Most of the other major competitors are 20 mils thick. This adds a lot of extra weight with little benefit in terms of strength or puncture resistance.

As a result, this pond liner is a real breeze to install. Just lay it out over your pond, cut it to size, place it roughly in position, then fill it with water and allow it to assume its natural shape.

Promote The Growth Of Bacteria

One of the other clever features of this pond liner is the rough textured surface. The ‘dimples’ on the surface are designed to promote the growth of bacteria in your pond.

As any aspiring pond owner should know, good bacteria are an absolute necessity in any backyard pond. They help to break down the toxic wastes (such as ammonia and nitrates) that fish produce when they digest their food.

The bacteria thrive on these toxic substances and reduce them to harmless species such as nitrite. This helps to maintain a healthy chemical balance in your pond and keeps the water clean and clear as well.

This pond liner is suitably for medium sized ponds up to about 500 gallons in volume. If you’re looking to line a larger pond, you will need to either purchase a larger liner, or consider alternatives.


  • Chemical additives make the PVC ductile and resistant to UV embrittlement
  • Composite structure adds strength
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to carry, cut and install
  • Textured surface helps to promote bacteria growth, by increasing the surface area for colonies to form.
  • Suitable for medium sized ponds up to 500 gallons


  • Requires an underlayer to reduce the risk of puncture
  • Not suitable for the largest backyard ponds

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Anjon Lifeguard 45 Mil EPDM Pond Liner

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This is another one of the best pond liner types that you are likely to come across.

Unlike the previous two products, this one is made from an entirely different type of polymer. EPDM stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer, but the full title is a bit of a mouthful for pond enthusiasts. However, despite the confusing scientific nomenclature, it is very popular in the backyard pond community, for a number of reasons.

Advantages Of EPDM Liners

Firstly, compared to standard PVC, EPDM liners are generally much stronger. This means they can stand up to much rougher treatment. For example, you don’t need to worry about tearing this product by standing in the middle of the pond during installation. It is ductile as well, meaning it can stretch a lot before failure.

EPDM pond liners tend to be thicker than standard PVC liners, and this one is no exception. It is almost three times as thick as the previous products. Obviously, this adds a great deal of weight and some difficulty during installation, but it also brings some advantages.

The pond liners are typically stronger and will tolerate much more damage. They can be handled somewhat roughly and are therefore suitable for larger projects.

Another great advantage of EPDM liner like this one is that they tend to lie flat. This means they can be easily adjusted to the shape of the pond you are trying to create. You can use them for corners or tight angles, where other products might not be suitable. This allows designers to dream up wild and wonderful shapes for their ponds, and the material will still function.


  • EPDM is naturally tough, ductile and resistant to UV embrittlement
  • Thicker liner (45 mils) can take rough treatment
  • Liner will lie flat and fill any shape of pond
  • Available in a range of sizes
  •  Standard 25-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty


  • Thickness adds to weight, making it heavy and difficult to work with
  • More expensive than typical PVC liners

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Beckett Corporation PL822 Liner

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This is another credible PVC alternative in the market. Compared to some of the other offerings, this is a relatively simple design, with an affordable price tag.

Unlike some of the previous PVC designs featured, it does not have a multi-layer structure. It only has a single layer, and it is notably thicker than the other PVC liners, being 20 mils thick. It also does not feature the special textured pattern that is designed to promote the growth of substrate-friendly bacteria to keep the ecosystem healthy.

However, despite this, this liner is perfect to help create a healthy and sustainable environment for all your beloved aquatic fauna and flora. PVC liners are well known to be environmentally compatible, so the finished backyard pond should be a haven for your fishy inhabitants.

The PVC is protected from the harmful effects of UV radiation (in sunlight) due to special chemical additives. This prevents it for age-related weakening. This means you can be confidant that your pond liner will perform as well in 20 years’ time as it does straight out of the package.

In fact, the manufacturers are so confidant in the long-term durability of their product that a 15-year warranty comes included as standard with the liner.

This liner is available in three sizes. The smallest size, (8 x 10 ft) is only really suitable for small backyard ponds, but the 12 x 10 ft version should be capable of lining any 400-gallon pond.

