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Above Ground Pool Liners: Everything You Must Know

Above Ground Pool Liners: Everything You Must Know

Although it is unfortunate, above ground pool liners have a useable life. After several years of wear and tear and use every weekend, the above ground pool liner will need to be replaced. Luckily there are many great options on the market, yet there will be a bit of work you must put in to determine the best choice for your pool. We have pulled together some of the best above ground pool liners on the market and a comprehensive guide on installing and caring for them.

Table of Contents

The 6 Best Above Ground Pool Liners

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Smartline Waves of Poseidon 15-Foot-by-30-Foot Oval Liner | Overlap Style | 48-to-52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge | Designed for...
Smartline Stone Harbor 27-Foot Round Pool Liner | UniBead Style | 52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge Virgin Vinyl Material |...
LinerWorld Pool Liner for Above Ground - Overlap HD Patterns Round, Oval - 15', 18', 21', 24', 27', 28', 30', 33', 12'x24',...
Swimline 15-Feet x 30-Feet Oval Swirl Bottom Ovrlp Liner Stand Gauge
Smartline Caribbean 15-Foot-by-30-Foot Oval Overlap Liner | 48-to-52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge Virgin Vinyl | Designed for Steel...
351 Reviews
127 Reviews
160 Reviews
214 Reviews
145 Reviews
Smartline Waves of Poseidon 15-Foot-by-30-Foot Oval Liner | Overlap Style | 48-to-52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge | Designed for...
Smartline Stone Harbor 27-Foot Round Pool Liner | UniBead Style | 52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge Virgin Vinyl Material |...
LinerWorld Pool Liner for Above Ground - Overlap HD Patterns Round, Oval - 15', 18', 21', 24', 27', 28', 30', 33', 12'x24',...
Swimline 15-Feet x 30-Feet Oval Swirl Bottom Ovrlp Liner Stand Gauge
Smartline Caribbean 15-Foot-by-30-Foot Oval Overlap Liner | 48-to-52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge Virgin Vinyl | Designed for Steel...
Price not available
$549.96
$513.49
$746.99
Price not available
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1
Smartline Waves of Poseidon 15-Foot-by-30-Foot Oval Liner | Overlap Style | 48-to-52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge | Designed for...
351 Reviews
Smartline Waves of Poseidon 15-Foot-by-30-Foot Oval Liner | Overlap Style | 48-to-52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge | Designed for...
Price not available
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2
Smartline Stone Harbor 27-Foot Round Pool Liner | UniBead Style | 52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge Virgin Vinyl Material |...
127 Reviews
Smartline Stone Harbor 27-Foot Round Pool Liner | UniBead Style | 52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge Virgin Vinyl Material |...
$549.96
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3
LinerWorld Pool Liner for Above Ground - Overlap HD Patterns Round, Oval - 15', 18', 21', 24', 27', 28', 30', 33', 12'x24',...
160 Reviews
LinerWorld Pool Liner for Above Ground - Overlap HD Patterns Round, Oval - 15', 18', 21', 24', 27', 28', 30', 33', 12'x24',...
$513.49
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4
Swimline 15-Feet x 30-Feet Oval Swirl Bottom Ovrlp Liner Stand Gauge
214 Reviews
Swimline 15-Feet x 30-Feet Oval Swirl Bottom Ovrlp Liner Stand Gauge
$746.99
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5
Smartline Caribbean 15-Foot-by-30-Foot Oval Overlap Liner | 48-to-52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge Virgin Vinyl | Designed for Steel...
145 Reviews
Smartline Caribbean 15-Foot-by-30-Foot Oval Overlap Liner | 48-to-52-Inch Wall Height | 25 Gauge Virgin Vinyl | Designed for Steel...
Price not available
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1. Smartline Waves of Poseidon 15-Foot-by-30-Foot Oval Liner, Overlap Style, 48-to-52-Inch Wall Height

