How much does a pond liner cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a pond liner cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a pond liner cost?

$0.50 – $3.50Average cost per square foot
$300 – $7,400Average total installation cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$0.50 – $3.50 Average cost per square foot

$300 – $7,400 Average total installation cost

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Are you a pro? Get new customers
Tara Farmer
Written by
Tara Farmer
Edited by
Kristen Cramer

Pond liner cost

Lining for a pond costs $0.50 to $3.50 per square foot or $300 to $7,400 installed on average. Large pond liners cost $10,000 to $22,500 for 1 acre with installation or $37,600 to $82,000 for 4 acres. Reinforced polyethylene liners cost $0.40 to $0.90 per square foot for the material alone.

Pond liner cost
Pond size Average material cost Average cost installed
200 square feet $120 – $660  $220 – $960
500 square feet $240 – $1,200 $390 – $1,600
1,000 square feet $430 – $1,900  $830 – $3,100
1/8 acre $1,300 – $3,800 $1,400 ­– $4,100
1/4 acre $2,400 – $6,800 $2,700 – $7,400
1/2 acre $4,200 – $12,000  $4,600 – $13,000
3/4 acre $7,200 – $17,300  $7,800 – $18,900
1 acre $9,400 – $22,000 $10,000 – $22,500
2 acres $18,400 – $41,200 $19,200 – $43,000
4 acres $36,100 – $78,600 $37,600 – $82,000

  • Most small ponds have plastic or rubber liners.

  • Large ponds may not require a liner at all, depending on the depth and soil type.

Get free estimates from water feature contractors near you.

Custom pond liner cost calculator

Use these guidelines to calculate your pond liner dimensions:

  • Liner length = pond length + (2 x avg. depth) + 2 feet minimum overlap

  • Liner width = pond width + (2 x avg. depth) + 2 feet minimum overlap

Pond liner prices by material

Pond liner prices are $0.20 to $6.50+ per square foot, depending on the material.

  • EPDM rubber pond liner is popular for backyard ponds due to its durability and flexibility.

  • PVC liner is the cheapest option but is the least durable, and most PVC liners are not fish safe.

Pond liner prices by material
Liner material Material price per square foot* Details
Clay / bentonite $0.20 – $5.00
  • Large ponds and lakes
  • Natural, eco-friendly, fish safe
  • Self-healing properties
  • Lasts lifetimes with correct installation
Fiberglass $3.00 – $6.50 
  • Strong, rigid, durable
  • Pre-formed, expensive to transport
  • Fish safe
  • 20+ year lifespan
HDPE (high density polyethylene) $0.30 – $0.60 
  • Larger ponds
  • Fish safe
  • 40 – 50 years lifespan without sun exposure, or 10 years with sun
PVC / vinyl $0.30 – $0.90 
  • Budget friendly
  • Not fish safe (most brands)
  • Lasts 20 years when installed with underlayment
Reinforced polyethylene (RPE) $0.40 – $0.90 
  • Large, agricultural, recreational, or fish ponds
  • Not ideal in freezing temperatures
  • Lasts 10 – 20 years buried; 2 years exposed
Rigid pre-formed plastic $0.25 – $1.50
  • Small ponds
  • Limited size and shape options
  • Fish safe
  • 10+ year lifespan
Rubber / EPDM $0.75 – $2.00
  • Small or medium-sized ponds, water gardens, water features, small lakes
  • Fish safe
  • Lasts 25+ years or 70+ years when installed with underlayment
Cement $50 – $130 installed
  • Large ponds, koi ponds
  • Expensive
  • 50+ year longevity when installed correctly

*Not including installation.

Reinforced polyethylene pond liner costs

A reinforced polyethylene (RPE) liner costs $0.40 to $0.90 per square foot for the material alone. RPE pond liners are ideal for large projects. RPE's woven structure is stronger and lighter than rubber liners but not as flexible.

