Taking care of the boat is just like taking care of your house. The way home requires flooring/carpeting with proper care and maintenance, a ship does as well. It is basically like a mini home for sea lovers who love cruising the waves. The key is to find what suits your boat, what works best for it in the long run, and how often you use it.
Flooring and carpeting your boat impacts your overall experience of the boat ride significantly. Flooring can increase the lifespan of your boat, depending on the size and its usage. The boat’s design and functions determine the type of flooring that it would need and, of course, your personal preference.
Types of Boat Flooring
Following are the five types of boat flooring that you can consider:
1. Wood Flooring
Traditionally boats have always had a wooden floor due to the wood’s durability and how long it can last without molding and breaking down. It is also low maintenance hence providing minimum hassle on cleaning. The quality of the wood determines how long it will last without giving problems and signs of decay. The highest quality of wood used is known as oak wood.
- Requires Less Maintenance Compared to Others
A wooden floor will require less maintenance compared to others due to its hardness and durability. All you have to do is polish and use varnish, and you’ll be set.
- More Durable than Others
Wood has been used since the beginning of time to construct boats due to its hardness and durability. It is more long-lasting as compared to the rest of the materials.
- Less Likely to Have Mold
Wood doesn’t face the chances of having mold quickly, but that entirely depends on the wood’s quality. Overall it still doesn’t develop mold as fast as it would on carpets.
- Easy Cleaning
Cleaning a hardwood floor is the easiest thing. All you have to do is broom over the floor, and everything will be removed easily.
- Requires Refinishing
A wooden floor will require maintenance every once to prevent decaying and from breaking down. Of course, the likelihood of that also depends on the quality of the wood used.
- Quality of Wood
The durability of the wood entirely depends on the wood used. If high-quality wood is used, then it’ll last longer than the cheap ones.
- Wood Can Be Expensive
Buying wood can be rather expensive nowadays. The high-quality wood depending on the boat’s size can easily cost you a few hundred bucks.
- Slippery and Hard on Feet
Despite being durable and long-lasting, a wooden floor can also be slippery and hard on the feet. You might feel a slight pain on your feet if you’re not used to walking on hard and rugged surfaces.
2. Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is standard in larger boats nowadays like pontoons, yachts, and ski-boats with closed spaces. It is not suitable to use on the deck. It is typically glued to the ground using adhesives and can last a long time.
- Easy to Install
Vinyl floorings are sheets placed on the ground with glue to hold them in place. Therefore, it’s very easy to install them in place.
Most vinyl floors are water-resistant, so you won’t have to worry about it spoiling due to the water.
Most vinyl floors are designed keeping in mind the element of slipperiness. Hence, most vinyl floorings are slip-resistant and will not make you slip like other floor types.
- Reusable and Re-installable
If you choose to take it off, you’d still be able to reuse it later on if appropriately removed.
- Easy Maintenance
It is easy to maintain the vinyl floors as they are pretty much like a standard floor. All you have to do is wipe over it and mop it like a regular floor, and you should be good.
- Hard to Remove
Since vinyl is glued to the ground, you’d have to be extra careful and have special equipment when trying to remove the vinyl flooring.
- Can Be of Low-Quality
Most vinyl floors available in the market come in low quality, and some are inconsistent with their quality. Hence finding good quality vinyl floors can be tricky and might even be costly.
- Hard to Repair
Once something has happened to the vinyl floors, it is tough to repair them. It’ll take a lot of time, effort, and expertise to get it done.
3. Aluminum Flooring
Aluminum is another common flooring material and is mainly used in fishing boats. It is one of the excellent materials you can go for because it is very durable and lightweight, requiring low maintenance. It is more affordable than carpet flooring.
Before installing aluminum flooring, it is essential to clean and rinse the boat thoroughly with fresh water and detergent.
- Low Maintenance
It requires less maintenance than a carpet.
It is more durable than a carpet.
- Affordable Installation Cost
The installation cost of aluminum is more than carpeting, but it is still not as expensive as wood flooring or vinyl flooring.
- Loud Walking Sounds
Aluminum makes a lot of noise when you walk on it, but you shouldn’t worry. The solution to this is to wear flip-flops.
- Overheating In the Summer
The aluminum floor can get extremely hot in the summers and overheat, making you feel like you’re walking on lava. It’s best to wear shoes when that happens to prevent your feet from burning up.
The aluminum floor is slippery, and you will be prone to slipping and falling on it. It’s best to be careful when on an aluminum floor and wear shoes. You can also coat it with a slip-resistant coating so that the slipping effect can be lessened.
4. Rubber Flooring
The rubber floor is the softest and most comfortable flooring material out there for boats. It is a great alternative to look into it besides the other types of materials available for boat flooring.
It is entirely slip-resistant, providing stability and a good grip while cruising the open water. The rubber floors give you that peace of mind that you won’t slip and hence won’t need to be as careful.
It is more affordable than other types of boat flooring materials but can cost more than a carpeted floor.
- Soft and Comfortable
It is very comfortable on the feet as it has anti-fatigue properties and remains soft and supportive all the time, making you feel less tired.
- Prone to Sun’s Ultra-Violet Radiation
It is not resistant to ultraviolet radiation, meaning that rubber flooring fades away after some time, and it can also crack if you do not replace it with the new one.
The rubber flooring absorbs and confines the heat, which means that it gets heated after a long sunny day.
- More Expensive Than Carpeting
The rubber flooring can cost more than carpet flooring overall as carpets are more commonly used than rubber floors.
5. Carpet Flooring
Carpeting is one of the most common and basic flooring types, which has been around for many years. It is very similar to hard carpeting that many people use in their households.
Due to technological advances, new carpeting materials are being made that can resist all the elements that can cause problems on the sea. The carpets can be more prone to dust and absorbing moisture quickly than the rest of the materials.
- The Most Affordable Material
It is the most affordable and one of the most inexpensive flooring types you can buy for your boat.
- Soft and Comfortable
It is very soft and comfortable, much like a regular carpet made of nylon.
- Slip Resistant
It provides a lot of traction that can help you stabilize yourself on a moving boat, especially if you have wet feet.
- Looks Pleasant
It looks very pleasing and welcoming, giving an excellent look to the boat’s interior. Sometimes it can even make you feel like you’re at home.
- Takes in Moisture
Even though a carpet is water-resistant, it still soaks up the moisture that can gradually cause decay.
- Develops Mold
It absorbs moisture quickly; as a result, molds can form on it. That’s why the carpet smells foul after some time, which can be very unpleasant.
- Fading and Dryness
If the carpets aren’t taken proper care of, they will become dry, dirty, and the colors will fade.
Carpeting and Flooring – Ways to Make a Boat More Presentable
Just like the right flooring protects your home floor and makes it more presentable and longer-lasting; similarly, proper flooring will give your boat a more welcoming and comfortable vibe. The flooring you opt for should be according to your boat type, usage, and budget. Hence doing some research before would be best to avoid choosing the wrong flooring material, or else you might have to go through expensive cleaning sessions, repairs, replacements, etc.