What you need to know about a swimming pool liner

by Cheryl Dunn

Swimming pool liners are relatively inexpensive.  Improvements in technology mean that they are far superior to the ones that were first introduced in the 1950s.  They have become a viable alternative for in-ground pools as well as above-ground pools.  Eventually nearly every pool owner will look at pool liners as an option for prolonging the life of a swimming pool.  If that is you, then here are some things that you need to know.

How long does a pool liner last?

Pool liners are hardy and long wearing, so it isn't likely that you will need to replace it very often.  Most will last between five to ten years.  The longevity will depend upon a range of factors.  Chemicals needed to keep the pool clean, sun exposure and even water quality can impact how long your pool liner may last.  Minor cuts and holes are usually easily fixed with an inexpensive liner repair kit.  

Choosing a colour

You will have a very wide choice of colour and pattern.  In fact, you can even order your own special design in many cases but at a cost.  Lighter colours will give swimmers better visibility.  They will also reflect heat in hot climates.  Dark-coloured pool liners will hold in more heat for a longer swimming season.  It will also make heating the pool easier if you choose to.  A dark colour will better hide flaws in the vinyl, and will give an impression of deeper water.


While the looks of a pool liner are important, the real key is the thickness.  The thicker the pool liner, the tougher it is and the longer it will last.  The standard thickness for above-ground pools liners is 20 mil.  In an in-ground pool, it is 30 mil.  This is because of the base which is essentially concrete in an in-ground pool and much harsher on the pool liner.  As a guide, 20mil is around the thickness of two sheets of standard paper.  The measure can also be referred to as a gauge, but this is not a standard measure between all manufacturers and can be misleading.  Under perfect conditions, a 30mil liner may last two to four years longer than a 20mil liner.  It can be more difficult to install a thicker liner as they are heavier and not as easy to work with.  It is also likely to cost around 10% more for a thicker liner.

For more information on swimming pool liners, contact a company like West Coast Swimming Pool Liners.