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Finding the Right Pool Liner

You want to make sure that your pool water stays inside your swimming pool, so using a liner is a very good idea whether you have an inground or above ground swimming pool. Choosing the right liner can be a complicated process because there are so many options to choose from.

What Size Liner Do I Need?

  • Above ground pool liners are comparatively easy to size. Above ground swimming pools tend to be made in fairly standard sizes, and you can check the manual to see which size of liner you need.
  • Inground swimming pool liners are more complicated. Inground pools come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, so if you want a replacement liner for your pool, you need to measure the pool very carefully. You may need to install a custom liner.
  • Thickness matters too. Pool liner thickness is measured in either mils or gauge. Each mil is 0.01 inches. Thicker vinyl liners are stronger but also heavier. If your pool only sees lighter use, thinner vinyl will be fine.

What Type of Pool Liner Do I Need?

  • Beaded liners have a beaded edge that snaps into a bead rail that runs around the top of the pool wall. This makes installation easy but you can't use one unless your pool has the right rail. If you have an inground pool, you will probably need this kind of liner.
  • Overlap swimming pool liners wrap around the top of the pool wall and are locked into place by the top rails, so they are usually used with above ground swimming pools. This can make installation a bit harder. However, you can trim the overlap liner so it doesn't have to perfectly match your pool.
  • Beaded and overlap vinyl liners come in a lot of different colors and patterns. Solid vinyl colors provide a nice neutral background, but there are also more interesting patterns to choose from like pebbles or tropical fish.

How Should I Maintain My Pool Liner?

  • When cleaning your pool, you need to be careful not to damage the swimming pool liner. Vinyl liners can be cleaned gently using a cloth or a soft-bristled pool brush.
  • Look for specialized vinyl-friendly products if you want to use pool chemicals to clean your swimming pool. These are usually alkaline-based, as this is less harsh on the pool liner than acid-based cleaners.
  • If your liner is damaged, you don't necessarily need a replacement immediately. Vinyl liners can be repaired using a liner repair kit and some pool-friendly adhesive. If you have a large tear in the swimming pool liner, though, it may be time to find a new one. Patches on the liner can also be quite obvious if the vinyl doesn't have the same pattern.