Floorings of yachts or boats go through the roughest conditions. They have to withstand continuous sunlight and salty seawater at the same time. All on the same, activities like fishing, partying make the lives of the flooring system even more challenging. So, is it wise to choose vinyl flooring for boats?
Vinyl flooring has a lot of features that made them popular all around the world in a short period. But are they tough enough to endure sea journeys?
I have been in the real estate business for the last 20 years now. I had to know all the ins and outs of different flooring solutions. In this article, I will share my insights about vinyl materials as a flooring solution for boats.
10 Reasons To Choose Vinyl Flooring For Boats:
Vinyl flooring has a lot of positive and negative aspects to consider before using them. Here I have tried to analyze all the good things of vinyl flooring, considering its usefulness for a boat:
1. Easy To Clean:
Being made from artificial chemicals, vinyl flooring has a texture that does not hold onto dirt or spills. It has made the cleaning process of vinyl materials very easy.
In a boat, the flooring gets dirty now and then. Whenever a batch of fish flops over the deck, cleaning is mandatory. With the boat swinging with the waves of the sea, a spill of soft or hard drinks on the floor is quite normal.
If you have vinyl flooring in the boat, the cleaning process can be a piece of cake. You can easily mop the whole deck with a mild detergent within a blink of an eye.
2. Resists Molds & Mildews:
On a sea journey, you will find the weather to be very humid in most cases, thanks to the water all around you. This is alarming for the flooring of a boat. Because excessive humidity in the air causes the growth of molds and mildews under the flooring.
Fortunately, vinyl flooring will help you fight against molds and mildews like no other flooring solution. All you need to do is confirm the sealing of the vinyl flooring is not broken. This anti-mold feature of vinyl flooring has made it one of the most durable floorings in the sea.
3. Safe Hibernation:
Each year boat owners face a common problem. In the winter, when the boat sits idle for months, the floorings get partially or completely damaged.
With vinyl flooring in the boat, you can rest assured that the flooring will be okay the whole idle season. All you need to do is hose down the whole deck with a pressure washer, let the floor dry up, and finally snap on a cover over the boat.
4. Soft For Feet:
If you are out for a vacation with your boat, you will try to ensure maximum comfortability for your family and friends. If the floor of your boat is a hard one, it diminishes the fun to some extent.
You will be glad to know that some new types of vinyl flooring are very soft for footing. You will love the experience if you have children on your trips. Because children will run and fall on the deck for sure. If the flooring is soft, they will not get hurt much.
Many vinyl flooring has high-density polyester backing. Which makes them extra soft and comfortable to walk on.
5. Better Foot Grip:
Vinyl floorings are not slippery. Some of the vinyl floorings even come with anti-slippery features.
This is very helpful in the sea where you have to fight all the time to have a better body balance, in the face of giant waves. This will ensure better safety for your family members in the sea.
Some of the vinyl flooring solutions come with a non-slip woven texture. With these types of vinyl flooring, the chances of you falling in the boat deck is almost zero.
6. Better Acoustics:
Vinyl flooring softens the sounds of walking or running on them. You can even add extra pads with your vinyl flooring just to make them noise-free.
When you are on a vacation, you will want the atmosphere to be as calm as possible. If you hear continuous thuds from the floors simply for walking or running over them, it will ruin the environment. Vinyl flooring is the answer to that problem.
7. More Durable:
Compared to other flooring solutions, vinyl flooring has been proven to be more durable for a boat. The water-resistant feature of vinyl flooring is the main reason for their extra durability in the sea.
You can be sure of the durability of vinyl flooring for the boats by the warranty offers that their manufacturers provide. The warranty for vinyl flooring for boats is much better than other types of floorings.
8. Ease Of Installation:
The growing popularity of vinyl flooring for boats partially depends on the ease of their installation process. They are so easy that in most of the cases the boat owners themselves install vinyl flooring in the boat.
It saves a lot of money for the boat owner. If you had to hire a professional to install and repair vinyl flooring, each time they had an issue, it would make you pay a lot of money. Most of the business boats use vinyl flooring because it reduces their cost of operation.
9. Stands High Traffic:
Generally, vinyl flooring is not good for high traffic. But some new variations of vinyl flooring are made for heavy commercial traffic. Commercial boats always tend to have a high volume of traffic when they are fishing.
