The Most Common Types of Boat Flooring Material

There are a number of different types of boat flooring material, but the most common types found usually fall into one of the same three:

  • Fiberglass
  • Wood
  • Aluminum

These materials are used for boat flooring because they offer a number of performance, build, and construction benefits ideal for boats. Deciding on the best boat flooring material can be difficult if you aren’t fully aware of what each building type has to offer. While fiberglass, wood, and aluminum are each great in their own regards, there are also a few drawbacks you need to know about too. After reading through each of the three types, you should be better equipped to make an informed decision for your boating needs.

Fiberglass

fiberglass boat flooring materialYou will find many boats made of this material. It is superbly easy to work with and shape and is well suited for the harsh conditions of the marine environment. Because fiberglass is a mature industry and is used for a variety of other applications, the cost of fiberglass and labor is moderate.

Though fiberglass material is quite strong and durable, when it cracks it can be burdensome to repair. Though fiberglass offers low cleaning maintenance, repairing it is a different story altogether and can be time consuming and needed often.

Wood

wood boat flooring materialWooded boat flooring is beautiful and rich and still offers great marine performance. Wood is also quite easy to work with and install and its cost mostly varies depending on the type of wood used. Teak wood flooring is highly prized for its all weather resistant qualities and is often found in outdoor furniture for the same reason. However, teak comes from only one region in Asia and is pricey in this regard. Another great alternative is oak, which is flexible and strong and shares the same water resistant properties found in teak.

First time boat owners will often not realize that a wood deck will change color after continuous exposure to the sun and water. Wood wears well and is extremely rugged, but will require periodic refinishing in order to preserve the coloring.

Aluminum

aluminum boat flooring materialAluminum boats are becoming a popular alternative to fiberglass boats for a number of reasons. Aluminum is easy to maintain and clean and the cost of installation is quite low. Aluminum is also a lightweight yet very strong material, as evidenced by its widespread use in today’s vehicles on the road. Compared to wood, aluminum is lighter pound for pound and can greatly reduce the weight of your boat.

Installation of an aluminum boat floor can be expensive and time consuming process. Its up front cost often deters boat owners who don’t realize the long term savings and maintenance benefits.

Last Revision: Jun 12, 2014

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