Getting the right kind of vinyl liner bead type matters to ensure the pool in your residence or property continues functioning well. Importantly, many types of beaded liners are available, which can make one feel overwhelmed or confused. That requires the owners or users of pools to know the types well.

To grab a thorough understanding of the liner bead types for vinyl swimming pools, continue reading. But before we jump onto types of vinyl liner beads, you need the concept of vinyl beads used in pools.

Understanding What Are Vinyl Liner Bead Types for Swimming Pools

Vinyl swimming pools contain a vinyl sheet that separates the water from the floor and wall of the pool. The vinyl liner or sheet helps to keep the water in place in the insides of the pools without making the pool wall get wet or lose structural and functional integrity.

Liner beads form an important part found in the top edge of pool liners. Liner beads, or more accurately, liners with beads, contain a groove or hook-like structure running along the edge of pool liners. With the liner beads, you can install or attach the liner to the edge of the pool walls.

The structure of liner beads can be segregated into a bead head and tail. Its overall structure provides the ease of attaching the liner along the top edge of the swimming pool. The bead offers compatibility for joining with the pool wall or bead track. Apart from effective installation, the liner beads/liners come in different varieties and give you multiple options for selection.

Different Types of Vinyl Liner Beads for Swimming Pools

Standard Bead

This common type gives the comfort of easier installation. Its design equips it to fit with the perimeter of swimming pools. Thus, standard bead helps its easy attachment with the swimming pool track. Also, it gets a tight grip on the pool track, preventing its displacement.

Reverse Bead

It can be considered a standard bead but with a reverse design. Owing to its reverse design, one must take proper care while installing the bead to prevent its wrong attachment.

J-Bead or J-Hook

This variety of liner beads resembles the shape of the letter J and can fit either with the track or edge of swimming pools. It provides a tight seal, thanks to its small lip that attaches to the pool edge covering the pool perimeter.


As a versatile liner bead, it integrates the characteristics of both J and standard varieties. With a small lip like that of a J-hook, you can attach the bead on the perimeter of pools. To use this variety as a standard type, you must remove Uni-bead’s hook.

This bead variety can be used as a compatible type to replace your existing or old liner beads of the types given below.

  • J-Bead
  • Duo Type
  • EZ Bead

EZ Bead

You can use the EZ bead either as a standard or J-bead type without any modification. The bead can be attached to the wall of the swimming pool just like a standard type. Plus, you can install the mentioned bead as a J-bead by hanging it from the wall of your pool.

Duo Bead

You can use the duo bead either in folded or unfolded form. If you keep it folded, the bead functions as a standard type fitting with the track of pools. The unfolded form of the Duo bead behaves more like a J-hook.

Wilkes Bead

This comes with a design similar to that of the J-type. But, Wilkes bead has a comparatively smaller size. You can use this type only for pools having the Wilkes brand.

Esther Williams Bead

This type is incompatible with swimming pools having standard tracks. You can use Esther Williams Bead only for pools with the brand Esther Williams and Weissmuller. With its thicker width and rounded top, this type involves a difficult installation compared to that of the standard variety.

Kayak Bead

The design of the above-said variety can be considered similar to that of the standard type. However, Kayak comes with a lip that aids in secure attachment of the liner bead with the pool and thus tight sealing.

But, this type comes with a specificity that limits its extensive use for pools. Kayak beads can only get an optimized fit with bead track of pools having the Kayak brand.

However, knowing the types of vinyl liner beads is not enough. One must explore the factors, knowledge of which is indispensable for settling with the liner bead/liner best for your pool.

Things to Know Before Choosing Any Type of Vinyl Liner Beads for Swimming Pools

Knowing the Type of Swimming Pool You Have

Swimming pools include two types, namely in-ground and above-ground. Depending on the pool type, you must select the beaded variety you need. The owners of in-ground pools don’t need to consider the height of the pool, which owners of above-ground pools should consider while getting a liner bead.

Height of Pools

Most common heights of pools fall from 48” to 54”. You need to know the height of your pool correctly to make the right choice of liner bead. If you settle with a liner having a small size, the liner extends beyond capacity and most possibly rips. That not only fails to give the intended function but also excludes the privilege of getting its use even before the warranty period comes.

Getting an oversized beaded liner is also problematic. It develops wrinkles and bunches up. With time, it faces the risk of getting ripped.

The Presence of Existing Bead Track

Before getting a bead replacement or installation, you need to examine whether your swimming pool already has beads or only a coping strip. Depending on your existing option, you need to decide the bead type your pool is compatible with.

Further, if your pool comes with a bead track, you can get liner beads. If your pool does not possess a bead track, you can add an overlap liner. You can also go for the bead types mentioned below, the installation of which does not need bead tracks.

  • J-Bead
  • Uni-Bead
  • Duo Bead
  • Wilkes Type

Brand of Swimming Pools

This may seem trivial, but it does play a significant role in deciding liner bead types for swimming pools. You can have the choice of getting any liner bead, irrespective of pool brand. But, pools of certain brands require you to maintain specificity. You must get a bead specially designed for the pool brands mentioned below.

  • Wilkes
  • Ester Williams
  • Kayak

Final Thoughts

Vinyl liner beads are nothing but a groove-like structure that helps secure the attachment of the liner to the pool walls. Many different vinyl liner beads are available, including EZ bead, Dou bead, and J-hook. Brand-specific types include Kayak, Wilkes bead, and Esther Williams bead.

You can never straightway decide what type of vinyl liner bead type you need for your swimming pool. You must consider several important factors, like pool type and height and the presence of bead track, before settling with a preferred bead type for your pool.