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7 Boat Flooring Options You Need to Know

Boat flooring is an integral part of a boat’s overall function, experience, and personality. Flooring is not only essential for aesthetics but more importantly, the safety of the boat owners, crew members, and passengers.

If you enjoy performance fishing or active water sports, you need to consider the type of boat flooring that will enhance and fit your needs.

Several types of boat flooring are available in the market from carpet to foam. Not only does boat flooring enhance the safety of the vessel, but the right flooring can also protect your boat and enhance its overall value.

Adding boat flooring to your watercraft is a wise decision. Let’s dive into the different boat flooring options so that you can make the best choice for your particular situation and boating requirements.

Foam Boat Flooring:

Foam Boat flooring provides a non-slip surface that is impermeable to water. The characteristics of foam flooring provide anti-fatiguing relief for feet and back - perfect for sport fishing and standing for long periods of time.

As an authorized DEKit dealer, DEKit boat flooring is the best foam flooring product you have to consider as an option for boat flooring. We may carry a little bias, but when boat captains and industry fishing pros tell us over and over about the value they get from DEKit flooring, you just have to listen to industry veterans who use DEKit day in and day out.

What customers love about DEKit's foam boat flooring is that it has anti-bacterial properties and an anti-fungal coating, making it microbial-free and safe for human skin contact. For fishing boat captains, there is no need to worry about fish blood and gut residue breeding harmful organisms. Simply wash the foam flooring down with simple soap and water.

Additionally, another valuable safety precaution is that DEKit's Foam Flooring absorbs much less heat than wood or other materials, thus reducing burn risks. Speaking of sun exposure, DEKit flooring is also UV stable, so you don't have to worry about the foam flooring fading.

DEKit boat flooring is also very customizable. Not only can you get flooring in many different colors and color combinations, but you can also choose the thickness of your foam flooring. As a bonus, you can even add a custom-designed logo or have your spouse outlined as a design element (jk lol). With so many custom elements behind DEKit boat flooring, you can have the exact flooring you desire that fits your personality with long-lasting durability.

PVC Flooring Tiles:

Easy-to-install PVC tiles are one of the best boat flooring options for DIYers. With the ability to purchase tiles, essentially, you can put the PVC tiles together like a puzzle board. Seen as highly versatile, the flooring tiles are not permanently fixed to your boat floor with glue or other materials, so exchanging and updating tiles is simple.

PVC tiles are a bit pricey, but you get a material that is very durable, unbreakable, waterproof, low maintenance, and does not harbor bad odors or bacteria. To clean, you simply apply a mild cleaning solution and go over the tiles with a soft scrub brush mop with running water.

Whether out to sea or hanging leisurely tied off an island beach, PVC tiles are known to protect your boat floor from damage as they are impact resistant and they provide a bit of foot comfort as well. Given the variety of tiles on the market, PVC flooring is available in different colors and patterns that look amazing and can be easily applied and replaced.

The downside of PVC tiles is that with time, they do fade since they are not UV stable/UV protected.

Drainage Floor Tiles:

Drainage floor tiles are excellent at allowing water to flow as well as providing an anti-slip surface that provides good traction. Very durable in nature, drainage floor tiles can take a beating while protecting the surface of your boat.

As a great waterproof flooring option, drainage tiles are easy to install as they basically snap together and are easy to trim to fit a variety of irregular floor perimeters. Since this flooring option requires no glue to hold them down, the tiles are very easy to take apart and replace.

Since drainage floor tiles are open construction, any water that splashes on the tile is immediately removed below the tile. The big advantage here is that your gear is kept off of a wet-floor surface where it can remain dry - great for fishing gear.

The only drawback to these types of flooring systems is the diminishing returns on comfort from standing for long periods of time, which can lead to foot and back fatigue.

Aluminum Boat Flooring

Lightweight and durable, these two words lead to our next type of boat flooring on this list.

Typically used for pontoon watercraft and Jon Boat deck material, aluminum materials are fairly easy to clean and maintain and make a boat lightweight and more fuel efficient given the higher gas prices these days.

