Rubber Boat Flooring: Know Everything Before You Choose | Tidy Floor (2022)

Rubber mats and carpets are commonly used for boat flooring. Most of the boat floors and marine vehicle platforms now have rubber matting over the original flooring. This shows the significance of rubber boat flooring. It simply protects the flooring beneath and gives a more comfortable and smooth platform.

But many are skeptical about whether to choose rubber flooring or not. And some are thinking of which rubber flooring to select among the variety of options. Even I had such issues primarily when I researched the matter. However, with my experience and research in this field, I have solved my queries and learned tons of things about rubber boat floors.

In this article, I am going to talk A to Z about rubber boat flooring including its pros and cons, types of rubber flooring, and more. So stay with me and gather some important information before choosing rubber boat flooring. Let’s get started!

3 Types Of Rubber Boat Flooring: Know The Options

If you don’t learn to differentiate between rubber flooring products, choosing the right one can become difficult. As a variety of rubber floorings are available in the market, you should know what types are available before going to shop. For your convenience, I have mentioned three types of rubber boat floorings that are popular:

1. Latex:

Latex is pure rubber polished and molded-in shapes to form mats or sheets. Just as you expect natural rubber to be you will get the same in the latex rubber boat flooring; soft, stretchy, and spongy.

Latex rubber flooring is the best for those who are looking for affordable boat flooring. It is the cheapest among the rubber floorings available. It is quite worn and tear-resistant but not more than the other rubber flooring options (to be discussed later).

Another issue can be the allergic problems that may occur due to the natural rubber. However, using latex rubber flooring is eco-friendly as it can be renewed, unlike synthetic rubber flooring.

2. Synthetic:

Synthetic rubbers are made of styrene-butadiene rubber which is extracted from petroleum. As the name says itself, synthetic rubber is not pure rubber and thus they are made to be tougher and stronger than latex rubber.

Synthetic rubber is the most expensive rubber flooring as it is also the most long-lasting and durable flooring option. If cared for and maintained properly, synthetic rubber flooring can last between 20 to 30 years. So it is a perfect choice for extremely moist and wet areas like a boat deck!

So yes, synthetic rubber boat flooring is a wise choice if you want a durable one.

(Video) EVA Foam Flooring, How EASY is it to do? | DIY series | Steadliest Catch Ep .32

3. Recycled:

Recycled rubber flooring is preferred by those who are conscious of the environmental friendliness of the product. Moreover, it is extremely durable, almost like synthetic rubber floors.

Recycled rubber is more scuff and tear-resistant than latex flooring. It is tougher and durable as made by mixing different rubbers. So it is more long-lasting than latex rubber. You can call it an alternative to synthetic rubber if you want a cheaper option.

Below is a chart mentioning which property is the best in each rubber floorings:

Rubber FlooringsBest For
LatexCost
SyntheticDurability
RecycledEnvironment friendliness

3 Forms Of Rubber Boat Flooring: Know The Differences

Rubber boat flooring can be laid in three different ways. What I mean is rubber flooring comes in three different forms. Just like plywoods are installed as boards or planks or tiles, rubber floorings are available in different forms. So when the forms are different, the laying method and the characteristics vary too.

In this part of the article, you would know briefly about the three forms of rubber boat flooring:

1. Rubber Tiles:

Rubber tiles are not so commonly used on boat flooring. The main reason behind this is that water may settle or pass across the seams and damage the edges. This can cause water stains and weaken the tiles.

Rubber flooring tiles can be interlocked easily just like a board puzzle. They can also be glued to the flooring. Rubber tiles are available in a variety of colors and patterns. An advantage of this is you can easily replace the tile that is damaged. But with the other options, you may need to take off the entire rubber flooring in case of major damage.

2. Rubber Sheets:

Rubber sheets are long and wide that alone can cover the entire boat deck. However, as boat decks are not plain, you would need to cut and shape them to adjust the area. Each rubber sheet is generally 20 to 25feet in length and about 4 feet in width. So for large boats, rubber sheets are suitable.

Rubber sheets are heavy, tough, and highly durable due to their thickness. The chances of water seeping are less as no seams are there in between the sheets. It has a better performance in marine conditions than rubber tiles.

3. Rubber Mats:

Rubber mats are the best for boat flooring. These mats are installed on hard floorings like aluminum or wood boat flooring. The biggest advantage is that they are available in customized shapes for each part of the boat. Or, if you provide a boat flooring template, the seller would customize the mats according to the model of the boat.

(Video) Why We RIPPED OUT SeaDek Flooring and Put In MARINE MAT!!!

