Choosing The Best Boat Flooring Solution For 2021 - Poly Bedliner

Friday, June 11, 2021

Choosing The Best Boat Flooring Solution For 2021

If you like fishing, carpet flooring won't be the best choice for flooring for your boat. On the other hand, if you like luxury, you might want to avoid aluminum flooring.

Thankfully, there are many different boat flooring possibilities obtainable. Today we are going to cover some of the best. 

Let's go over some of the major differences between boat flooring. These differences cover price per square foot, the flooring's look, flooring durability, and more. With this, let's bring some insight into which type of boat flooring is most suitable for you. We will examine them side by side and discuss the pros and cons of each flooring individually!

One of the reasons why people love pontoons is because they can customize them in countless ways. One of the custom options is flooring.

The most common pontoon boat flooring options are:

  1. Marine Carpet Flooring
  2. Aluminum Flooring
  3. Bedliner Flooring
  4. Vinyl Flooring
  5. PVC Flooring
  6. Paint Flooring

Let's look at these flooring options in detail.

Marine Carpet Flooring

marine carpet flooring

Carpet for a pontoon has been used for many decades now and has been known to have the same similarities as household rugs. However, advances in technology have created new styles and forms of pontoon carpet materials. Marine carpeting is designed for withstanding the elements. It's more tough and water-resistant than conventional carpeting.

This type of material is synthetic and is more resistant to wear and tear as well as water. Due to the evolution of pontoon carpet materials over time, a carpet is still a popular option. There are numerous styles, colors, and textures for marine carpets that create a pleasing aesthetic for your boat.

All-weather backing.

Edges are unbound.

100% Hi UV stabilized polypropylene fiber.

Pros of Marine Carpet Flooring

The Price – If you are looking for affordable boat flooring, look no further than carpet flooring. This is the most affordable way to make your boat look brand new.

The Sound – Carpet is the favored method for fishermen because it has a softer and deadening sound. This is incredibly essential when out on the boat for hours l to catch a fish. Overall, the carpet is more flexible, and for guests, it feels more comfortable and cozier.

The Traction – The marine carpet provides plenty of traction. You will feel safe on the boat even when your feet are wet. It's a great choice if you have kids, for sure.

The Comfort – Carpet makes guests feel more at home! With soft flooring, guests never worry about their feet hurting. And, if your pets are on your pontoon, they can lie on the carpet and relax, and you can feel great about your pet's protection.

Cons of Marine Carpet Flooring

Hot Metal Rivets – In more traditional boat models, metal snaps and rivets can get incredibly hot. On barefoot, even with carpet, if you step on it on a scorching day, you are probably going to feel it.

Rotting – Carpet absorbs water, and if not dried for an extended period, it will cause problems. It can lead to mold that rots the plywood underneath, which will be costly to repair. Make sure you dry your carpet properly, so your wood does not get damaged.

Bad Smells and Stains – Can you imagine bringing your guests onto your foul-smelling pontoon? One of the most serious things about carpet is that it absorbs every liquid and scent that it meets. So, keep in mind that maintenance on a carpet is the highest of any other flooring material.

Aluminum Flooring


The most common pontoon boat flooring is marine carpet with plywood underneath it. As noted, though, if you do not take care of the marine carpet, it will damage the wood and cost you big bucks.

This is where aluminum flooring comes into place. You do not have to worry about water, mold, and mildew damaging your plywood with aluminum flooring.

Also, aluminum flooring is very light and durable, thus lowering your fuel bill and strengthening the core of your boat. It might even increase your boat speed. 

Pros of Aluminum Flooring

Maintenance and Durability – Aluminum flooring is one of the best permanent flooring materials. It will easily outlast just about any other boating covering. Also, ii is a joke. There is no maintenance required.

Cost of Aluminum – Although it is not as cheap as the carpet, aluminum is still a comparatively inexpensive flooring material. 

Traction – Although aluminum is not as good as marine carpet or rubber flooring, it offers good traction. You can be confident that you will not slip and fall on it, although that can change. If you keep your boat in the water over the winter, ice may form on top.