Smart Waves Poseidon
351 Reviews
Smart Waves Poseidon
  • MEASURE TWICE, BUY ONCE – Whether installing for the first time, or replacing an existing liner, the Waves of Poseidon pattern offers durability while not breaking the bank. Be sure to check the...
  • PRETTY PLEASING PATTERN - Tile designs of interchanging navy and sky blues roll like waves at the top of this beautiful Waves of Poseidon pool liner print. The North American cut material is hand-folded to...
  • NO TROUBLE TO INSTALL - Overlap liners are draped over the walls of the pool during the installation process. Once the bottom seam is even near the cove, the liner is ready to be secured. This material is...
  • STAY COOL IN THE POOL – Enjoy the warm weather while spending quality time with family and friends. Your backyard aboveground pool will surely become the place to be during those hot summer days. Stay...
  • UNIVERSAL GASKET SET - The included kit is for the pool’s skimmer and return. This skimmer gasket will work with either standard sized skimmers or wide-mouth versions. These pieces will help prevent...

One of the most important parts of finding a great above ground pool liner is making sure that it has a pattern that will match your home. One of the best things about this Smartline Waves of Poseidon Liner is its very appealing and beautiful design. You can use this Smartline Waves liner for a new pool or as a replacement for an older pool.

It’s important to install this liner when the temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees to allow for the best stretch across the pool. This certainly helps to ensure that it will fit in the pool properly for years to come. With this kit, you will also get the skimmer and return gaskets to ensure there are no leaks.

It is not that looks are everything, but this is a great looking above ground swimming pool liner to consider.

Pros

  • Very nice pattern
  • Comes with gaskets for skimmer and return

2. Smartline Stone Harbor 27-Foot Round Pool Liner, UniBead Style 

Sale
Smartline Stone Harbor
127 Reviews
Smartline Stone Harbor
  • PRETTY PLEASING PATTERN – This tiled bottom in various shades of blue, leads to a marble like tiles. These marble geometric shapes create a simple but classic look. The North American cut material is...
  • MEASURE TWICE, BUY ONCE – Whether installing for the first time, or replacing an existing liner, the Stone Harbor pattern offers durability while not breaking the bank. Be sure to check the measurements...
  • INSTALL IN A SNAP OR A HOOK – This 27' round unibead style liner works with pools with flat-bottoms measuring 52". For an overlap style pool, simply open up the j-hook portion and slip this over the pool...
  • STAY COOL IN THE POOL – Enjoy the warm weather while spending quality time with family and friends. Your backyard pool will surely become the place to be during those hot summer days. Stay cool in more...
  • HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL – Swim carefree knowing your liner can tough it out through abrasion, chemicals and UV fading thanks to the use of Lamiclear technology. The layers are made of an acrylic top coat,...

Many in-ground pools have a tile border built around the top edge of the pool. These borders help to make sure that the pool has a finished and completed look to it. The Smartline Unibead Stone Harbor Liner is similar in that it has a more finished and complete look to it. This is a 25 gauge model that is great for the above ground pool that needs unibead liners.

The Smartline seems to hold up well against UV Damage, and it also has a bit more of a muted color pattern than other options on the market. If you have a 27 foot round pool with walls that are 52 inches, this is the perfect liner to consider.

Pros

  • High-quality design
  • Has the tile look border around it
  • Unibead liners can be a little easier to install

Cons

  • Higher priced liner because of the high quality

3. LinerWorld Pool Liner for Above Ground Overlap Round

Liner World
160 Reviews
Liner World
  • Overlap Style - fits up to 54" deep
  • Beautiful, HD Unique Designs
  • 25 Gauge - Heavy Duty 100% Virgin Vinyl
  • Chemically Treated to Resist Harmful UV Rays
  • Coping Strips Required for Installation (sold separately)

The LinerWorld Pool Liner for Above Ground pools is a great 25 gauge choice for those that are looking for long-term durability and value. This will fit pools up to 54 inches deep, and our favorite thing about it is that it is built to resist fading. If you are worried about the liner starting to fade from sun exposure, this is a perfect choice to consider.

