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Pool Liners: Choosing The Perfect Pool Liner For Your Backyard Oasis

Pool liners are waterproof vinyl, tile, or PVC linings that cover the pool walls. They provide a smooth, waterproof surface that protects the walls from constant exposure to chemically-treated pool water. Pool liners also add visual appeal to your background oasis, as they vary from mimicking the pattern of natural stones and tiles to the minimalistic serene blue and pitch black colors. 

A few years ago, I got an above-ground pool for my backyard. I was so excited to have a place to swim and relax in the summer heat. But when I explored the market looking for a pool liner, I was overwhelmed by the options. Various colors, patterns, and textures confused me, as they were all tempting enough. I couldn’t decide what would look best in my backyard or what would be the most durable. 

This search took my entire week, so I am writing this guide to ease up the things for you. In this article, I’ll guide you on choosing the perfect pool liner, what factors should top your checklist, and to make things even easier, I’ll also list my top picks. Keep reading till the end because I will answer some of the most common questions about choosing a pool liner. 

How To Choose The Best Pool Liner

The US alone has 10.4 million residential swimming pools. Understandably, the pool liner market is equally significant, and the available options can be confusing. Keep the following factors in mind, and you’ll be able to navigate the vast sea of options and find the perfect pool liner.

Type Of Pool Liner

Pool liners come in three installation types: overlap, beaded, and uni-bead. Expandable pool liners are also increasing in demand. They have a heat-welded seam and offer adjustable heads to cater to various pool types.

pool liners



Vinyl pool liner is the most common for residential settings, and it suits both above-ground and in-ground pools. It can conform to any pool shape, and thus it is the go-to option for most pool owners. PVC expandable liners are also gaining popularity as they are better than vinyl at protecting against sunlight and fading. 

Fibreglass pools are low maintenance and non-porous, so they protect the pool wall well. But they come in limited shapes and sizes and cost more upfront. 

The Thickness Of Pool Liner

Vinyl above-ground pool liners are available in 20, 27, 28, or 30 mils thickness. Note that a mil here isn’t equivalent to a millimeter. It is 1/1000th of an inch. Some retailers also refer to the thickness of gauges. However, ask them to convert it into mils, for it is standard and will allow you to compare your options on the same grounds. 

Opt for a thicker pool liner or a fiberglass pool if you own a dog or your pool is surrounded by trees. Thicker liners better resist punctures due to dog claws, branches of trees, pieces of glass, and toenails. Yes, toenails! But remember that a properly installed 20 mil vinyl liner is better than an improperly installed 27 mil vinyl liner.

Embossed VS. Non-Embossed Liners

Embossed liners come with corrugated surfaces, having peaks and troughs. Their thickness is measured from the base to the peak, not the trough. On the other hand, non-embossed liners have a smooth surface throughout. 

Embossed liners are expensive because they pack more material within the same size and provide better grip and traction. A better idea is to get an embossed pool liner for steps inside the pool and a non-embossed liner for the rest of the pool surface. 



Finally, the fun part; choosing the right colors adds to the aesthetics and practicality of your pool setup. Lighter colors can make your smaller pool look big, but these colors are not good at hiding stains, so you’ll have to be vigilant with the cleaning. On the other hand, darker pool colors add a tropical touch to your pool ambiance and perform an excellent job of hiding more minor stains. Using a black pool liner is increasing for all the right reasons. It provides a great contrast with the surrounding colors and is the best at absorbing sunlight and heating the pool, saving you money by assuming the role of a pool heater.

My Top Picks

I have listed the top three best pool liners based on brand reliability, customer reviews, ease of maintenance, compatibility with multiple pool types, and, most importantly, my experience. So, my top picks are:

  1. Swimline Pool Liner 

Swimline pool liners are the most popular ones and for a reason. They have a legacy spanning over four decades. The pool liner brand has a standard vinyl gauge at its core, coupled with double-welded strong and durable seams. This translates into at least a decade of excellent pool experience without worrying about vinyl pool liner replacement.  