This should be suitable for most domestic situations, though if you are planning an extravagant pond then you should consider buying the larger 12 ft x 17 ft pond.


  • Chemical additives make the PVC stronger and resistant to UV embrittlement
  • Puncture resistant
  • Suitable for medium sized ponds up to 400 gallons
  • Available in a range of sizes
  • Comes with a 15-year guarantee


  • Not suitable for the largest backyard ponds
  • Heavier than other PVC liners

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Firestone W56PL451015 EPDM Rubber Pond Liner

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If you are determined to build a really creatively designed complex pond, then this may be the best pond liner product for you. This liner will give you all the flexibility and freedom to bring your dreams and sketches to reality.

EPDM is a type of rubber, meaning it has inherent ability to stretch and deform to suit your needs. For example, if you need a liner to lie flat against a corner, then a rough and resilient material like EPDM is probably the best option for you.

It also has a great deal of advantages in terms of strength and ductility. It can withstand the pressure of being stood on by humans, or the inevitable wear and tear that comes with a popular pond and lots of aquatic activity. If you plan on having boisterous fish or other creatures in your pond, then a good thick layer of EPDM may be exactly what you need.

This liner is 45 mils thick, like the previous EPDM product. Of course, this means it is heavy, but also gives you good peace of mind against inadvertent tearing or ripping of the fabric. This is a very environmentally friendly product.

This means it is compatible with almost any species of fish that you may want to place in the pond. This is the perfect liner type for a busy community pond, where lots of different species cohabit and interact.

One of the biggest advantages of this product is that it requires little or no maintenance. Once you install it you can easily forget about it.

It will withstand almost every conceivable type of weather condition from blisteringly hot summer days to the depths of winter. It is resilient to ice and the freeze thaw action of water. This means that the liner can contribute to long-lasting beauty in your backyard, bring a smile to your face for years to come.


  • EPDM is naturally puncture resistant, flexible and durable
  • Suitable for small to medium sized ponds up to 400 gallons
  • Available in a range of sizes
  • Environmentally Friendly and weather resistant


  • Not suitable for the largest backyard ponds
  • Can be difficult to install
  • Heavier than PVC liners

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Things To Consider Before Buying A Pond Liner

Video: “Water Garden – Pond Liner & Underlayment”

Whatever pond liner you go for, there are a number of things you should take into account.

Even the best pond liner brands will suggest that you use underlayment alongside their liners. Underlayment is very important to hemp form a pad or base for the pond liner, protecting it from the rough, abrasive ground.

By laying a pond liner directly on the ground, without an underlayment in between, you are running the risk that plant roots or stones in the ground could penetrate the liner and cause it to leak. There are many different types of underlayment that one could use.

On the simpler end of the spectrum, sand or even old newspapers could be used as an effective base layer.

The most effective type of underlayment is probably non-woven geo-textile material, which can be purchased from most reputable garden stores. This can help to smooth out pressure points in the ground, decreasing the likelihood of a tear, and forming a soft mat for the primary boundary.

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The choice of material is of course very important when it comes to choosing the best pond liner for you. However, there are many other things you need to take into account as well. For example, you should do some simple calculations to make sure that the liner is big enough to form the pond that you desire.

You should also make sure that it is within your budget, and it is suitable for your local climate conditions. Some types of plastic liners do not perform very well in very hot or cold conditions, so you should research this before committing to a liner. You might also want to check if you’re liner comes with a warranty, to give you extra confidence in your purchase.

These are personal considerations that will be different for every single pond owner.

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When it comes to designing and building your dream backyard pond, there are a lot of difficult choices you will have to make. One of the first (and most important) choices is what type of pond liner is best for you.

Of course, this will depend on your own circumstances and preferences, but in this article, we have laid out some of the best pond liner brands available for purchase right now.

Each of these different liners have their own perks and drawbacks, which we have highlighted. For example, the PVC liners are generally lighter and stiffer than the EPDM products, but the EPDM liners have the edge in terms of durability and strength. It is important that your liner is not prone to punctures, as this could be a nightmare for you as an owner.

Some of the liners featured here have very impressive features, such as composite layers and UV resistant additives, but it is up to you to decide how much you are willing to spend on such extravagances.

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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