The design of the LinerWorld Pool Liner will vary depending on the type you choose. You can get anything from a simple blue wave background to a more modern pebble design. Regardless of what you choose, these pool liners are made from high-quality and long-lasting materials.

Pros

  • Available in several sizes and colors
  • 25 gauge
  • Comes in sizes built even for deeper pools

Cons

  • Not all pools need an Overlap liner

4. Swimline 15-Feet x 30-Feet Oval Swirl Bottom Overlap Liner Stand Gauge

Swimline Oval Swirl Bottom
214 Reviews
Swimline Oval Swirl Bottom
  • Constructed of durable, standard gauge vinyl
  • Strong, double-welded seams
  • Vibrant swirl bottom design
  • Will fit either 48-inch or 52-inch sidewall
  • Backed by a 15-year warranty

The Swimline above ground pool liners are backed with a 15-year warranty, certainly something that any pool owner could be happy about. This is a very simplistic design, and it is strong with durability to last for a very long time. You can purchase this model in various sizes, and it is made of standard gauge vinyl.

One of the things that stands out with the Swimline Oval Swirl Bottom is that it keeps the pool looking very clean most of the time. The bottom border on the bottom of the liner helps to hide a bit of dirt if you happen to need to give your pool a vacuum. Of course, we don’t discourage you from cleaning your pool, but a little help making things look good is a nice feature.

Pros

  • Fair pricing
  • 15 Year Warranty
  • Double welded seams

Cons

  • Not as thick as some other liners on the market

5. Smartline Caribbean 15-Foot-by-30-Foot Oval Overlap Liner, 48-to-52-Inch Wall Height, 25 Gauge Virgin Vinyl

Smartline Carribean
145 Reviews
Smartline Carribean
  • MEASURE TWICE, BUY ONCE – Whether installing for the first time, or replacing an existing liner, the Caribbean pattern offers durability while not breaking the bank. Be sure to check the measurements of...
  • PRETTY PLEASING PATTERN - The Caribbean pattern gives a delightful depiction of exotic fish swimming around your pool. The North American cut material is hand-folded to prevent permanent creasing and...
  • NO TROUBLE TO INSTALL - Overlap liners are draped over the walls of the pool during the installation process. Once the bottom seam is even near the cove, the liner is ready to be secured. This material is...
  • STAY COOL IN THE POOL – Enjoy the warm weather while spending quality time with family and friends. Your backyard aboveground pool will surely become the place to be during those hot summer days. Stay...
  • UNIVERSAL GASKET SET - The included kit is for the pool’s skimmer and return. This skimmer gasket will work with either standard sized skimmers or widemouth versions. These pieces will help prevent...

Turning an above ground pool into a backyard oasis does not take long when you use the Smartline Caribbean Overlap Liner. You can purchase this Smarline above ground pool liner in a few different sizes. It is an overlap design for steel pools.

The 25 gauge vinyl is a good choice for those interested in something a bit thicker and capable of lasting for years to come. The Caribbean design makes the liner patterns on this product stand out from the crowd.

Pros

  • Comes in a few sizes
  • Unique pool liner design
  • Protects against UV Damage

Cons

  • Pattern can be a bit busy to look at

6. Replacement Liner for 22ft x 52″ Bestway/Coleman Power Steel Above Ground Pool

As you will find out, some pool liners will be specific to the type of pool you have. If you own a Bestway Power Steel Above Ground pool, you can make things easy by choosing a liner built specifically for your pool’s needs. Sometimes going with the option directly from the manufacturer will make things a bit easier and simpler for you.

This is a relatively easy liner to install, and you will have no worries about whether or not it will fit in your pool. The replacement liner is an excellent choice for those looking to get quality and durability from their pool liner.

