What Is A Pool Liner?

Pool liners cover the swimming pool walls and floor structure by completely overlaying the walls and floor and creating an impenetrable surface. The primary purpose of the pool liners is to retain the pool water within the swimming pool and to provide a decorative look.


Pool liners are critical for all above-ground pools and in-ground pools. They provide a leak-proof barrier to contain the water inside the pool walls.

Liners come in a lot of different themes, patterns, and colors. The thicknesses of the liner material vary as well. Thicker and heavier liners last longer than thin material and are measured in either gauge or millimeters.

The liner is not a permanent addition and it attaches to the swimming pool, therefore can be removed for repair or replacement.

Liner pools application

Liner pools are used as a residential swimming pool construction method. Commercial swimming pools get heavy usage and need stronger materials such as concrete cast-in-place or gunite (shotcrete) application since vinyl liners will become brittle over time due to quicker degradation.

Tears, punctures, and holes tend to appear more easily in aged vinyl liners. Vinyl liner leaks can be repaired, but do have a lifespan typically about 7-10 years or even less, depending on use and the environment.

Vinyl liners are preferred in areas where there are extreme temperature changes during seasons, as vinyl liners can accommodate movement caused by freezing and thawing cycles. Vinyl liner pool application is not recommended for families with pets due to the easy damage factor.

Introduction of the Liner

Pool liners are made from colorized chlorinated PVC thermoplastic vinyl. This vinyl material is durable, easy to manufacture, and economically priced.

Types of vinyl liner material

Recycled vinyl tends to stretch out of shape easily and is generally thinner, which makes it much more vulnerable to cuts or punctures.

Virgin vinyl is molded of thicker sheeting, allowing it to have a greater resistance to stretching, tearing, and puncturing, meaning it will last much longer without any problems.

Types of liner seams

The seams on the liner have an intricate role in preventing leaks and liner failure.

There are two types of seams on liners, which are traditional and lapped:

Traditional seams are basically the same type of seam that you see on most clothing items, where two pieces are joined, sewing the edges together. While this process works excellent with clothing items, under constant pressure from thousands of gallons of water it can easily separate.

Lapped seams overlap at the edge, allowing for a much stronger bond, and also minimizing any chances of leaks or separation.

Liner installation methods

Three are three different ways to install a pool liner: overlap liners, beaded liners, and unibeaded liners.

Overlap liners offer the lowest cost and most popular type of pool liners today. They are, however, severely limited in terms of the colors and patterns available.

They are easy to install and can be installed without using any tools or special equipment. However, once they are installed they are rather difficult to remove and replace.

Beaded liners sit in the middle when it comes to price and popularity. They offer easier removal and replacement, with no cutting needed. They also offer a wider range of colors and patterns and connect easily to an adapter on the outside edge of the pool.

Unibead liners are the most versatile liners available today because of their ability to be used on a U/J hook application or beaded applications.

They are also very easy to remove because they can be removed without having to take off the top rail or decking of your pool, which can save you valuable time and frustration.