Installation of rubber mats is very easy due to the peel and stick mechanism. They make the boat deck non-slippery, water-resistant, long-lasting, and comfortable. Available in different thicknesses, rubber mats are suitable for high-impact and moist marine conditions.

Install Rubber Boat Flooring: 5 Easy Steps

Installing rubber mats is the most common form of using rubber flooring on boat decks. If you want that too, installation is very simple. But you need to do a series of works to install rubber mats. Note that you can also go for rubber tiles or sheets. But a rubber mat is the best choice for almost any boat and boating purposes.

On that note, let’s learn the 5 simple steps of installing rubber boat flooring mats:

Step 1: Prepare And Send A Boat Template

To make customized rubber mats for the flooring deck, you need to make a boat template. A boat template is a plastic sheet that is marked according to the design of the boat deck. For making the boat template, you need to have a transparent sheet and lay it on the deck. Then with a marker, mark the outline and the areas where there are holes, hinges, etc. These marks are necessary to give an idea of the deck design.

You don’t need to be very accurate. But at least point out the areas where the rubber flooring should be installed differently. I mean you can’t install the flooring on the console, right? So mark this and draw each section of the deck carefully.

Then send this template to the seller. The seller would make a digital template as per the manual template you have sent. The minor mistakes would be corrected by this digitization of the template. According to this pattern, the seller would prepare the mats.

Step 2: Choose The Color And Pattern

Wood brush and dotted are two available textures in rubber mats. Most people choose the teak look. But there are a variety of other colors and patterns available. So depending on what you like, you can choose a suitable design by seeing the catalog by the seller.

You can also add the name of the boat or other specifications on the mat to adorn it. Put all your demands to the seller. The seller would make them as per the template and your instructions and send you the rubber mats.

Step 3: Clean The Deck

After you get the mats, don’t install them on the deck immediately. The flooring has to be clean and dust-free. Otherwise, the seal won’t be intact and the adhesive won’t work well.

So first, use a mild cleanser to clean the entire deck. Next, use acetone to remove all the grease, dirt, previous adhesive, sunscreen, etc. from the boat platform. Cleaning the deck makes sure that the peel-off mats stick well on the deck.

(Video) Quick Guide to Installing Rubber Flooring Using Double-Sided Tape

Step 4: Place The Mats

Placing the mats on the deck helps you understand which mat is matching which part of the deck. So first, lay all the rubber mats on the deck by checking the patterns. Now if you can see that the mats have covered the entire deck correctly, you can start installing them.

Step 5: Install The Rubber Flooring

Now start from one end of the deck and install the rubber flooring. Peel one corner of the mat and keep removing the sticker down the mat. Press the mat hard on the floor so that it evenly adheres to the deck. In this way, install all the mats on the deck and wait for it to settle down on the deck.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Choose Rubber Boat Flooring?

There are quite valid reasons to buy rubber boat flooring. There are a number of advantages of using rubber boat flooring. Have a look into the advantages of rubber flooring to know why you can choose it:

  • Unlike wood and aluminum flooring, rubber flooring is non-skid and thus it is very safe for boat flooring. You can walk and even run on a wet rubber flooring without the risk of falling or slipping;
  • Rubber flooring is quite durable and long-lasting. If you maintain the rubber flooring, it can serve for more than two decades. High-quality rubber mats are fairly wearing and tear-resistant;
  • Rubber flooring is easy to maintain and clean. Just as easy it is to install the rubber mats, maintaining them is very simple. Keep them clean and replace the mat that gets damaged. That is it;

These are some basic reasons why people choose rubber boat flooring.

What Is The Difference Between Vinyl And Rubber Boat Flooring?

When it comes to choosing a cost-effective boat flooring, vinyl and rubber are two lucrative options. But people find it hard to differentiate between the two and get puzzled. So here is a chart mentioning the differences between vinyl boat flooring and rubber boat flooring:

Differentiating ParametersVinyl Boat FlooringRubber Boat Flooring
PriceCheaperModerately cheap
InstallationModerately easyVery easy and simple
LongevityLasts for 10 to 20 yearsLasts for 20 to 30 years
AppearanceExcellentExcellent
MaintenanceEasyVery easy
Eco-friendlinessNot so eco-friendlyEco-friendly

Now that you know the differences, choose the flooring you want.

What Is The Ideal Thickness Of Rubber Boat Flooring?

The thickness of the rubber boat flooring is important. This is because it determines the level of protection and longevity of the boat flooring.

Ideally, a rubber boat flooring should be at least one inch thick. Many people also install ½ inch rubber boat flooring and it is fair enough for occasional usages. But if it is for regular use, the flooring should be at least one inch thick for the utmost protection. In fact, some people also install 2 to 3 inches thick rubber mats for long-lasting and strong protection.