Pros

  • Perfect fit for Bestway/Coleman Pools
  • Up to 52 inches in depth
  • Solid blue design will match most outdoor color schemes

Cons

  • May not work on other brand name pools.

What Is an Above Ground Pool Liner?

An above ground pool liner is the part of the swimming pool that will keep the water in place. Above ground pools have an outer shell and cannot hold water in because of its cracks and crevices where water can slip out.

Instead, a liner is put in place as a smooth surface that water cannot permeate. With an above ground pool liner, the water is essentially trapped inside and will not drain out. Liners are a very popular pool item, yet they do have a lifespan. There comes a time when you will likely be researching a new liner for your pool.

Type Of Pool Liners

When you start shopping for your above ground pool liner, keep in mind that there are several types of liners out there. Not all liners will work on all above-ground pools. At the very least, you have to make sure that your liner will be compatible with your pool. Here are several different types of pool liners out there.

Overlap Liner

As you may imagine, the overlap liner is going to overlap the pool wall. This means that the liner will carry up and over the wall of the pool. As you can imagine the importance of choosing the proper liner size with an overlap liner is essential. These overlap liners can take a bit more time to install because you will have to ensure adequate overlap on both sides. Think of this similar to when you are trying to make the bed, and you don’t want to stretch too much of the sheet onto one side.

Beaded Liner

A beaded liner is a bit different than an overlap in that it fits into a track around the outside of your pool. You will not have to worry about the beaded liner overlapping the edge of the pool; instead, it will slide right into this track.

J-Hook Liner

Perhaps the easiest liner to install is the J-Hook Liner. With the J-Hook, you will simply place a small rubber fold on the top of the liner into the top wall of the pool. You won’t need to put anything in place to get this liner to stay in; it simply sits as it should all the way around the top of the pool. If you are installing your new pool liner on your own, the J-Hook is the best choice to consider.

Unibead Liners

Unibead liners can be installed either as a J Hook Liner is installed or work like a beaded liner in a track. These are easy to trim and will most likely worth with a broader range of above-ground pools on the market. If you are having a hard time finding something that will work for your pool, the Unibead could be the way to go.

Branded Pool Liner

Some pool companies require that you use a pool liner that is specific to their brand. Although this can make ordering and finding a match relatively easy, it will limit the number of options you can choose for your swimming pool.

Related Article: Check out the best above ground pool ladders!

Buyer’s Guide For Above Ground Pool Liners

Having an idea of the different types of liners for your above-ground swimming pool is important. However, there are other factors that pool owners need to consider. Here are some of the most important considerations to make before purchasing your pool liner.

Size

Choosing the proper size liner is the most important of this process. The good news is that if you have a standard size above-ground pool, you won’t have to do too much measuring or calculations. Most companies that manufacture pool liners make them in standard sizes. Ensure that you are purchasing for the correct width and the proper depth of the pool.

Vinyl Thickness or Gauge

The thicker the liner, the less chance you have of it tearing. Of course, the thicker the liner, the higher the price is going to be as well. You will have to find a balance between the pricing and the necessary thickness for your pool. The vinyl liners are typically measured in mils, and the 20-25 mil range is about standard.

Pattern

Above ground pool liners come with patterns and designs. These patterns and designs will help to make your pool stand out from the crowd. You will notice that the patterns can be very simple, from a solid blue to something that looks like an underwater reef. Remember that your liner will last for many years, so choose something you like and use.

UV Protection

UV Protection is one of the more important factors in choosing a liner. If your pool sits in direct sunlight, UV Protection is vital. With the sun’s intense rays, your pool liner can change color after a short period. Protect against that by choosing a liner with UV Protection.

Other Materials to Purchase

Sometimes when you have to replace your pool liner, you will need a new bottom or some foam for around the walls. You will likely need to purchase quite a few materials to complete this process fully. Consider the gaskets and returns that you will need to put back into place; they may need replacing them along with the liner.

