Swimming Pool Liners
USA: Swimming Pool Liners: Swimming Pool Liner Manufacturers
ABOUT SWIMMING POOL LINERS
Swimming pool liners are custom made from vinyl, in thicknesses ranging from 15mil to 30mil. The thicker the swimming pool liner the greater the protection from damage and leaks. Swimming pool liners are available in solid color, or with patterned edgings. Swimming pool liners are cut using computer-controlled cutters, and the seams are welded using radio frequency welders. It is not advisable to drain a pool constructed with a swimming pool liner, as this can cause the pool liner to shrink on re-filling and become hard and brittle.
Warranties for vinyl pool liners may become void if the pool is drained. If it is necessary to patch a hole or puncture, this can be done without draining the pool, as most patch kits are designed to work under water. Patches should be cut as circles, with no sharp corners or edges which could lead to lifting.
CHOOSING THE BEST TYPE
There is no choice of material for pool liners, since all are made from chlorinated PVC thermoplastic vinyl. The three areas of choice are the thickness of the liner, the pattern, and the color.
In terms of thickness, pool liners vary from 20 gauge up to 30 gauge. 20 gauge, also known as 20mil, is 20 thousandths of an inch. The most popular thicknesses are 20 gauge and 28 gauge. We recommend paying the extra for a 28 gauge liner; the extra years of life make that well worthwhile. The vinyl for pool liners is specially formulated with sanitizing agents which discourage the growth of mildew and algae, and UV inhibitors which reduce damage from ultra-violet light. Leading pool liner manufacturers use computer controlled cutting machines, which can make up liners to the customer's precise size specification, with seals being made using Radio Frequency sealers.
In terms of pattern, the main choice is betwee a plain overall pattern, or one which has a decorative border running along the upper edge of the liner. We would recommend being guided in this choice by the style of the house. For a house of contemporary design, we would strongly recommend a plain overall pattern. Decorative borders can be used successfully in properties of a more traditional appearance, but we would advice caution in the use of borders. The fact that they usually imitate a mosaic tile pattern can make them look rather artificial and cheap. If in doubt, our advice is to keep it simple. A real tiled swimming pool with mosaic border can look great. But a vinyl imitation tends to look just like that - an imitation.
There is a wide variety of colors available for pool liners, mostly shades of blue or green. We would advise using soft or muted colors; brilliant and bright colors can be very tiring on the eye. When you look into a swimming pool your eye should be drawn to the sparkling light on the surface of the water - not to the liner.
Always remember that a pool liner is carrying out a very important practical function - preventing any leaking of water from the pool. For this reason we would recommend using leading suppliers, such as those listed below, who will offer warranties of up to 20 years.
LEADING USA MANUFACTURERS
We describe below leading manufacturers. These have comprehensive websites, with information on all aspects, including online catalogs, materials and colors, and care and maintenance of pool liners.
Garrett Liners. Garrett Liners, based in Fallsington, Pennsylvania, claims to be the world's first vinyl swimming pool liner manufacturer. Garrett was founded in 1964 by Bill and Winnie Garett. They are the parents of present owner Ken Garrett, who has managed the firm since 1975. Garrett pool liners are made from virgin vinyl of USA or Canadian origin, in 20mil or 28mil thickness. Liners are cut on computerised cutting machines, then sealed using radio frequency sealers. Built-in sanitizing agents inhibit the growth of algae and mildew, and UV inhibitors reduce damage from ultraviolet light. Garett Liners specialises only in pool liners and swimming pool safety covers. It sells its liners through a network of swimming pool professionals throughout the USA, and in Great Britain, France, and other European countries.
Triac. Triac, which was founded in 1967 as a tarpaulin fabricator, now manufactures swimming pool liners at US plants in Chicago, Fairfield New Jersey, and Findlay Ohio. It also has Canadian plants in Ajax Ontario, Brantford Ontario, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver. Triac pool liners are available in thicknesses from 20mil to 38mil. The SuperMax range is specifically designed to withstand the harsh weather cycles of freezing and thawing in Canada. Designs include a variety of plain patterns, with a choice of decorative bandings. Triac also supplies fiberglass reinforced acrylic pool steps, for building into swimming pools. These are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, including straight, straight cantilever, French curved, straight Roman, straight blue Granite, and Curved Sit'n Step Gray Granite.
Vynall. Vynall, which has been operating for 30 years, manufactures swimming pool liners at its plants in Newmarket, New Hampshire, and McKenzie, Tennessee. It is run by J.Kevin Shea, its founder and President for 22 years. Vynall pool liners are made from 100% virgin vinyl, and are cut using computer aided design tools. High frequency dielectric RF technology is used to weld each seam. The liner bead is attached to the side wall in one continuous piece. Liner sides are available in 20mil or 28mil thickness; liner floors are 20mil thick. Fungicide is added to the vinyl material, to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. Two types of Vynall pool liners are available: In-Ground Pool Liners and Above-GrouND Pool Liners. Vynall also supplies vinyl Swimming Pool Safety Covers. These are designed to block sunlight, inhibiting algae growth.
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