Carpets can bring the feeling of home to any space, but what kind of rug is best for use on houseboats?
The best houseboat carpets, area rugs, and runners are the Koeckritz indoor/outdoor commercial rug, the RestorePontoon 16-Oz marine carpet, and the Lochas ultra soft indoor plush carpet.
In this article, we’ll cover the best houseboat carpets along with a rundown of material types. Additionally, we’ll compare the advantages and disadvantages of the three main materials and types of houseboat carpets, and we’ll review an example of each.
We sourced the carpet specifications in this review directly from the manufacturer to ensure accuracy. Additionally, we drew off the experience of the online houseboat community and marine carpet guides.
What Makes a Great Houseboat Carpet?
A great houseboat carpet is both comfortable and safe. Houseboat carpets should also be trimmable to fit the uneven spaces found inside a houseboat. Carpets that come in rolls, otherwise known as roll carpet, are the best option as they can be cut to fit any custom space.
Houseboats don’t always come with carpet from the factory, at least not in recent years. Builders recognize the cost-effectiveness of carpet but also the modern appeal and ease of maintenance provided by synthetic flooring. However, carpet designed for houseboats gives them a comfortable and home-like feel that many floors can’t compete with.
All in all, a good houseboat carpet should be fire-resistant, water repellant, and lightweight. Additionally, it should be comfortable and not akin to marine carpets commonly found on sailboats and around the marina.
Types of Houseboat Carpet
There are four primary kinds of carpets found in houseboats, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll find on the market.
1. Marine Carpet
Marine carpet is the classic indestructible material seen on docks, sailboats, driving ranges, patios, and many other places. Marine carpets are waterproof or water-resistant, fast-drying, and durable. However, all of these features usually come at the expense of comfort. Marine carpet is the only kind of rug material designed for use on boats.
2. Commercial Carpets
Commercial carpets are what you see on big hotel welcome mats or in movie theaters. Hallways, office buildings, and elevators are other places where you’ll see this material. It’s a bit softer than marine carpet and still pretty durable, and it’s easy to clean compared to other rugs. Commercial carpet is affordable as well.
3. Household Carpet
Household carpet is the most comfortable custom-cut-type carpet on the market, and it’s very common in houseboats. You won’t often find it in sailboats or power boats, but houseboat spaces are usually compatible with this material. Most luxury houseboats opt for this plush and high-quality style of carpet, but owners must be careful to keep it clean and dry.
Do Houseboats Need Marine Carpet?
Houseboats are designed and used differently than other boats, and the debate between marine carpet and household carpet isn’t so clear-cut. Houseboats usually aren’t exposed to the weather conditions or general marine grime commonly found on other vessels, and thus the importance of marine carpet is minimized.
So technically, you can use any kind of carpet aboard a houseboat as long as you treat it well. That said, there are benefits to marine carpet that household rugs just don’t provide.
Advantages of Marine Carpet in Houseboats
Marine carpet is durable and resistant to much of the wear and tear that often occurs on boats. You can walk over the same spots over and over again without producing much visible wear, and they’re resistant to water, oil, and other spillages that commonly occur on all kinds of boats.
Additionally, marine carpets are exceptionally easy to clean. They discourage the growth of mold, prevent slipping, and dry out rapidly when wet. Some marine carpets, such as the type sold as airline carpets, are also fire resistant or fireproof, which can slow or prevent the spread of electrical and fuel fires.
Marine carpets are also difficult or impossible to stain with wine, coffee, or other common liquids. Keep in mind that houseboats are more likely to have easily spilled cups aboard, and thus a rogue boat wake could spell trouble.
Disadvantages of Marine Carpet on Houseboats
Marine carpet, despite its advantages, is relatively uncommon on houseboats. This is because it’s very difficult to make a marine carpet that actually feels nice to walk on. Pretty much anyone can tell the difference between an indoor rug and a marine carpet—even when walking across one of those new ‘plush’ marine rug varieties.
Additionally, most houseboats never (or rarely) encounter the conditions that would warrant heavy-duty carpet. Household carpet is available in infinite varieties, and it’s extremely comfortable to walk or sit on.
