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One other thing to consider about using a liner is what kind of liner to use. The thickness is also of concern here.

 

In a perfect world there would be a reasonably priced one-piece liner to fit every rink size though of. Well there isn't. Sure you can find someone selling a one piece liner for your 60x100 rink, but at what cost? You basically have a few options here...

  1. You can spring for the one piece liner that fits your rink size
  2. You can search for a liner/tarp that meets your needs, but could be slightly too big
  3. You can assemble your own liner from strips of poly

If money isn't an issue, then go for #1 every time. Just keep in mind though, most liners are a "one and done" item. Meaning you will likely not get more than this season out of it. If money is a concern, then you need to go with option 2 or 3. Option 2 means you may end up with a 40x60 tarp to use in your 34x34 rink. Option 3 means you will have to seal two or three pieces of poly together to make your liner. If you do it right you have a nice leak-proof liner, if not well you know what will happen.

Most of the liners you can get online are a minimum of 4 mil poly and as thick as 8 mil. The thicker the less likely it is to tear or puncture. However the thicker it is the less it can stretch, so it isn't as simple as "the thicker the better". Another thing is the color of the liner/tarp. If you can get a white liner/tarp, do it. Otherwise clear poly is the next best thing. Remember dark colors attrack the sun and will melt the rink even on a cold day. You may find the blue or green tarps for less money, but will likely regret it once the sun hits the rink.

Last year I used the liner that came with the Ice-n-Go kit, it was a 4 mil one piece and worked very well. This year I went with a tarp. The tarp is bigger than I needed, but is made from 7 mil poly and if I get lucky I will get a second season out of it. To be honest though I got this more because a one-piece liner the size i needed was well over $200 and the tarp was just under $150. Even if I don't get two years out of it I still got my moneys worth.

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