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How to Replace Floor in a Boat: The Ultimate Guide

Posted by Louis Karpel on
How to Replace Floor in a Boat: The Ultimate Guide

When you’re out on the water, you’re going against some of the harshest natural elements out there, such as UV rays and salt. 

Over time, it’s normal for your boat floor to start showing signs of wear and tear even if you regularly clean it and do your best to maintain it in the best condition possible. Nothing lasts forever, and your boat floor is not an exception. 

The quality of your boat floor plays a big role in your experience on the water, so you might have already started looking for the best boat floor replacement and have many questions. 

In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know to decide if it’s the right time to replace your old boat flooring and choose the best marine flooring for your needs. 

Is It Time for Boat Flooring Replacement? 

Figuring out when is the right time to replace your old boat flooring is a big decision to make. It has likely served you well for years, and you may wonder if now is the best time to make a new investment. 

As a rule of thumb, you should replace your boat flooring when it shows considerable signs of wear and tear and stops being enjoyable to use. 

This can look like: 

  • Marine flooring starting to detach 
  • Dirt and mold accumulating more and more 
  • Your boat floor getting harder on your feet 
  • Your boat becoming less comfortable to use
  • Colors starting to fade 

The truth is, you should never have to compromise on the quality of your time on the water. 

If your boat flooring is holding you back from enjoying special moments with your family & friends or going after the big catch, then it’s time to start looking for a high-quality replacement.

What Is the Best Boat Decking Material? 

When it comes to finding the best type of boat flooring material, you have options. But the question is, which one is right for you

Some of the popular boat decking materials include: 

  • Conventional wood flooring
  • Vinyl floor
  • Marine carpet
  • Aluminum flooring
  • PVC flooring tiles
  • Rubber
  • Foam boat flooring

Out of all of the boat flooring options above, marine foam consistently demonstrates the best performance, comfort, and protection. Here are side-by-side comparisons of foam boat flooring vs. other popular boat decking materials. 

Conventional Wood vs. Foam Flooring

Wood is a traditional boat floor material that can serve you well with regular maintenance. Wood by itself is not waterproof or slip-resistant, but there are products available that can help you enhance your wood flooring with new properties. 

High-quality wood is an expensive material. To preserve it in the best condition, you need to prevent long-term water and UV exposure, which can lead to rotting and color fade. This makes wood a less-than-ideal option for fishing boats or if you use your boat to cruise often. 

In contrast, foam flooring is inherently water-resistant, UV-resistant, and non-absorbent. It’s also much lighter on your feet and requires significantly less maintenance to stay in great condition. 

Vinyl vs. Foam Flooring

Vinyl is a durable boat flooring material and many of its qualities are comparable with foam. Same as foam, it’s UV-stable, water-resistant, comfortable to use, and relatively easy to maintain. 

However, vinyl flooring gets slippery when wet and doesn’t dissipate heat the way foam does. If you’re out on the water on a hot and sunny day, your vinyl flooring is likely to get too hot and become uncomfortable to stand on. 

Marine Carpet vs. Foam Flooring

Marine carpet has undergone various technological improvements over the years and there are high-quality options out there that are rather durable and enjoyable to use. Some marine carpets are also water-resistant, which is a big advantage. 

However, one of the biggest problems with marine carpet is that it’s prone to accumulating dirt and bacteria over time even with regular cleaning. It’s also not a UV-stable material, which can lead to color fade and unkempt appearance. 

Foam is a UV-stable material that doesn’t retain bacteria and dirt, which makes it a great boat carpet replacement option. 

Aluminum vs. Foam Flooring

Aluminum is a unique material that can last for 35+ years, but it can be hard on your feet. In addition to that, it also comes with one significant disadvantage: aluminum can only be used in freshwater. Exposing it to saltwater will lead to corrosion, which can be problematic for some boat owners. 

Foam flooring won’t last as long as aluminum, but it can be used in both freshwater and saltwater. 

PVC Flooring Tiles vs. Foam Flooring

PVC tiles are easy to install and are rather durable, but they’re not UV-resistant. The colors are going to end up fading over time, which is going to make your boat look less smart. In contract, foam maintains its color even after long periods of exposure to direct sunlight. 

Rubber vs. Foam Flooring

Rubber flooring is mostly made from old car tiles, which makes it an eco-friendly product for your boat. However, same as many other materials on this list, it’s not UV-resistant and will fade over time. Foam won’t. 

Upgrading to marine-grade foam during your boat floor replacement process is a smart choice that’s going to serve you for long years of adventures on the water to come. 

Can I DIY Replacing Boat Flooring? 

Now that you know what new boat flooring you want to replace your old one with, you’re probably wondering: 

Is boat flooring replacement a DIY project? 

The truth is, it can be, but you’re more likely to end up with inconsistencies and an imprecise installation. If you’re investing in a high-quality material for your boat floor, it makes sense to invest in a professional installation as well. 

Replacing Boat Flooring with DEKit: How It Works

DEKit creates premium marine decking using non-skid, exclusively cross-linked PE/EVA foam for years of beauty, enjoyment, and comfort. 

First, we’ll use advanced machines to measure the surface where you want your DEKit installed. This ensures that our experienced CAD designers and CNC machinists can create precise and clean cuts that perfectly fit your boat & your boat only.  

Once your DEKit is ready to be put to action, our team will come to your boat and carefully install your new boat flooring with the utmost care and attention. 

In contrast with DIY-ing your boat flooring replacement, you won’t have to worry about the little details or spend hours of your time. Learn more about DEKit boat flooring here

“DEKit Is a Game-Changer!”: Customer Testimonial

Do you want to see DEKit in action? Watch this video to see the latest boat transformation we did for one of our clients. 


To get started on your boat floor replacement with DEKit, get in touch with us

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