Polyethylene and PVC pond liner costs
Liner material Price per square foot* Details
Reinforced polyethylene (RPE) $0.40 – $0.90
  • More puncture resistant than HDPE
  • Thinner and lighter than HDPE; easier to ship
  • Weldable in the field
  • Manufactured in large sheets, requiring less welding for large projects
  • Does not require an underlayment
  • UV and chemical resistant
  • Fish safe
High density polyethylene (HDPE) $0.30 – $0.60
  • Heavier but not as strong as RPE
  • More puncture resistant than PVC and rubber
  • Weldable in the field but requires more welds than RPE due to smaller sheets
  • Lasts up to 40 years when covered
  • Does not require an underlayment
  • Less UV resistant than RPE
  • Fish safe
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) / vinyl $0.30 – $0.90
  • Crack prone in freezing weather or direct sun
  • Most difficult to work with
  • Requires an underlayment
  • Quality varies greatly by brand
  • Not fish safe unless explicitly marked

*Not including installation.

EPDM and heavy-duty rubber pond liner costs

EPDM rubber pond liner costs $0.75 to $2.00 per square foot for the liner alone. EPDM liner is durable, flexible, UV and crack resistant, and safe for humans and aquatic life. Rubber pond liners are easy to install and form to any shape but puncture easily and require an underlayment.

Preformed plastic or fiberglass pond insert costs

Preformed plastic pond liners cost $50 to $460 on average and range from 50 to 250+ gallons. Rigid liners come in limited shapes and sizes, with most models too small for koi ponds.

Preformed liners are durable and easy to install but vulnerable to cracking if installed without proper backfilling.

Some preformed liners are made of more durable fiberglass, costing $400 to $4,000+, depending on the size. Shipping charges typically add $200 to $300+.

A preformed plastic liner for a small garden pond.
A preformed plastic liner for a small garden pond.

Clay / bentonite pond liner cost

A clay pond liner costs $0.50 to $3.00 per square foot for the material alone. Clay liner is natural, eco-friendly, and thicker and more puncture resistant than plastic or rubber liners.

Clay pond liner requires 2 to 5 pounds per square foot of bentonite, depending on the soil type. The clay is mixed or layered with the soil and expands with water contact, forming a watertight and flexible seal.

Cement or concrete pond liner cost

Lining a pond with cement or concrete costs $50 to $130 per square foot on average, including materials and labor. Concrete creates a smooth, easy-to-clean pond surface.

  • Cement lining is more costly and permanent than plastic or rubber liners, increasing the importance of proper installation.

  • Concrete is porous and requires additives or a sealant to create a waterproof pond surface.

  • Experts recommend against a concrete pond liner in regions with freeze thaw cycles due to a greater cracking risk.

Cheap pond liner alternatives

Cheap pond liner alternatives include tarps, shower curtains, and waterbed liners. Confirm the tarp or curtain is waterproof.

Waterbed liners—more durable than EPDM pond liners—are not cheaper than pond liners, but homeowners may find them for free due to waterbeds' decreasing popularity.

Large pond and lake liner cost by acre

Large pond and lake liner cost
Acreage Square feet (surface)* Average total cost
¼ acre 10,890 $2,700 – $7,400 
½ acre 21,780 $4,600 – $13,000
¾ acre 32,670 $7,800 – $18,900
1 acre 43,560 $10,000 – $22,500
2 acres 130,680 $19,200 – $43,000
4 acres 217,800  $37,600 – $82,000

*Liner size depends on the pond’s slope and depth.

Get free estimates from water feature contractors near you.
  • A bentonite clay and soil mixture is ideal for large ponds and lakes. Bentonite's self-healing properties hold up to machinery and puncturing better than plastic or rubber liners. However, lining with bentonite is cost-prohibitive if not locally sourced because it is heavy and costly to transport.

  • Polyethylene liners work well due to their light weight, puncture resistance, and ability to be welded in the field.

  • PVC liners are cheaper but best for detention ponds or ponds without much activity.

  • A large pond or lake may not require a liner if the soil composition contains enough clay to become impermeable once compacted.

Pond liner cost installation factors

Factors affecting the cost of the liner and installation include:

  • Size & depth – The larger and deeper the pond, the more material needed to line the surface.

  • Geographic location – PVC and butyl liners crack in freezing weather. Choose EPDM or HDPE liners for ponds in northern regions as these materials withstand sub-zero temperatures.

  • Soil type – Rocky soil takes longer to dig and smooth out in preparation for pond liner installation.

