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Vinyl Liner Pools
Vinyl liner pools have a custom made sheet of vinyl between the water and the pool walls and floor. This is in contrast to a gunite or shotcrete pool which uses plaster as its waterproofing membrane. Vinyl liners typically lock their top edge, called a bead, into a track located on the bottom of the coping, at deck level. Underneath the liner is a sand or cementitious floor, troweled into place. The floor sidewalls come up to meet the walls, which are commonly 42” x 8 ft panels made of galvanized steel or thermoplastic. These walls are supported from behind so that they won't bow out against the weight of the water. All of the wall panels are secured together to make up the perimeter shape of the pool. For this reason, there are some limitations to the possible shapes of vinyl liner pools, but not many.
Vinyl liner pool sales are somewhat regional. Many areas of the country seem to have nothing but vinyl liner pools, whereas in other areas you'd be hard pressed to find even one. In many areas, there is a nice mix of vinyl and gunite pool builders to meet consumer demand for either product. In other areas, you will find builders who design/build primarily one or the other.
Generally speaking, the inground vinyl liner pool can be built more cheaply than the gunite (concrete) version. The same size pool, in vinyl, can be built in 1-2 weeks; for a price 30-50% less than a gunite/plaster pool, which can take 3-4 weeks to build. Of course, either can take longer to build, given weather delays, sub-contractor delays, or numerous other pools being built concurrently.
If you already own a vinyl pool; here are some service tips from our vinyl pool liner help file:
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