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Home > School Of Pool > Pool Liner Thickness Definitions
Pool Liner Thickness Explained

Anyone who is contemplating a pool needs to consider a liner. Anyone who already has a pool will most likely need to replace their existing liner at some point in time. Regardless, almost all types of liners are made from vinyl, and they are available in varying thicknesses. Before anyone makes a decision about the purchase of a liner, it is a good idea to be armed with some facts that will allow you to make an informed decision.

The thickness of a vinyl pool liner is either measured in mil or gauges. The two are not interchangeable; gauge does not equal mil. A mil is an exact mathematical measurement that never varies. One mil equals .0001 inch. This means that if a pool liner is 20 mil thick, it is .0020 of an inch thick, for any dealer. A gauge, on the other hand, is not an exact measurement, and it is inconsistent between dealers. As the number of the gauge goes up, so will the thickness of the liner. 

The recommended thickness of a pool liner varies with what type of pool it is lining. An inground usually uses a 20 or 30 mil liner. If the bottom of the pool is a specialized material that is relatively smooth, a 20 mil liner will suffice. If the bottom is coarser, it would be better to opt for a 30 mil liner. As the walls of the pool will get more wear and tear, particularly at and above the water line, they are usually of a thicker gauge vinyl.

The liner for an above ground pool usually starts at approximately 15- 16 mil, but a consumer can find 20, 25, and even 30 mil liners for these pools. Although a thicker liner does not always equal a longer life, it usually does mean a longer warranty and higher cost. Keep in mind that some of the thicker liners are more unwieldy and difficult to maneuver into position. 

Over a period of years, a pool liner is subjected to much stress and wear. If the pool is slowly losing water, odds are it is time for a new liner. While a patch can buy a little time, replacement is inevitable. A little advance knowledge about the product can help the consumer to make the wisest choice for his or her situation.

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