Installation Process

When you purchase an above ground pool liner, it’s important to consider the installation process. The process may require you to have a few friends available to help, and it may be more than you want to take on. If you are not going to install the pool liner on your own, remember that hiring a professional will increase the cost of your project considerably.

How to Patch Your Above Ground Pool Liner

Getting a hole in your pool liner is a real problem. Depending on the size of the hole, your pool may not even be usable. Regardless of if you have overlap liners or beaded liners, you will need to understand how to patch a hole in your liner. Here are the basic steps that you can follow for almost any pool.

1. Find The Leak

The first necessary step is to find the leak. You will be able to use a few different methods, including ink or looking for bubbles. Sometimes the leak will be pretty apparent, and you can see where it is coming from.

2. Pick A Patch

Your patch may simply be extra material that you have from your vinyl liner installation. It could also be a peel and stick underwater patch kit. You have to evaluate the size of the hole and the type of patch that is going to work in that area.

3. Clean and Balance Pool

This step may seem a bit excessive to some people, but it is essential for long-term issues. You must make sure that the area where you are going to install the patch is clean. This will include scrubbing the side of the pool, ensuring there are no algae, and we also recommend balancing the pool water chemistry. If your pool water is not balanced, you may find that the patch has a hard time adhering to the existing liner.

4. Prepare Patch

Depending on the type of patch you will install, you will now prepare the patch for installation. Are you going to install a peel and stick patch, or do you have to trim your current liner material match to match the spot that needs to be covered? Make sure that your patch size is going to cover the hole in the pool liner completely.

5. Apply Patch

Next, you will apply the patch to the area that has the rip or hole. When you apply the patch, you will need to add adhesive or use the adhesive that comes with the peel and stick. Regardless of how you will apply the patch, make sure that the patch does not pick up any dirt or debris as you go to install it. Keep the patch as clean as possible and hold it in place according to the manufacturer’s directions.

For some patches, this will mean holding the liner in place for a few minutes, and for others, you may need to put a clamp on for up to 24 hours. You won’t

How to Install or Replace Your Above Ground Pool Liner

When it comes time to replace or install a pool liner, many people will go to their experts. This is understandable as the task may seem daunting. However, many pool owners are able to replace their pool liners entirely on their own. Review the following steps and decide whether these are things that you feel comfortable doing without the help of a professional.

Step 1: Drain the Water From the Pool

When you are putting in a new liner, you will have to take all of the water from your pool. You will need to do the best you can to use your filter to drain your pool, and then you will likely have to siphon it out with a hose. This process should not be difficult, but you must make sure that you are draining the water into an area that can handle this much water flow.

Step 2: Remove the Old Liner

If you are replacing a liner, you will have to remove the old one altogether. Since you are completely replacing your liner, don’t be afraid to use a knife to cut it out and remove it in smaller pieces. Sometimes the liners can be pretty heavy if you try and do this all at once. Depending on the type of liner you have, you may have to remove the top rail to remove it completely.

Step 3: Prepare the Floor of the Pool

While your liner is up, you can take a look at the floor of the pool and see if it needs any help. Sometimes some holes occur from settling or some areas that were always a bit uneven. Work on getting this straight and level again to ensure that your pool functions properly with the new liner in place. Make sure there is no debris, and there are no cracks on the pool floor before moving on.

Step 4: Prepare the Wall

Once you have the floor prepared, you need to move to the wall of your above-ground pool. To extend the life of your pool, take a look at any areas of corrosion or rust and work on getting them cleared up before you put your new pool liner in place. If these are left exposed, they could end up causing damage to your new liner.

Step 5: Install Your New Pool Liner

If the weather conditions are right and your pool has been properly prepped, you can now install your new pool liner. The installation of a pool liner is a tough job to do on your own. Call up a few of those friends who plan on letting their kids use your pool all summer. Have them pitch in and help. You will have to lay the liner in the pool and start to unroll it along the edges.

