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How to Choose a Vinyl Liner

2021 Pattern Collection


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

Choosing a tile that fits your style can be tricky. We have a wide variety of different tiles ranging from deep blue mosaics to sandy earth tones. The tile pattern 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 show you the samples of vinyl. You can lay these out by the pool to compare them to your deck and see how they look in the water. Often the water comes up to the middle of the tile pattern 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 Baja or Cheyenne, feature contrasting colors. These are good for creating a fun and exciting environment for your pool. Others, like Key West and Paintrock  have less contrast and more subdued colors. These patterns are better for a more stylish setting. Then there are patterns like Port Royal 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 your pool liner's 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. With Tile or Without 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 Cascade Creek pattern when paired with a natural stone hardscape creates a very subtle transition, much like a beach. We have examples of the no-tile option in our Pool Liner Options to give you an idea of the possibilities available.

3. Water Color is Key

Sky ReflectThe 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. The water in your pool acts like a mirror reflecting the sky and clouds. On a bright sunny day the color of the water is bright and sparkling whereas on a cloudy day it can be darker and more muted.

Water Color3This mirror-like quality means that the surrounding area will effect the water color too. If the pool is surrounded by a lot of trees and greenery the water color can have an aquamarine look. When there is less greenery surrounding the pool it is more blue.

The depth of the pool will have an effect, as well. A shallow pool will have a lighter water color and the pool finish is more visible. In a deep pool the water is more blue and you see more of the water and less of the finish.

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 BlueLight Blue and Aqua.

  • DeepBlue1
    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.
  • LightBlue1
     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.
  • AquaBlue1
    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.

enchanted deept

Deep turqouise will give the pool a deep turqouise to deep blue water color.

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.


OW BarstoolAnother 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 combinations are limitless. You can use different patterns to accent certain areas of the pool. You can use one pattern for the wall of the pool and a different pattern for the floor. Stairs and benches can be set apart from the rest of the rest of the pool with a brighter pattern color. Combine and contrast, coordinate textures and colors, with a vinyl liner from Tara you can express your creativity and design the pool of your dreams. The only limit is your imagination.

Port Royal Emerald Bay

5. SureStep 

surestep collage
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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