Is Rubber Boat Flooring Waterproof?

To decide whether rubber boat flooring is waterproof or not, you need to understand that it depends on the form you are installing.

(Video) Sofia the First - On My Own

For instance, rubber sheets are not completely waterproof. They are surely water-resistant but long exposure to water can damage rubber rolls. Similarly, rubber tiles are not waterproof as water may cross the seams and damage the bonding. However, rubber mats are fairly waterproof. They are crafted especially for boats and don’t damage easily in moist and wet conditions.

How Safe Is Rubber Boat Flooring?

Rubber boat flooring is safer than other boat flooring options like vinyl and more. It has been scientifically proven to be one of the safest flooring options.

Be it natural rubber flooring or recycled rubber boat flooring, they are ecologically sustainable. As rubber is renewable and recyclable, you can reuse rubber flooring. Also, as it is a natural material, the health risks are almost zero.

It is not toxic like vinyl flooring and thus no risks are involved during installation. Therefore, rubber boat flooring is quite safe.

What Is The Cost Of Rubber Boat Flooring?

The cost of rubber boat flooring depends on which form you are buying, which company you are choosing, and the quality, design, and color of the rubber flooring. Therefore, there is only an idea that I can give about the cost of rubber flooring. Have a look at the chart below to get an idea:

Cost RangePer Square Feet
Lowest Cost$4 per sq. ft
Highest Cost$12 per sq. ft
Average Cost$10 per sq. ft

So the cost per square foot of rubber flooring can range between $4 to $12.

How Long Does Rubber Boat Floors Last?

The rubber boat floor has excellent resilience and impact resistance. It is extremely durable, tough, and if maintained properly, it would last for a long time.

The minimum a rubber flooring can last is about 20 years. If you maintain and care for it correctly and keep it clean, it would last more than 20 years. People use rubber boat flooring for up to 30 years.

With time, the bonding and resistance capacity weakens which is why you need a replacement. But be tension-free for 20 to 30 years with the rubber boat flooring.

Final Thoughts:

Okay, so you got a lot, I mean quite a lot of information about rubber boat flooring by now. I have tried to cover most of the issues that you might have been thinking of.

(Video) HOWTO: Glue traction mats back down on your PWC, Boat, etc

Analyzing all the factors and information I have given here, it is your turn to decide whether to choose rubber boat flooring or not.

FAQs

Is Marine vinyl flooring slippery when wet? ›

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.

How thick should plywood be on a boat floor? ›

3/4 would seem plenty on a boat that size, it's usually 1/2 or 3/4. I used 3/4 on the floor of my CC it's very solid and is what I would use on your project.

Can vinyl flooring be used on a boat? ›

Yes, vinyl flooring can be used on a boat, but only in a room that can be temperature controlled. Meaning, you can install vinyl flooring in the cabin, but you should not install it on the deck.

What does SeaDek cost? ›

The price for a SeaDek depends on the sheet's size. The smallest, measuring 18 by 38 inches, costs $43.99. The largest and most expensive sheet is 40 by 80 inches and retails for $174.99. How much it will cost you depends on your boat's size and how many sheets you'll need.

What can I use instead of marine carpet? ›

Fortunately, there are many marine carpet alternatives you can install to give your boat flooring a new look. If it is time to replace your boat carpet, look at these amazing boat carpet options.
...
boat carpet replacement options
  • Woven vinyl flooring. ...
  • Vinyl Planks. ...
  • Wood. ...
  • Snap-In Carpet. ...
  • Canvas. ...
  • Bed liner.

Does Marine vinyl flooring get hot? ›

Unfortunately, vinyl can get hot after many hours in the outdoor sun like most other marine flooring alternatives. It is nearly impossible to find a pontoon flooring that doesn't retain heat to some extent. Marine carpeting does, and rubber boat flooring can actually get extremely hot.

How do you clean vinyl boat floors? ›

Aqua-Tread Marine Flooring is easily washed with mild soaps and other household detergents suitable for vinyl material. Brush or sweep with cool water using a deck brush or soft to medium stiff brush. Apply soap or cleaner to penetrate the dirt/stain for 2-3 minutes.

What is better than carpet in a boat? ›

Due to its durability, this type of flooring will always outlast carpet. The advantages of vinyl far outweigh those of carpet. From the ease of maintaining it, to lessened worry of underdeck rotting, vinyl flooring is the perfect investment for your boat.

How do Marines treat plywood? ›

Since marine plywood is typically used underwater, you'll need to treat every surface of the wood with sealant. We prefer clear, penetrating epoxy because it works its way deep into the wood, dries transparent, and requires less maintenance than other types of sealant.

