How to install preformed pond liners

Preformed pond liners make installing an outdoor fountain or pond simple and affordable. Pond liners come in a range of sizes and shapes, but work best for small projects. If you want a larger pond, choose a flexible liner and form your own walls. Best of all, preformed pond liners allow homeowners to install impressive-looking water features in the backyard without professional aid.

Mark the outline of the liner on the ground. Place the liner where you want it situated and use chalk or string to trace an outline that is slightly larger than the upper edge. Do not turn the turn the liner upside down and trace unless it is symmetrical or you will get a mirror image of its actual shape.

Dig a hole that is as deep as the liner is tall. Place the liner in the hole, mark an exact outline of the bottom using chalk or string, and dig a smaller hole 1 inch deeper than the main hole.

Place sand, old carpet, or old fabric in the bottom of the hole. Sand is malleable and will help you get the height of the liner just right.

Place the liner in the hole and check that it is level using a carpenter's level. Adjust as necessary.

Fill the liner with water to help it settle properly. While it is filling with water, pack sand into any gaps between the liner's walls and the surrounding soil. Get as tight a fit as possible.


Add a water pump to create a soothing fountain.


Don't let dogs swim in the pond. The nails on their paws can scratch the liner and penetrate it.

Things You'll Need

  • Preformed pond liner
  • Carpenter's level
  • Sand, old carpet or fabric
  • Chalk or string
  • Shovel
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About the Author

Jennifer Brite has written about home improvement, design, and architecture since 2000. Her work has appeared in "Architect," "Kitchen and Bath Business," CMYK, "This Old House," and "AIArchitect." Brite received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New York University.