pond-liner

5 Best Pond Liners That Are Easy To Lay (2021 Review)

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In this guide we’ll look at the best pond liners for the UK market.
I’ve compared materials, durability, size and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

What is the Best Pond Liner?

In a rush? Here's my top choice...

PondHero Pond Liner With Free Underlay

High-quality, UV-resistant liner PLUS free underlay!

This PondHero Pond Liner With Free Underlay is available in a range of sizes, suitable for medium to large ponds, and is easy to cut to size. The liner is thick, high quality and long lasting. Plus, it's UV resistant so will stand the test of time! Free underlay comes included to extend the life of the liner.

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Everything I Recommend

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • Best pond liner on the market
  • Protective underlay included!
  • UV-resistant material
  • PVC liner
  • Extra thick 0.5 mm
  • Tear resistant
  • Best LDPE pond liner
  • Extra thick and strong
  • Choose from a range of sizes
  • Great for intricately shaped ponds
  • Extremely easy to lay
  • Triple layer liner
  • Best heavy-duty pond liner
  • Perfect for large ponds
  • Reversible black/brown finish

More Detailed Pond Liner Reviews

PondHero Pond Liner With Free Underlay

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best pond liner on the market
  • Protective underlay included!
  • UV-resistant material
OUR RATING
99
PRICE
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PondHero Pond Liner With Free Underlay Review

Having to buy underlay at the same time as pond liner can push up the cost of doing the pond; however, the PondHero Pond Liner comes with free underlay included making it good value for money.

This particular liner comes as a 2.5 x 2.5 m piece, which is suitable for small ponds and easy to cut to size using standard scissors. There are 59 sizes available from PondHero in total, varying in price but always offering free underlay, so it can be bought to suit any pond.

It’s made from low density polyethylene with a UV-resistant coating on both sides. It’s therefore flexible and lightweight and shouldn’t degrade in sunlight. When being positioned over a dug pond, there may be some creasing, but this can be improved by gently pulling on the liner whilst filling the hole with water.

Due to the fact that this is a budget item, a little extra work needs to be put in to make it as effective as some other liners. Primarily, before putting down the underlay, the area should be well cleared of any roots, stones etc. and putting down a layer of sand first may help improve the longevity.

This is all because the pond liner isn’t particularly thick, and therefore additional steps are required to make sure that it doesn’t split.

However, overall, this is one of the best pond liners in terms of value for money. It may not be as thick as some other brands, but as long as it is treated carefully, it works well to create a pond. The inclusion of free underlay also helps protect the liner from getting damaged.

Pros

  • A good size for small ponds and there's a range of sizes available in the same line
  • Great value for money thanks to its durability
  • Comes with an underlay included to protect the liner from punctures
  • Easy to cut to size using scissors

Cons

  • Pond should be lined with sand to make the most of this liner
  • Included underlay is thin so should be double layered if possible

Certikin International Ltsd PVC Pond Liner

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • PVC liner
  • Extra thick 0.5 mm
  • Tear resistant
OUR RATING
97
PRICE
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Certikin International Ltsd PVC Pond Liner Review

Given how thick this Certikin International Ltd PVC Pond Liner is, it’s not only useful for ponds, but a variety of other uses too.

The thickness is 0.5 mm which is considered relatively heavy duty when it comes to pond liners. As well as being used to create a waterproof base for a new pond, sheets like this be used to cover shed roofs, or to line planter boxes.

Whilst some thinner pond liners can be prone to tearing (especially if used without underlay), this PVC liner is a lot less likely to rip or puncture. It’s durable enough to stop plants from piercing their way through, and can be used for ponds up to 50 cm deep.

Despite being relatively thick, the 2 x 3 m liner is still flexible enough to be moulded into the shape of the pond, made even easier to fit if it is warmed in the sun slightly first. Even so, the material is easier to handle with two people due to its 3.54 kg weight.

Unlike some liners of this size, this is one continuous sheet which makes it less prone to leaks and generally more resilient; large liners are sometimes made of several pieces connected together.

Really, the only thing possibly working as a negative for this liner is its weight; but really this goes hand in hand with its thickness, so it’s hard to get one without the other.

Pros

  • The thick material is still malleable and not too stiff
  • Easy to cut with scissors
  • Protective against roots and punctures
  • Only one layer required to waterproof a pond
  • Can be used for other waterproofing tasks around the home

Cons

  • May be a little heavy for one person to manage on their own
  • Not suitable for ponds over 50 cm deep

All Pond Solutions Pond Liner

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best LDPE pond liner
  • Extra thick and strong
  • Choose from a range of sizes
OUR RATING
95
PRICE
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All Pond Solutions Pond Liner Review

Thick pond liner can be expensive, but this All Pond Solutions Pond Liner finds a good middle ground between thickness and value.

It’s made from low-density polyethylene with a thickness of 0.3 mm and is therefore very reasonably priced for its size of 5 x 4 m. Per metre squared, it’s one of the cheapest liners featured here.

Cutting it to size can be done easily with scissors, but there are also several other size options available if this is too big or small. There’s no underlay included, so that needs to be bought separately, but it’s still a good price for the size and thickness.

