How to Choose Teak Flooring for Your Boat

Teak flooring is a wonderful eye-catching upgrade you can make for any boat to instantly give it a traditional nautical look with some class. Teak wood is highly valued for its nautical-friendly characteristics. Not only does it look rich and beautiful, it lasts longer than other types of wood when exposed to the water and sun. That’s why you’ll find a lot of outdoor furniture made from teak as well. Teak flooring is naturally weatherproof which is great for boat flooring providers as there is less prep work needed to get it ready to see action on a boat deck.

There are actually two different types of teak wood flooring you can find on a boat. The newer modern teak decks are actually mostly decorative and are laid over a sub-deck of fiberglass or some other type of supportive material. The older teak decks use traditional planks of wood laid over a frame that actually serves as the deck structure. If you are buying a used boat with a teak floor or are considering teak deck options, then it’s important to know that no caulking is needed except when there is actually physical damage to the appearance that exposes the wood underneath. However, this should be a continuous maintenance process kept up until your boat is sold or retired.

Make sure that your teak flooring is not laid over steel plate decks as steel can rust. Over time, water will seep through the wood and cause the steel underneath to swell and make the floor uneven. If you have a boat where you cannot avoid this, then make sure the steel deck webbing has holes for moisture to escape.

boat teak flooringThe beauty of a traditional teak floor deck is truly due to a craftsman’s artistic skills. Older teak planks are actually padded by cotton that is pounded right into the grooves between the planks. This gives the deck some fluidity as it will expand and contract with the wood, maintaining a consistent layer that will not leak through the seams. It also holds the planks firmly into place and does not allow them to shift around.

Your teak deck will last for the lifetime of your boat with careful maintenance. Though the color may fade in a few months from a new genuine teak wood floor, it will continue to function as a good boat floor as it has for hundreds of years. Teak has natural grip even in wet conditions and is a hardy, weather-proof material. Always wash the deck after every use and use salt water to prevent drying water from altering the wood’s shape, allowing cracks to form.

Last Revision: May 10, 2017

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