The pool liner comes in blue, making it a perfect choice for smaller and larger pools. It amicably fits 48 or 52-inch side walls, making it a top choice if you’re searching for the best above-ground pool liners. On top of that, Swimline backs its product with a 15-year warranty, a big win in our book!  

Swimline utilizes computerized cutting tables complementing them with their advanced computer-aided design (CAD) and engineering programs. This minimizes the risk of human error during production. I will advise securing the liner using the top rail or further anchoring the liner in place with cover clips.  

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07/17/2024 06:38 am GMT

Top-notch material quality backed with an impressive warranty makes this the best overall pool liner.

What I like about this pool liner:

  • Durable vinyl gauge construction and double-welded seams.
  • 15-year warranty 
  • It caters to most pool owners’ preferences due to its blue color

What I don’t like about this pool liner:

  • You have to buy installation equipment separately
  1. Smartline Pool Liner

The Smartline Pool Liner is perfect for above-ground pools with a steel framework. The liner is built upon 25 gauge (approximately 20 mils) of thick virgin vinyl and is compatible with pools with 48 to 52-inch walls and flat bottoms. Note that it won’t work with Intex or Pop-Up pools. There is a bundle of available color options.

The boulder swirl pattern features blue rocks against a swirling water background. On top of that, this liner features a hand-folded North American cut material that prevents creases and wrinkles. Before installation, leave the liner in the sun for an hour to warm up the vinyl so it stretches easily when you add water. I will recommend the installation when the external temperature is between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

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07/17/2024 06:37 am GMT

Now you can take a worry-free dip in your background pool because this pool liner easily withstands abrasion, chemicals, and UV fading, thanks to Lamiclear technology. The liner has an acrylic top coat, a UV-resistant print layer, and a 100% virgin vinyl base. Three layers of protection and a 25-year limited warranty make it a top choice among the most durable vinyl pool liner replacement options. 

What I like about this pool liner:

  • Sturdy 25 gauge virgin vinyl material
  • 25-year warranty 
  • Numerous color options
  • Easy installation, does not require bead receivers

What I don’t like about this pool liner:

  • Not compatible with Intex or Pop-Up pools
  1. LinerWorld Pool Liner

The Overlap Style above-ground pool liner by LinerWorld is available in various size options, from 12 x 24 feet to 21 x 41 feet, to provide easy installation and accommodating pool depths of up to 54.” It features an array of beautiful HD designs that enhance the aesthetic appeal of your background oasis. 

The liner is built with 25 gauge 100% virgin vinyl material that can easily withstand the rigors of daily use, translating into better durability and longevity. On top of that, LinerWorld has chemically treated the pool liner to provide adequate resistance against harmful UV rays and maintain the liner’s vibrant appearance for years. Due to multiple size options, easy stretching, and easy installation, this liner is the most flexible in the market.

What I like about this pool liner:

  • The manufacturer provides an easy-to-understand installation booklet
  • Stretches easily under heat and provides the perfect fit 
  • No wrinkles post-installation

What I don’t like about this pool liner:

  • Have to buy coping strips separately

Installing The Pool Liner

Pool liner installation is complex, and even a pro DIY enthusiast can overlook the small details, just as I did a few years back. After that, I always consult the experts to do the installation and the replacement for me. Therefore, I advise hiring a professional pool liner installation service for better results. 

I searched for companies offering pool liner installation near me. The results were confusing and haphazard, and I had to spend much time funneling out credible companies with good reviews and sufficient experience to their name. I’ll save you time and list the top three companies you should look out for, whether you want to install a pool liner or replace your older one. 

  1. MCM Pool Service

MCM Pool Service is my go-to agent for pool liner installation near me and offers all the other pool maintenance services. Give them a call, and their team will visit your pool. They look for the extent of damage (if any) to the pool walls and surrounding, calculate the time frame required to get your pool up and running, and check the pool dimensions using computer-aided measurements. 