When fresh out the packet, this liner can feel a little stiff, but it will loosen up if left to warm in the sun for a while. This makes it more malleable and easier to shape around the pond. Depending on how curved your pond is, it may be necessary to ‘pleat’ this liner into the corners, instead of expecting it to fit smoothly. It’s also a good choice for making water features out of barrels.

Overall, it’s one of the best pond liners at this price point, but shouldn’t be expected to perform as well as thicker, more durable (and expensive) liners. However, for basic ponds and water features, it offers a good waterproof layer that’s sufficiently easy to work with.

Pros

  • Comes with good and clear instructions for building your own pond
  • Easy to cut to the right shape and size using scissors
  • Great waterproofing and doesn’t leak
  • Can be used in flowerbeds to prevent weeds

Cons

  • Although high quality, this is thinner than others on the market at 0.3mm
  • A little stiff at first so some users leave it in the sun for an hour to increase its malleability
  • No underlay included so this will need to be purchased separately

Flexiliner 4x3m Pond Liner With Free Underlay

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Great for intricately shaped ponds
  • Extremely easy to lay
  • Triple layer liner
OUR RATING
92
PRICE
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Flexiliner 4x3m Pond Liner With Free Underlay Review

With a name like ‘Flexiliner’ there’s no prize for guessing what the main properties of this 4x3m Pond Liner With Free Underlay will be.

Made from low-density polyethylene, coated with a UV- and rot-resistant laminate, it’s much thinner than standard PVC liners and moulds better around ponds of any shape.

It’s therefore one of the best pond liners for ponds with a lot of curves, and it doesn’t permanently crease in a way that makes it hard to fold. Whilst some pond liners are ‘crackly’, this ‘Flexiliner’ is flexible enough to be folded around corners where necessary, without the folded edges looking brittle.

Despite its relatively thin construction, it’s not easily punctured, and the included underlay adds another layer of protection.

However, given that the free underlay is relatively thin, it may be necessary to put a layer of sand down first, in order to limit contact with stones or roots.

In terms of value for money, this liner is pretty reasonably priced considering there’s no need to buy underlay separately. It’s therefore a good option to go for if you want something that’s quite easy to mould.

Pros

  • Thin and flexible which makes it easier to lay in intricately shaped ponds and water features
  • UV and rot-resistant coating so should last for a very long time
  • Comes with an underlay included so no separate purchases are needed
  • Easy to trim to the right size and shape using scissors
  • Plenty of underlay included - may be enough to double up depending on pond size

Cons

  • The included underlay is a little thin so you may need to put sand/carpet down first

Polyex 8x5m Pond Liner

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Best heavy-duty pond liner
  • Perfect for large ponds
  • Reversible black/brown finish
OUR RATING
88
PRICE
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Polyex 8x5m Pond Liner Review

Whilst most pond liners are black, this Polyex 8x5m Pond Liner is reversible, giving a choice of a brown side as well as a black one.

The colour you choose depends entirely on personal preference as both sides otherwise offer the same properties. Some people consider brown to look less harsh and more natural than black liner.

Compared to other pond liners featured on this page, this Polyex option is a lot larger at 8 x 5 m, but it can be cut to size. Buying such a large amount makes it great value per metre squared, although there isn’t any underlay included.

As with all good pond liners, it has been coated with a rot-resistant coating and is also UV stabilised. However, despite these properties it’s still easy to smooth and contour around oddly-shaped ponds without creasing.

Overall, this is one of the best pond liners for large ponds given how big the sheet is, but it’s also a great option for anyone who might like a more natural colour scheme for the pond. Having a reversible sheet makes it possible to see what either colour looks like, before settling on a final decision.

Pros

  • Strikes the right balance of strength and flexibility - easy to contour to suit your pond
  • Rot resistant coating should elongate its lifespan
  • Reversible black or brown finish to suit your pond and garden

Cons

  • No underlay included so this will need to be purchased separately

Things to Know Before Buying Pond Liner

If you are planning a pond, sourcing the best pond liner is essential. You want something that is tough and durable, but also light and flexible enough to create a smooth finish.

Naturally, after having done the hard work of digging a pond, you’ll want to be sure that the liner will last many years. It definitely takes the enjoyment out of having a pond if it requires a lot of maintenance!

To ensure your pond is finished off to a platinum standard, the following information should tell you everything you need to know about using a pond liner:

Flexible pond liners come in a range of materials. These include the non-rubber options of PVC (Polyvinylchloride) and LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene), and the rubber options of EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) and Butyl Rubber.

These are all flexible and strong materials that will help you create a natural looking pond that will last for many years. However, each material has slightly different properties which are worth knowing about:

PVC liners are extremely flexible, they are one of the easiest linings to persuade into whatever shape you need them to adopt. The downside of PVC is that it may need more frequent replacing than other materials – possibly as much as every 5 years. It doesn’t have the UV-resistant properties of other liners and can tear and become brittle. There are ways to mend PVC liners, using patches and specific glue for patching PVC liners (of course, it will still be weaker after this), but it may just be better to replace the liner at this stage.

