Choosing flooring for your Boat
Choosing the right flooring for your boat can greatly impact your enjoyment of spending time on board. Sparkling new white fibreglass like other marine surfaces is affected by UV damage and salt, as well as reflecting glare like a mirror, so you may be looking for alternative flooring for your deck.
While inexpensive and a great DIY option, marine carpet has its limitations, much like perforated rubber matting. Carpet if left wet requires time to dry, and can develop a mildew smell and staining, especially if bait is dropped and pressed into the fibres. Lasting around three years, or longer with regular care, thin carpet offers little sound insulation when pursuing fish in shallow water.
The standard deck of choice for wooden craft and older vessels, teak gleams in the sun and adds instant character. A long lasting investment that comes with a higher price tag, this highly polished surface can become a slip hazard – especially for kids or when wet. Dependent on availability, decide carefully before committing to larger decks with ongoing maintenance and the occasional repair.
Cork has been a favoured material for applications as wide as heat shielding on space shuttles, to acoustic insulation in recording studios. Modern cork composite for marine application, such as Stazo MarineDeck, is available in sheets or planks, and precision CNC cut by your Shipwright to match even unusual deck shapes. Designed to be cool underfoot, as well as easy to clean and maintenance free, cork may be a great choice for trailer boats to superyachts. Typically sourced from managed forests, Cork offers an environmentally sustainable alternative to teak.
Closed Cell EVA Foam
Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is a closed cell, expanded foam based on polyethylene polymer resin. Moulded to suit various applications from marine flooring to sports mats, camping bedrolls and more, EVA foam has become a popular choice for fishing and trailer boats. The downside to soft synthetic foam is wearability, dragging sharp objects can tear the foam away from the adhesive base, and brighter, lighter colours can easily become stained. While this option does not last as long as Cork or Teak, it may be a good choice for boats without heavy traffic.
|Marine Carpet||Teak||EVA Foam||Cork Composite|
|Installation||DIY or Installer||Shipwright or Specialist installer||Shipwright||Shipwright|
|Cleaning||Shampoo and vacuum||Stains wipe clean||Fish blood, oil or grease may stain||Wash to remove light stains, or gentle sanding for very stubborn marks|
|Cool/comfortable underfoot||When new||May heat in summer||Yes||Yes|
|Insulates noise||Does not effectively dampen sound||Average dampening qualities||Insulates against sound||Insulates against sound|
|Environmentally sustainable||Wool fibres are renewable, chemical binders may vary||Availability and environmental standards may vary||Recyclable materials and will not negatively biodegrade||Forestry Stewardship Council Certified|
|Flexibility & Options||Many colours/thicknesses available, can be cut to shape||Some limitations based on plank size||Designs can be purchased for major brands||Complete flexibility for any deck, hatch, step or surface|