Boat decks are prone to damage from sun and moisture. They can rot or develop mold and mildew. Pontoon Boat Flooring protects the deck of the pontoon boat while boosting its appearance. There are different types of flooring options available. They have their own advantages and disadvantages. A few are applied as a coating on the deck to preserve it. Others are glued on the deck using adhesive. Some flooring options are economical while others are expensive. Choosing the right flooring depends on a few factors. It must look great, should be resistant to corrosion and fading in sunlight, be easy to clean, and last for a long duration. Here are some of the most popular flooring options used by pontoon boat owners.
If you are in a rush here is a quick table of our most recommended pontoon boat flooring:
|Why We Like
|Marine Grade Carpet
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|Zeeos Teak Flooring (EVA Foam)
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|Tuff Coat Non-Skid Boating
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|Marideck Marine Grade Vinyl
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|Nautolex Interwoven Vinyl
|Best High End Flooring
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Marine Grade Carpet is the most popular flooring found on pontoon boats and a luxurious one. Carpets look great, provide a solid footing, muffle the sound of the footsteps and feel softer. Boat carpets are quite similar to their household counterparts but are made of marine grade synthetic materials. Regular carpet material will attract mold and mildew while marine grade material resists them. It can withstand damage from moisture and dry in a shorter time as compared to household carpets. They are prone to accumulating dust and food droppings. The carpet must be regularly cleaned and sprayed with a protectant to minimize sun damage and preserve its color. Marine Carpets are available in a wide variety of colors and textures.
Marine Vinyl Flooring is a great flooring option for boats. Marine vinyl flooring is an inexpensive alternative to carpets that is easy to clean and maintain. Vinyl floors are available as sheets, tiles, and planks and are easy to install. Nowadays textured vinyl floors are anti-slippery, durable and dampen noise as effectively as carpets. They do not attract mold like carpets or shorten the lifespan of decks and can be washed easily using a hose or a pressure washer. UV stabilized vinyl floors do not fade with exposure to the sun. Vinyl flooring is the ideal choice for boat owners who live in humid areas.
Marine Polyurethanes flooring is best for pontoon boats with wooden decks. It is a plastic coating that comes in liquid form. Once dried, it will turn into hard plastic that will protect the surface from scratches and abrasions. It can have a water base, an oil base, or a hybrid base combining the two. Oil based polyurethane coatings last longer than water-based ones and are ideal for pontoon boats that heat up because of sunlight. It will highlight the color and texture of wood when used on a wooden deck. It can be used to coat other types of surfaces. Polyurethanes can be either rolled or sprayed on the deck.
Real teak flooring is a classic choice that with the right care can easily last for two decades. It has a certain appeal to it and works with every type of upholstery and décor. Unfortunately teak is a pain in the butt to install on a boat and to maintain. So the next best thing that we could come up with is the Zeeos EVA Foam Teak Floor Decking Sheet. It gives you the look of teak but without the costs of real teak and the maintenance headache that comes with the. The Zeeos Teak Floor comes in rolled sheets and comes with adhesive pre-attached to it already for EASY install. Sure, I know it’s not the real thing but tell me one person who owns a boat and is actually looking for real teak flooring nowadays!
Hydroturf is a fantastic flooring type for pontoon boat owners who prefer extra cushioning. It does not heat up in the sun and keeps the temperature of the boat cool. It provides excellent grip that prevents slippage and has better cushioning than carpets. Hydroturf is either self-adhesive or can be glued onto the deck using an adhesive cement. The top surface may be flat or have grooves or diamond patterns. Hydroturf is available in a few different colors including tan, grey, and black. Unlike carpet, it does not absorb water and cleaning it is a breeze. The material used for its construction is EVA which is characterized by its excellent toughness. It is a bit expensive but every penny you spend on Hyroturf will be worth it.
Want to improve the grip of your pontoon floor without replacing it? Kiwigrip Non-Skip Coating is what you need. It is a marine deck coating for improving grip and prevent skidding. It is low glare and easy on eyes. You can adjust the texture if needed by changing application technique. It is available in multiple colors including light grey, light blue, and black. You can apply it on different surfaces like concrete, epoxy, fiber, metal, and wood. It is an acrylic polymer and does not contain any filler and hence won’t erode away. You can apply it yourself with the roller sleeve provided with it.