Best Houseboat Carpets
Each houseboat is different, and so are the needs and carpet preferences of each houseboat owner. Consequently, we carefully chose several carpets from each popular variety to review. Here are three of the best household and marine carpets for houseboats and what makes them stand out.
1. Koeckritz Dark Blue Indoor/Outdoor Commercial Carpet
Koeckritz manufactures a durable and well-made commercial-style carpet runner, which is ideal for use on houseboats. Though pre-cut, this well-made carpet comes with a fixed silicone backing which prevents bunching and slippage.
Dark blue is an excellent color for carpet, as it’s more forgiving to dirt and stains than lighter colors. Additionally, it’s easy to clean, as you can just roll it up, take it outside, and beat out the dirt with a broomstick.
Commercial rugs like the material Koeckritz manufactures have advantages, especially for boats. It’s not as rough or uncomfortable as marine carpet, but it can still be used inside or on the deck without worrying about water.
Koeckritz makes the list because its material is superior to many other brands. This carpet is made from durable Olefin, which is a synthetic fiber known for its relative softness and stain resistance. Additionally, the edges are fabric-bound for a premium feel.
You can buy a 4-foot by 12-foot finished Koeckritz carpet on Amazon for $99.99, and several other sizes are also available.
The Koeckritz dark blue carpet is available in many sizes, and it’s an affordable non-slip and low-maintenance rug for inside or outside spaces on your houseboat.
2. RestorePontoon 16-Oz Marine Carpet
RestorePontoon carpets are a favorite of boaters in all areas, and their material is some of the best on the market for boats. This 6-foot by 16-foot roll of carpet is true marine carpet and resistant to almost everything life on a boat can throw at it.
RestorePontoon’s carpet is softer than most marine carpets and comfortable enough to walk barefoot on. It’s available in lengths between 16 feet and 30 feet, along with 15 different color options. So, why go for a marine carpet over other options for your houseboat?
We covered some of the advantages of marine carpet above. But all in all, the biggest pro to installing marine carpet is that it’s super low maintenance. Marine carpet like this RestorePontoon rug lasts forever, and it’s very easy to clean without heavy equipment that’s impractical to carry aboard a houseboat.
This marine carpet is designed to be cut to size and installed permanently. The 16-ounce material is thick and durable, so it should be easy to lay without professional help. Just remember to use high-quality carpet glue during installation.
RestorePontoon marine carpet is made in the USA and trusted by thousands of boaters. It’s designed for pontoon boats and speedboats, but it’s a great option for lining the floor or deck of a houseboat. It’ll resist fading in the sun and provide many years of dependable indoor or outdoor use.
RestorePontoon marine carpet is available on Amazon starting at $126.49 for a 16-foot roll. Other sizes and colors are also available.
RestorePontoon marine carpet is a high-quality and low-maintenance carpet option for the inside or outside of your houseboat.
3. Lochas Ultra Soft Indoor Carpet
How comfortable do you want your houseboat to be? If you’re the kind of houseboat owner that wants to walk around barefoot on the softest material possible, then look no further than the Lochas carpet. This plush rug is designed for indoor use, and it’s a great choice for houseboat living or bedrooms.
Lochas carpets are highly rated and increasingly popular, though they’re not designed for boats. That said, this heavy area rug will work just fine on most houseboats, provided it is mounted properly. A rug like this is designed for one purpose—softness.
But is it safe to use on a houseboat? True, this carpet isn’t waterproof or oil-resistant. However, in a typical houseboat bedroom or living area, it should be perfectly fine provided there’s no active water ingress or hot mechanical parts nearby. If you’re looking for comfort and a home-like feeling, it’s tough to go wrong with this Lochas plush rug.
This Lochas plush carpet is highly affordable, too. It measures about 5x7.5 feet and costs only $54.99 on Amazon. It’s also available in 11 separate colors.
The Lochas Ultra Soft indoor carpet is ideal for bedrooms and living spaces aboard houseboats where comfort is key.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson