How lucky are pool owners in Australia?

Last week I was in the U.S. at the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals annual pool show in Las Vegas. While visiting a lot of booths of vinyl liner suppliers, something became very obvious to me, Australian pool owners are lucky. I knew that installers of Inground Pool Liners in Australia were innovative and offered their customers more options than their counter parts in the U.S. & Europe, but being at the show and talking to liner manufacturing companies really highlighted some of the things we do differently (and better) here. That is fastening liners under water.

One company at the show was touting their “new” under water extrusion for liners where you can now have ceramic tiles around the water line of the pool, with the benefits of a vinyl finish over the rest of the pool. For some panel pool systems, this is an attractive option, but I have been in this industry over 30 years and I know vinyl liners have been installed in Australia under water in pools with a ceramic waterline for over twenty years.

Another company was telling me how they were trying to design a suitable measuring system to fit liners into old concrete and fibreglass pools. I developed a successful system back in 1993 to measure these complex shaped pools and then turn the measurements into CAD data to create the patterns and pieces for manufacturing the liner. This is another example where a pool owner in Australia has more options for renovation or repair.

So I have come to the conclusion that pool owners in Australia are lucky. They are lucky to have access to the best technology and systems for measuring, making and installing pool liners to their Inground swimming pools. The Australian pool owner more importantly has available the necessary skills of the installers who then fit the liner to these difficult pools. I take my hat off to the innovators and pioneers of these installation methods. They are true craftsmen that have developed their skills by tackling difficult installations and developing methods and processes to make it work.

Going forward for our industry, I believe it is important we foster these skills and take the time and effort to train newcomers to our industry so we can ensure our customers can enjoy the ease of maintenance and soft to touch finish of vinyl, no matter what the age or construction of their pool.

Seamless view – easy as 1-2-3

One of the criticisms in the past of vinyl liners for Inground pools was the seams. That’s all changed now! These necessary and integral parts of a liner cop a lot of flack from supporters of other pool finishes but they need not be a concern any more. In the past few years, the seams have been the focus of liner manufacturers and vinyl suppliers to minimise the number and make them look like they have disappeared!

Seams on printed pool liners were quite obvious due to the welding method that was traditionally used. Innovative manufacturer ABGAL pioneered a new type of welding technique for pool liners to produce a seam that was less obvious. This welding technique is called “wedge welding” and has seen an improvement in the look and even more importantly the strength of pool liners since its introduction.

A number of years later using its software design system, ABGAL offered a liner with the seams facing away from the viewing direction of the pool (usually looking from the home or entertainment area). This option meant liners could be manufactured with the seams positioned so they were “out of view” from most of the pool surround and has been a huge success.

Nylex, the only liner fabric manufacturer in Australia made changes to their printed pool liner fabric to improve the look of the seams in liners still welded using the old method. They have changed the backing colour of the PVC to blend in better after welding, giving a less obvious liner seam.

The latest innovation in seams again comes from ABGAL, they have developed what they call “Smart Seam Technology” which has reduced the width of the seams to half their original size, but retained all the strength of a full width seam, but looks so much better.

So, for a seamless view follow these 3 easy steps….. 

  1. Choose wedge welding for the liner
  2. Nominate the direction of the seams when ordered
  3. Use ABGAL’s “Smart Seam Technology”

Vinyl for Inground Pools

I often get a puzzled look when I talk to someone about a vinyl liner for an Inground Swimming Pool. Most people know that vinyl liners are used in Above Ground Pools but many have never heard of using a vinyl liner as the finish of an Inground Pool.

A vinyl pool finish, is one of the most popular types in the world for Inground Swimming Pools. Why is that I hear you ask? Well there are a few good reasons, but the most important being that vinyl is low maintenance and it is flexible. From a structural point, vinyl is popular because it will accommodate ground movement as it does not crack. This means in cold climates where the ground freezes in winter, vinyl is the ideal finish as it will cope with the movement in the ground caused by the freeze/thaw process. That’s one of the reasons why vinyl is not as common in Australia as our capital cities do not get cold enough in winter for the ground to freeze. But, we do have plenty of areas where ground movement is a problem, which makes vinyl a great solution.

Now, there are plenty of vinyl lined Inground pools in Australia. Most of these pools are a pre-engineered style, where a substantial amount of the structure of the pool has been built in a factory and is then taken to site and assembled and installed. Pre-engineered vinyl pools offer much quicker installation times than concrete as they are not required to remain empty for a number of weeks to allow for the curing process. They have the advantage they can be built any size or shape, many Olympic size competition pools are vinyl lined. The pre-engineered system means they are very accurate in size (which is very important in competition) and they can be built much faster as a large percentage of the construction is already done in the factory before the panel modules arrive on site.

So, when looking to build a new pool or when you need to fix a cracked and leaking concrete or Fibreglass pool, think vinyl. It is the ideal pool finish that is thicker than 15 layers of paint, smooth to touch so it is child friendly and best of all is low maintenance, so you can have more time to enjoy your pool rather than scrubbing.

See how fabulous an Inground vinyl liner can look……..

Euro Pool Trend in vinyl liners

In busy times, the trend is to spend less time cleaning and maintaining your pool finish, so you can spend more time swimming. After all, the less time spent cleaning your pool the better, right?

We all love the luxury of tiles, but most of us understand the problems associated with keeping the grout clean. Think of your shower… imagine how easy it would be to clean your shower if there was no grout to scrub? ABGAL has the solution!

One of the most popular swimming pool patterns in Europe is available here now. ‘Mosaic Tile’ will transform your backyard into the French Riviera, with this ABGAL vinyl finish in your pool….The classic ‘Mosaic Tile’ pattern gives you the luxurious look of tiles, without the expense. Plus, it’s so easy to keep clean and has the low maintenance features of vinyl.

The latest pool trends we’re seeing are use of formal or geometric shapes such as rectangles, which combine beautifully with large format paving stones. This creates a sense of spaciousness and clean lines which accentuate the geometric pattern of ‘Mosaic Tile’ – it makes for a timeless statement in your backyard. Team it with a crisp, white granite or paving stone, to experience the illusion of ‘coolness’ amid the Mediterranean tones of cool whites and vivid blues. Truly inviting…

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