  • Pond type – Liner material options depend on the pond type. PVC liner is cheap but not fish safe.

  • Liner thickness –Thicker liners cost more but are more durable and long-lasting. Experts recommend 45 mil EPDM rubber liner for most ponds.

  • Liner replacement – Replacing an old or damaged pond liner requires draining and refilling the pond, increasing labor and material costs.

  • Underlayment – Underlayment costs $0.25 to $0.40 per square foot. PVC and EPDM rubber liners require an underlayment.

A small backyard garden pond with a pond liner.
A small backyard garden pond with a pond liner.

Pond liner cost by roll thickness

Plastic and rubber pond liners cost $0.10 to $2.00 per square foot for the liner alone, depending on thickness.

Pond liners thickness is measured in mils. The smaller the number, the thinner and weaker the material. One mil is one thousandth of an inch.

  • 30 mil pond liners are standard thickness, strong enough to withstand exposure to the elements.

  • Most experts recommend 45 mil pond liners for their added durability and longevity.

Pond liner cost by thickness
Thickness Average material price per square foot*
15 mil $0.10 –$0.50
20 mil $0.35 – $0.60 
24 mil $0.40 – $0.90 
30 mil $0.50 – $1.10 
40 mil $0.65 – $1.15
45 mil $1.10 – $1.60 
60 mil $1.75 – $2.00

*Not including installation.

Pond liner coating prices

Pond liner coating costs $1.30 to $4.00 per square foot for the material alone, depending on the type. Liner coatings are sprayed, brushed, or rolled on the surface and give more longevity and puncture-resistance than sheet liners.

Pond liner coating prices
Coating type Price per square foot* Features
Epoxy $1.30 – $2.30 
  • Best for waterproofing brick, stone, metal, and concrete pond surfaces
Liquid rubber $1.90 – $2.60
  • Ozone resistant
  • Fish and plant safe
  • Forms an airtight seal on an existing liner
  • More durable and flexible than epoxy
Polyurea $1.50 – $4.00 
  • More durable and flexible than epoxy
  • Requires professional installation

*Not including installation.

Polyurea coating typically requires a trained professional, costing $10 to $20 per square foot on average for installation.

Pond maintenance and liner repair costs

Pond maintenance costs $400 to $2,900 per year, depending on the size and condition.

  • Professional pond liner repair costs $150 to $400+, depending on the damage type and the time needed to locate it

  • Repairing liner tears greater than 1" typically requires draining the pond, increasing labor costs.

  • DIY liner repair kits cost $30 to $100 and patch several small or medium holes.

Pond liner FAQs

Do I need a pond liner?

Small ponds deeper than 2 feet require a liner to prevent the water from seeping into the ground due to the water pressure. Shallow ponds less than 2 feet deep may not require a liner if the soil is at least 20% clay and adequately compacted.

Can I install my own pond liner?

Get free estimates from water feature contractors near you.

You can install your own pond liner if you understand the liner material characteristics. Preformed rigid pond liners are the simplest to install DIY but are limited in size and shape.

Low-mil liners puncture easily and are best installed by an experienced pro to prevent tearing or premature wear.

Getting quotes from pond liner installers

Before hiring a pond contractor to install a liner, be sure to:

  • Look for companies that are licensed, bonded, insured, and in business 5+ years.

  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • For large ponds and lakes, look for members of the International Association of Geosynthetic Installers (IAGI).

  • Avoid hiring an installer who struggles to answer the question: "How will the pond look in 40 to 50 years?"

  • Avoid going with the lowest estimate, as they may lack the necessary experience for creating a long-lasting pond.

Questions to ask

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Are you licensed and insured?

  • What experience do you have installing pond liners?

  • Do you have a portfolio of past pond installations?

  • Can you provide local references?

  • What liner type do you recommend for my pond, and why?

  • Is the liner fish safe?

  • Does the estimate include digging the pond or just installing the liner?

  • What additional costs should I expect?

  • How long will the installation take?

  • Is there a warranty? If so, what does it include?

  • Is the liner repairable or will it need full replacement if it tears?

  • Do you offer a pond maintenance plan?

Find water feature contractors in your area