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Marine Grade Boat Carpet vs. Outdoor Carpeting

by Kevin Serwatowski
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When it comes time to replace your boat's carpet, the most common question consumers have is "What is the difference between marine grade boat carpeting and the outdoor carpeting offered at local carpet and hardware stores?"

Though there are many similarities, and the look or feel is very similar, there are many key features which make these two carpet styles very different. These specific features are the determining factors of how long your new carpeting lasts. Not only will marine grade carpeting last longer, but it will also maintain its look and feel under the harsh marine elements for years to come.

Marine Grade Boat Carpet Features:
  • Rubber Backed
  • Ravel Resistant
  • Fade/UV Resistant
  • Stain Resistant
  • Mold/Mildew Resistant
  • Rot Resistant
  • Weather-proof
  • Polypropylene Yarn
  • Non-Flammable
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Porous Backing for Quick Drying


Though some of these features may also be found in standard outdoor carpet, you will notice one major difference. The one key factor which makes these two styles of carpet so different is the carpet's rubber backing. Marine grade boat carpet has a true rubber backing which the polypropylene UV resistant yarn is directly woven into. This enables the carpet to be breathable, making it resistant to moisture which causes mold, mildew, and rot overtime. Due to constant exposure of your boat's carpet to the harsh marine environment, the above features are crucial to look for when searching for replacement carpeting for your boat. Many carpeting suppliers and stores will endorse their outdoor carpet for replacement on boats, but the fact of the matter is when boat manufacturers are installing carpeting, they always use marine grade carpeting.

There are many reasons why you shouldn't use the outdoor carpeting you find a local carpet and hardware stores. What you will find with almost all outdoor carpeting is that it has an indoor carpet backing with rubber applied to it. This primary backing is a woven or non-woven fabric in which the yarn is inserted by tufting needles. After the yarn is inserted, a secondary backing that consists of another fabric is laminated onto the primary backing to increase its dimensional stability. Due to these organic and fibrous backings, it is almost certain that deterioration will happen quickly with any marine application. Not only will these backings deteriorate, but the threading will disassemble from the rubber applied to its backing. With the carpet having multiple backings it creates breathability issues, resulting in excess moisture underneath the carpet causing sever mold and mildew damage. In most cases not only will the carpet disassemble, but it will also cause future issues with the wood flooring and decking of the boat. Overall outdoor carpet may be a cheaper and more convenient solution, but in the long run it may turn into a much more costly project.

When the time comes to replace your boat's carpet, make sure you look for the recommended replacement marine grade carpet, manufactured to handle the harsh marine environments and abuse. Not only will it look better and last longer, but it will protect your investment.

Kevin Serwatowski has spent a lot of time learning about boat carpet and other related topics. If you have more questions regarding marine carpet installation or care please visit our website at http://www.boatcarpet.com or contact us directly at 888-283-0704. We take pride in helping our customers make the most out of their investment.

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Kevin Serwatowski

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