One person will need to hold the liner in place while you work your way around the pool. Overlap liners require a bit more work than the beaded liners, as you will have to make your way around the entire pool before you can set anything in place. This is to be sure that there is enough stretch of the overlap liners to make it around the pool.

With beaded liners, you can insert the liner into the bead receiver. It will hold in place as you move around the pool and finish your installation. You will likely have some wrinkles that you need to smooth out as the bead receivers don’t really stretch the liner from one to the next.

Step 6: Set the Liner

You may notice that as you work on getting your liner smoothed out, it will be nearly impossible to get it completely flat. This is where the vacuum comes in, and it can be a beneficial tool for getting your pool liner to sit flat in the shell of the pool.

You will seal all the pool areas where there are holes in the liner and then put a vacuum in your skimmer. You will see how the liner starts to stick to the walls of the pool. YOu can always turn the vacuum on and off as needed to make sure that it will straighten out the proper way.

Step 7: Fill the Pool

Once you have the liner straightened out with the vacuum, you can now fill the pool with water. Whether you have an overlap or a beaded liner, make sure that it is entirely in place before you start filling it with water.

Most professionals will tell you to keep the vacuum running as you fill the pool with water. Until you have at least ten inches of water in the pool, the liner could still shift a bit on you; the vacuum running helps to ensure this does not happen.

Step 8: Finishing Procedures

Once your pool is filled most of the way with water, you can start to put the faceplates and gaskets back in place. YOu will probably have to cut away a piece of the liner, but you will be able to clearly see where this is necessary and where it is not. Always make sure that your gaskets and faceplates are thoroughly attached as they can be sources of leaks long term.

Pool Liner Cleaning Tips

Pool liners tend to get dirty from time to time. You will always have to make sure that your pool chemicals are balanced to keep the liner in the best condition possible. Here are a few tips to help clean your pool liner.

  • Get a soft bristle pool brush that you can use to brush the liner several times per week
  • Shock the pool each week in season to make sure that the chemistry in the pool stays balanced
  • Purchase a pool cover for the months that you are not using your pool; this will help keep your liner cleaner and protected from the sun
  • Run your filter for an adequate amount of time each day
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals in your pool; only use products recommend for vinyl liners
  • Use a pool vacuum at least once or twice a week to remove debris and dirt from the pool

Above Ground Pool Liners FAQ

Here are a few questions that many people have about the above ground pool liners. Replacing a pool liner is a big deal, and doing adequate research before this process will pay off in the long run.

What Is the Best Pool Liner for an Above Ground Pool?

The best pool liners for above ground pools are those made by Smartline. Smartline offers sizes that will work for a wide range of pools, and they are fair in their pricing. When it comes to design and patterns, Smartline gives people lots of options.

How Much Are Pool Liners for Above Ground Pools?

The price for pool liners can range from anywhere around $300 to over $1000. Most of the pricing pertains to coloring and pattern, the size, and the thickness of the material you are using.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Above Ground Pool Liner?

The cost for replacing an above ground pool liner can range from $400 to $1500 or more. You can save money by doing the installation of the pool liner yourself. As soon as professionals are hired to complete the process, the pricing will increase considerably.

What Is the Best Thickness for an Above Ground Pool Liner?

The best thickness for the above ground pool liner tends to be around 25 gauge. This is a material that is easy to work with yet thick enough to protect against a pull or a tear that could happen while the pool is being used.

Recap: Pool Liner Replacement

After reading through our guide on pool liners, you should have a very good understanding of what it takes to put a new liner in your swimming pool. Without a doubt, this is a process that you will have to spend a bit of time navigating. However, the pool liner replacement is worth the money you pay. After all, without a great liner, your pool will not be swimmable. Follow our tips to ensure that your pool liner stays in great shape for years to come.

Pricing on this page was last updated on 2021-09-26