How to Install Preformed Pond Liners


There are many different additions to landscaping that add value and eye appeal. One of the most common additions to a landscaping project is a pond. There are many different styles and designs of ponds. Many ponds are installed using a free form design and a rubber liner to create a certain look.These applications take time to install and require a larger investment. For the basic gardener, or the gardener who wants a quick, inexpensive fix, you can purchase a preformed pond liner that can be installed to create a pond in a much shorter time.

Step 1

Determine the location for the new pond. The more level the ground the pond is installed in, the easier the installation will be.

Step 2

Lay the pond liner on the ground bottom up in the desired location.

Step 3

Mark the ground around the edge of the liner with the ground marking paint. Make sure the line painted is 6 inches larger than the pond liner. This will be the line for the excavation.

Step 4

Move the pond liner and store until the digging is complete.

Step 5

Excavate the area where the pond liner will be located. The hole needs to be the depth of the pond liner and as large as the area marked with the paint. This will allow for the play sand to go under the liner and give room to backfill around the liner. Make sure to remove all rocks, sticks and anything that could puncture the liner after it's filled with water.

Step 6

Cover the bottom of the hole with 3 inches of play sand. The number of bags needed will be different for each installation, based on the size of the pond.

Step 7

Place the pond liner in the hole and center.

Step 8

Level the liner using the 4 foot level and the 2-by-4. Use the 2-by-4 as a pole to span long areas and set the level on top.

Step 9

Backfill around the liner one-third of the way up the side.

Step 10

Fill the pond two-thirds full with water.

Step 11

Backfill to the top of the hole.

Step 12

Fill the pond liner to the desired level.

Step 13

Finish filling soil around the liner and sloping away from the top edge of the liner. The liner edge should be about 3 inches above the ground level. Filling the soil to the top and sloping away from the liner will help water run away from the pond when it rains and overfills.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure to have the area checked for underground utilities prior to any digging. Check with the local utility companies for the procedure to have the area checked. Make sure no rocks, sticks or things that can puncture the liner are in the soil when backfilling.

Things You'll Need

  • Pond liner
  • Ground marking paint
  • Shovel
  • Play sand (enough to cover the bottom of the pond 3 inches deep)
  • 4-foot level
  • 2-by-4 board longer than the longest measurement of the pond liner


  • Pond Solutions: Installing a Preformed Pond Liner
Keywords: preformed pond liner, preformed pond, pond installation, pond liner

About this Author

Michael Rippetoe has been writing for 15 years, and has recently decided to make it his career. He has been a journeyman carpenter, ASE Master Mechanic, certified irrigation professional and currently writes for this site, designs websites, and does professional photography. Rippetoe's articles appear on eHow, Garden Guides, AnswerBag and others.