Light vs. Dark! Which Pool Liner is Better?

Dark Pool Liner

My mother was a bit torn on which color pool liner to buy for her inground pool. After hours of exhausting herself over a large number of choices before her, she finally decided on a lighter pool liner that she enjoyed. Unfortunately, they were out of stock!

Her current liner is darker than what she was originally hoping for but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise and she enjoys the aesthetic of her darker liner.

There is no better liner, it’s all subjective based on your own preference and aesthetic needs for your backyard design. A lighter liner can create a clean tropical ambiance and a darker liner is perfect for a freshwater lake vibe in your backyard. A darker liner does not save you money because of light absorption. I know that is a common myth but due to refraction, when light bends after it hits the water, the color of your pool liner will not keep your pool warmer or colder.

Now that we know it’s all subjective, let’s talk about some pros and cons of a dark or light liner. We can also discuss some design tips.

This post won’t be long enough to completely dissect the wide range of design choices when it comes to building your own backyard oasis. If you are looking to build a new pool, I would recommend checking out my post regarding things you should know before building your pool.

How to decide which liner color is best for your backyard?

This will always be a matter of taste but for those like me who aren’t necessarily design or style-orientated, I’ve found that starting with the proper colors on the large main areas of your home and backyard is the best place to start. We will search out and find colors that work well together to build a proper ambiance and then use those colors on the pool liner, decking, and coping.

#1 Start with the Color of your Home or Existing Deck

Your home’s siding or brick is going to be a big deciding factor in how you design your backyard pool build. Let’s take a random color like Blanched Almond siding. This is a lighter tan color so we want to figure out which color is going to work best for your pool liner and decking. If you don’t know the Hex code, for example with Blanched Almond the Hex Code is #f8e4c2, then you can use a photo of your home on your computer and use the Chrome extension color picker to find out the exact color.

If you already have existing decking and you don’t have any plans to replace it, then I would do the exact steps above but using my deck colors.

#2 Find a matching Color Pallete

We can use a website like to view different palettes that match your home’s aesthetic features. Just enter the name of your color or the hex code in their color picker tools to see which colors come up.

For our Blanched Almond example, these are the color palettes recommended.

Right away, I notice that darker blue, green, and grey are common pool liner colors that match my home’s color palette. This means I will probably lean towards a darker pool liner matching these colors. I also see that tan, white, and brown all seem to work well with each other in these palettes. These are colors that I could use in my pool coping and decking choices.

#3 Search for Pool Liners that Match Your Palette

Because of the palette, I was presented with, I know now that I am looking for a darker option. I’ll go to a website like and start to explore options that match the blue, grey, or green options in the palette above.

For this example, I enjoy the teal color offered in the color pallets so I did a quick search online and found a Seaglass teal pool liner I enjoy.

Credit to

#4 Decide on Coping and Decking Options

You can browse online to see different coping and decking options using the colors from your palette. I would highly recommend talking to your pool builder first though to find out what their opinion would be but at least you will be going into the conversation already having an idea of what colors you might be interested in.

Exploring the teal color palette I enjoyed the off-white, light brown, and tan option on this palette and I believe it would be nice if I could explore some decking and coping options that match with these colors as close as possible.

After searching a little bit, I found a couple of options that I thought would look quite nice with the teal pool liner and the Almond color of our example home.

#5 Order the Liner or Talk to a pool builder

If you are only looking to replace your pool liner, then the next step would be to find a supplier with the color and liner in stock that fits within your budget.

If you are building a pool, then it might be time to meet with a pool builder to get a quote on installing your vinyl liner. You’ll have other decisions to make as well, like which pool shape would be best for you! You can read more about pool shapes and their costs here.

Tile Pattern Vs Floor Pattern

When you choose your pool liner, color won’t be the only option you’ll have to decide from. You also have a tile pattern that can show above the pool water and under your pool coping. The Floor pattern will be the largest pattern on the pool and the most visible and eye-catching part of the pool liner since it can be obviously seen from so far away.

You have the option to mix and match your floor Pattern and Tile Pattern with certain pool liner suppliers so you don’t have to sacrifice for an option you don’t like. The tile pattern on your pool liner might be best decided after you have planned your coping and decking options.

Pros and Cons of Lighter Pool Liners

Lighter pool colors will always give off a clean and airy vibe to your atmosphere. It will contrast nicely with white and lighter pool decking. The lighter tint will also make the bottom of your pool stand out and clearly let you see any debris or objects at the bottom of the pool. This could really help in identifying any issues in your pool liner before the problem becomes serious.

Pros and Cons of Darker Pool Liners

Darker pools will give your pool the feel of depth and boldness. These pools pair nicely with natural rock and stone features. All pool liners fade over time due to sun exposure but a darker pool liner might hold up a little bit longer as it begins to fade into a lighter tint over years of use. Because of the darker color, it might be more difficult to see objects and debris at the bottom of the deeper parts of your pool.

Features That Match Your Pool Liner

Choosing features for your pool is one of the bests parts of designing and building your own pool. There are an incredible amount of options to choose from like slides, waterfalls, deck jets, LED Laminars, and the list goes on. It might be best to think about which features are most important to you and let that decision also play into which pool liner style you would like to choose.

In my example above, with the teal pool liner, I would love to have some eye-catching red LED Laminars shooting into the water from either side of the pool to really make the green tint pop at night! If you want to check out the cost of pool Laminars you can read my blog post with details.

During the day, some gray or tan boulders at the deep end of the pool would make an excellent jumping rock and match nicely with the colors of the teal pool liner and wheat color decking. These kinds of decisions are important and should be well thought out and budgeted as your pool features will become the most expensive part of your build.


The founder of I wanted a place to share all of the great information from my family to other pool lovers, builders, and those looking to buy a pool.

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