How to Choose Boat Flooring Like a Pro
Ever heard that the happiest days with a boat are the day you buy and the day you sell? Not anymore! Now add the day you choose the best boat flooring to that list, and get out there and enjoy that boat!
You finally bought your dream boat, but you want to add some unique features to make it even more “yours”. Or, are you looking to upgrade a boat that you’ve already called to your own? Either way, an upgrade as simple as changing your boat floor covering is one that can breathe new life into your sea baby.
Whether you have a fast boat to take the family out wake boarding or a luxuriously beautiful yacht that you are going travel the world in, every decision that you make is an important one.
There are so many types of flooring out there. How do you find the right one for your boat? Is it all the same? You definitely want to do some research, and we are here to help you discover the best
You definitely want to do some research, and we are here to help you discover the best boat flooring options.
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You may have never heard of using rubber for flooring before, but that’s okay! Don’t worry, we are going to fill you in on all the details.
Rubber flooring actually comes from recycled car tires. It is an environmentally friendly flooring option that is very durable.
While it may not be the most attractive option, rubber does provide an amazing slip resistance, which is highly beneficial for wet feet coming out of the water. Think –> less bumps and bruises from a slippery floor!
Pros of rubber flooring for boats
- Slip resistance. Rubber has exceptional traction when wet. Think about your car driving on a wet road; the traction from the rubber helps your car stay on the ground and not hydroplane. Now, imagine the possible hydroplane victim is your beautiful wife – you are going to want to put down some non-slip marine flooring to protect her.
- Comfort underfoot. Rubber has natural anti-fatigue properties. That means you’ll feel great even after being out on the boat all day. I mean, you might be really sunburnt, but at least your feet won’t hurt!
Cons of rubber flooring for boats
- Not UV stable. If you dock your boat somewhere that is not covered and protected by shade, you had better believe that your rubber will fade over time and likely deteriorate. Rubber flooring is not treated with any sort of fade-resistant coatings so you gotta take good care of it and make sure you cover it up.
- Hot hot hot. When you’re out boating around, the direct sunlight will likely make it, er…warm, to say the least. underfoot. That means if you choose rubber flooring, you’ve gotta protect your tootsies on those hot days.
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Vinyl rolls are not only for use in garages, but they are popular for use as flooring in boats too! I’m not talking about the stone look vinyl roll that you see in apartment kitchens or bathrooms – these rolls are more industrial looking and built to last.
These vinyl rolls add some slip resistance while, in turn, making your boat look 10x cooler than it did before.
Pros of vinyl rolls for boats
- Easy to install. Marine vinyl rolls can be very easily cut to fit your boat’s shape. For a permanent installation, you just need to glue it down with a pressure-sensitive adhesive.
- Sleek, modern look. Whichever pattern you choose, these look babies great in any space and add an eye-catching finish to your boat.
Cons of vinyl rolls for boats
- Not UV stable. Just like with rubber or other flooring options, most are not treated with a UV stable surface. However, if you dock in a covered area, you should be good to go.
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PVC tiles are durable, easy to install and waterproof! They are designed specially for garages, so you know they can take a beating from dropped tools, liquids, and can even be driven over!
You can choose from ultra smooth to industrial coin top looks to make your boat floor reflect your personal style and attitude.
Pros of PVC tiles for boats
- Easy to install. The tiles are designed with a jigsaw type construction, so installing the tiles is literally like putting together a big puzzle. And who doesn’t love puzzles?
- Waterproof. PVC tiles are made from a plastic resin that won’t hold water or grow mold/mildew.
- Color options. There are a handful of vibrant color options to match with any theme, sports team, or decor.
- Portable. Since these tiles install like a puzzle, you do not have to worry about gluing them down permanently. This means, if you’d like, you can remove them in the future and install them somewhere else – say, in a bigger, fancier boat.
Cons of PVC tiles for boats
- Price. Depending on how much floor space you need to cover, this could be a pricey new endeavor.
- Not UV stable. Again, like other marine flooring options, these tiles are not fade-resistant. So if they will be in direct sunlight for long periods of time, say at dock, you may consider another option.
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If you love to fish, you know how messy of a hobby that can be. Believe me when I say that it would be worth your while to invest in some drainage tiles.
These babies give you something solid to stand on while allowing all liquids and messes to penetrate through and go beneath the floor – you no longer have to worry about fish guts or blood squishing underneath your shoes! Everyone around you thanks you for that.
Pros of drainage tiles for boats
- Drainage. Enough said. No really, though. Having a floor that allows water and other liquids to flow underneath can be a godsend when it comes to soggy feet and fishing messes.
- Easy to clean. These tiles can just be sprayed down with the hose and anything that was on the top will flow beneath the tiles and drain out underneath.
- Easy to install. There is nothing easier than having a tile pop into place with the tile next to it. You can install these bad boys with either a stomp of the foot, pushing into place with your hand or even with the light pounding of a rubber mallet. You can cut the tiles to fit your unique boat shape, but, otherwise, installation is a breeze.
- UV Stable options. Although not all drainage tiles are UV stable, there are many options that are. That means you can leave your boat in the sun all day long without worrying about your floor.
Cons of drainage tiles for boats
- Price point? This is truly the only legitimate con for using drainage tiles on a boat. Drainage tiles can be more expensive than other options but, depending on what your boat is used for, it could be totally worth every penny.
Carpet tiles are cool, unique, and allow you to have full creative freedom when it comes to patterns and making your own custom design in any space.
They are durable, won’t break the bank, and are a practical option for use as boat carpet.
Carpet tile squares are exactly what they sound like – little squares of carpet, but they are easy to transport, install and replace, unlike traditional carpet.
Pros of carpet tiles for boats
- Easy install. There are many low-cost carpet tile options out there that allow you to simply peel and stick the marine carpet right to the surface.
- Easy to replace. If a spill or stain happens and a single carpet tile is damaged permanently, you can simply peel up the carpet tile and replace it with a brand new one… If only everything in life were as easy!
- Eco-friendly. There are many eco-friendly carpet tiles available that are made of recycled materials, for example, plastic bottles. This also helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew on your floor.
- Low cost. This explains itself!
- Luxury options. Plush, comfortable, and attractive carpet tiles are also an option. There are many beautiful styles that will compliment any yacht or large boat with the living space.
Cons of carpet tiles for boats
- Not ALL are UV stable. If this is important to you, be sure to shop around for products or brands that offer indoor / outdoor carpet tiles. Foss, for example, makes excellent tiles that are safe in the sun.
- Not great for fishing boats. Think about it – if you are catching and gutting fish, you do NOT want to have a carpet tile underneath your feet, absorbing all the juices, the smell…. The idea of that is even making me nauseous!
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You have many options when it comes to boat flooring. It is important to consider your price point, use for the floor, and amount of direct sunlight that your new flooring will get.
When it comes down to it, there are many floor types that will do the job, but this ultimately depends on what you would like.
If you would like more information or help to narrow down the perfect flooring for your boat, please feel free to contact one of our friendly products heroes.