Reviewing The Best Boat Carpets of 2021
Do It Yourself Boat Carpet
Industrial Supply HQ Deluxe Carpet
HappyBuy Marine Carpet
Ian Fortey Updated on June 10, 2021.by
Boat Safe is a community supported site. We may earn comission from links on this page, but we have confidence in all recommended products.
Caution is the name of the game on the water. The deck of your boat can be dangerous if you’re not careful. It may also not be as comfortable as it could be. Bare wood or fiberglass can leave a lot to be desired. The answer you need is carpeting. Choosing the best boat carpet is more work than it may seem, however. There is a lot to take into account. Whether you need it for a fishing boat or a yacht, there’s a carpet out there for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the best boat carpets on the market. Afterwards, we’ll cover everything you need for choosing the right boat carpet. That includes getting the right feel, to finding a way to match your deck chairs.
Things to Consider
The best marine carpet has more than one job. It’s about the way your boat looks and functions. You need it to provide traction and a good visual style. There are other factors to consider as well. The best boat carpet features a lot of different qualities.
There are a couple of pile types used in boat carpets. The pile refers to the density and style of the fibers.
Cut Pile Boat Carpet: The looped fibers of these boat carpets are cut in half. The fibers are long and loose. They connect under the back of the carpet. This is a comfortable style of boat carpet. You’d want this on a fishing boat. Also, any other kind of boat where you might be standing around a lot.
Loop Pile Boat Carpet: The loops in this pile are not cut. That means the fibers are more tightly packed. These boat carpets are more durable and can stand up to a lot. The downside is they are prone to snags. If a loop gets pulled, it will be noticeable.
You can use some non-marine carpets on boats. There are indoor/outdoor carpets that will work well on a boat. They are all-weather and can handle moisture well. However, you need to make sure the features meet your needs. They need to be fully waterproof and weatherproof to get the job done. You want them to be fade resistant and UV protected also.
Pile weight is typically given in ounces per square yard. The higher the weight, the more fibers in a given area. The boat carpet will be denser and more plush. This generally means a higher quality carpet as well.
In terms of numbers, you’ll want at least a 16 ounce carpet. At 16 oz your boat carpet will be very thin. This is not a lush carpet by any means. It’s closer to a mat. At double the weight, 32 oz is far superior. This is more comfortable and lush. The trade off is that it is much harder to keep clean.
In between 16 oz and 32 oz you can find many additional options. Even something as light as 20 oz will be suitable for many boats. The best marine carpet is in the middle somewhere.
Boat Carpet Size
Obviously you have the option to cut boat carpet to size. However, it looks much better when you don’t. If you can buy carpet at the right size, you should. Use cut pieces only to fit into smaller gaps and spaces. Ideally, these are out of the way as well.
Carpet sizes vary depending on type and seller. You can often buy carpeting in lengths of 5, 6 or 8 feet. Obviously you will need to measure your boat to see what works best.
How the boat carpet sticks is another issue. Some floor coverings have an adhesive backing. This is typically a covering that is textured, rather than carpet. As for true carpeting, you still have a few options.
Non-skid: These types of boat carpets are not typically marine exclusive. You might use these on polished wood floors at home as well. The back is textured, so it is less likely to move when it’s laid down. But there is nothing that secures it firmly in place. It can slip. You may also have to worry about water caught under it.
Glue-Down Carpeting: This type of boat carpet is affixed to the boat deck with boat carpet glue. It offers a permanent solution. It’s also exceptionally secure. It can be difficult to use this over a large area. You may want to stick to smaller boats with the glue down option. On the other hand, it offers great traction and security. You need to use a good quality marine glue for this job. Remember, the boat carpet will be exposed to a lot of water. It may remain saturated for a long time. Marine glue is designed to handle this kind of wetness.
Snap-in Carpeting: Snap-in carpeting is secure but not as permanent as glue-down. Snaps are screwed into the deck and the carpeting is snapped into place. This can offer a secure solution with less worry. Glue breaking down is not a concern here. The price and time involved in this can be increased.