Cons of Aluminum Flooring

The Noise – One of the major issues that I have with aluminum is the noise. I wouldn't say I like all the heavy-sounding footsteps when I walk on top of it. Walking barefoot or donning flip-flops may solve that problem, though.

The Appearance – I'm not too fond of the look of it. I think it isn't pleasant. I know some manufacturers try to make it look like wood, but it just doesn't work for me.

Bedliner Boat Flooring

Bedliner flooring is known as the most attractive pontoon flooring option. Polyurea based bedliner applications for pontoon flooring easily stands the test of time and can practically stand any abuse.

Bedliner material is simple to install. You can have a company such as ArmorThane spray the material on and it hardens (or cures) within seconds. With that said, this may be the best flooring option for fishermen or people that plan to use their pontoon boat for more industrial work.

Bedliner Flooring Bonuses

Great aesthetic appeal with its modern and sleek surface and now available in earth tone colors

Protect floors and create a waterproof floor with the amazing resilience of Polyurea.

This coin-floor surface texture makes for a non-slip floor and ideal for use in any slippery environment.

Pros of Bedliner Flooring

Slip Resistant – Most people are concerned with falling when they get on the boat. They are thinking of their wet feet and boat rocking with the waves. However, bedliner flooring is extremely slip-resistant. You can feel comfortable knowing that you are not going to fall if your feet are wet.

Cost of Bedliner Flooring – Bedliner flooring is not going to break your bank. Compared to some other flooring types, you might even call it cheap.

The Comfort – When it comes to comfort, bedliner material is right up there with the best. Polyurea contains natural anti-fatigue properties, so it only makes sense to be used as a surface to walk on.

Cons of Bedliner Flooring

Not UV Resistant – Unlike some other materials, rubber flooring is not UV resistant; however you can easily pay a little extra for a UV resistant coating. You can bet your house that the flooring color will fade away after a few years of use without it though. The best way to fight this is to get yourself a UV-resistant boat cover or pay the extra bucks for the UV resistant topcoat.

Bedliner Material Gets Hot – I'm sure it's common knowledge that rubber attracts heat. Well, bedliner material is quite similar and Unless you have a long bimini top or a boat umbrella, make sure you wear your shoes.

Vinyl Boat Flooring

vinyl boat flooring

Vinyl flooring is known as one of the most common pontoon flooring options. There is a common misconception that pontoon vinyl flooring is the same as household vinyl flooring. Vinyl has come a long way since the old days! Vinyl flooring now offers easier maintenance than ever before, non-slip flooring options, and is more durable.

It not only looks nice, but marine vinyl flooring materials are slip-resistant and can withstand weather elements.

Deck Rite MariDeck Marine Vinyl Flooring - 6' Wide - 34 mil.

The MariDeck product is the attractive, durable, time-tested vinyl alternative to traditional high-maintenance marine carpet.

MariDeck vinyl is embossed with a slip-resistant textured surface.

It can be installed on wood, aluminum, or fiberglass surfaces.

Pros of Vinyl Flooring

Maintenance and Durability – Vinyl flooring is easy to clean, maintain, and can practically be used in every area of your pontoon boat. It performs well regardless of foot traffic and weather conditions. Since vinyl is glued heavily to the boat's frame, it's known to create a waterproof seal for safer cleaning. All you have to do is use a bit of Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner and water to make it squeaky clean. You can even use a pressure washer. However, if you use a pressure washer before boat winterization, make sure you let it dry completely. Otherwise, you risk the floor warping or becoming moldy.

The Sound – Even though it might not look soft, vinyl can be tranquil. All you have to do is add padding under the vinyl to create a sound barrier between the pontoon's frame and the vinyl. You can also reduce the sound by wearing the right shoes, and I've written about the best shoes for boating if you want to know more about Zit.

UV Resistant – Most vinyl floors are now UV stabilized, unlike marine carpet or rubber flooring. If you have carpet, take notice of the different color areas, which will appear more saturated. After a while, the carpet areas that are more exposed begin to fade. With vinyl flooring, you do not have to worry about this effect.