Dri-Dek is a great addition to protect the precious deck of the pontoon boat. It is installed over the pontoon deck and prevents direct contact between the deck and feet while providing a non-slip surface. Dri-Dek serves as the point of impact for equipment and protects the deck surface from getting abrasions. You may also use it for lining cabinets and storage spaces. Its well-ventilated design makes water drainage easy and protects the deck and gear from getting wet. It has anti-bacterial properties which discourage the formation of mold and mild dew and improve the life of decking. Dri-Dek’s quick snap design makes installation easier. It can mimic any shape and is available in twelve colors.
Tuff Coat is a rubberized coating that enhances the traction of the pontoon deck. It is a water-based coating that can either be air-sprayed or rolled onto the deck. It contains an acrylic/urethane copolymer and rubber crumbs. It dries easily and does not catches fire. Tuff Coat is environment-friendly and poses no health hazards. It can be applied to almost any surface to render it non-slip. Its flexible nature ensures that it can withstand impacts without chipping. Tuff Coat is available in 21 different color options to match décor of any pontoon boat. The colors are UV resistant and do not fade away easily.
Castaway is an alternative floor covering to carpets. Castaway is an EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) foam. If you are like me you have probably never heard of EVA foam, but it’s actually a common closed cell foam material used for things like floor mats, exercise mats, sports equipment, kickboards, life jackets, flip-flops, and now pontoon boat flooring! It is economical, easy to install, and feels warm and comfortable. The appearance is quite similar to sheet vinyl and it comes in pretty modern wood grain colors or other colors common to the lake. Castaway EVA foam flooring does not stain and is durable and longlasting as compared to conventional carpet flooring. Castaway flooring is easy to maintain and since it’s a closed cell material it is not damaged by water – in fact you can hose if off if you would like. It is also very comfortable since it is essentially a cushion underneath the top skin.
There are different grades of vinyl flooring available. The higher the quality, the more durable and long lasting it will be. If you are looking for a rough and tough flooring, Marideck is a right fit for you. It is superior to basic marine vinyl, is exceptionally strong and will withstand rough usage. It makes use of high quality reinforced PVC that can withstand extreme temperatures, is waterproof, and doesn’t wear down easily. No need to worry about heavy traffic or kids jumping around. Unlike other vinyl floors that may have a woven texture, Marideck is available as a single sheet.
Nautolex is a premium flooring choice for pontoon boat owners. It is an expanded vinyl fabric material similar to the one used in upholstery manufacturing. Its main characteristic is its lustrous finish. Nautolex flooring will have the same upscale sheen as the furniture of a luxurious pontoon boat. It is durable, anti-bacterial, waterproof, and superior to regular vinyl flooring. UV treatment is provided to minimize sun damage. Cleaning Natuloex flooring is quite easy and can be done with soap and water. Nautolex is available in a wide array of colors, and stylish textures that will complement the decor of different boats.
The Different Types of Pontoon Boat Flooring
There is a wide range of pontoon boat flooring options available that cater to the varying requirements of boat owners.
Marine Carpet Flooring
Marine carpet flooring is a popular choice of boat owners. It is similar to regular household carpets but designed for use on pontoons. The flooring is more durable and resists mildew and water better. It provides excellent traction and minimizes the chances of slipping. Marine carpet flooring is aesthetically pleasing and dampens footsteps. However, it can still retain moisture and experience mildew and mold growth. The water can seep into the deck and damage it as well. Marine carpet flooring must be washed and cleaned regularly.
Vinyl flooring is gaining popularity among pontoon owners. It is easy to clean and maintain, requiring only an occasional wash. Vinyl is not susceptible to mold and mildew either. It prevents water from seeping into the deck, prolonging its life. There are UV resistant versions of vinyl available for preventing discoloration due to exposure to sunlight. Vinyl flooring is easy to install, provides padding, and softens footsteps. A disadvantage of vinyl flooring is it increases the chances of slipping on a wet deck. The same can be reduced by opting for vinyl flooring with an anti-skid pattern or coating. It does absorb heat and may not be ideal for hot summers.
PVC Flooring is available for pontoon boats. It may be used in addition to the existing flooring. It is highly durable and easy to install because of its interlocking tile-style design. PVC flooring is waterproof, making its maintenance efficient and straightforward. However, it is not UV resistant and may be expensive.
One of the cheapest floorings for your pontoon boat deck is a painted flooring. It is a paint that is coated on the deck. The paint is designed for marine applications and is waterproof. It does require you to prepare the surface of the deck by sanding and priming. Painted flooring is best suited for wooden decks. It is typically the most economical choice and it is certainly pretty maintenance free but some people may not like how it feels on their feet or it may not look as good as some of the other types of floorings.