Self-Adhesive: Some boat carpets and floorings are self-adhesive. They have peel and stick backs, just like band-aids. This can make installation very easy. They are usually easy to lay out and line up the way you want them. The downside to these is that it may not stick well. Sometimes your best bet is to use glue along with the adhesive.
How you stick the boat carpet also depends on the backing. The most common backing materials are rubber and vinyl. These are both waterproof, which is what you want. They add padding to increase comfort as well.
Thick backings will offer a more comfortable base. The trade off is that it is harder to cut and install. If the backing is too thin the boat carpet will be less comfortable. It can feel more like walking on a bare floor.
Everything that is going to work or not work about a carpet is based on material. The best material for boat carpets is polypropylene. It’s durable, but soft enough to be comfortable. Any common carpet problems tend to be overcome by polypropylene. It resists both mold and mildew. It can also stand up to a lot of foot traffic. It resists sun bleaching and stains.
Polyester yarn may be an alternative choice. It tends to cost more money, however. It also has issues with shedding. In general, polypropylene is preferable.
Natural fibers are not a good idea for marine carpeting. The water can lead to mold and mildew build up. This will end up smelling bad and causing stains.
Boat carpeting tends to take more abuse than indoor carpeting. People are often wearing shoes on it. It’s exposed to things like dirt and oil. Water is the biggest concern as well. If you boat on the ocean, you may end up with salt stains. You need a tough carpet to handle this.
UV resistance is another concern when it comes to durability. If your carpet is outside in the sun, it can wear out. The color will fade over time if it’s not UV treated. Often this happens unevenly as well, so it will look unattractive.
Make sure you get a well-constructed carpet. Cheaper carpet comes apart when cut. The edges may fray and fibers will begin to fall out.
Cutting Boat Carpets
Obviously you’d want to buy a carpet that’s the right size from the factory. But that can’t always work. Some boat carpets are too long. Some aren’t long enough. You may need small corners and spaces filled in. That means cutting to size.
Cutting is typically done with a carpet knife. Some can even be cut with scissors. You need to check the installation guide to find the best way to cut your carpet. Some boat carpets will fray terribly when they are cut. You can get fuzz and stray fibers. The edges can look exceptionally ugly as well.
You need to use a very sharp blade to cut your boat carpet. Some boat carpets can only be cut on certain angles or along certain lines. Be sure you’re following the installation manual. That way you’re less likely to have any difficulties. In general, you want to cut the carpet as little as possible.
In the most bare bones situation, style isn’t a concern. But everyone wants their boat to look good. So when you can get a stylish carpet, why not? This can add to the overall look of your boat. There are hundreds of colors and patterns available. There’s sure to be something to complement any boat.
Texture is an aspect of carpeting many people overlook. The texture may feel good on your hand at first. But consider what it will be like to stand on all the time. Or sit on, depending on your boat.
Many cheaper marine carpets have an unpleasant texture. They can feel like rough, bristling plastic. This kind of carpet may be cheaper, but it will become less comfortable over time. You need to find a carpet that is soft and pliant. It doesn’t need to be luxurious like your bedroom carpet by any means.
It seems like installing one carpet is the same as installing another. That’s not always the case. You want to make sure your carpet comes with a clear installation guide. There may be things you need to do to prepare the carpet beforehand. You may also need to know a proper style for cutting it. It can also feature information about the best way to affix the carpet to the boat.
You’ll need to keep your carpet clean and maintained. The more well maintained the carpet, the longer it will last. The installation manual will offer directions for proper cleaning and care. You want to remember to remove stains as soon as you notice them. Even with a polymer fiber, some stains can set in and be very hard to remove. This is especially true if the sun bakes them in.
You likely need to avoid bleach and harsh chemicals. You don’t want to cause more problems just trying to clean a carpet.
A good quality boat carpet has to deal with the sun. Day in and day out with no shade can be brutal. A good carpet needs to be UV protected. That will prevent the color from fading. UV rays can cause more damage over time than many people realize. Not only does it cause color fading, it can break down material as well. In time it can make carpet brittle and dried out.