Choosing a Vinyl Pool Liner - An Exercise in Frustration!

debutante55May 4, 2011

The time has come for us to replace the vinyl liner in our existing pool. It amazes me how VERY difficult it is to find photographs of what the liner colour/pattern options will actually look like - in a real pool, with water, in various lighting conditions. You would think that this would be a basic feature on every pool company's website or brochure but NO - I've been told that they don't want the liability of having customers come back and say, "..but this isn't what it looked like in the picture!" Ideally, it'd be great to go and see pools 'in situ' but up here in Canada very few pools are open yet and liners must be ordered early for the coming season. Our pool contractor has not been helpful as he simply doesn't have any photos. Okay. I'm done raging now. ;-)

Can ANYONE PLEASE post photographs of any of the following colours/patterns? If so, I would appreciate it more than I can say!!! The choices we're considering are: blue mosaic; aquaria; prism; sandstone; tye dye; and crystal. As for the 'fake tile' borders, that's another story! We're thinking of forgoing the border altogether and keeping it all one colour.

BTW, there IS a thread on this forum with many uploaded photos but the overwhelming majority are beautiful concrete/gunite pools in warm climates. Our vinyl 20' x 40' rectangular pool came with the house and we're certainly not able to replace it any time soon.

Thank you in advance for any help/advice/comments/insights/photos you may be able to offer. We truly appreciate it.

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By looking at brochures or on your screen, you are at the mercy of photographers, video cards, and monitors. Details get left out. Colors are different...

You really need to see the sample book that manufacturers give to pool dealers and service outfits. These are books of the actual vinyl patterns. Then you can see what is really getting put on.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 5:54PM
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I went through the same thing last year, when we were in the process of building our pool. I didn't have samples, and found it necessary to rely on computer pictures. Fortunately, we made the right decision by going with "blue granite" and our border is absolutely beautiful. If you do a search in this forum for "upscale vinyl" you'll see many images of vinyl liner pools. Ours happens to be the last swimming pool in that particular thread. Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 5:18AM
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Hi Scott and Zuggy,
Thank you for your replies and suggestions. Today we travelled around the city to check out all the vinyl pattern sample books. It seems there aren't that many manufacturers out there because a lot of the smaller companies carry variations of the exact same designs. The problem is, with our inexperience, translating what we see in a 9" x 24" vinyl sample to a 20' x 40' pool -- outdoors and underwater -- is just too much for us. We don't really have the faintest clue what it will actually look like. Hence the frustration. ;-)
Your pool is lovely Zuggy but we're a bit nervous about choosing a darker colour, although it's beautifully dramatic. We're not sure how easy it'd be to keep an eye on little people in the pool, especially in the evening. Do you find it much more difficult to see the bottom vs. a light-coloured pool?
I checked out the "upscale vinyl" link and it had some interesting images. I wish everyone had posted the names and patterns of the liners though. When this adventure is over, I'll try to post some pics of my pool there as well. Thanks again for your help! It's very much appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 10:49PM
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Hi Deb

We just went through this same ordeal. We ended up choosing a Royal Mosaic pattern which we hope works out. Not being able to see it in a pool is always scary. I am sure what ever you decide will be fine. After searching the internet for pool pics I came to the conclusion that all of the pools looked great no matter the pattern or color. Dark pool liner I was told by our pool person is better for holding in the heat--not sure how true that is. I too will post this weekend when our liner is installed.

Good luck with you liner and looking forward to seeing pictures.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 9:58AM
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Avaclark, calling this process an "ordeal" is a very accurate description. ;-) In a giant leap of faith we finally decided on a Kafko pattern called "Aquaria" with a "Crystal Wave" border. It will be installed in a couple of weeks and who knows what it will really look like... I will definitely post pics.
It still AMAZES me that there are so few sites that show actual photographs of completed pools with the names of the liner patterns clearly identified. In fact, the only decent site I found was this one: It has quite a few good pics and may be of value to others who find themselves searching in the wilderness, fed up with the status quo.
Thanks again to everyone in the forum who offered helpful advice.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:43AM
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Boby Huffard

Not many sites do this, but is this yours?

Here is a link that might be useful: Kafko visualizer

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 11:36AM
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Went through the same thing a few years ago. Our old liner was a 70's pale green/blue color that looked horrible with the coral peach kooldeck. (BTW, we did not pick the colors.)

