6 Types of Pool Liners (For Above Ground and In Ground Pools) | Improved Home (2023)

6 Types of Pool Liners (For Above Ground and In Ground Pools) | Improved Home (1)

Whether you are considering installing an above ground pool or an inground pool, it is important that you understand the different types of liners to choose from. When it comes to in-ground pools, liner simply refers to the material the pool is constructed of - be it fiberglass, concrete or vinyl.

While above ground pools all available liners are made of vinyl to hold up in the water and also to maintain the structural integrity of the pool. These vinyl above ground pool liners come in three main types: lap, beaded and Unibead (or J-Hook). The only difference between these is how they attach to the pool wall.

So how do you know?which liner is the best? We are here to help! Read on for our comprehensive guideTypes of pool liners– for both above-ground and in-ground pools.

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6 Types of Pool Liners (For Above Ground and In Ground Pools) | Improved Home (2)

Types of Above Ground Pool Liners

6 Types of Pool Liners (For Above Ground and In Ground Pools) | Improved Home (3)

For above ground pools, the pool liner is a necessary component of the entire pool. It ensures that the water is retained in the pool while at the same time forming a protective barrier and preventing leaks. Overall, the purpose of a pool liner is to maintain the structural integrity of the pool and keep the water where it should be. The three main types of above ground pool liners are as follows:

1. Overlapping liners

Lap liners are easy to install and the cheapest option of the three - albeit only about $2 less than the other options.They are attached to the pool using cover strips that attach the liner to the pool wall.A rim strip is essentially a plastic component that serves as a wide paper clip that runs along the top edge of the above-ground pool wall.

(Video) Vinyl Vs Concrete Vs Fiberglass Pools | Albert Group Pools & Patios

As the name suggests, this pool liner "overlaps" the pool wall from the inside to ensure the liner stays secure. Multiple capping strips are installed to contour the entire length of the pool wall. Because the overlapping process can cause unevenness during installation, overlap sheets are only available in solid colors or patterns. However, several different colors are available that you can use to customize the look of your pool.

The main disadvantage of this type of pool liner is the fact that any excess liner hangs over the wall and is visible from the outside, which can be unsightly. Consider opting for a solid color pool liner with an overlap rather than a pattern as those with patterns require more effort to make the pattern even at the waterline.

2. Pearl inlays

Pearl inlays are the easiest to replace and come in a wide variety of designs and styles. They get their name from the thick vinyl bead at the top of the liner that fits into a rail or bead receiver.The bead receiver hangs over the top of the above ground pool wall and the beaded pool liner is snapped into place.This option gives an even, consistent look around the pool.

The receivers or rails usually come in four foot pieces and are easy to install over the top of the pool wall. Once installed, simply insert the bead liner bead into the receiver's channel. Because of their design, above-ground beaded pool liners come in more intricate patterns, including those with tile trim, wall surrounds, and other complex patterns.

However, some experts do not recommend these liners for several reasons. Since the leader does not hang over the entire pool wall, water can penetrate between the wall and the liner and lead to corrosion. In addition, if the bead receiver fails, the liner will come loose and must be reattached in the rail.

3. Unibead- oder J-Hook-Liner

These types of pool liners are arguably the best option available. Incredibly versatile, they consist of a two-in-one feature that allows you to replace an existing overlapping liner with a Unibead liner. Unibead liners, short for universal bead, can be used with a bead receiver such as a bead liner or as a J-hook liner.

If your pool doesn't already come equipped with a bead receiver, remove the J-Hook portion of the Unibead System and simply install like a bead liner, snapping to secure in place. Although,If you wish to use the J-Hook to install the liner, all you need to do is attach the U-shaped piece of thick vinyl to the top of the liner at the top of the pool wall.

Aside from being easier to install, one of the biggest advantages of Unibead liners is the fact that they allow you to use a tile pattern. These prints can help enhance the look of your pool and make it appear more like a regular in-ground pool. Also, Unibead liners only hang about an inch above the outside wall, so you can't see the liner from outside the pool.

Types of Inground Pool Liners

6 Types of Pool Liners (For Above Ground and In Ground Pools) | Improved Home (4)

There are three different types of in-ground pools, classified according to the material they are constructed of: fiberglass in-ground pools, concrete in-ground pools and vinyl liner in-ground pools. The "liner" you choose for your in-ground pool ultimately comes down to your budget and personal preference.

1. Fiberglass

Fiberglass pools are a one-off, prefabricated in a controlled environment in a factory and then shipped to your home. They can be constructed to include built-in benches, seats and spas.

(Video) 5 Types of above ground pools

Compared to the other alternative options, in-ground fiberglass pools are often the easiest and quickest to install. The pool shell is delivered to your home by a pool professional by truck. Then, using a crane, it is carefully placed in a carefully dug hole on your property.

Because they're prefabricated, fiberglass pools don't offer as much customization as other options. The manufacturer can only design certain sizes and shapes, which limits your options. Although on the other handFiberglass pools are low maintenance, resistant to algae, and last longer than vinyl-lined inground pools.In fact, you can expect an in-ground fiberglass pool to last between 10 and 15 years.

2. Concrete (Gunite)

Concrete is among the most popular materials used in the construction of backyard swimming pools. This material has other names, includingshotcrete or shotcrete, which are technically related to the application method. The difference between the two lies in the specific technique used to mix and apply the concrete to the pool.

Of the three types of "inserts" for in-ground poolsConcrete is the most durable and long-lasting option.Unlike fiberglass, concrete pools are customizable as the material is very malleable. This means you can create a pool of any shape and size you want. You can also choose from a variety of attractive finishes, such as B. smooth glass beads, quartz and colored plaster.

The biggest disadvantage of in-ground concrete pools is their price. They are the most expensive option because they can be customized and installation can be difficult. However, you can cut costs by opting for less expensive finishes or by choosing a smaller pool. Regardless, it can take weeks to months to build a concrete pool.

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6 Types of Pool Liners (For Above Ground and In Ground Pools) | Improved Home (5)

3. Vinyl-Liner

Vinyl lined swimming pools have been a popular choice for several decades. Technically, however, the vinyl is just the liner and these pools still need a material to give them structural integrity.The most popular options are vinyl-lined cement wall, vinyl-lined steel wall, and vinyl-lined polymer composite wall pools.

(Video) Facts Nobody Told You About Above Ground Pools

While each option has its pros and cons, steel-walled vinyl-lined pools are the most popular choice among homeowners. The advantage of this material is that the steelcan be cut into virtually any shape and size, making it highly customizable to suit your needs and space.

As well as giving creative freedom, vinyl lined pools also come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. As these liners degrade over time from exposure to the sun and pool chemicals, they need to be replaced about every 10 years. However, UV and mildew resistant vinyl sheets can help extend their lifespan to up to 18 years – as long as nothing damages them.

Understand vinyl pool liner thickness

When it comes to vinyl inground pool liners, it is important that you choose the right thickness. Vinyl sheet thickness is measured in mils, where 1 mil equals 1/1000 of an inch (also referred to as "Du"). In other words, 1 mm is approximately 39 mils.

The thickness options to choose from are usually20, 27, 28 and 30 mils thick.Ultimately, the specific thickness you choose is a matter of preference. While a thicker liner will withstand more impact and be more resistant to punctures (provided it has been installed correctly), these liners are more expensive.

In fact, a properly installed 20 mil vinyl pool liner will last longer than a thicker liner that has not been properly installed.

Related guide

  • Can you put a pool liner on wet sand?

Jessica Stein

Jessica considers herself a DIY and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to her father's help in renovating their childhood home. As a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of time researching her next DIY project and sharing her love of home design.

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