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.
The 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.
The use of teak is popular in outdoor furniture so it is no surprise that teak boat flooring is a luxurious option for boat floors and decks. Teak is an attractive wood material that is yellowish brown in color and has beautiful wood grains and a textured look. It is highly prized for its weather resistance and easy workability. The presence of the natural oils in teak boat flooring make it resistant to outdoor exposure and old teak (grown naturally over ages in the wild) is said to be even better at doing this. Today’s teak flooring usually comes from sustainable plantations in order to reduce teak tree deforestation and is mainly produced in Asia. It is used extensively for outdoor furniture, doors, window frames–even house beams–and of course in boat flooring.
The same elements that make teak such a wonderful woodworking material for outdoor furniture also applies to boat floors. Because boats are often exposed to the sun or rain and are often not covered, all materials are designed to withstand this environment. Wood, especially if using the wrong type, can rot away and weaken easily if exposed to water. Salty ocean water, in particular, is even more corrosive. Teak’s natural resistance to weather allows boat owners to enjoy the luxurious look of wood on their boat decks without worry that it won’t last or will rot away.
Costs for teak are relatively high, ranging from $100 to even $200 per square foot of flooring. This is also very labor intensive as the wood needs to be cut and laid to custom fit your deck. Caulking must be used between teak planks in order to seal the gaps. Though teak flooring adds a luxurious look to your boat, be prepared to cover its high expense.
If you want the same look but don’t want to pay the hefty price tag, there is another option: faux teak flooring. This is a synthetic boat flooring that is made to look exactly like teak, giving you the benefits of synthetic man-made construction combined with the natural luxuriousness of a wood floor. Synthetic teak boat flooring is much cheaper and is designed to minimize labor of installation, which is also another cost you can save when having it professionally installed. Not only is faux boat flooring less costly and less labor intensive, you will also have the same beautiful looking deck year after year. Genuine teak loses colors and turns silver after a few months, but synthetic teak has much better color retention. It is also built in with a non-skid surface since your boat floor will likely get wet and this will prevent you from slipping.
The drawback of faux teak boat flooring can be the temperature. Whereas real wood’s temperature is not as affected by the sun, man-made teak can heat up rapidly so choosing a lighter color can help alleviate this problem. If you wear sandals or boat shoes then it’s not as much a problem. If you want the beautiful and luxurious look of wood on your boat, then teak boat flooring offers a combination that can’t be beat. It’s highly durable for a marine environment and it has attractive grains and texture that add luxury. Depending on your budget, you may decide to go with real teak, which can get pricey, or opt for the cheaper faux boat flooring.