If you are having an in-ground swimming pool with a vinyl liner installed, you really don’t have a choice when it comes to liner types: a beaded liner is the way you’ll need to go. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have any choice when it comes to a pool liner! The main choices will be in the form of thickness and warranty. And before you can make those decisions, you need to understand what to expect, as far as longevity of your vinyl pool liner goes.
Vinyl Liner Thickness
Vinyl liner thickness is normally described in terms of “mil,” or millimeters. Typical liners range from 20-30 mils thick and last between 5 and 9 years. Also referred to as a “thou,” a “mil” is different from a millimeter; in fact, a mil is 1/1000 of an inch, making it approximately 1/39 of a mm. (Some dealers use gauge instead of mils to describe liner thickness; in order to compare their liners to others, simply ask for the measurement in mils.)
Vinyl Liner Embossing
After thickness, another variation in vinyl liners is embossed or non-embossed. Embossed liners have peaks and valleys, so they vary in thickness; however, they feel thicker than they actually are. Thickness of an embossed liner is measured by its highest peaks, making the stated thickness a bit misleading. By contrast, non-embossed liners have even thickness throughout, making them flat across the top. If you’re wanting the most budget-friendly option, it’s a 20 mil embossed liner.
Vinyl Liner Longevity
Liner thickness is definitely a factor in evaluating puncture resistance and, by extension, longevity. Punctures can occur as a result of toenails, dog claws, glass, tree branches, and more. Although a definite frustration, punctures aren’t necessarily destructive to pool liners. More often, failure of a liner occurs in the corners, due to dry rotting; this issue comes up due to improper installation, when empty space is present between the liner and the pool wall.
Because thicker liners are heavier, they’re more difficult for an installation professional to maneuver, making thicker liners more susceptible to failure. Regardless of thickness, a vinyl liner will typically last between 5 and 9 years. More of a factor than liner thickness is proper installation. Will a properly installed 30 mil liner last longer than a properly installed 20 mil liner? Probably. But there is no guarantee. Is it worth the extra money to buy a thicker or embossed liner? That’s up to you.
Vinyl Liner Recommendations
Whatever liner variation and thickness you decide on, there are a few suggestions that will keep you from having to replace it before its time. The first is to maintain the proper water chemistry — especially chlorine and pH. Second, make sure the liner is properly installed. Third, keep dogs out of the pool. Fourth, keep your toenails clipped.
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Since 1979 Lyon Financial has made the backyard resort dream come true for over 400,000 families across the U.S. Through our solid relationships with more than 3,000 pool contractors and our continued commitment to putting our clients first, we have built a reputation as the first choice in providing pool financing solutions. For more information, visit lyonfinancial.net or call (877) 754-5966 today.
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