Peel and Stick vs Full Adhesive Marine Vinyl Flooring

The Guide To Making The Right Choice

There are a lot of marine vinyl selections to choose from out there.  You can very easily get lost or confused on what is the right type for your needs.  Well you have come to the right place for your boat flooring answers, and who knows, might even find an answer for something else too.  Let’s start out with the peel and stick marine vinyl.  I have done tons of research on finding one that will work in the marine industry and sadly enough right now there isn’t. As a matter of fact, Captain's Choice has tested some self stick adhesive on the back of our marine flooring, and it comes up lacking every time.  In the end, we still have to come back with marine grade adhesive. Even if you find a great deal on peel and stick and they call it “marine grade”, the self adhesive has not been tested enough to prove longevity.  Self-stick marine vinyl will work for a short period of time, but it will begin to peel away from the deck, leaving you to repair spots systematically throughout the season.  So it's a big gamble on a very expensive part of your boat. 

marine grade vinyl flooring 

When it comes to flooring, especially marine flooring, boat owners must be specific in the materials used and the methods that are used with the materials.  Self adhesive flooring is great for homes and other buildings where there is little to no moisture and that moisture can more often than not be controlled.  But boats are different.  With the constant barrage of water and other liquids, boaters can’t afford to cut corners.  Marine grade vinyl flooring must be fully adhered to the deck, no questions asked.  And to not know if it’s fully adhered is the same as it not being fully adhered.   There are lots of areas to skimp out on, but flooring is not one of them.  If you have ever had to replace your boat carpet or vinyl, then you’ll understand.  So it's not even a thought anymore now.

Marine indoor/outdoor adhesive on the other hand is what you use on boats, or outdoor patios where you are putting flooring like ours outside.  There are several different ways to apply the product.  Most adhesive comes in 1 to 5 gallon pails.  It is a mostly milky white pasty construction.  You can roll it on, use a mortar trough, a flooring trowel, and some come in pressurized containers with a hose and nozzle to spray it on.  Either way, if done correctly, full adhesion will work great.  This product has been tested by us and everyone else in the boat flooring industry.  There are loads of manufactures out there.   You just have to make sure it is a marine grade adhesive.  Our specialized felt back soaks up the adhesive for a great and easy adhesion.  If you prefer the roller method, you will need to do half the flooring, lay the flooring out then roll the other half and lay the other half down.   If you fail to do a big loop during installation, you will get what we call the crinkle wrinkle in it.  Woven vinyl is very durable but the fabric does not like to be curled against itself too abruptly.  It has to be heated in order to be molded and when it cools it wants to stay that way.  

If you use the trough method, we recommend spreading adhesive across the entire deck then lay the woven vinyl down across the adhesive a little at a time.  You must then use a carpet roller to get all the air out.  Same thing goes with the spray adhesive method.  It really all depends on how messy you want to get.  

Now not every boat has a wooden floor.  So make sure the adhesive you use is meant for the subfloor in your boat.  The Captains Choice felt backed woven vinyl will soak up whatever adhesive you use.  

When it comes to self adhesive marine flooring, stay away from any in the marine world until Captains Choice brings it to the market tried and true.  It will have to be tested before we will put our seal of approval on it.

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