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Swimming pool lining completed in RAL colour 5017.

Ponds and Water Features – Which Liner is Best?

This summer may be over – but perhaps you’re thinking that next year you would like to give your garden a new look? Or maybe you need to give a tired water feature a new lease of life? Or do you have big plans for a gorgeous water feature in your garden or a pond full of elegant koi to relax by? It pays to do a little research into the types of pools and ponds available and their pros and cons so you can make the right choice for your circumstances. Generally, there are three options – concrete, butyl or fibreglass.


Concrete ponds and water features can be designed to suit your fancy and can be as big and as deep as you like. That’s pretty much it for the benefits! This is because concrete is a porous material and more filtration and due to its rough surface the build-up of algae is much greater, this can be detrimental to the look and health of your pond. And although concrete is very strong, typically a concrete lined pool or water feature will need to be resurfaced every 10-15 years.


Butyl-lined ponds and water features have become more popular in recent years, due to their quick installation time (as quick as a week) and low initial cost. Because the butyl is relatively non-porous and smooth it also means algae doesn’t grow as it does on a concrete pool and it’s fairly easy to clean. However, there are also distinct disadvantages. Even heavy-duty butyl liners are only actually 20-30 millimetres thick and that means they must be used with caution, and may not be a viable choice at all if you would like to place rocks and features in to your pond or water feature. Butyl liners typically last only 5-9 years and don’t forget, replacing the liner means replacing the water too.


Fibreglass, ponds and water features may be more expensive than butyl upfront but the benefits they offer will more than make up for the initial outlay. Fibreglass ponds and water feature linings can mould to any shape given the application process the material starts off as a flexible matting that is applied using resins, for ponds and water features a WRAS approved resin is used to provide a safe environment for fish and wildlife. The material is then left to harden, leaving a durable and strong liner that will last.

It provides the perfect seal for filter systems and because it’s smooth and non-porous the maintenance required is minimal – algae will not grow on the surface, meaning less cleaning – and because it’s chemically inert it will be safe for your fish, plants and other wildlife. It’s durable too: A fibreglass lined pond can last for 30 years, far outweighing the life of concrete, butyl or even tiles, and a pond or water feature will be strong enough to withstand the placement of rocks and pots. Fibreglass is also seamless and can be manufactured in almost any colour you can imagine – meaning your pond or water feature will be unique to your taste and can really add a great backdrop to show off your Koi. Fibreglass can even rescue an old pond or water feature and give it a new lease of life!

Take a look at the ponds and water features we’ve created here at Lining Systems (including work on an award-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden!) and then give us a ring to discuss the finish you are hoping to achieve for your current or future project!

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