Skip to Content

What Is a Beaded Pool Liner?

Beaded pool liners are some of the most common liner installation methods. Pool liners need to be secured with hooks, clips, and many other materials. You might’ve heard of unibeaded liners, beaded liners, and overlapping liners. Beaded liners are unique and require specific installation steps to prevent them from sinking, tearing, and breaking.

A beaded pool liner is a liner that’s clipped over the edge of the swimming pool with a J-hook. The liner sits in the J-hook, preventing it from falling into the pool when you fill it with water. Beaded liners come in all designs. They’re known for their reliability and ease of installation.

Throughout this post, I’ll dive into the details of beaded pool liners, how you can tell if you have one, and whether or not they’re worth it. I’ll also provide brief installation instructions for beaded liners.

What Is Pool Liner Beading?

Pool liner beading refers to the J-hook that clips to the edge of the pool. These hooks are also known as beads. Pool experts often refer to these clips as J-beads, U-beads, and V-beads. All of these terms mean the same thing. The pool liner hangs inside of the bead and secures to the pool under the outer railing.

Being able to switch the liner’s design is one of the many advantages when comparing vinyl liners vs. gunite pools. A beaded liner can be upgraded or changed within a few hours, whereas replastering the swimming pool takes much longer. You can also swim in a beaded liner the same day without adding loads of chemicals.

Pool owners often prefer beaded liners because they’re stylish. They might cost a little bit more than overlap liners, but they look great and typically last longer. All vinyl liners last many years, but beaded liners won’t shift since they use a clip instead of a rubber seal.

How Do You Tell if You Have a Beaded Pool Liner?

To tell if you have a beaded pool liner, follow these instructions:

  1. Remove the upper liner guard to reveal the pool liner. You’ll likely need a screwdriver and a wrench. You might also need channel locks, depending on the security method. You only need to reveal a small portion of the upper guard to check what kind of liner your pool has.
  2. Look for a J-hook around the edge of the pool. Beaded liners have J-hooks that quickly separate them from overlapped liners. An overlap liner will also have a rubber seal that holds the liner to the edge. If you see a large gasket going around the pool’s edge, you likely have an overlap liner, not a beaded liner.
  3. Check how much extra vinyl hangs outside of the swimming pool. Overlapped pool liners often have at least a few inches of vinyl hanging around the edges. You might not notice it if you have a long upper guard or a wrap-around deck. However, some overlap liners are exposed and can be seen without removing the upper guard.
  4. Contact the pool’s manufacturer to know which type of liner the pool is compatible with. Pool manufacturers will always know which liner their swimming pools come with. While you can upgrade or change the liner, the stock liner style is almost always the same as the manufacturer.
  5. Find out if your pool liner has an inflatable ring around the edge. Above-ground pools sometimes have inflatable rings. These rings aren’t overlapped or beaded. They’re one of the few alternatives. Unfortunately, you can’t switch these liners to a different style. Furthermore, the cost of the liner would be close to the price of the whole inflatable pool.

Is a Beaded Pool Liner Worth It?

Beaded pool liners are worth it because they provide better protection, luxurious designs, and long-term reliability. These liners come in 20mm and 30mm variants, both of which don’t have extra vinyl hanging out of the swimming pool. Anyone who wants to have a liner longer than five to ten years should opt for a beaded pool liner.

I recommend beaded liners to vinyl pool owners because they’re fairly easy to install, and they last a long time. Pool companies often charge more for these liners, but they last longer, which means you’ll get more bang for your buck. Getting a high-quality beaded liner can make your above-ground pool last longer because it prevents structural damage.

If you want to install a beaded liner after hearing these benefits, read on.

How Do You Attach a Beaded Liner?

To attach a beaded liner, follow this method:

  1. Remove the railing from the top of the pool liner’s edge. You’ll need a screwdriver and possibly a wrench, depending on the type of railing your pool has. Do your best to avoid damaging the rails. They often come in two pieces that consist of caps and tops. You’ll reuse them when you install the new liner.
  2. Get rid of the old pool liner. Pull off the old J-clips or rubber seal that holds the liner. You should be able to quickly remove the liner, though some of them have a durable adhesive below them. I suggest hiring a professional to remove the liner and install the new one if you’ve never done it before.
  3. Open the J-hook and wrap it around the edge of the pool. The J-hook should be attached to the new liner. These hooks clip around the edge of the pool for a quick and simple installation. Press the clip around the entire edge to ensure it makes contact with the whole rim.
  4. Install the railing over the new pool liner. Secure the caps and tops to prevent the J-hook from sliding around or falling off the edge. Some pool liners require an additional adhesive. Make sure you know whether or not your beaded liner needs it before placing the caps and tops over the J-hook.

If you prefer a video tutorial, check out this helpful YouTube guide by Leisure Living:


  • Jonah Ryan

    Jonah has worked for several years in the swimming pool industry installing and repairing equipment, treating pools with chemicals, and fixing damaged liners. He also has plumbing and electrical experience with air conditioning, ceiling fans, boilers, and more. When he's not writing for Temperature Master, he's usually writing for his own websites, and

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions if you purchase products from other retailers after clicking on a link from our site.