Can I use regular plywood for boat floor? ›

Cold molded boats are made all the time with strips of regular plywood protected by layers of fiberglass. As long as you glass them properly they will never be exposed to moisture and should be fine. You can use exteriior plywood. The glues are the same as in marine ply.

Should you seal marine plywood? ›

Although Marine-Grade Plywood is strong, durable, and heavily-resistant to moisture, an additional coat of seal is typically needed to prevent moisture from the wood's doors.

How long will marine vinyl last? ›

If properly installed and maintained, it can last to anywhere from ten to twenty years. Although it's not as durable as leather, it can withstand dents and scratches for several years.

Is Marine vinyl waterproof? ›

Description. Marine Vinyl is 74% PVC and 26% polyester. It is a durable, waterproof upholstery weight vinyl. A marine upholstery vinyl is one that has been specifically constructed to withstand the harsh elements found near or on fresh or salt water.

What does marine vinyl look like? ›

Comparing Marine Vinyl & Standard Vinyl - YouTube

How do you clean a rubber boat floor? ›

How to Clean Non-Skid Boat Deck the Right Way!! - YouTube

How do you protect a vinyl boat floor? ›

The main reason why marine-grade vinyl breaks down is lack of proper care and maintenance. Keep your boat floor looking like new by covering up the boat when it's not in use. Don't leave stuff on the floor or seats, either. Wipe down all the vinyl in the boat after every use; leftover moisture invites mold and mildew.

Can you use magic eraser on vinyl boat seats? ›

You can use Magic Eraser on vinyl floors, vinyl siding, and vinyl boats seats, and get amazing results as shown in the photo above. For example, in high traffic areas on your boat such as walkways and decks, you're going to get a lot of muddy footprints, dirt, grease, and more nasty stuff.

What do you put on a boat floor? ›

Boat Flooring Options
  1. Marine Carpet Flooring. Image. ...
  2. Aluminum Flooring. Yes, you can also use the aluminum floor for your boat floor. ...
  3. Rubber Marine Flooring. You can also use the rubber marine floors for your boats. ...
  4. Vinyl Marine Flooring. Image. ...
  5. PVC Tiles Flooring. This type of boat flooring is easy to install. ...
  6. Canvas. ...
  7. Wood.

Why do people put carpet in boats? ›

Pros of Using Carpet in my Boat

Acoustical Properties - Carpet offers a soft step and often dampens sounds, especially when feet are stomping around on the deck. Sound dampening is essential if you are waiting for the next catch. Traction - Carpeting offers traction so you don't have to worry about slipping.

How long will Boat carpet last? ›

Marine-grade carpet is designed for the marine environment and has UV stabilizers. It lasts for years. Let's look at a standard bass boat, 18 feet long by 7 feet wide. Bass boats can take up to three days to complete, so plan for it.

How long will marine plywood last? ›

Marine Grade Plywood Lasts Longer Than Regular Plywood

Typically, Marine Plywood lasts up to 25 years – depending on its maintenance and marine conditions. The longer life expectancy is due to sturdier layers that effectively make it scratch proof and impact resistant.

What to put on plywood to make it waterproof? ›

Plywood can be waterproofed with paint, polyurethane, or epoxy finish. Lightly sand the plywood with 180 grit sandpaper, clean off any sawdust, and apply the finish with a brush or by pouring the finish on if using epoxy. That's a general overview, but lets look a little bit deeper into the specifics of each method.

Is marine plywood necessary? ›

Usually seaside homes and commercial structures need to have have marine grade plywood, but many licenses can be taken to lessen the costs due to less harsh environmental conditions.

What can I use to replace my boat floor? ›

Cheap fix for a rotten boat floor (Part 1 of 2) Installing new plywood

What is the difference between marine plywood and regular? ›

When exposed to water, it will be resistant to rotting, shrinking and warping due to the enhanced composition; for example, regular plywood is typically made using three glued together plies of wood, whereas marine grade plywood is constructed using as many as five layers, bonded with waterproof adhesive.

Is Marine ply totally waterproof? ›

Marine-grade plywood is one such example. The term marine might give off the wrong impression that it is suitable to withstanding extreme moisture or contact with water. However, do not be fooled as marine ply not strictly 100% waterproof. Marine plywood is however, a reasonably high quality type of plywood.

How do you waterproof the bottom of a boat? ›

Sealing and painting a Jon Boat - YouTube

How do Marines treat wood? ›

The majority of boaters use marine-grade epoxy that acts like a super-sticky glue in direct contact with the boat's plywood. Applying a coat of this product is similar to applying a coat of paint. It forms a perfect seal on the wood. You will also need a paintbrush or a foam brush to waterproof your boat.

