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What You Need to Know About Vinyl Liner Thickness: Mil, Gauge, and More

  Aug 30, 2017 / by Will Cappiello

What You Need to Know About Vinyl Liner Thickness - clear pool overlooking lake

One of the factors you need to consider when selecting a vinyl liner for your swimming pool is the thickness of the liner. There are merits to both thicker and thinner liners, and you want to choose the right weight both for your needs and your budget.

Mil and Gauge are Not Synonymous

It’s important to note that the two terms used to describe vinyl liner thickness are not synonyms. A “mil” (not to be confused with a millimeter) is a unit of measurement that is equal to one thousandth of an inch. The “gauge” measurement is about 10 percent less than a mil.

So, for example, a 35 gauge liner is roughly the same thickness as a 30 mil liner. And to give you a little perspective, a sheet of paper is around 10 mil, a plastic ID card is 30 mil, and a dime is close to 50 mil. At Latham, we refer to the thicknesses of our liners in mil. Of course, you don’t need to remember how mil and gauge compare. The takeaway here is that when talking with a vinyl liner provider, you need to be sure they are clear about thickness.

Thin vs. Thick: A Few Key Considerations

Once people understand that vinyl liners come in different thicknesses (which are described using different terms), the next question is, of course, “Which thickness do I need?” And, as you might expect, the answer is, “It depends.” Your Latham representative can talk with you about what’s right for your requirements, but in general, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The thicker a liner is, the higher the cost tends to be.
  • Thicker liners offer a little added puncture/tear protection.
  • Thinner liners have greater elasticity and can therefore provider a better fit in many cases.
  • Thicker liners are more challenging to install properly.
  • Proper fit can have a positive impact on liner lifespan.
  • Liner thickness has no effect on fading, which depends on sun exposure and protection from direct contact with undissolved chemicals.
  • All quality liners are strong, so finding the color/pattern you like may be more important than choosing a thickness.
  • We sell liners from 20 to 27 mil.
  • Latham Ultra-Seam® liners use an advanced process that keeps the liners seams from being visible.


Take Advantage of Our Expertise

At Latham Pool Products, we have extensive expertise in vinyl liners. While the final decision on which liner to go with is yours, of course, we’re happy to share our experience with you so you can make that decision with confidence. Contact us today with your questions!

Latham Ultraseam Vinyl Liner Ebook

Topics: Polymer Pools, Vinyl Liners, Pool Liners, In-Ground Pools

Will Cappiello

Written by Will Cappiello

Will Cappiello is the Product Director at Latham Pool Products. He loves working for Latham, the Largest Swimming Pool Manufacturer in North America.

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