How to measure for an aboveground pool liner

special blue measuring tape for measuring inground pool linersAn often overlooked step in replacing your above ground pool liner, measuring your pool properly will prevent undue surprises.

This is because not all pools will measure to exactly the size that a pool owner thinks he or she has. Secondly, installation variables can cause the walls to bow out, or bow inward.

If you are planning a replacement pool liner this spring, take a few moments to get an accurate measurement of your pool diameter and depth. Then you can confidently place an order for your replacement pool liner and aboveground liner installation supplies.

Round Pool Liners:

For a round pool, we want to measure the diameter of the pool in two opposite locations. If the pool were a clock-face, measure at 12 and 6 o’clock, and also at 9 and 3 o’clock. To rule out the possibility of bowed walls, measure each diameter twice – at the top of the wall, and also at the bottom of the wall. You will need two people to make the measurement easier and most accurate.

Aboveground pool liners usually have a standard diameter, of 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30 or 33 feet. However (!), measure carefully to determine if you can use one of our stock replacement liners for aboveground pools, or if a custom liner is needed.

Now to measure the depth of your aboveground pool liner. Many pools have a foam cove or troweled sand ledge up against the pool wall. When measuring depth, make sure to measure to the absolute pool floor. Similarly, at the top of the pool wall, be careful to measure to the where the liner snaps into the track (beaded liners) or where it goes over the wall (overlap liners). If you measure to the top rail, or the horizontal top of the pool wall, you will be adding another inch or so to the depth.

Aboveground pool liners usually have a standard depth, of 48″, 52″ or 54″. However (!), this can vary, depending on the amount of floor material (sand) that was added during the last liner replacement.

Generally speaking, 1-2″ of difference in depth or diameter may not matter much, but more than this and you may have trouble with the install. If you have doubts, give our helpful pool experts a call, to reduce the risk of trying to install a pool liner, that just doesn’t quite fit.

Oval Pool Liners:

For oval pools, we measure in the same manner (carefully), 9-3, 12-6. Make sure that on the oval ends, you are measuring at the apex of the radius curve. Remember to measure from wall to wall, keeping the measuring tape perpendicular to the floor.

With oval pools, there can be more of a chance of a bowed wall, so be sure to measure the diameters from both the top and the bottom of the pool wall. When measuring the depth of your aboveground pool, take a measurement from several locations around the pool, to make sure that your floor is not uneven.

For overlap liners, if the amount of overlap on the outside of the pool wall is uneven, this is another clue that the floor may be uneven. In this case, generally some floor work can be done, more sand can be added – to level out the pool floor. But (!), add too much sand, and you are raising the floor, and reducing the depth of your pool, and the needed depth of your new pool liner.

Rectangular Pool Liners:

Not too many rectangular aboveground pools out there, but if you have one, it’s likely a Kayak brand. For measuring rectangular aboveground liners, you will measure in the same manner as above, choosing a center line point to measure from end to end and side to side. One point of distinction to rectangular pool liners is the radius of the corner. In some cases, the corner can be 90 degrees where the end meets the side, but usually they have a small curve or radius in the corners.

To measure a radius corner, you can use a framing square, or two yardsticks, laid perpendicular to each other. Measure the distance from where the curve begins to the where the yard sticks meet. With the yard sticks laid next to the pool edge, you should be able to see where the curve begins to pull away from the straight yard stick. A 6″ radius is common, but can be larger – or smaller.

Deep – Dish pools:

If your aboveground pool has a deep end, or a dished out center, also known as a “bowl”, you may need a custom liner. Aboveground pool liners are made for flat bottom pools. One exception to this are pools made BY above, aBY above, aBY above, aby Doughboy, which can use what’s called an expandable liner. This liner will stretch into place to fit a deeper center section. If your aboveground pool has a deep[er] section, you will need to measure the depth at the deepest point.Then, give us a call to discuss ordering and installing a liner into an aboveground pool with a deep area.

And that’s about all there is to measuring for replacement vinyl liners. You may be surprised to find that your pool is bigger or smaller than you thought! I know this to be the case, because every year we have a couple of customers who order mistakenly – and unfortunately, once you pull the liner out of the box, and drag it around on the sand, trying to make it fit – it’s non-returnable. So, measure carefully, and if you have any questions, please give us a call – we’d love to help you select the correct replacement pool liner size for your pool.

Davy Merino
InTheSwim Blog Editor


How to measure for an aboveground pool liner — 2 Comments

    • Hi Thomas, you didn’t open the box did you? They wont receive it back if it’s been taken out and dragged around the pool. But assuming not, you can make your reorder now, so that your pool opening is not delayed, placing a new order tonight. Then to return the other liner, visit this page and follow the instructions to get the RMA#, and then ship it back to Chicago for return and credit processing. You can also call 1-800-374-1500 to do it all at once, or for return related questions, you can speak to the team directly.