7 Cheap Pond Liner Alternatives and Underlay

Pond liner isn’t cheap and many people are looking for alternatives. Luckily, there is a wide range of materials that you can use instead of a pond liner. In this article, we have discussed some of the cheap pond liner alternatives that you can use in your pond. We have also made a list of pond underlays that are cheap and readily available. A large pond liner with pond liner

Pond Liner Alternatives to Use

  1. Polyethylene Pond Liner

The cheapest alternative to pond liners that you can find is Polyethylene. It fully retains water.

However, there are several disadvantages. First of all, it is difficult to work with polyethylene due to its thinness and lightweight. On the other hand, this is also easy to puncture. The life of polyethylene is less than EPDM liner and therefore you will need to replace it sooner than EPDM. Polyethylene can cause problems for fish in hot weather because polyethylene will release it when exposed to heat.

But if you use HDPE (High-Density Polythene) liner you won’t face these problems. HDPE can give the same performance as EPDM liner. It is cheaper too. You can use this HDPE liner (link to amazon) from Growneer for your pond to save some bucks.

  1. Tarp

Tarp or tarpaulin is widely used for tents for its waterproof capabilities. Tarp has a polyethylene coating over canvas or polyester. Canvas or polyester makes it strong and the polyethylene layer makes it waterproof. Together they made a good pond liner alternative. You can use this Tarp (link to Amazon) for your pond. The quality is good and it is available in many sizes and colors.

  1. PVC Liners

PVC liner is widely used for pool lining. You can use PVC as a lining material for its high puncture strength. It is also resistant to abrasion. Therefore it won’t leak by the abrasion of stones and won’t require repairing. The chemical resistance gives it long durability.

  1. Lime and Clay Cover

If you completely want to avoid any kind of liners in your pond, you can use lime and clay cover to make your pond retain water. Clay particles are small and retain water well. In this method, a layer of quick lime is used beneath the clay layer and then lightly compacted. Lime and clay make lime concrete which is strong to penetrate and impermeable for water to pass.

  1. Bentonite Sealing

Bentonite is widely used for fixing leaking ponds. Bentonite clay swells when water is added to it. There are three methods of sealing a pond with bentonite. You can adopt a suitable one depending on the soil condition. Bentonite cover can be a cheap alternative to a pond liner for a large pond.

  1. Polypropylene Pond Liner

Polypropylene is another good substitute for the pond liner. It is more durable and strong than the EPDM pond liner. But again there are some disadvantages. If you have experience working with it, then you must know that it is not flexible.

Polypropylene prices are higher than EPDM but for higher strength, it is preferred by commercial fish pond owners.

  1. Waterbed Liner

Waterbed liner does the same job that a pond liner does. A water bed liner is more strong and durable than an EPDM pond liner. But they are not cheaper than EPDM.

But as the popularity of waterbed is decreasing, you can easily find old waterbeds and take out the liner from it. A waterbed liner is sufficient for a small garden pond. But when we talk about a large pond, this is certainly not a good option.

Pond Liner Underlays Materials

You will find sharp and hard material in the bottom when you construct a pond. They can puncture your pond liner easily. To save your liner from these objects, you will need to provide pond liner underlay. You can use a wide range of materials for this purpose. Just make sure they provide enough padding. Some easily available pond liner underlay are as follows –

  1. Geotextile
  2. Weed Barrier
  3. Old Carpet
  4. Trap
  5. Newspaper
  6. Landscape Fabrics
  7. Vinyl
  8. Quilts
  9. Old Blankets

18 thoughts on “7 Cheap Pond Liner Alternatives and Underlay”

  1. Our pond liner has holes created by a dog chewing into seversl places. The liner is held down by heavy rocks so iner cant be replaced. Is there a spray or product that can coat the pond to seal it like a pool would?

    1. Hi Marie,
      If the holes are within 1-2 inches you can use a pond sealant as it won’t require to remove the liner. I recommend you use Stone’s Great Stuff sealant for it.

        1. Yes, you can use it as a liner. But Make sure you there are no splitting or crack. Also, paint the inside with rubber sealant or tar. Hope This helps

  2. Anyone have any experience in using old or used shingles to line a large pond bottom? I am thinking of using old shingle by digging down the bottom, back-fill with native soil (sandy clay). I am also thinking to basically seal the shingles by using a propane fire thrower to melt the tiles together. I believe this could be a good environmental option for disposing of used shingles in land fills.

  3. Hi can you please tell me if I can use chlorine tablets in my small 12×10 pond the grandkids like toget in a play in the water but I’m afraid they will get sick, I used a 14.5-mil pvc liner.
    thank you for your respond .

    1. You can use chlorine tablets in your pond. But you should check the chlorine level in your pond before your let your Grandkids play in it. Male sure its not more than 3 ppm.

  4. I’m using Owens Corning pro armor as a stream liner to my pond. (The pond itself will have a traditional rubber liner) proarmor is the material used under roof shingles and is waterproof.
    I’m wondering if you know anyone who had used it?
    My only dilemma is the printed side is The side I’m supposed to use against the water but it’s annoyingly visible under the river stones. The question I’m having is can I use the other side up so the printing isn’t as visible? It says to use the printing side up.

  5. Hello Mostoq
    Have you used Owens Corning proarmor as an underlay for streams? It’s what builders use on roofs under shingles.
    It’s way cheaper than pond liner, has UV resistance but very thin.

  6. looking for a different color pond liner. I dont like the look of the black plasti. Where can I find a tan or lite grey color liner? Or a printed rock or pebble liner?

  7. If I were to use newspaper or old blankets under my pond liner will these not perish exposing the sharp objects I’m trying to protect it from? I’ve got carpet underlay but not enough, thank you

  8. We are making a room into an enclosure for a tortoise, this will be on a wood floor, plan to use a pond liner, and want to also put down an underlayment to keep all mildew and mold from forming on the wood floor

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