There are big chances that sharp objects will fall on the floor. If the floor is not robust enough to endure those hits, they are not fit to be used in a commercial boat. Considering these facts, new types of vinyl flooring have been invented to be used in boats.
10. Good Soil Resistance:
All those tools of fishing, the nets, the fish itself bring dirt and soil in the boat. If the flooring of the boat holds onto the soil, the mess is very difficult to clean.
Fortunately, vinyl flooring is made to be resistant to the soil. That means you can get rid of all the soils from the flooring only by hosing down the deck with water pressure.
How Do You Install Vinyl Flooring On A Boat?
Installing vinyl flooring on a boat can be a piece of cake if you have prior experience in installing vinyl floorings. However, nothing to worry about. Here I will show how you install vinyl flooring on a boat within a few simple steps.
Step 1- Collect All The Require Tools:
You do not have to have a lot of skills for installing vinyl flooring on your boat. But you should have the following items in your hand before starting the installation process:
- Marine Quality Vinyl Tiles
- Marine Plywood Sheet
- Tape measure
- Marine carpet adhesive
- Wide blade putty knife
- Lawn roller
- Circular saw
Step 2- Install The Plywood:
With the measuring tape, measure the whole flooring area of the boat. Using the pencil, draw the floor measurement on the plywood.
Cut the plywood with the circular saw in the exact measurement of the floor. Lay the plywood on the floor area. Use the screws and screwdriver at the edges of the plywood to set them up on the floor.
Step 3- Cut The Vinyl Tiles:
Starting from the middle of the floor area lay the vinyl tiles over the plywood. At all the corners of the floor, you will find some of the tiles overlapping each other.
Mark the vinyl tiles that overlap each other. Use the pencil to draw the exact overlapping area and write the location of the tiles on them. Using the circular saw, cut all the marked vinyl tiles through the lines you drew with the pencil.
Step 4- Apply The Adhesive:
Remove the loose vinyl tiles from the floor area and apply marine carpet adhesive all over the plywood using the wide blade putty knife.
Step 5- Set Up The Vinyl Tiles:
Overlay all the vinyl tiles over the plywood. Reading the marked vinyl tiles place them to their exact locations near all the walls and corners. Press down the vinyl tiles using the lawn roller. Wait for 24 hours before walking on your new vinyl flooring in the boat.
Tips For Vinyl Flooring On Boats:
Installing, using, and maintaining vinyl flooring in boats is not hard at all. Still, I think the following tips will help you get the best out of vinyl flooring in your boat:
Clean Before Installation:
Boat floorings, especially the deck floors are exposed to all kinds of dirt as they are exposed to open air.
That is why it is very much important to make sure that there is not a single bit of dirt left on the floor before installing the vinyl flooring. Because a little dirt under the vinyl floor will eventually ruin the whole flooring.
After cleaning the floor area with water, wait till it is completely dried up before installing the vinyl flooring in your boat.
Wash Before Offseason:
You cannot imagine the importance of giving the vinyl flooring in your boat a mega wash before stowing the boat for the offseason. By no means, you can afford to forget it.
In the whole winter, your boat will stand still at the port. If there is a tiny little dirt in the boat before anchoring them, the dirt will multiply itself in geometric ratio. There is a little mold under the flooring, which will make the vinyl flooring unusable for the next season.
So be very cautious about cleaning the floors of the boat properly before the offseason. Do not forget to dry up the flooring before covering it up for the whole winter.
Be Aware Of Radical Cleaners:
You will find many cleaning agents in the market to clean the vinyl flooring in your boat. Most of them will brag about cleaning your vinyl floor instantly.
But you have to be careful while choosing the befitting cleaning agent. Remember vinyl floors may react negatively with many cleaning chemicals.
I suggest you should use mild detergents, mixed in warm water to clean the vinyl flooring for your boat. It is less expensive, effective, and at the same time safe.
Commonly Asked Questions About Vinyl Flooring For Boats:
What Are The Drawbacks Of Vinyl Flooring For Boats?
Despite all the positive features of vinyl flooring for boats, there are a few disadvantages of them while being used in boats. They are elaborated below:
The synthetic composition of vinyl flooring makes them absorb more heat than other flooring solutions. They also retain the heat in them for a longer time.
Boats and yachts are meant to be under the sun almost the whole day. So, with vinyl flooring in the deck of the boat, the hot and humid days in the sea can become more intolerable. Think twice before installing vinyl flooring in your boat if it moves in a hot and sunny environment. Though, some new arrivals of vinyl flooring solutions claim to resist UV rays of the sun and to get less hot.
