By far the biggest question we get about our above ground pool from a customer when they are shopping for an above ground pool is what Gauge is the liner? What the customer is trying to establish is what is the thickness of the liner. With the advent of the internet, shopping for a liner can be a little confusing at best. We’ve recently seen the addition of terms like Gauge to try and compare liners. The truth is that Gauge isn’t a measurement of vinyl therefor it can’t be proven or disproven. You will also see above ground pool liners marketed as a specific Mil measurement. This can be measured and proven. The challenge is that manufacturers have become very skilled at coming up with ways to make liners thicker therefore increasing the Mil measurement. The bad news is that many of these fillers are chalk based and will actually have a negative impact on the longevity of the liner which is what you were trying to increase! Chalk fillers reduce the value of the above ground pool liner by diluting the virgin vinyl. The plasticizer (the chemical that gives it it’s stretchy quality) is the most expensive portion of the liner and is very dense.
Being a member of one of the largest buying groups in the country (the Millennium Group), we have the chance to analyze offerings from the 4 largest liner manufacturers in the world. We were able to actually weigh 4 different liners (all 24′ round, 54″ walls). All 4 liners were advertised as 27 Mil. We knew the fillers would not add to the weight of the liner but the plasticizer would. The liner we chose was actually 30% heavier than the next closest liner. And THATS how you choose a quality liner!