For the replacement liner I picked the Kafko blue granite color. The color is quite bright and one of my friends joked that it makes the water look like a Ty D Bol commercial. It's not horrible but it is much brighter than I expected.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ty D Bol blast from the past

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 6:11PM
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very similar to us. We have a 20 x 40 pool with vinyl liner. I have to replace a 11 year old liner that I absolutely LOVE and of course there is NOTHING like it anymore. It is basically a white background with black, tan and grey flecks in it. No cheesy tile pattern at the top. It totally looks like a concrete pool. I don't WANT BLUE OR BLACK OR BROWN. At any rate, I found this thread because I am in the same boat as you, and I wonder how yours turned out?!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 5:27PM
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It really depends on the brand of liner your installer sells. But if you look at the link below and see one you like I may be able to find you a pic of them installed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Liners

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 8:25AM
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Wow muddy water, really? See if you can dig up any of the following from that site:

Signature: Grey Stonehenge*, Monte Rio Brownstone*, Sand Pebble


    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 6:23PM
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I'm having trouble deciding on a liner as well. I prefer the lighter colored liners. For example, any border with the bottom being crystal... but I am leaning more towards the sandstone bottom with the border being mayan or albion. If anyone has pictures of these types of liners installed i would be so greatfull. I'm afraid of the sandstone liner looking too dull or greenish and not blue enough. I'm choosing my liner tomorrow morning and have been on the web constantly looking at photos. Any photos you have would really help in my decision. I purchased a foreclosed home and have been staring at this empty pool with frogs in it for 2 years, unfortunately i didn't anticipate that I wouldn't be able to afford to fix this darn pool until now! Argh!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 12:12PM
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Pictures are honestly useless. You need to see a sample of the actual liner in place. Pictures can be doctored. Monitors and video cards are different. Lighting varies. There are just too many variables to believe a picture.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Well, I went with the albion sandstone everyone. I wasn't able to see the liner in place but am hoping for the best. Will post a pic once the job is completed to maybe help someone else out in their decision...I trust my installer as he has used this type of liner and says it looks like a caribbean blue color.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 8:09AM
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If you click on scrolling verdure this may represent what my pool will look like. Click on other links to get an idea of what your vinyl liner will look like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inground vinyl liner pool images

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Im so sorry I looked through my pics at the store and I had none of the liners you asked for....

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 9:06PM
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We FINALLY finished our pool/back garden project late in the summer (2011) so here are the pictures of the final pool liner choice (Aquaria with Crystal Wave border). We are pleased with the result and hope the pics may help someone who is going through a liner-choosing dilemma. This is my first attempt at posting photos, so I hope it goes well.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:27PM
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Wow. It looks really nice. I love the color. It makes the water just sparkle. Great choice. I love your house and pool house too!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for posting the pictures, as promised. We just opened our pool this weekend (in Michigan), turned up the heater to 90 degrees and had a great time. Still loving my pool, and this is our third season. Not a single regret, and looking at your pool, it very much reminds me of ours - large and rectangular, beautiful color, and plenty of room to play games and/or lounge. Enjoy!!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Hi - Have been reading a couple weeks and so happy to have found this forum. We are in NY, just started the process and are stressed about choosing a liner also. I don't want to take to much time as my PB said it takes at least 3 weeks to come in once ordered. I did happen upon a PB website(somewhere in Ontario) that shows pictures of the liners and how they each look in a pool. Some are dark, but it was still much more information than I was able to find elsewhere. Hope this helps others out there. We still haven't made our final choice!

Here is a link that might be useful: Jameson Pools

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Please help, we love the new liner tye dye or some call it Midnight, has anyone put this liner in??... I have to order next week, it appears to have the effect of a lagoon. I am fearful you might not be able to see the bottom of the pool, which could be dangerous in many ways. Pictures are useless, I have looked so much it has about made me crazy, some pictures are very clear and look beautiful and others look black. Thanks everyone for any help. Laurie

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 11:39PM
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Proper testing and dosing helps ensure clear water. Water clarity is one of the biggest problems for any pool. It doesn't limit itself to dark liners.

You are right about pictures being useless. You need to be able to see actual samples. Manufacturers generally put all of their patterns in a binder.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 5:47AM
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Does anybody have a photo of a pool with the black granite liner? If so, please post asap. I am in that crunch of having to place my order and can't decide between tye dye/midnight or black granite. Don't want something too bright or too blue, but afraid of black being dull or murky looking. I do want some sparkle but want a "zen" and serene feel to it. Thank you!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 10:37PM
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