Using a plastic ice rink liner for your outdoor or backyard skating is really easy. I recommend you do so when building your own backyard ice rink.
I also recommend looking into a rink tarp. Our ice rink liners and tarps are available in different sizes.
Liners and rink tarps are produced from polyethylene films and are very durable. They do extremely well in cold temperatures and against the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Usually you would want to purchase a white color or clear plastic liner. I've used both, and both white & clear liners will do well for your backyard ice rink.
The measurement mil (also referred to as thou), is a unit of length equal to 0.001 inches (a "milli-inch" or a "thousandth of one inch"). Mil is the thickness unit of measure all manufacturers or resellers of plastic sheeting use.
You should try and use a rink liner that is at least 5 mil thick. 6 mil is excellent.
For the most part, I've been using 6 mil plastic liners.
Absolutely not! Your grass will be greener than ever!
Visit the Liner Method Page and see the healthy effects the plastic liner will have on your grass.
Both rink tarps and liners are readily available in the USA and Canada.
You will do best to purchase only one liner for your backyard rink. This way you’ll avoid the trouble of taping many smaller sheets together, which can be very time-consuming. And once you’re done, the plastic may still spring a leak despite your best attempts to keep the taped sheets leakproof. One-piece sheeting simplifies your project and is a very effective solution.
Our rink liners are made of super heavy duty poly that:
Liners come in predetermined sizes and thicknesses. Planning a custom-sized rink? You can also order custom sizes. I buy a 50' x 100' white liner every year for my ice rink.
It doesn't matter how heavy your ice rink liner or tarp is - beware the blades under your feet, the rocks or sticks on the ground, and the various hand and power tools in use in and around a backyard ice rink.
The greatest danger to your rink liner is probably the blades under your feet. You've looped the liner up and over your perimeter boards. This is good. But without protection, imagine the shape the liner will be in after a hectic 3 months during which all of the kids and their friends are slamming into the rink boards at warp speed while defending or shooting. The entire perimeter of the liner would be perforated like a postage stamp.
To protect your tarp through several seasons, the tarp will go up and over the perimeter boards as described, and then you'll want to cover the vertical face of the liner with protective boards. These can be screwed to the perimeter boards, or fastened to each other and then clamped or braced to the perimeter boards. Paint the materials you use white to prevent any board melt.
Yes, screws will put a hole in the rink liner. But the holes will be high above the ice. Before dismantling the ice rink, you can mark how you've situated the liner so that next season, the ice rink liner can be reinstalled just the way it was before, and the holes will remain a non-issue.
An additional protection for your tarp would be protecting the tarp as it goes over the top edge of the rink boards. Top edge protection is available for your ice rink tarp.
Many backyard rink builders believe that saving and repairing last year's liner may be more trouble than it's worth. These diehards buy a new liner every year without fail because they’d rather be skating than searching for invisible tiny leaks.
Several factors may play into your decision to either recycle your old rink liner or to simply buy new, whether in the USA or Canada. Some of these factors may include finances, whether you have storage space that is free from rodents, and your skill and/or ability to fully dry out and roll up the used liner.