Pool liner pads are a great way to protect your pool liner from debris and rock that can damage the material. With that said, not everyone wants to use a pool liner pad for their swimming pool, and they’d prefer an alternative. With so many options out there, what is the best alternative for a swimming pool liner pad?
If you want a material that doesn’t need a pool liner pad at all, consider sand gunite, pebble, vinyl, and stone pool liners. You can give those materials added protection by using a Gorilla Pad or old carpet underneath them to prevent damage. Otherwise, fiberglass pool liners are durable enough that you won’t even need a pool liner pad, to begin with.
Whether you want to forego a liner pad altogether or want an easy alternative, there are many options. Follow along as we explore the best alternatives to pool liner pads that money can buy.
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Alternatives To Pool Liner Pads
1. Sand Gunite
Sand gunite is a comfortable, visually appealing, and unique alternative to a liner pad pool. Liner pads useful and convenient, but they are not always necessary. However, sand gunite helps create an eye-catching look for both your pool and backyard that doesn’t require a pad.
You can expect to pay up to $75 per square foot for sand gunite in your swimming pool, and it’s worth it. The best thing about sand gunite pools is their lasting durability, and they can hold up for 100 years. It’s wise to resurface your sand gunite pool every 10 years to retain its strength and beautiful appearance.
Sand gunite is a good mid-ranged budget option that has a unique look. If you decide that you want a pool liner pad, after all, you can even have it put over sand gunite.
- Lasts up to 100 years
- Compatible with liner pad
- Expensive option for large pools
Fiberglass is one of the most popular pool liner options, and it’s strong enough that it doesn’t need a pad. Your fiberglass pool liner can hold up well for 25 years, and liner pads are unnecessary because of how durable it is. Fiberglass liners create a slick and comfortable feel at the bottom of the pool that many homeowners are after.
Liners made of fiberglass are smooth so you won’t have to worry about scuffing your feet. On the low end, you can expect to spend $4,000 or more for a fiberglass liner pool. Fiberglass is also a great liner material if you value an uneventful and quick installation process.
It may not be as visually appealing as sand gunite or vinyl, but fiberglass is one of the best pool liner pad alternatives. You won’t have to worry about damage and there’s no reason for you to get a pad with a fiberglass liner.
- Easy and fast installation
- Doesn’t last long (25 years)
Vinyl is a classic material, and it’s just as effective for flooring as it is for swimming pool liners. You can expect to pay $2,000, on average, for a vinyl pool liner, and it’s worth it. Much like fiberglass, there’s no need for a liner pad with vinyl because of how durable it is.
You will find vinyl pool liners in a wide variety of colors and designs to match your taste. Vinyl gives you the customization and options of a high-end tile pool without the high price tag.
With that said, vinyl pool liners don’t last very long, and you’ll probably only get 15 years out of them. You can always have it resurfaced with vinyl, but that will cost at least $1,200 on the low end. Look into vinyl pool liners if you want a liner that doesn’t even need a pad to be protected and comfortable.
- Variety of designs
- Short lifespan
- Easy to ruin with chemicals
That’s right, you can use a carpet instead of a pool liner pad if you want to protect your pool liner. This option is free if you or someone you know has recently removed an old carpet. The carpet can be placed underneath a pool so that it can act just like a pool liner pad.
If you are a DIY-minded homeowner, you can install carpet as an alternative to traditional pool liner pads. Consider this option if you don’t want to spend money on a pool liner pad because it works just as well as Gorilla Pads. Debris, pebbles, and rocks have a hard time getting through the carpet, and that will protect your pool liner.
No matter how durable liners like stone or sand gunite are, they can always benefit from a pool liner pad. Or, you can save yourself some money and place old carpet underneath the pool and get just as great of results.
- Easy to install
- Protects pool liner
- It may be lumpy or uneven
- Only thick carpet does the trick
Pebble pools are one of the most expensive pool liner pad options, and they don’t require liner pads. You will pay between $8,000 and $15,000 for a pebble pool liner depending on your swimming pool’s size. That price is worth it considering how durable and visually appealing pebble pool liners are, but it’s not for every homeowner.
Pebble liners are eye-catching, memorable, and one of the more decorative pool liner options. They are ideal for homeowners that want their swimming pool to truly stand out and make a statement in their yard. They don’t require liner pads because of how solid and durable they are, so debris is unlikely to affect pebble.
You can choose between several types of pebbles, as well as their color and design. Consider pebble pool liners if you want a durable pool liner that adds value to your pool and backyard.
- Visually appealing
- Several types of pebble/colors
- Expensive installation
- Can be rough on the feet
6. Gorilla Pad
Gorilla Pad is a brand-name pool liner pad that is different than your average run-of-the-mill offering. They are great for homeowners with any type of pool liner, and Gorilla Pads help keep them intact. Similar to standard liner pads, Gorilla Pads protect your liner from debris, sand, glass, and more.
It doesn’t hurt that Gorilla Pads are widely available and as cheap as liner pads come. Gorilla Pad is one of the most affordable options, and it’ll only cost you $160 for a mid-sized swimming pool. These pad alternatives can help prevent expensive pool resurfacing costs that can exceed $2,000.
Consider Gorilla Pads if you want to protect your liner and keep it intact for years to come.
- Cushioned and soft
- Protects pool liner
- Not visually appealing
- Lack of options
Stone swimming pools are a wise, albeit expensive, investment for your backyard and home in general. It is among the strongest swimming pool materials, and you don’t need a liner pad for added protection. The price to pay for the durability and strength that stone pools offer is expensive and starts at $15,000 for large pools.
With that said, the stone is also the classiest pool material that allows for customization and a variety of options. Stone is similar to vinyl in that there is no shortage of colors and design options, but the stone is much more attractive. You can have your stone customized to meet your taste or compliment the rest of your yard.
Stone pools are resistant to both heat and frost, and that makes them ideal for unpredictable climates. It’s easy to treat and maintain a stone pool, and you won’t have to worry about damage even if you don’t have a liner pad. They are ideal for homeowners that want a decorative pool, especially if they live somewhere with all four seasons.
- Frost and heat-resistant
- Long installation
How long do vinyl pool liners last?
Vinyl pool liners can last as long as 20 years if you keep a proper balance of chemicals in the pool. Some vinyl liners will give out between 10 and 15 years, particularly since the pool isn’t treated regularly. You can have your vinyl pool liner resurfaced in that time for between $1,200 and $6,000.
Are pool liner pads worth it?
Pool liner pads are worth it if you want to protect your pool liner from debris, rocks, and damage. They are optimal if your pool is built over the ground with lots of rock and debris that can tear into the pool lining.
Summing It Up
Gorilla Pads and old carpet are the best alternatives to traditional pool liner pads. Old carpet is free and can provide just as much protection as Gorilla Pads or a standard liner pad. Otherwise, you can choose materials like fiberglass, stone, sand gunite, and pebble if you want to avoid liner pads.
That is because those materials are strong and durable enough that they don’t need traditional liner pads. The main appeal of liner pads is that they prevent damage, but that’s not a problem with materials like sand gunite that last up to 100 years. With that said, you can still use pool liner pads with any pool liner material, and it is worth the investment.
Only forego a pool liner pad if you choose a material like stone or pebble that will be protected from debris.