Polyurethane flooring is a great alternative to paint flooring. It is basically plastic in liquid form, which hardens after applying. Its application is the same as paint flooring. Polyurethane not only protects the deck from damage but prevents it from getting warm as well. It is suitable for hot and wet conditions.
Some pontoons also feature rubber flooring. It provides an excellent grip and can withstand moisture and water while protecting the deck from them. Its extra padding makes it great for individuals who suffer from joint-related discomforts. Rubber flooring is suitable for people who primarily use their pontoons for fishing. It is affordable and relatively easy to install. However, it is not suitable for hot weather conditions.
Some pontoons may have aluminum flooring. It is light and durable while being easy to maintain. Thin sheets of aluminum are installed on the deck using rivets or nuts. The floor has a good grip and won’t corrode due to water or moisture, making it a great option for anglers. Aluminum flooring is not suitable for hot areas as it absorbs heat relatively quickly and will turn the pontoon into a furnace. It is not aesthetically appealing either and leads to noisy footsteps as well.
A few pontoon owners may opt for deck coatings. There are different types of coatings available for boats. They may improve the grip of the deck to prevent skidding, make it water-resistant, keep it cooler by preventing excessive heat absorption, or protect it from scratches. The coatings are generally applied directly on the deck and provide an alternative to flooring. Deck coatings are a little different than a a paint or epoxy because typically have some “traction” built into them and the high quality coatings are made to last over 5 years.
Things to Consider When Selecting a Pontoon Boat Flooring
Here are a few things to pay attention to when selecting a pontoon boat flooring.
Ease of Maintenance
An important thing to consider when choosing a pontoon boat flooring is the ease of maintenance. Your pontoon flooring will require maintenance now and then. It will prolong the life of the flooring and keep it clean. If you maintain the floor well, you won’t have to replace it often, thereby avoiding unnecessary expenses. Some types of pontoon floorings are easier to maintain as compared to others. Vinyl, PVC, and aluminum are relatively effortless to clean than carpet flooring (which has to be washed).
A few floorings may require polishing in addition to cleaning, for preserving their life. Their maintenance will take more time and effort. Therefore, you must regard how easy or difficult is the pontoon flooring to maintain. Opt for low-maintenance floorings if you can’t spare the time and effort.
An essential factor to examine when choosing a pontoon flooring is its durability. Pontoon floorings will have different lifespans depending on the material. Some of them are sturdy and durable and will last for years to come. Others may not be as durable and will require replacement every few years. Therefore, consider the durability of the flooring before you opt for it. Aluminum, PVC, rubber, and vinyl floorings are highly durable. Generally, there is a tradeoff between durability and price. A more durable flooring will be expensive as compared to one that doesn’t last as long.
Activities You Undertake
The type of activities you undertake when pontooning, will determine the ideal flooring options for you. If you use your pontoon for swimming, fishing, or other activities that wet the deck, then strictly avoid marine carpet flooring. The moisture will seep into the carpet, breed germs, and emit a foul smell over time. It will rot wooden decks as well. Vinyl, PVC, rubber, or aluminum flooring should be preferred. Additionally, consider anti-skid coatings for the deck.
Individuals who stay on the pontoon, without getting wet, can opt for carpet flooring. As long as the carpet stays dry, it won’t cause any issues. If you entertain guests but don’t engage in swimming or fishing, then you will be fine with carpet flooring. An alternative to carpets is seagrass flooring. It feels equally good to the feet while being cheap and durable.
The weather conditions in your region will determine the ideal pontoon boat flooring options for you. Carpet flooring should be avoided for regions that experience high humidity. The moisture will encourage the growth of mildew or mold, which will damage the carpet. Aluminum, vinyl, rubber, and PVC flooring may be a better option for these areas.
For hot and dry areas that receive plenty of sunlight, flooring that does not absorb heat easily (such as carpet) will be ideal. It must have UV protection and shouldn’t discolor easily. Aluminum, vinyl, and rubber floorings are not suitable for hot weather conditions.
The right pontoon boat flooring for you will also depend on the amount of money you are willing to spend. Pontoon boat floorings are generally charged per square foot. Overall, marine carpets are among the cheapest, but it will be based on the manufacturer and the fabric used. There are some expensive carpets available as well.
Similarly, there are different types of vinyl floorings sold in the market. The higher is their quality, the more they will cost. PVC flooring is quite expensive as compared to other types of floorings. Paint and polyurethane flooring are among the cheapest. Go for a pontoon boat flooring that fits your budget. If you own a basic pontoon, don’t go overboard with the flooring. There is no point in purchasing a pontoon for five thousand bucks and spending an equal amount on the flooring.
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