After that, they explain the situation and help you choose the best pool liner for your backyard oasis. Besides the manufacturer warranty that comes with the pool liners, MCM Pool Service also offers its linear guard warranty with each installation. Once they have installed the pool liner, they schedule a water tank to fill the pool immediately. This ensures proper fitment and stretching of the liner. 

MCM Pool Service offers no-fee service in areas from Abington to Wrentham. Don’t worry if you’re located farther away, they also offer services from Ashland to Weston, but it comes with a fee. You can check out more details on their website.  

  1. Millenium Pools and Spas

A few months back, I was searching for companies offering vinyl pool liner replacement near me, and I was lucky enough to find Millenium Pools and Spas. They replaced the pool liner with expert precision and made the necessary repairs to my pool deck. You can also call them for a free estimate, and they’ll send over the team to take the pool measurements. 

Just let them know your new liner’s color, design, and vinyl thickness, and continue enjoying your backyard pool. Their pool liners come with a 20-year warranty. Currently, they offer services in Washington DC metropolitan area. This includes Mclean, Alexandria, Stafford, Fairfax Station in Virginia, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.

Millenium Pools will use the household hose to fill the pool if you can access city water services. This will save you approximately $1,000, which would otherwise be spent on bringing water through truck delivery. However, you must arrange a water tank if you rely on healthy water. In this situation, you can schedule the water delivery or use Millenium Pools’ assistance to pay the supplier and coordinate the delivery process.

  1. DoRite Construction

DoRite Construction has a simple website; you might mistake them for an amateur. However, I was lucky enough to find positive reviews from my friends. Apart from pool liner replacement, they also offer an entire range of pool maintenance services, from skimmer replacement to adding walk-in steps. 

Their prices are competitive, and they finish the work despite tight deadlines. My friend had an abandoned pool with a porous pool cover. You can imagine the mess it would be. But DoRite Construction did its magic and made the pool brand new. They also arrange for water delivery to fill the pool so the pool liner stretches and provides a perfect and symmetrical fit throughout. Currently, they offer services in Maryland.   


Pool liners keep the pool walls safe and add to your background oasis’s visual appeal. Choose the type of pool liner you want, then navigate the color, material, and thickness options to find the perfect one. Embossed pool liners provide better grip and traction and are a better choice if your pool has steps. 

From Swimline to LinerWorld, all pool liners in the list are highly rated and durable and will be your pool companions for years to come. If the installation procedure seems complex, I have listed the top installation and replacement companies. 


  1. What are the benefits of using above-ground pool liners?

Pool liners are waterproof and prevent seepage through cracks and holes in the pool walls. Chemically treated water in the pool can damage the pool walls, but the pool liners act as a barrier. Apart from these protective functions, they also add to the visual appeal of your pool.

  1. How much does it cost to replace a pool liner near me?

If you want to replace your pool liner, you should have at least $1,000 and up to $6,000. Expect an expenditure of $2,900 on average. This includes the cost of purchasing a pool liner according to the area of your pool and paying for the labor.

  1. What are the advantages of choosing a black pool liner?

A black pool liner will absorb heat from the sun to warm up your pool water. You should opt for a black pool liner if your pool is not under shade and receives plenty of sunlight in the winter. This can help you save money by eliminating frequent pool heater use. 

  1. Where can I find professional pool liner installation services near me?

You can search online or ask your neighbors or friends for the companies they refer to for pool liner installations. If these installation services are far from you, the website Match. has created a valuable resource to enter your details and see the top pool liner installation services near you.


  • Raoul Hayes

    Raoul Lobo is a seasoned expert in the realm of home appliances and environmental comfort. As a prominent author at, Raoul's passion and expertise shine through in his insightful articles and guides. With years of hands-on experience, he has become a trusted source for readers seeking advice on pools, washers, dryers, and a wide range of other appliances.

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