Aug 25, 2016

Three Important Features of Above Ground Pool Liners

Before you purchase an above ground replacement pool liner there are three important features you should understand.

1. Attachments
2. Patterns
3. Material Thickness

In this article you will learn three important features regarding above ground pool liners. These features will help you decipher a good liner from a bad one.

Today many online pool stores are using deceptive information to persuade the public to purchase their pool liners.

At the Above Ground Pool Builder we feel it is important to discuss these three features in order to prevent you from having problems with your above ground pool. We have over 50 years of pool installation experience and our instinct says “buyer beware!”

Let’s get started…

1. Attachments
The terms: overlap, regular bead, uni-bead, J-hook, V-bead, EZ-bead liners etc. are telling you that the liner has a feature which attaches the liner to the pool. Most people are under the assumption that if you have a particular liner attachment then you need the same kind of attachment liner when replacing. This cannot be further from the truth! You can easily convert from one attachment to another.

Most conversions do not require any other purchase however there is one exception: when converting a liner to a regular bead liner, you will need a bead track. All other attachments do not require anything else and your conversion from overlap to uni-bead, J-hook, V-bead, EZ-bead liners etc. is easy to do. Also converting from regular bead, uni-bead, J-hook, V-bead, EZ-bead liners to an overlap liner is perfectly fine as well.

This chart shows a few different attachments to explain what is possible.
Wall attachment conversion helper

If you currently have (Attachment) You can convert your liner attachment (Yes you can!)
Overlap Uni-Bead, J-Hook, EZ-bead or V-bead
Overlap Uni-Bead, J-Hook, EZ-bead, V-bead or to Regular bead with an added bead track
Regular bead Overlap, Uni-Bead, J-Hook, EZ-bead or V-bead
J-Hook Overlap, Uni-Bead, EZ-bead or V-bead
V-Bead Overlap, Uni-Bead, EZ-bead or J-Hook
Uni-Bead Overlap, V-bead, EZ-bead orJ-Hook
EZ-Bead Overlap, Uni-Bead, V-bead or J-Hook

2. Patterns
The most asked question at the Above Ground Pool Builder is “What pattern makes the best pool liner?” First, it is important to know that the pattern does not have any association with the quality or thickness of the liner. When choosing a liner it is a personal choice that you and your family will need to make. You will be looking at this new liner for the approximately ten years (give or take), so choose a design that is appealing to you.
One last thing to consider, beaded style pool liners have more choices in patterns. Beaded liners are more popular therefore you have more pattern styles available.

3. Material and Thickness
Here is the most important feature you can learn about. There are all kinds of misleading information when it comes to thickness of above ground pool liners. Manufacturers set the rules and the distribution companies do a great job of confusing the customers.

Manufacturers allow distribution companies and online stores to market and advertise material and thickness however they wish. They are allowed to create their own terminology to describe the thickness. Some companies use the terms mils, while others use the term gauge. A few years ago pool liners were sold with two thickness choices, 20 and 25 mil. This represented 20 and 25 of thousandths of an inch. Today, everyone is selling above ground pool liners and some are even creating their own terminology such as “super duty 30”. This industry is lacking a clear description of thickness.

We have created a chart that compares gauge and mils to show the differences when you come across either term. This will help clarify the measurement system and provides “safe zone” to guide you in your purchase. Below 20 mils and 17 mils the liners begin to get to thin and can easily puncture. You can certainly get a thick 25 mil liner but keep in mind that it will carry a higher price. Installing thickest liners can be challenging without good weather conditions. This safe zone takes into account everyone involved at replacing a pool liner from the customer right down to the installer.


THICKNESS 12-15 MIL 17-20 MIL 21-25 MIL 20 MIL 25 MIL

Above Ground Pool Builder Safe Zone

Most pool liners will have seams. It is important know about material that a pool liner is made from. It should have double lapped seams and made of single produced virgin material. You want virgin vinyl with uv protection and not re purposed materials such as a nylon based or just inferior re manufactured materials with only one lap seam holding them together.

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