There has been debate for many years when it comes to boat flooring. Some people prefer carpet, while others prefer marine vinyl flooring. Like anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Use this guide to help you choose the best boat flooring for your family.
Carpeted Boat Flooring
Carpet is a great option for boat owners on a budget. If you do go this route, make sure you get a marine-specific carpet. It is designed to withstand the natural elements and is more durable than traditional carpeting.
An interesting acoustical property of carpet is that you can move worry-free around the boat. This is great for fisherman who often fear that the fish will hear their footsteps on the boat while waiting for a catch.
Carpeting also provides ample traction. Even with wet feet, you won’t have an accidental slip and hurt yourself. Its familiar, comfortable texture will make guests feel right at home when you’re entertaining on your boat.
Carpet absorbs dirt, sand, fish guts, and so much more, leaving your boat less fresh than when you stepped aboard. You also run the risk of underdeck rotting because carpet is constantly absorbing water and never fully drying. Over time, the moisture will weaken the wood, increasing your chances of mold and wood rot.
No matter what color carpeted flooring starts out as, it will fade and bleach out over time. The pigments of the carpet are exposed to the sun’s UV rays, and fade as a result.
Marine Vinyl Boat Flooring
Vinyl is a more expensive option, but with the higher price comes better quality. It is made from a combination of vinyl resin and special additives that are durable and weather proof, making it ideal for its purpose.
If you want low-maintenance flooring, vinyl is your best bet. All you have to do to keep it looking brand new is to scrub it with some cleaner and hose it down after each outing. When you retire the boat for the year, take a pressure washer to the floor before and after winter comes. If you use a little bit of surface cleaner, water, and a long brush, your boat will be left sparkling and ready for its next use.
Vinyl flooring won’t experience color fading, because it’s UV stabilized. This also means that your feet won’t get burned when you walk around the boat during the day.
Upon installation, vinyl is heavily and securely glued to the flooring, forming a waterproof seal. This, along with its moisture-repelling properties, makes it a great choice for a marine environment.
It is often said that vinyl does not offer much traction on boats. This is a problem when children get out of the water with wet feet and run on a slippery surface. Fortunately, textured woven vinyl presents an easy solution to this issue. It provides traction while staying colorfast and water resistant.
For many boatowners looking to upgrade their flooring, marine vinyl is the clear choice. While it has a higher price tag than carpeting, you’ll get better use of it over time. You also won’t have to worry about fading, mold, or deck rot.