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- EVA foam is the best decking material, but PVC tiles are a close second
- Have a list of what you want from your decking material, then choose the most suitable
- Have a budget to avoid overspending on a material
The most acceptable investment you can make for your boat after spending all that money is to get the best boat decking material.
EVA foam is the best material for boat decking. It provides excellent cushioning, heat absorption, slip resistance, shock absorption, and saltwater resistance. While EVA is the best, other decking materials include vinyl, rubber, PVC, wood, and canvas.
We have researched and consulted boat experts to compile this guide about the materials with their pros and cons to help you decide. We also have selected five boat decks that you can check out to help you narrow down your options.
10 Top Boat Decking Materials
In addition to interior decoration, boat decking is crucial for the crew's and the boat owners' safety. Particularly for those that enjoy water sports, be very vigilant when selecting the material you’ll use for the boat’s decks.
Selecting the best boat deck material is challenging and confusing. Making the wrong choice in decking materials now could result in high costs for future cleaning, replacement, and repair. Luckily there are limitless options for decking material available, and all you have to do is find the one that best works for you.
The best boat decking materials are easy to clean, durable and water resistant.
Some of the most common materials used in boat deckings include:
1. Eva Foam
EVA foam is the best boat decking material. EVA, ethylene-vinyl acetate, is an effective alternative for various production-related items. You can use EVA foam in place of many materials like vinyl, natural rubber, PVC, wood, and canvas.
The EVA foam material produces good gloss and clarity, withstanding low temperatures, UV radiation and stress breaking, and waterproof hot-melt adhesive capabilities. It preserves its toughness and flexibility, bounces back rapidly from compressions, and takes in colors.
Wood has always been a favorite flooring material among many boat owners, and the critical justification is the durability of wood floors. Wood flooring comes in various options, ideal for maintaining the boat’s aesthetics.
The most commonly used wood is Oakwood because the end product is dependable, adaptable, strong, and water resistant. In addition to being very reliable, Oak wood is naturally beautiful, especially since it has unique features like rays. The most prevalent downside of wood decking is that it requires constant maintenance and will quickly disintegrate if left wet for long periods.
Luckily, if you apply epoxy on your wooden deck, be sure you’ll increase the shelf life of the wood. Wood decking is also quite pricey, but the price is valid for what it's worth. When maintained properly, the wooden deck will comfortably serve you upwards of a decade.
3. Marine Carpet Flooring
Flooring made of marine carpet has been around for a long time and is popular among many boat owners mainly because of its affordability. Marine carpet flooring was once a replica of the thick carpeting found in homes. Still, with time, manufacturers made a few enhancements to make the carpet better suited to contemporary recreational boaters' and anglers' needs.
With the enhancements, marine carpet flooring is gentler and cozier than previously but maintains the same aesthetic appeal. Although marine carpet tends to fade with time from UV deterioration and retains more bacterial elements, it is more resilient and water-resistant than other boat flooring options now on the market.
Unfortunately, marine carpet flooring is not ideal for motorsports as it could become damp, degrade and begin to smell bad if they accumulate too much water over time. While some brands noticed this downside and acted on it to create marine carpets that keep up well even when exposed to water, you must do your due diligence before using the rug in watersports.
These carpets are available in various designs, hues, and textures. Consequently, take care to choose a nautical rug that complements the design of your ship. Your feet will benefit from its sensitivity, and if your feet are wet, you won't fall either.
4. PVC Flooring Tiles
Your best bet to shield your boat from harm when in the sun sea is PVC tiles. These tiles come in various beautiful colors and designs and are simple to install. You can choose between a smooth or textured finish to give the interior of your boat a distinctive appearance.
This boat decking option is very popular for those on a budget. You get the knock-off of the popular marine vinyl decks while keeping your finances in check. The tiles are also effortless and straightforward to install; you don’t need to budget for installation costs.
The best part about PVC tiles is that once one tile breaks or gets damaged, you don’t need to replace the whole deck. Simply replace the broken tile, and you will restore your decking to normalcy. Also, with PVC tiles, water problems are a thing of the past since they are waterproof, implying that you may load them onto a fishing boat, pontoon, or recreational vessel.
The only drawback of these tiles is that they are not UV stable nor UV protected, which causes progressive fading over time. Place them in a shaded part of the boat if you want them to last.
5. Drainage Tiles
Drainage tiles could, in some circumstances, be your best choice if you have a boat built expressly for fishing. These tiles are permeable to water, and this reduces the mess that is made while fishing.
Drainage tiles are just as straightforward to install as PVC tiles. While drainage tiles lay on the more expensive side, this decking material is the best option for fishermen. The only disadvantage of this flooring selection is it’s very comfortable that you may find yourself standing for long hours, which may result in foot and back pain.
6. Vinyl Marine Flooring
Another kind of maritime flooring commonly mistaken with vinyl flooring for homes is vinyl marine flooring, typically installed on yachts and ski boats.
Vinyl marine flooring has undergone profound advancements to meet the demands of modern boating. Thanks to vinyl’s waterproofness and UV resistance, you can use it as a standard boat flooring choice. The material is easy to clean, but proceed cautiously, as damp vinyl flooring is hazardous.
Vinyl marine is perfect if you’re on a budget but still need a high-quality decking material. The decking is sturdy, unaffected by weather, doesn’t lose its appeal, and can withstand UV rays. All these perks while still being affordable.
Some marine vinyl floors have a pad to make walking more pleasant but if one isn't already there, put one beneath the vinyl flooring. The beauty of vinyl marine decking is that noise issues are a thing of the past once installed in your boat because of the incorporated underpad.