Warranty – Vinyl companies are becoming more secure with the longevity of their products; unlike carpet, which can become damaged after long periods of moisture, vinyl is known to last much longer. That confidence is reflected in companies offering longer warranties for vinyl flooring to attract customers.

Cons of Vinyl Flooring

The Price – Vinyl flooring is the preferred option if you want an appealing pontoon boat and can spend the money to enhance the flooring. Vinyl flooring is one of the more expensive options due to the many different styles, the price per square foot, and the amount you need.

Vinyl Gets Hot – Well, that's partially true. If we are talking about old vinyl, then yes, it will get hot, and you will need shoes to walk on it. But there is a solution. It's called Marine SeaGrass.

Marine SeaGrass is different because it's light in color, and it will not get hot if you chose the right option. The drawback is the price, of course, so choose wisely.

PVC Flooring

Polyvinyl Chloride floor tiles

PVC pontoon boat flooring or Polyvinyl Chloride floor tiles are not typically what you see on the boats; it's more used in garages and storage areas. But you can use them on the boat since they are very durable and user-friendly. As you will see, they offer some options that no other flooring on the list does.

Pros of PVC Flooring

Maintenance and Durability – PVC flooring is a great option if you are looking for easy maintenance and longevity. Since they are built for garages, you know they are tough enough to take a beating. They are also waterproof, so if you glue them well to your deck, you won't experience any desk problems down the line. Also, you can clean it in any way you want.

Usability and Installation – What separates PVC flooring from other flooring options is how you can use them. PVC flooring is tiles that can be joined together, just like a puzzle. So, you don't need to glue them down to the deck. If you do not glue them, you can take them off and install them somewhere else.

Color Options – Typically, boat flooring comes in a limited amount of color options. That is not the case with PVC flooring. You can get almost any color your heart desires and design your deck any way you want.

Cons of PVC Flooring

The Price – Like many other flooring options, PVC flooring can get pricey. But if you have a smaller size boat, it might not be as bad.

Not UV Resistant – Just like rubber flooring, PVC is not UV resistant. Long Sun exposure is sure to make PVC flooring fade out and look old and ugly. If you are not planning to use boat cover, make sure you pick different flooring options.

Marine Paint Flooring

The last boating option I will mention is paint flooring. Paint flooring has been used for a very long time, and it will be used for years to come. It is very cheap, and all that is needed is some paint, a brush, and wood to paint on.

Pros of Paint Flooring

The Price – The cheapest option of all is paint flooring. You can buy a gallon of paint, paint your complete deck, and still have sufficient enoough paint to do it a few more times. And all this is doing to cost you under $100, depending on the quality.

Maintenance and Durability – This is a marine-grade paint, so it is waterproof. It will last you a long time, and when it fades away, you grab a roller and pain it again.

Cons of Paint Flooring

The Appearance – Depending on what your deck looks like, this can be both good and bad. I will add it to the cons section because I think other flooring materials look better.

Installation – As you know, paint does not adhere well to the surface if the surface is not prepared correctly. What this means is that you have to sand down the deck entirely. Once you do that, you have to remove all the dust created by sanding. Only then can you begin to paint.

Which Boat Flooring Options are Best

Overall I say, the bedliner option is best. It's going to look the best, cost the least, and it will outlast every other option on this list. Especially considering the maintenance cost of boat carpet, you might be saving more money in the long run. However, if you see yourself taking care of your pontoon as fanatically as I do, marine carpet is a great option too. Depending on the type of carpet, style, and color, it can be equally pricey as vinyl flooring.

Investing in quality pontoon boat flooring is important. You want to ensure your boat is well protected and well maintained against water exposure and potentially harsh weather conditions.

Taking the cheapest routes when it comes to your boat's flooring material can jeopardize the quality of your boat as well as the safety of you and your passengers. Therefore, I suggest considering all flooring materials and looking at which fits your needs best.

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