When it comes time to replace your boat carpet, the most common question consumers have is “What is the difference between marine grade boat carpets and outdoor carpets offered at local hardware and hardware stores? “
Although there are many similarities and the appearance is very similar, there are many key characteristics that make these two styles of rugs very different. These specific characteristics are the determining factors in how long your new carpet will last. Not only will marine grade rugs last longer, they will also maintain their look and feel under harsh marine elements for years.
Marine Grade Boat Mat Features:
- Rubber backing
- Tear resistant
- Fade / UV resistant
- Stain resistant
- Resistant to mold / mildew
- Rot resistant
- Polypropylene thread
- It is not flammable
- 3 year warranty
- Porous backing for quick drying
Although some of these features can also be found on standard outdoor rugs, you will notice a significant difference. The key factor that makes these two styles of rug so different is the rubber backing of the rug. The marine grade boat mat has a true rubber backing into which the UV resistant polypropylene yarn is directly woven. This allows the carpet to be breathable, making it resistant to moisture that causes mold, mildew, and rot over time. Due to the constant exposure of your boat mat to the harsh marine environment, the above characteristics are crucial when looking for a replacement mat for your boat. Many carpet suppliers and stores will back up your outdoor carpet to replace it on boats, but the fact is, when boat builders install carpeting, they always use marine grade carpet.
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t use the outdoor rugs found at local hardware and rugs stores. What you will find with almost all outdoor rugs is that they have an indoor carpet backing with rubber applied. This primary backing is a woven or non-woven fabric into which the yarn is inserted by tuft needles. After the yarn is inserted, a secondary backing consisting of another fabric is laminated over the primary backing to increase its dimensional stability. Due to these organic and fibrous substrates, deterioration will almost certainly occur quickly with any marine application. Not only will these backs deteriorate, but the thread will dislodge from the rubber applied to their backing. Since the carpet has multiple backs, it creates breathability problems, resulting in excess moisture under the carpet, causing serious mold and mildew damage. In most cases, the mat will not only come apart, but it will also cause future problems with the wooden floor and deck of the boat. In general, outdoor carpet can be a cheaper and more convenient solution, but it can turn out to be a much more expensive project in the long run.
When it comes time to replace your boat mat, be sure to look for the recommended replacement marine grade mat, built to withstand harsh marine environments and abuse. Not only will it look better and last longer, it will protect your investment.