The only downside of the marine vinyl decking is it frequently becomes overheated. Yet, despite the hot setback, there is still cause for hope.
7. Aluminum Boat Flooring
Another popular boat decking material characterized by minimal weight and durability is aluminum boat flooring. Aluminum decks remain valuable because of their advantages, sturdiness, longevity, and durability. Aluminum is a strong metal so expect it to serve you a while.
Due to its strength and corrosion resistance, a boat with aluminum flooring should serve you for three to four decades. However, avoid installing aluminum flooring on your boat if you intend to use it in salt water since the salt can start corroding the metal very quickly if not adequately covered.
Aluminum decks are inexpensive compared to maritime floors and simple to maintain. If you are near seawater, you only need to wash the deck with soapy water and rinse with a hose pipe.
In the winter, leaving the boat outside won't be fun. The floor made of aluminum might form ice layers but don’t be concerned, though, because there won't be any rust.
Unlike vinyl marine decks, aluminum flooring does make noise when someone is walking on them. The noise can be annoying, but you’ll get used to it with time.
8. Rubber Boat Flooring
Rubber flooring is one of the most environmentally friendly solutions on the list because it’s created from recycled motor tires. One of the best features is its anti-slip effect. Breaking a bone or two after slipping should be the least of your worries since the rubber surface ensures strong traction even with wet feet.
Rubber decking is also very reasonably priced, so you need not worry about breaking banks while trying to safeguard your boat. The material is also pretty comfortable and gentle to your feet.
While rubber flooring is good, it has a few drawbacks. The material is UV unstable, so you need to use a UV protectant or keep the flooring out of direct sunlight. Failure to protect your deck from UV, the rubber will fade, and restoring it will run you back a couple of dollars.
Also, when rubber is exposed to the sun, walking on it can be painful because more heat is trapped under the feet by this material. Keep in mind that there aren't many distinct rubber designs. Usually, you'll get plain rubber, and you must pay an additional fee to mix the material in different colors.
If you plan on being on rough waters, look no further than a canvas decking. Canvas is one of the oldest materials still used by some boat builders due to its thick, sturdy, and water-resistant nature.
Canvas is also perfect because it can easily withstand the problem of fading brought on by UV rays since the floor includes a pigment for long-term color preservation. However, leaving your boat outside in the sweltering sun will undoubtedly start to fade, and the sun's heat could also hurt your feet walking on the canvas.
Canvas, unlike rubber, comes in a variety of colors which allows you to choose a color that is in line with the boat’s theme. While canvas may look high-end, you shouldn't be alarmed by its reasonably priced pricing. Canvas floors, however, may spread out in the rain and cause water to collect on the surface.
Boat Deckings that You Can Buy
It's challenging to pick the best boat deck. You may wish to stick to your spending limit while still purchasing the highest-quality goods, particularly after investing a sizable chunk of money in the boat.
Here are the top boat decking brands we recommend based on our experience with boats and all of their extras.
Boat Flooring EVA Foam Decking Sheet
The Boat Flooring Eva Foam kicks off the list thanks to its many advantages. The carpet is visually appealing and easy to maintain, and the material is non-skid and can be easily cut to fit nearly any surface. This decking foam is also very easy to clean and only needs a vacuum or pressure washer to look sparkling clean.
Due to its strong tensile elongation and resistance to distortion, tearing, and damage, the boat decking is secure and durable. One thing we guarantee, this decking sheet surpassed our expectations, and you’ll bear us witness.
LUBEMIDA EVA Boat Flooring Carpet
LUBEMIDA EVA flooring carpet’s diamond design is a terrific option for EVA boat decking because of its comfortable and thick design. The boat decking has a strong pressure-sensitive glue backing that can easily be cut to the proper size with a utility knife. This flooring carpet will not unstick or rip easily.
After installing the flooring, you are assured of no blemishes, fissures, or other faults, giving your vintage boats a brand-new look.
Dawitrly's Boat Floor Decking Sheet
Dawitrly’s boat decking sheet is manufactured from high-density EVA foam, which is soft, non-toxic, and odorless. This decking sheet is self-adhesive and simple to DIY, trim, and design to the shape and structure of your boat to fit virtually any surface, thanks to solid glue at the back.
After installation, use force to condense and allow adhesive paste to dry. Give the decking sheet time to dry down before proceeding to step on it.
Because of the deep trenches and striped design that can help improve friction and avoid slipping, you can walk on it gently and worry-free. It is durable, safe, and not readily distorted or damaged.
HZCHIONE EVA Foam Boat Flooring
The HZCHIONE boat flooring has extensive striped patterns that create friction to minimize tripping. The patterned troughs enable water to flow without collecting. The decking rug is easy to cut to the desired shape and size, and the robust self-adhesion backing makes it easy to install.
The boat flooring is very soft and comfortable, which enables your feet to be more relaxed when standing for extended periods. Infact, if you want to lay down and enjoy the sun while on the boat, feel free.
The best thing about this marine deck mat is it is easy to clean and resistant to stains. You can pressure wash it or vacuum it, and your deck will look as good as new. The flooring can withstand cold and heat, preventing scratches on the vessel's deck.
SECIVLOT Boat Flooring EVA Foam Boat Decking
While SECIVLOT Boat Flooring’s U shape is fashionable, it allows the deck to drain well, preventing water accumulation. The design is visually pleasing and requires little maintenance, and it also ensures that you do not trip and fall.
It is simple to cut down and clean any surface on a yacht that needs non-skid protection for the cover to suit it.
The marine carpet is not easily torn or damaged, has high tensile elongation, and is resistant to deform. It is also high density, odorless; and not harmful.