The Environment Concern:
Vinyl flooring is not known to be environmentally friendly. They release many harmful gases in the environment throughout their whole life-cycle. These gases are hazardous to our health and the environment.
If you care about global warming or the holes in the ozone layer, you may not wish to have vinyl flooring in your boat.
Direct sunlight makes the colors of vinyl flooring pale. That is why they are rarely used outdoors. The boat floorings are always exposed to sunlight.
So, if you are willing to buy vinyl flooring for your boat just because they come in amazing colors, you have to back off. That is why people only use those colors of vinyl flooring in their boats that do not look weird even after being faded away with the sun.
Artificial and Synthetic:
Another problem with vinyl flooring is they feel artificial under your feet. If your intention to buy a boat is to get away from the artificial civilization for a while, I do not think you will like the feel of vinyl flooring under your feet in the boat.
You will find many patterns and textures of vinyl flooring which mimic natural materials like stone, wood, or ceramic. But at the end of the day, they are simply a combination of some harmful chemicals.
Is Vinyl Flooring Good For Boats?
In many considerations, vinyl flooring has been proven to be a good option for boats or yachts. Vinyl floorings are easy to clean and maintain. They are water-resistant and thus can withstand salty seawater.
Vinyl floors are less expensive, fancy, and soft for walking. That is why they are one of the most popular flooring solutions for boats.
However, there are a few reasons to dislike vinyl flooring for boats. Vinyl flooring retains the heat of the sun and remains very hot to step on with bare feet. At the same time, vinyl flooring is very notorious for discharging harmful gases into the air.
How To Prepare A Boat For Installing Vinyl Flooring?
First of all, you have to make a proper estimate of vinyl flooring for the whole floor area. You have to make sure that the whole floor area is clean and even. Otherwise, your vinyl flooring will not last for a long time.
If you already have any other sort of flooring solution in use in the boat, you have to remove all the remains of the adhesives used with the old flooring. If needed, use a sander to make the area even.
After cleaning the floor area you have to look for any damage or void in the floor. If there is some you have to make the area even using wood putty or fiberglass fillers. Finally, you should vacuum clean the whole floor area before installing the vinyl floor in your boat.
How To Clean Vinyl Flooring In A Boat?
Vinyl floorings are always easy to clean. It is even more true for vinyl flooring for boats. Because the supply of water is abundant for a boat and the vinyl flooring is water-resistant.
You can easily use a water pump to fetch water in the deck of the boat from the river. Using a water hose will make your job very easy.
For fishing boats, you can water-hose the deck of your boat after catching every batch of fish. For some stubborn dirt, you may use a soft brush.
Does Vinyl Boat Flooring Get Hot?
The chemical composition of vinyl flooring makes them retain heat for a long time. While being used in boats, vinyl flooring is exposed to the sun directly for a long time.
You may find it difficult to walk on vinyl flooring with your bare feet on a sunny day. This is one of the few drawbacks that vinyl flooring has while being used for boats.
Is Vinyl Flooring Slippery In A Boat?
There is a common perception about vinyl flooring, that they are slippery and thus are not good for a boat. But the reality is quite different.
Some vinyl flooring has anti-slippery features, which helps your feet to have a better grip on the floor and maintain a good body balance even in the waves.
Some vinyl flooring materials have a non-slip woven texture. It is very hard to get your foot slipped in this type of vinyl flooring.
How To Clean Tough Stains From Vinyl Flooring In A Boat?
The deck area of a boat is used very roughly. So it is very normal for the flooring of that area to get stains. Removing stains from a vinyl floor does not require you to use expensive cleaning agents. But they need a good amount of patience.
All you need to clean the vinyl flooring in your boat is a clean towel, some warm water, and a little nail polish remover. First of all, make the clean towel wet with warm water. Then apply a drop of nail polish remover on the stained area.
Now slowly rub the stains with the wet towel. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.
In my opinion, vinyl flooring is the best solution for boats. I put them in the first position because of the vinyl flooring’s capacity to withstand different weathers. Rain or sun, the vinyl floor will serve you well in the boat for a long time.
Some may argue in favor of carpet flooring. But the water-resistant characteristics of vinyl flooring have outplayed carpeting outright.