Above Ground Pool Liner Types: Overlap, Unibead, Beaded & Expandable

We often get questions about the difference between pool liners. When shopping for an above-ground pool it’s important to know how they differ. This is why we’ve put together a simple article, explaining the differences between the three main types of above-ground pool liners.

Above-ground pool liners are necessary components of all above-ground swimming pools. There are three main types of vinyl liners for above-ground pools: Overlap, Beaded, and Unibead. The purpose of liners is to retain pool water, create a protective barrier for the structure of the pool, and assist in maintaining structural integrity. The main difference between these liners is how they are installed and attached to the pool wall.

Overlap Pool Liners: Overlap pool liners are the most economical option and are easy to install. They attach to the pool wall with coping strips that hold the liner to the pool wall. A coping strip is a piece of plastic that acts like a wide paper clip that runs along the top of your above-ground pool wall. Since it “overlaps” the swimming pool wall from the inside, the coping strip ensures that the liner is held firmly in place. Multiple coping strips are used to precisely contour the entire length of the pool wall. Because overlapping may cause unevenness when installing, Overlap designs are typically limited to a solid color or uniform patterns. Many attractive styles are available and add a hint of style to a pool.

Beaded Pool Liners: Beaded pool liners are the easiest to replace and come in a wide array of designs. Using a bead receiver that hangs over the top of an above-ground pool wall, the Beaded pool liner simply snaps into the receiver giving you an even and consistent look. Because they install evenly around the pool wall, Beaded liners flaunt beautiful designs and patterns including wall borders and tile trims.

Unibead Beaded Liners: Unibead pool liners are the ultimate in versatility and have a two-in-one feature that allows you to replace an Overlap liner with a Unibead liner. Unibead liners have the option to be used with a bead receiver or as a J-Hook liner. If you don’t have a bead receiver, simply hook the line onto the rim of the pool wall. If you have a bead receiver, carefully remove the J-Hook portion of the Unibead system and install it like a beaded liner by snapping the liner into place. Both give you a clean, professional look without any excess material hanging over the edge like in an Overlap liner. The Unibead provides all the benefits of a protective liner and the freedom to use patterns found only on beaded liners.

Overlap, Beaded and Unibead liners come in a variety of sizes and designs to fit any above-ground swimming pool. Fitting pools from 8’ to 33’ and ranging in sizes from round to oval, there’s a perfect liner to suit any size and style above-ground swimming pool.