4 Types of Pool Liners & Purchasing Guide

4 Types of Pool Liners & Purchasing Guide

You may not think about what type of pool liner you have until it’s time to get a new one, which is usually every 5+ years. With all the time in between and different options available, it can be hard to know what’s best for your pool setup. 

Don't worry; we're here to help! Let’s walk you through the different types of above ground pool liners, their unique features, and the pros and cons of each option to help you get the right type of liner for your swimming pool. Let's dive in!

Overlap Pool Liners

Overlap pool liners are one of the most common types used for above ground pools. As the name suggests, these liners overlap the pool wall and are then secured in place with coping strips or clips. They are typically made of durable vinyl material and come in various designs and thicknesses.

What to Know About Overlap Liners

  • They’re a cost-effective option.
  • They’re easy to install, especially for DIY pool owners and enthusiasts.
  • There are a variety of fun designs and patterns available to suit different tastes.
  • The overlap seam may be visible, which you may find less aesthetically pleasing.
  • The liner may require readjustment and stretching to ensure proper fit and alignment.

Shop Overlap Pool Liners


Beaded Pool Liners

Beaded pool liners feature a bead receiver track along the top of the pool wall. You insert the liner bead along the track and it locks into place. This type of liner provides a sleek, seamless look once installed.

What to Know About Beaded Pool Liners

  • The bead track creates a smooth, seamless appearance for your pool.
  • The liners are easy to replace compared to overlap liners.
  • The seamless appearance allows for more intricate design patterns, like borders and tiles.
  • These liners are generally a bit more expensive than overlap pool liners.

Shop Beaded Pool Liners


Unibead Pool Liners/J-Hook Pool Liners

A unibead pool liner is another type of vinyl liner commonly used in above-ground pools. It's designed to work as both a J-hook liner and a beaded liner. This versatility allows it to be installed in pools with either a J-hook or a bead receiver track. When installing a unibead liner as a J-hook liner, the top portion of the liner is folded over the pool wall and hung onto the wall like a traditional J-hook liner. Alternatively, when installing it as a beaded liner, the top portion of the liner has a bead that snaps into a track around the top of the pool wall.

What to Know About Unibead Pool Liners

  • The versatile design allows for easy and flexible installation.
  • The hooks offer a secure fit like beaded liners.
  • It may be slightly more expensive than traditional overlap liners.
  • The liner requires careful handling during installation to ensure proper fit.

Expandable Pool Liners

Expandable pool liners are designed for above ground pools with a “deep end” or special shapes. They can stretch to accommodate the pool's contours and expand to a depth of up to 72 inches.

What to Know About Expandable Pool Liners

  • They’re necessary for pools with varying depths
  • Expandable liners provide a custom fit and polished look.
  • These liners are durable and long-lasting when properly installed.
  • Due to their size, they’re typically more expensive than standard liners.
  • They require precise measurements and installation to avoid wrinkles or stretching issues.

Shop Expandable Pool Liners

Ready to install your liner? Check out our expandable liner installation guide

Other Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Pool Liner

In addition to the type of pool liner, there are several additional factors to keep in mind. We’ve compiled some tips and resources to help you make the best decisions. 

Pool Size and Shape

Ensure that the liner you choose is compatible with the size and shape of your above ground pool. Some liners are designed specifically for round pools, while others are suitable for oval or rectangular pools. Taking accurate measurements of your pool's dimensions is crucial to ensure a proper fit.

Read Now
How to Measure an Above Ground Pool for a Liner

Design & Pattern

Choose a liner design or pattern that complements your outdoor space and personal preferences. Many liners come in a variety of colors, patterns, and styles, allowing you to customize the look of your pool area.

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Thickness and Gauge

Consider the mil or gauge of the liner, which refers to its thickness and durability. Thicker liners are generally more durable and less prone to tears and punctures. However, thicker liners may also be more expensive upfront.

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Pool Liner Thickness: What You Need to Know


Determine your budget for the pool liner, including installation costs if applicable. Consider the upfront cost of the liner as well as its long-term durability and maintenance requirements to make an informed decision that fits your budget and needs.

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How Much Does a Pool Liner Cost?
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Ready to Install Your New Pool Liner?

Check out our pool liner installation guide and video to ensure a hassle-free installation. 

Happy swimming!