Tara Liner Blog

Information and advice for pool lovers.

How to Choose a Vinyl Liner

How to Choose a Vinyl Liner

Six Steps to Selecting the Perfect Pool Liner

With pool season approaching, do you find yourself wanting a change of scenery in your backyard? Or are you needing to replace a worn out, tired liner. Choosing the right pool liner can be a difficult decision. It is probably one of the most important decisions you can make about your pool. You want to choose a liner that will suit your needs, a style that will suit your taste and will also hold up for years of enjoyment. Tara has some suggestions for choosing the right liner that can help you make the best decision.

Take these steps, visualize and create a beautiful atmosphere:

1. Choose a Tile

tile-choices Choosing a tile that fits your style can be tricky. We have 17 different tiles ranging from deep blue mosaics to sandy earth tones. Tile is the first thing people notice when looking at your pool because it is above the water level. A great way to get a visual is to have your dealer give you hand samples to layout by the pool. This way you can get an idea of what the tile could look like in your pool. You can take samples of your hardscape and compare those to the tile selections to see what works best. Often the water comes up to the middle of the tile so only the top portion is visible.

Our pattern collection has a wide variety of styles to choose from. The colors in the tile are what you should consider first. Some patterns, like Capri or Santa Fe, feature bright contrasting colors. These are good for creating a fun and exciting environment for your pool. Others, like Carmel and Baton Rouge have less contrast and more subdued colors. These patterns are better for a more stylish setting. Then there are patterns like Key West and Ocean Wave, where the pattern colors are very close to the floor colors. These help the tile blend in with the surroundings.

We choose the patterns in our collection to give you a broad spectrum of choices. There are patterns that mimic natural stones, some that draw their inspiration from mosaics and others that have the look of marble and ceramic tiles. This allows you to coordinate the liners tile pattern with the surroundings. You can choose something that complements your hardscape, patio design or natural elements in your backyard. The best advice we can give is to choose a tile that you will be happy with for many years to come.

2. Tile or Not to Tile

tile-or-no-tileThe tile pattern on the liner can be a lovely accent in your pool however, sometimes you may find that it detracts from the look you want for your backyard. In those cases, the tile section can be removed from the pattern. This can create a very stunning effect with a sharp contrast between the water and the surroundings. It can also have the opposite effect, depending on the pool’s surroundings. A good example is the Sandstone pattern when paired with a natural stone hardscape creates a very subtle transition, much like a beach. We have examples of this treatment and other pools with the no-tile option in this blog to give you an idea of the possibilities available.

3. Water Color is Key

watercolorThe color of the water in your pool is an important design consideration. There are a number of factors that give the pool water its color and the pattern you choose is just one of them.

One important factor is the sky. Although water is clear, in a pool it acts like a mirror reflecting the sky and clouds. That is why the ocean is blue rather than beige.

Water-ColorThis mirror-like quality means that the surrounding area will affect the water color too. If the pool is surrounded by a lot of trees and greenery the water color can have an aquamarine look.

The depth of the pool will have an effect, as well. A shallow pool will have a lighter water color and a deep pool will have a richer darker color.

Sunlight and shade play a role in the color of the water. If the pool is in direct sunlight it will have a lighter water color and shade will deepen the color. It is important to consider these factors when choosing your liner.

That being said, the color of your liner will also play an important role in the color of the water. We divide our patterns into 4 categories to help you choose the color of water you want; Deep Blue, Vivid Blue, Light Blue and Aqua.

  • deep-blue
    Deep Blue patterns are the darkest and most rich blues in our collection. These patterns create a very striking blue that stands out boldly in the backyard. This is a look that many homeowners picture when they envision their pool and are the most popular patterns we offer.
  • vivid-blue
    Vivid Blues are the brightest and most colorful patterns. These patterns also create a luxurious blue water color but they have a sparkle too. This can give the water color a more dynamic look.
  • light-blue
    Light Blue liners also glisten and they make the water color a lighter shade of blue that is very inviting. Some pool owners prefer the lighter blues because it is easier to see the floor of the pool.
  • aqua-blue
    Aqua patterns are sandy colored but they create a beautiful turquoise or cyan blue water color. The color is very reminiscent of the water around the Caribbean islands.

Visit our pattern gallery to see photos that illustrate what the water color for each pattern can look like. Of course, every pool is unique and all of the factors above will contribute to the water color of your pool.

4. Custom Options



Vinyl liners can be customized in a number of ways that can make your pool unlike any other. Options range from altering the liner pattern to covering different pool features of the pool with the liner pattern. You can create a truly unique look for your pool with a few simple options.

The pattern can be altered in several ways. As mentioned before, the tile portion of the liner can be removed. You can also mix the tile portion from one pattern with the floor pattern of another to create a totally unique pattern. This is a great option if you find that you like different things about different patterns.

Another popular trend in vinyl liners is covering stairs and built-in features with the liner. This helps unify the look of the pool and makes those features blend in with the overall design. Stairs and benches aren’t the only things that can be covered in vinyl though. We can also incorporate sundecks, tanning ledges and even barstools. The only limit to your choices is your imagination.

5. SureStep


Textured surface vinyl, SureStep, is an option designed specifically for stairs, benches and other high-traffic areas of the pool. The vinyl is embossed with a texture pattern that can be nubby or leathery. These textured surfaces have a grip that feels good on your feet. Not all patterns are available in SureStep and the texture for different patterns is also different. If you refer to our gallery and brochure you will see the patterns that are carried in textured SureStep. To feel SureStep for yourself, please see your dealer for samples.


6. Liner Thickness

The thickness of a liner is not as important as other considerations when choosing the liner that best suits you. Although, thickness is often used as an indication of the liner’s strength, this is not the case. Other factors are far more important for the longevity of the liner. The quality of the material and the fit of the liner are the most important factors in terms of longevity. Liners don’t fail because they aren’t thick enough. They fail because of chemical damage, UV exposure and ink fade. The thickness will not prevent these problems. A 20mil liner that is made of North American virgin vinyl and fits properly will outlast any other liner on the market, no matter the thickness. You may notice that thicker liners don’t come with a longer warranty, for these very reasons. It is far more important to choose a pattern that you love and will be satisfied with for many years. If you would like to learn more about liner thickness we have another post that deals specifically with that topic.

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The Truth About Thickness

Comments 1

Guest - Sharon Thompson on Friday, 07 August 2015 20:09

Do you know of any pools in the Kansas City area with a Mayan or Sandstone liner that we could see to help with our decision?

Do you know of any pools in the Kansas City area with a Mayan or Sandstone liner that we could see to help with our decision?
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Monday, 19 March 2018


2294 Old 431 Highway    |    Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763    |    sales@taramfg.com

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