What do you put on a boat floor? ›

Boat Flooring Options
  1. Marine Carpet Flooring. Image. ...
  2. Aluminum Flooring. Yes, you can also use the aluminum floor for your boat floor. ...
  3. Rubber Marine Flooring. You can also use the rubber marine floors for your boats. ...
  4. Vinyl Marine Flooring. Image. ...
  5. PVC Tiles Flooring. This type of boat flooring is easy to install. ...
  6. Canvas. ...
  7. Wood.

What is the best wood for boat floor? ›

Oak wood

Oak woods are prized for their rot resistance and strength, therefore making them one of the best woods for marine use.

What do I put on an aluminum boat floor? ›

Super Simple Jon Boat Floor - YouTube

Can you tile a boat floor? ›

Users find Patio Outdoor Tile to be an easy and well-rounded option for boat flooring. These tiles are lightweight and easy to cut down to fit irregular shaped spaces. No extra tools are needed for installation. They only require two hands to snap together.

How do you install rubber boat flooring? ›

Marine Flooring Installation Video - YouTube

How much does boat flooring cost? ›

Total Boat Floor Replacement Cost

Boats ranging from 18 to 25 feet will fall in the range of 3,000 to 10,000 dollars for a complete deck overhaul.

How do I protect my boat floor? ›

How to Protect Your Boat's Carpet - YouTube

How do Marines treat plywood? ›

Since marine plywood is typically used underwater, you'll need to treat every surface of the wood with sealant. We prefer clear, penetrating epoxy because it works its way deep into the wood, dries transparent, and requires less maintenance than other types of sealant.

How do Marines treat wood? ›

The majority of boaters use marine-grade epoxy that acts like a super-sticky glue in direct contact with the boat's plywood. Applying a coat of this product is similar to applying a coat of paint. It forms a perfect seal on the wood. You will also need a paintbrush or a foam brush to waterproof your boat.

Should you seal marine plywood? ›

Although Marine-Grade Plywood is strong, durable, and heavily-resistant to moisture, an additional coat of seal is typically needed to prevent moisture from the wood's doors.

Does Marine Vinyl flooring get hot? ›

Unfortunately, vinyl can get hot after many hours in the outdoor sun like most other marine flooring alternatives. It is nearly impossible to find a pontoon flooring that doesn't retain heat to some extent. Marine carpeting does, and rubber boat flooring can actually get extremely hot.

How can I make my aluminum boat quieter? ›

But how do you do it? The quickest methods for making a boat quiet include installing soundproofing and or sound dampening materials into the boat's cowling. Materials including rubber (self-adhesive or non-adhesive) and anti-vibration membrane in addition to aluminum layer are highly advisable.

Do aluminum boats get hot? ›

Speaking of insulation, aluminum boats transfer heat and cold quite easily. An aluminum hull may be pleasantly cool when fishing in the hot sun. But larger boats with living interior can be uncomfortable.

Can you use vinyl flooring on a pontoon boat? ›

How to Install Infinity Luxury Woven Vinyl Flooring on a Pontoon

What is boat carpet? ›

Marine carpets are carpets that are designed especially for boats. This is advisable for all types of boats owing to their specific properties. There is no other safer or more durable alternative to marine carpets. The boat will be less slippery and provide safer adventure.

What are pontoon decks made of? ›

Far and away the most common type of deck used on a pontoon boat is a plywood deck with plastic carpeting installed over it.

Videos

1. FAKE TEAK! How to Install EVA Teak Foam Decking! Sailing Meraki | Ep.31
(Alex Goes Sailing)
2. Start to Finish: How to Install Bamboo Using the Float Method
(Floor & Decor)
3. How to replace old interior carpet with synthetic Sea Floor in the salon | MyBoat DIY
(PowerBoat Television)
4. Interlocking Rubber Floor Tiles - Easy Installation Video - Greatmats
(Greatmats)
5. how to choose a inflatable boat
(Ruiqi Liu)
6. 10 Beginner Mistakes Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring
(Fix This Build That)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Jerrold Considine

Last Updated: 08/01/2022

Views: 5434

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jerrold Considine

Birthday: 1993-11-03

Address: Suite 447 3463 Marybelle Circles, New Marlin, AL 20765

Phone: +5816749283868

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Air sports, Sand art, Electronics, LARPing, Baseball, Book restoration, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Jerrold Considine, I am a combative, cheerful, encouraging, happy, enthusiastic, funny, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.