31 Pool liners
Pool liners are a key factor when building a swimming pool. Pool liners must be aesthetically pleasant, mechanically resistant to water strain and chemicals used to disinfect water. There are many solutions available on the market with very different aesthetic outcomes. The most unexpensive solution (thus less resistant) is the resin, chlorine and natural rubber based enamel that are applied with a brush or a roll on a perfectly dry surface. In order to keep the liner functional you need to retouch it every two/three years but this doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best result from an aesthetic point of view. As an alternative, for the same budget, you can get a bi-component epoxy varnishes which are more resistant to mechanical strain thanks to their plastifying components. Pool specific epoxy varnishes are resistant to microorganisms and mold as well as to disinfection chemicals.
Pool linings can also be made with a layer of special synthetic resin and quarzite based mortar which is ideal to give your pool a naural look. The mortar has a composition similar to the waterproofing grouts before tile or mosaic laying. It ensures a good waterproofing while the mix of crushed stones in the mortar gives the pool a clean look. The liner is a fine one, so, its laying might be expensive.
Because of its convenient cost/benefit ratio the most common liner is the pre-shaped 0,75-1mm PVC sheet that is welded in the shop into the shape and size of the pool. The weldings are made with special machinery and are almost invisible thus giving the impression of a seamless covering. Despite its thinness, the liner is waterproof, durable and it is usally guaranteed for 10 years against UV rays. The liner is installed on the pool’s surface with air extractors that make the liner adhere to it perfectly. By choosing a liner you cut on costs and labor. It comes in different colors or in patterns that simulate tiles or mosaics. However you can’t use it in pools with internal slopes or steps and you can’t use it in infinity pools.
One of the most common solutions that have been adopted recently is reinforced PVC. It’s a double PVC layer of 0,75mm with an intermediate reinforcing grid that provides resistance to strain and abrasions. Reinforced PVC is sold in sheets available in lengths variable between 1,6 and 2 m. It has to be welded on site with special equipment. It is recommended for outdoor pools thanks to its cold temperatures resistance. It also has outstanding waterproofing performance since it is watertight even in case of micro-cracks or fissures. It is higher in quality compared to liners and it has the advantage of adpting to whatever shape and so it’s the right choice in case of irregular shaped pools, infinity pools or with beaches and islands. A drawback is that the welding lines are visible and it is more expensive compared to other solutions. As for the liners, the reinforced PVC coverings have a high UV resistance and are offered in many colors and patterns like the mosaic one. You can buy the anti-slip version of these sheets to cover the steps to access the pool.
Undoubtedly, porcelain stoneware tiles represent the most expensive and fine solution, if feasible. First, prior laying, you need to waterproof the walls and the bottom of the pool with elastic mortars and fiberglass nets. Once waterproofed, you want to fill up the pool to verify its watertightness. If there are no leaks, drain the water and start tiling. Irregular shape pools are hard to tile and you need to take into account mainenance since sooner or later a tile will come off. Porcelain stoneware isn’t the best solution in cold climates.
A fine alternative is glass. It can come in whichever color and style variations that recall water’s clearness and purity. For their high cost, glass mosaics are an exclusive for luxury pools.
An innovative solution is represented by micro-cement. It’s a polymer-cement compound which is used in 2-3mm layers for decoration purposes. It offers great sunrays and chemicals resistance and it comes in many colors and color patterns. Laying it is simple and fast so that you can use the pool immediately when you are done.