6 Boat Replacement Carpet Options

Are you looking to overhaul the carpeting in your boat?

Marine carpet is a popular choice for boat flooring. It is water-resistant, provides a non-slip surface and is generally inexpensive.

But, boat carpet is not waterproof. It can become waterlogged, and when exposed to the sun and foot traffic for a long time, the carpet will start to wear off.

We can all agree that carpet gets dirty quite fast and it isn’t easy to clean either. The fabric also looks unappealing when it wears off.

So, are there boat replacement carpet options? Fortunately, there are many marine carpet alternatives you can install to give your boat flooring a new look.

If it is time to replace your boat carpet, look at these amazing boat carpet options.

boat carpet replacement options

1.  Woven vinyl flooring

Woven vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring has come a long way, and today, it is a top choice for use in outdoor spaces. Marine vinyl flooring is a high-density material resistant to wear and tear. If well-maintained, this flooring will serve you for many years without showing signs of aging.

Woven vinyl is also moisture-resistant. Unlike plush marine carpeting, it doesn’t retain moisture and is therefore not prone to molding and bacteria that can make the boat smelly and unhygienic. On the contrary, woven vinyl flooring dries quickly, leaving the boat fresh and comfortable.

Vinyl flooring is the ideal boat carpet replacement option as it is super easy to clean. Remember, cleaning your boat after each use is one of the best ways to prolong your vessel’s lifespan. Flooring that is easy to clean makes it possible to keep your boat in tip-top condition.

This flooring comes in many different colors and textures from which to choose. Whatever your desired aesthetic, you will find woven vinyl rolls to achieve your flooring goals.

What’s more, with a few tools and materials, and some handy skills, you can install woven vinyl flooring in your boat on your own.

Here are the basic steps to install woven vinyl flooring in your boat:

  • Take out the old marine carpet. Depending on your type of boat, you may need to unscrew some parts of the decking to unpeel the carpet.
  • Clean the underlying wood decking before installing the new carpet. If the wood has trapped moisture, rotting, or water clogged, consider replacing it with new plywood decking.
  • Use a tape measure to measure the area where you will install the vinyl carpet. Transfer these measurements to the plywood sheets you will install in the boat. Use a pencil to mark the measurements on the plywood sheets. Cut the plywood sheets along the pencil marks.
  • Lay the vinyl carpeting on the ground and place the cut plywood sheets on the vinyl. Use the sheets to trace the vinyl, then cut it along the trace marks.
  • Install the cut plywood sheets in the boat and staple them at each corner and along the edges.
  • Apply marine adhesive to the plywood decking using a roller for quick application.
  • Finally, carefully roll out the cut vinyl onto the deck. Press down the woven carpeting with a roller to adhere to the adhesive. Leave it to cure for 24 hours before using the boat again.

2.  Vinyl Planks

Vinyl Planks

Before the introduction of woven vinyl, vinyl planks used to be the top choice for boat carpet alternatives.

Vinyl planks are still an excellent option and are easy to install. Vinyl planks will give your boat a modern, stylish look when installed properly.

Planks have a bad reputation because they can wear out first. But, you can select highly durable materials that will serve you for many years. Opt for high-quality vinyl planks with a thick wear layer and UV and water-resistance properties.

Here are the basic steps for installing vinyl planks:

  • First, remove the old marine carpet.
  • Use a belt sander to even the wooden floor and clean the floor to remove dust and debris.
  • Install the vinyl planks. Start by installing a middle row first, which will guide you to install the other adjacent planks.
  • Use the last cut-off piece on the first, middle row to start the next row of planks. This will create a staggered pattern. Continue with this technique until you cover the entire boat flooring.
  • Buying vinyl planks of different lengths makes it easier to create a staggered pattern. If you bought the same length planks, try cutting some of the pieces shorter to achieve this staggered look.
  • Opt for click lock vinyl planks as these don’t need you to apply any adhesive. You will need to apply adhesive on non-interlocking vinyl planks.

3.  Wood


Wood can give the interior of your boat a warm, country vibe. Most boats already have some wood flooring, which you can replace if old and worn out.

Replacing your marine carpet with wood can be an extensive project, and you will likely need an extra hand. The process entails removing the wooden flooring that initially came with the boat.

Oak or any other type of hardwood is best for installing in boats. These wood choices are more resistant to wear and tear and are generally low maintenance.

But, wood can also be expensive, so if you are working on a budget, this is something to keep in mind. With time, wood may rot or fade due to UV rays and water exposure. Regular waxing can help slow down the wear and tear of wooden floors, leaving your boat looking immaculate at all times.

4.  Snap-In Carpet

Snap-In Carpet
Image Credit: crownline

If you love the soft feel of carpet underfoot, snap-in mats are an excellent boat carpet alternative. Snap-in kits come with mats customized to fit the surface and corners of your boat.

Each mat piece has an acrylic, felt, or urethane backing that is porous to allow fast airflow and water evaporation for quick drying. The backing is strong enough to keep the carpet in shape while providing a soft feel underfoot.

There is a wide array of colors and pile types to choose from. Whether you need high or short-pile carpeting for your boat, you will find an option that works for you.

The biggest advantage of snap-in mats is their ease of installation. Marine carpets that typically come installed in the boat require a lot of work; removing the carpet when you want to replace it is also not easy.

Unlike marine carpeting, snap-in mats are removable. You can easily snap them out of the boat, hose them down and allow the mats to air-dry before installing them back. This ensures that your boat flooring is always clean, dry, and free of mold and bacteria from moisture.

Look for a reputable provider for snap-in carpeting for boats. They will measure and pattern the boat’s interior to create custom mats that fit your vessel perfectly.

5.  Canvas


Canvas is another low-maintenance and inexpensive boat carpet replacement option. The material is water-resistant, UV-stable, and less prone to mold and bacteria.

The biggest advantage of canvas is that it can last for ten years if well maintained. This material will give your boat a rugged look while also protecting the wooden decking from moisture and the effects of UV exposure.

Canvas is definitely a unique choice if you want to try something different from the usual marine carpet or woven vinyl flooring.

But, just because canvas is water-resistant doesn’t mean it is waterproof. It is important to apply treatment to the canvas as recommended by the manufacturer to keep the material from absorbing and retaining moisture and fading. Regular treatment and maintenance will keep your canvas in tip-top condition.

6.  Bed liner

Bed liner

Bed liners are specialty paints you can apply to the boat’s floor. Unlike regular paint, bed liners can last many years without chipping or fading.

These paints come in different textures and color options. They are skid-resistant, rust-proof, odor-free, and can give your boat a fresh new look.

Bed liners are also very easy to clean and will not retain moisture, as is the case with marine carpet. Hose the floor and leave it to air dry for a clean, comfortable watercraft.

Painting your boat with bed liner marine paint is significantly cheaper than installing carpet. This might be a great option if you are looking for a cheap boat carpet replacement alternative.

Be sure to opt for marine-grade bed liner paint. Ordinary paint might seem enticingly cheaper, but it doesn’t have the qualities of marine paint, such as rust-resistance, UV stability, and skid protection.

Summary: 6 Boat Replacement Carpet Options

The marine carpet your boat came with has its advantages—it is plush and feels cozy underfoot. But, it can also be difficult to maintain and may quickly become unhygienic.

On the upside, you can keep your watercraft clean, comfortable, and stylish with other great boat carpet alternatives.

Woven vinyl and bed liners are a top choice. Vinyl planks, snap-in carpets, and even wood are easily accessible options when you want to replace your boat carpet.

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