LDPE liners are extremely lightweight and therefore easy to position. They are tearproof; even if a hole is created in an LDPE liner, it will not ladder. They generally create a good, crease-free finish. However, similarly to PVC liners, the downside of LDPE is that it is not quite as durable as rubber liners. That said, LDPE liners often have UV-resistant coatings so they are not as susceptible to sun damage as PVC.

Now the two rubber liner options:

EDPM liner is the slightly cheaper option of the two rubber liners. It is entirely waterproof and has a high level of UV resistance. It’s very robust and durable and remains flexible no matter the outdoor temperature (some LDPE liners are better fitted in warm weather, to help make the material more malleable). Given that EDPM liners are relatively thick and long lasting, if a hole does appear it’s worthwhile to patch it.

Butyl Rubber liners are very strong, flexible and durable. They’re often guaranteed to last for over 20 years. Butyl shares many of the same properties as EDPM, including a good level of resistance against UV, but is slightly more expensive.

The downside of rubber liners (both EDPM and Butyl) is that they can be more difficult to work with as they are quite heavy. It may be difficult to get them into position for this reason, and as they are thicker than non-rubber liners they generally aren’t as good for more precise jobs.

When choosing the best pond liner for your pond, obviously durability is an important factor. However, the liner will only last many years if the preparation for your pond has been done well.

Always remove sharp stones that could pierce the liner and use an appropriate underlay to prevent roots from breaking through. See more about using underlay in the next section.

If you have fish, make sure that the liner you choose is non toxic and suitable to be used with aquatic life.

It’s really important to use underlay under pond liner – this can’t be stressed enough.

You shouldn’t skip this step – using an underlay will really extend the life of the pond liner (meaning less maintenance work for you in the long run).

Some pond liners will come with free underlay. This is great to look out for and will usually mean the underlay has been specially selected for use with that liner.

Why Use Underlay

  • It stops stones or anything sharp making holes in the pond liner.
  • Quality underlay will stop roots pushing through the liner. This is something that can create problems and cause holes in the liner over time.
  • It stops the pond liner from stretching or changing shape too much. Some areas of the pond liner may become under more strain from the pond water, underlay will take some of the strain.
  • Many companies that sell pond liner will offer a longer guarantee on their product if it is used with underlay.

How to Put Down Underlay

  1. Underlay will generally come in strips. Matching the size of the underlay to the size of the pond liner is a good rule of thumb.
  2. If there are rougher areas of ground you may want to use 2, 3, or even 4 layers of underlay.
  3. Overlap the strips of underlay by approximately 10 cm.
  4. You may wish the keep the overlaps in place by using tape – you want to make sure that nothing moves around when the liner is placed on top as this might create lumps.
  5. Don’t cut the underlay until the pond liner has been positioned. This way you can make sure everywhere that is lined with pond liner also has a layer of underlay.

The following formula will help you choose the right size liner for your pond:

Liner length = maximum length of pond hole + two times maximum depth + 1 m for overlap

Liner width = maximum width of pond hole + two times maximum depth + 1 m for overlap

Example: If your pond measures 300 cm long by 200 cm wide and has a depth of 50 cm, you will need liner that is 500 x 400 cm.

Remember to measure the length and width at the longest and widest parts.

Also, always remember to include enough liner for overlap when you make your purchase. The overlap provides extra material to cover any margin of error in calculations as well as for edging.

Some liners have a limit regarding how deep a pond they can be used in due to their durability (a deeper pond means more water and more pressure put on the pond liner). Be sure to check that all the specifications work with your pond before buying a certain liner).

Pond Liner FAQs

When putting down a new liner in the pond, you must make sure it’s not toxic to aquatic life. If you’ve checked your liner, you can that start preparing to put your fish back if the pond.

There are two methods you can use, but with either method it’s important to ensure that the water temperature in the pond is the same temperature as the water that the fish are in. One way of doing this is to put the fish in plastic bags with the water they have been in (leaving half the bag full of air), tie up the top and place in the new pond to float on the surface. After a few hours the temperature will equalise and you can release the fish.

Method 1: treat the water to remove the chlorine once the pond is full. Once the chlorine is removed, you can put the fish back in.

Method 2: (Only if your fish have another place they can safely live for a week) Fill the pond, replace the plants, and wait a week to put the fish back in the pond.

No – tarpaulin is not waterproof. It’s a very water resistant material, but it will not stand the test of time as a pond liner. Your pond will leak and it will not be worth the effort. You’re better off using a pond liner made of PVC, LDPE, EDPM or Butyl to make sure that your pond stays watertight for many years.

Materials that are specifically intended for use as pond liners often have a guarantee, so you’ll be better covered in case they break. This of course wouldn’t be the case if tarpaulin was used.

You should generally buy approximately 10% more underlay than the amount of pond liner you have purchased. You will want more if you are planning on using several layers of underlay. The extra 10% is to allow for overlapping as well as any overlay you may wish the use around the edge of the pond (where you may also put pond liner).

Sources
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