Do I Really Need Carpet Made for Boats?
Yes, here are four reasons why:
- Using regular household or even automotive carpeting will eventually start to mold from the exposure to water
- Boat carpeting is water and sun resistant. It is specifically made for the conditions that a boat is under.
- Boat carpeting has UV protection treated right into the fibers
- Boat carpeting has a rubber backing that is specifically made for wet conditions.
Boat Carpeting Quality – It’s All in the Weight
- The first thing you need to figure out is the quality of carpet you need or want.
- Boat carpeting is measured in ounces from 12 ounce all the way up to 40 ounces.
- The more ounces in a carpet the heavier it will be.
- A heavier carpet will wear better, last longer and feel more luxurious and plush, this is particularly important on a pontoon boat or house boat. These types of boats typically have 28 oz. or above.
How Much Boat Carpeting Do I Need?
Measuring the Carpet is fairly strait forward.
- Measure the length and width of the area being carpeted and add 15 to 20% to that number.
- This extra carpet will give you enough carpet cover anything you may have missed while measuring.
- If you have any carpet left over save it for future repairs of worn spots, cigarette burns, stains or whatever else might happen to the carpet. You can also make matting for specific areas.
- Total square feet = length of the area multiplied by the width of the area ——Example: length = 20 ft width = 4 ft (20 x 4=80 ft.)
- Now add 15% —-Example: 80 ft. X .2 = 4 ft. so add four feet to your initial total of 80 ft. So you will need 84 sqft. total.
- To get square yards just take your total of 84 sqft. and divide by 9 84/9= 9.33 square yards. Depending on the supply house you may need to purchase 9.5 yards.
Supplies You Will Need
- The Carpet (of course)
- Contact Cement or carpet adhesive that will not break down in salty, wet conditions
- Carpet adhesive remover such as mineral spirits or acetone
- disposable paint brushes and plastic bucket for spreading the glue
- Marine sealant
- Sand paper
- Masking tape
Tools You Will Need
- Carpet Knife and Blades
- A Straight Edge
- Screw drivers
- Rubber Mallet
- Power Drill
- Grinder and grinding disks
If the supplier you purchase the boat carpeting from doesn’t have all of these supplies, there’s always the Home Depot.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost of replacing the carpet on your boat can is difficult to gauge without the measurements. Once you have the measurements and the specific carpet you want that will give you a good idea of the cost add $50 to $75 for contact cement and other materials you will be using. The most expensive part of replacing boat carpeting is the labor. It’s hard work to get all the old carpet out and scrape out all of that glue but the final job is worth every penny!
- Check out different weights and sizes on Amazon.com, this will give you a general idea of cost for the general size that you need. Remember if you can’t find a size big enough you can piece the carpet together and it wouldn’t even be noticeable.
How to Do It
- You may need to remove seats and other objects that were installed over the carpet such as threshold molding, seats, tables, etc. in order to remove the carpet fully. If your not sure how to remove the seats check the parts manual for your boat on the internet or at the dealership, the parts list and diagram should give you an idea of the removable pieces and give you an idea of how the seat should be removed. In boats they are usually just bolted down, so it should be fairly simple provided you don’t have rust problems.
- Remove the old carpet, start at one corner and start pulling it up. If the carpet is glued down really well use mineral spirits or acetone to soften the glue and then scrape it as you go to remove the carpet.
- Save the old carpet, including door and fixture coverings to use as templates for the new carpet
- Once the carpet is removed scrape the remaining glue to leave the surface as clean as possible.
- You can sand it down as needed to get a good surface for adhesion.
- Lay out the carpet to get the general size and fit and rough cut areas, this is also a good time to check for carpet defects before its glued down.
- Using the old carpet use chalk to trace out a pattern for general fit and openings.
- Once you have the rough cut, lay the carpet down inside the boat to dry fit the pattern, once everything looks good fold it in half to glue down using the hinge method.
- Apply adhesive to the section of the floor and carpet that you will be gluing first and allow it to get tacky.
- Lay something heavy on the dry half to help keep it in place while you lay the carpet. You don’t want the carpet to move out of line while your gluing.
- Start laying the carpet beginning at the middle section and working your way out to the edges smoothing the carpet out as you go.
- Fold the other side in half and repeat steps 9, 10 and 11 on the other side
- Go around the edges of the boat with a carpet knife being very careful not to cut away too much carpet but just enough to fit it perfectly to the edges of the boat.
- Apply 5200 Marine Sealant to the raw edges to seal the carpet and keep water out.
- Enjoy the fruits of your labor!