Pontoons are designed to be the ultimate recreational watercraft, affording all the comforts and amenities necessary to keep you entertained and cozy for extended hours on the water. And because comfort can mean different things for different people, boat and marine accessories manufacturers have made it possible for boat owners to customize their vessel to their liking.
One of the most common elements that boat owners customize is flooring. These days, there are a ton of options available to choose from. But which one would work best for your boat? Find out with this guide on the best boat carpet replacement.
The 5 Best Boat Carpet Replacement
Designed to look like teak wood planks, this flooring choice gives a warm, cozy vibe to your pontoon boat deck. The waterproof material comes in large rolls with pre-applied adhesive for easy installation and a secure fit. At a thickness of up to 20mm, the EVA foam sheet also provides a relatively comfortable foot feel, with just enough bounce to cushion your bare step.
Perfect for boats with lots of traffic, this carpet replacement sets itself apart by way of its easy, simplified maintenance. Resistant to stains, wear, tear, and fading, this choice ensures that your boat deck will look clean and feel clean for years, even over high traffic areas.
This neutral gray colored flooring material features a similar wood-like aesthetic, complete with faux wood grain texture. The EVA material provides maximum durability in demanding conditions, able to resist wear and damage even with extended exposure to moisture and direct sunlight.
Similar to other EVA sheets, this pick also comes with pre-applied adhesive for easy installation. The sheets are also easy to cut and shape to fit your floor area, letting you get the perfect size with just a snip here and there. And should they develop mold and grime over time, this material takes well to pressure washing, so you can restore to it to its original look any time.
If you’re looking for something a little more neutral, this boat flooring option provides a clean, sleek aesthetic that will match any pontoon interior. The simplified material uses durable, waterproof, UV-resistant EVA foam that’s designed to take a beating out on the water and under the scorching heat. Pre-cut into rectangles, application is a breeze, letting you set the flooring in place by way of adhesive backing.
Stain resistant, easy to maintain, and strong enough for pressure washing, this material makes it easy for you to keep your boat looking clean and brand new. And because the sheets are designed with a slip-proof texture, you can be sure that you and your guests won’t have to worry about slip and fall accidents even when water washes on board.
Nothing beats the comfortable, soft foot feel of real carpet. Designed for use in wet conditions, this marine outdoor carpet material comes in a wide range of colors to suit your style and your pontoon’s interior design. Extremely pliable for easy installation, this carpet material also offers unparalleled mold and mildew resistance for excellent, lasting performance.
Bundled together with a 3-year warranty, this marine carpet promises to last for years without showing signs of wear, tear, or damage. And because it’s also flame resistant, you can be sure that the carpet will help to make your boat just that much safer against some of the most common dangers known to pontoons.
Another top choice for those who want the soft underfoot experience that carpet offers, this choice keeps your floors cool to step on even under the heat of the noonday sun. The 16oz carpet material was engineered for outdoor conditions, providing excellent resistance to mold and mildew and resisting all sorts of stains for a lasting, clean look.
Available in nine different colors, this carpet provides lush, lavish performance in a variety of hues that match any boat design. Flame resistant, easy to install, and soft to touch, this impressive material makes a great choice if you want to add a touch of luxury to your pontoon boat interior.
Different Flooring Options for Pontoon Boats
Boat owners tend to have varying preferences when it comes to the kind of look and experience they want from their pontoon. And so it goes without saying that manufacturers offer a range of choices to suit every discriminating taste. With that, it helps to know that not all flooring options will match your standards. So it’s worth knowing what each one brings to the table to know exactly which one will float your boat.
Soft on the feet and with a slight bounce, EVA foam provides excellent coverage and moisture resistance. This material comes in the form of long sheets that typically tout an adhesive backing for easy application. They can also be cut into various sizes and shapes so you can get complete coverage whatever your floor plan.
Ideal for boat owners who don’t want to put too much effort into the maintenance process, EVA foam is usually stain resistant and particularly durable. They don’t absorb moisture, so they’re not likely to develop mold or mildew. And if the years start to take away from the material’s original sheen, then a good ol’ pressure wash should do the trick.
With the same feel as your typical carpet flooring, marine carpet has won over the hearts of countless pontoon boat owners for good reasons. The first is that marine carpet offers the best feel for barefoot walking. And because carpet doesn’t harness heat, carpeted pontoon flooring never feels too hot to step on.
And while you might think carpet is a moisture magnet, marine carpet is actually engineered to absorb minimal moisture if at all, incorporating a rubberized base that prevents water from seeping through to your deck. On the other hand, carpet will show signs of wear especially in high traffic areas, so it helps to buy a darker shade.
Inexpensive and available in a range of design, vinyl is the budget-conscious boat owner’s best friend. This material can help you achieve a luxurious look with no more than a few bucks, helping to improve your boat’s overall aesthetic without having to spend a fortune.
