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20 mil vs. 27, 28, or 30 mil Swimming Pool Liners? Which is better?

By Johnny Davis - Updated On: 08/12/19

Over the years, the most common question customers ask is; which liner is better? A 20mil liner or a thicker liner such as a 27mil, 28mil, or 30mil?

We have sought answers from many different liner manufacturers, pool builders, and retailers and most do not believe thickness is a factor in most cases. It is our recommendation that you choose your pool liner based off the pattern you like best, instead of passing up your pattern of choice due to thickness.

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Why choose a liner because of thickness?

Many professional builders actually prefer 20mil liners because they have more elasticity which helps them fit better in some cases. Thicker liners tend to be less pliable and much heavier which can make the installation more difficult. A proper fitting 20 mil liner will outlast an improper fitting thicker liner. There can be advantages to thicker liners though. 27mil and thicker liners can help protect against abrasive pool surfaces and provide additional puncture protection. Normally liners do not fail due to either issue, however, in some cases thickness can be an added benefit.

But won't a thicker liner fade less over time?

Why do liners fade? Good question! From our experience, liners fade or become "bleached" due to chemical erosion, sun fading, overstretching during the install process, and age. Over-chlorinating is the number one reason for a liner color fading. Just as excessive bleach will fade your clothes, over-chlorinating your pool will accelerate fading of a pool liner. Any chlorine level above 3 PPM will accelerate fading. To answer the first question, no, thicker liners will not provide any additional protection against fading, because both 20mil and 30mil liners use the same clear coat protection layer.

To sum up the liner discussion, it is our recommendation that you choose your pool liner based on the pattern you like best. If you don't like your pool or the way it looks, it could lead to some of the problems discussed! You want to enjoy your pool and the way it looks! If you like your pool, you will take care of it!

For more on how to choose the best liner for your swimming pool, check out our article that covers end color, texture, and patterns here!

Bonus Question: What's The Difference In Mil & Gauge?

These are both terms used to measurements for a liner's thickness! Mils are regulated while a gauge is more of an approximation.

Mil is an actual unit of measurement and gauge is more of an estimate based on findings. Mil represents Gauge one thousandth of an inch. 

  • Mil is a true regulated form of measuring the thickness of a liner.
  • Gauge, in vinyl liners, is not regulated and is more of an estimated thickness.

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Additional resources for your pool buying journey: 

Hopefully, we've helped answer some questions for you on choosing your new swimming pool liner! However, we'd like to cover a different question now: Why buy your from us? What value do you as a consumer get from purchasing your liner from us? 

The image below covers so many benefits of shopping with Royal Swimming Pools however we want to point out what we're really passionate about as consumers ourselves. What we're talking about isn't our incredible track record of 30 years in the industry. It isn't our ability to create customized items in a way that is simple and easy to understand. It's not even our long list of ways to buy including multiple easy financing options? It's more important that all of that. Because it's about you. 

The three most important items that you can focus on below is how we treat... you. Our team builds real relationships with our customers. If you call in and speak to a sales consultant, that consultant provides support to you before your sale, can assist with your purchase, ensure that all your measurements line up properly. But it doesn't end there. We provide that same one-on-one support during your installation, if you have any technical, troubleshooting, or even warranty inquiries later down the line, we'll have you covered!

This leads to our high customer satisfaction rating. Yeah, no for real- almost 5,000 reviews here with a rating of 4.8! Want more? See what reviews folks have said about us on Google! If you're pressed for time you can check out some customer feedback below. 

We pride ourselves on taking care of our customers before, during, and after they choose to shop with us. This has led to our high customer satisfaction rating which has been made obvious by the positive feedback we see across multiple platforms. Why buy from Royal Swimming Pools? Because we'll treat you like royalty every day. 

Why Buy From Royal Swimming Pools Liner