Pros and Cons of Different Types of Boat Flooring


Around 95% of Americans live close enough to a navigable lake, river, inlet or other body of water to get there within an hour’s drive. This has led to an explosion of interest in boating and fishing in recent years, and as Americans buy and use their boats, maintenance becomes an important issue. The average boat costs about 10% of its purchase price per year in order to maintain
it and keep it running, and a part of that maintenance will eventually include new boat carpet, boat flooring, or some kind of Seadek flooring or aqua mat.

Boat Flooring Choices

Flooring for boats and watercraft is available in a variety of materials and designs, from rubber, to Seadek flooring (EVA flooring), to drainage tiles, to carpet and vinyl. Each type has its uses and making a choice will depend on the boat and what it’s used for. Sometimes there is no one “right” choice, but it is important to understand the options before making a decision about Seadek flooring, teak carpet, or other types of boat flooring.

EVA Flooring

Seadek flooring and other types of closed cell foams come with enhanced anti-slip characteristics that provide good traction even when things are wet, are easy to mount without special hardware, and protect highly trafficked areas of the boat. For fishermen, it’s worth knowing that Seadek flooring and EVA products in general offer good noise reduction. They are available with customized bevels and in many colors.

Drainage Tiles

These are especially valuable to fishermen and others who use their boats for “messy” activities. They sit on top of the existing flooring and allow water and other liquids to pass through, eliminating mess and moisture. They can be easily installed and simply sprayed down when it’s time to clean. They also come in UV resistant options. The main downside of drainage tiles is their cost.

Rubber Flooring

Rubber flooring is very comfortable to stand on and offers excellent traction. For those who take boats out infrequently, but for long periods, this can be a great choice provided you bear two things in mind. First, it is not UV resistant and will fade over time. Second, it can get extremely hot on sunny days and footwear will be required for safety.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl offers some resistance to slipping, although not as much as Seadek flooring or rubber floors. It is frequently chosen for its modern look that can really dress up an older boat, and it is extremely easy to install. It will degrade in the presence of UV rays quite quickly, however, so is best used under covered areas of the boat.


Carpet is fairly low cost, can offer a luxurious look, and is easy to replace. There are two types of carpet for boats: the type that is glued down and the type that is snapped in as tiles. The latter are particularly affordable and easy to install. If you are concerned about having eco-friendly options, this is another reason carpet tiles are a great way to go. However, they are not at all appropriate for fishing boats, and only specially treated indoor/outdoor options will actually be safe from UV rays, so choose cautiously if you plan to take the boat out into the sun a lot.

Whatever you plan to do with your boat, make sure you’ve got the right boat flooring to really enjoy your time on the water.

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