Despite being relatively thin compared to EVA and carpet, vinyl actually works well for long lasting performance. It helps to know though that the material can tear especially over areas that see lots of traffic. That’s why it’s important to ensure proper installation to prevent the edges from lifting off of the deck base.
Decking tiles aren’t particularly popular among pontoon boat owners because you can’t really cut them to match irregular floor areas. Nonetheless, they can be a suitable choice if you manage to get the tiles to fit your deck. These tiles clip together and use waterproof and UV resistant material for extended hours of exposure to heat and moisture.
They’re particularly easy to install since all you have to do is clip them together without the need to stick them in place with adhesive. And while they don’t prevent moisture from seeping to the deck itself, the well ventilated tiles help moisture evaporate much faster to prevent mold and mildew caused by prolonged wetness.
We recommend the Bare Decor Interlocking Flooring Tiles.
How to Choose the Right Carpet Replacement
Not quite sure which material to pick for your pontoon deck? Here are the most basic considerations to help you make sure you’ve chosen the right material for your specific situation.
Patterns and Colors
There’s a lot more to choosing patterns and colors than just your preferences. If you’re buying material like carpet, it helps to know that high traffic areas will wear over time, with the fiber of the carpet losing its original texture as feet constantly pass over its surface.
In this case, you’re going to want to buy a color that’s slightly darker to prevent highlighting areas of wear. The same goes for patterns - subtle patterns mute out areas that have worn away with time, prolonging the lifespan of your chosen material.
However, it’s also important to remember how colors can contribute to heat. Science has found that darker colors absorb more heat, so darker carpet replacement can make your boat slightly hotter. That said, if you’re concerned about keeping your pontoon as cool as possible, light colored EVA foam proves to bring the best of both worlds.
Size and Cut
Fortunately, most carpet replacements should let you cut the material to the necessary size. But because most pontoon boat decks are typically larger than the average roll of carpet replacement, you’re going to have to consider buying several rolls or sheets of material to completely cover your area.
If you’re buying patterned replacement material, there’s the added issue of making sure the elements line up to create a seam-free look. So if you want to ease the whole process of installation, it helps to buy something that touts a plain, basic color that’s easier to match.
All of the different carpet replacement materials on our list of the best five will require some sort of adhesive to stick to your deck. Using a strong adhesive helps ensure that the sheet won’t move around once applied, and that the deck beneath won’t be exposed to moisture, dirt, and debris, among other things.
Most EVA sheets and some carpet flooring options come with pre-applied adhesive, but they don’t all offer a secure hold. The most important areas that need to be securely stuck in place are the edges, so it’s ideal to apply extra glue or adhesive to those areas prior to installation.
Your new floor is going to need some TLC if you want to keep it looking fresh and clean. Fortunately, most of these materials are designed for easy maintenance, letting you put in as little effort as possible without sacrificing the look and hygiene of your vessel.
As a general rule, boat owners who want the least maintenance possible should opt for EVA foam or vinyl. These materials won’t fade, lose density, or show signs of wear even over high traffic areas. And in case they develop some problem areas, you can always put them through pressure washing.
On the other hand, carpet flooring might need a little more care, especially since it will absorb some moisture. So after each time you use your pontoon, it’s important that you leave it out in the sun to dry out the carpets. Then of course there’s the issue of vacuuming since dirt can get caught between the fibers. But for what carpets demand in terms of maintenance, they make up for with aesthetics and comfort.
Tips for Removing Old Carpet
Now that you’ve decided on the best pontoon carpet replacement, it’s time to remove the old one. But you can’t just go in and rip everything apart. Here are a few tips to maintain the integrity of your deck while removing the old deck carpet you have installed.
1. Cut Into Manageable Strips
Pulling that carpet off as one big sheet can damage the deck and leave lots of fibers and glue behind. So aside from cutting boat carpet corners to give you leverage to lift up the sheet, you might also want to cut the whole sheet into manageable strips. This lets you peel away smaller sections at a time for a more systematic removal process.
2. Use Adhesive Remover
There will be some glue and fiber left behind no matter how carefully you peel away - that’s just a fact of life. Good thing you can always just use some adhesive remover to clear away the goo. Take some of the formula and wipe it over the problem areas to get rid of adhesive. Remember - you want to make sure the deck is smooth as possible to ensure maximum contact with the new carpet replacement you’re planning to install.
3. Sand It Down
Using a sander tool, you can smoothen out the deck underneath and get rid of any bumps and fibers that might have been left stuck to your deck. Doing so guarantees that there won’t be any debris that prevents the new carpet from sticking securely.
We like the Mouse Detail Sander by Black + Decker.
Out With the Old, In With the New
It doesn’t cost a lot to get your pontoon looking fresh and new. Sometimes, all it takes is replacing interior boat carpet. The best boat carpet replacement can freshen up your tired pontoon’s look and breathe new life into your space. So go ahead and replace that dull, worn out flooring material to make your pontoon feel and look brand new.