Probably the most important feature of aluminum flooring is its long lifespan. Not only is it strong, but it’s also very resistant to corrosion - you can expect an aluminum boat with aluminum flooring to last 35-45 years! The only condition is that if used out in saltwater, like anything else sprayed with salty water, you need to spray the aluminum with fresh water to remove the salt. On occasion, you do need to polish aluminum to keep it protected, as well as shiny and vibrant.

With the benefits of aluminum as an inexpensive flooring option, boats using aluminum have a tendency to maintain their value.

Marine Carpet Flooring

Marine Carpet flooring has been in use for decades and is one of the most common boat flooring types. Many technological advancements have been made giving boat owners the opportunity to upgrade carpet flooring and make their flooring more compatible with today's requirements of leisure boating and fishing adventurers.

These days you will find marine carpet flooring much softer and more comfortable than it used to be. While it is durable and water-resistant in comparison with other types of boat flooring that are on the market, marine carpeting does tend to fade over time from UV damage, as well as hold in more bacterial elements and moisture, which can lead to rotting carpet.

Based on marine carpet’s ability to track and hold water/moisture, it is not an ideal flooring material for avid fishermen. Not only does the carpet hold moisture, it also tends to hold on to odors. For those of us who know the smell of rotten fish, it’s just something you don’t want to contend with.

Vinyl Marine Flooring

Vinyl is another type of marine flooring that you will usually find on yachts and ski boats. But do not confuse it with vinyl household flooring. It is different from vinyl flooring used in household kitchens and bathrooms.

Like marine flooring, vinyl flooring has also undergone tremendous development to fit today's boating requirements.

With features like waterproof and UV resistance, you can, without any doubt, apply it on your boats as a standard boat flooring option (not the best in our opinion). Given its flexibility regarding ease of installation and its durability and longevity, it makes a good flooring option for cost-conscious boat owners.

Some other benefits of vinyl flooring include the opportunity to make it softer and more comfortable to stand on since you can place padding underneath. Another benefit of this type of flooring is sound resistance. And for fishing enthusiasts, this flooring is no less than a blessing, as vinyl is easy to clean and maintain. But beware, vinyl flooring can be slippery when wet.

Rubber Boat Flooring

Rubber has been used for over 1,000 years. Stemming from natural and synthetic sources, rubber has found its way into 100s of products from surfing wetsuits to - you guessed it - boat flooring. Rubber is an eco-friendly option among boat flooring options. Those old, used tires are recycled to make a majority of rubber flooring, thus reducing landfill waste.

Given its stretchy characteristic and waterproof qualities, rubber flooring is slip-resistant, ensuring you do not fall while moving around the boat on wet surfaces. Additionally, rubber has impact absorption and anti-fatiguing benefits making it a comfortable flooring option for long periods of standing.

Rubber flooring is not that difficult to install and can be custom cut given its flexibility and ability to fit most boat floor layouts. You can easily apply rubber flooring by using a self-adhesive, or, you can use rubber tiles that fit like a puzzle making it easier to remove and replace when you feel like it.

One disadvantage of rubber flooring is that it is not UV stable, so make sure to add a UV protectant or keep the flooring safe from direct, hot sunlight to avoid cracking.

The Bottom Line

When evaluating boat flooring options, it’s always good advice to consider how you intend to use your watercraft, what environmental elements your boat will encounter, and the performance needs you require from boat flooring.

Among the boat flooring options mentioned within the article, there were a handful of flooring characteristics that we constantly mentioned as advantages behind one type of flooring, like slip resistance, UV stability, waterproofing, durability, and anti-fatiguing properties.

Hands down, in our humble opinion, when it comes to an all-around boat flooring top performer, foam flooring tops the list as one of the most versatile boat flooring options available to meet many demands of leisure and sport boating. You really have to experience the comfort and beauty of foam flooring.

Get a no-obligation free quote about DEKit flooring.

Even faster, simply call us at 919.659.5398 to get started today. A flooring product specialist will help answer all your questions and provide sound guidance on the best flooring options.

Watch the video to learn more about DEKit boat flooring:


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