Pontoon Boat Flooring: Comparing Marine Grade Plywood and Pressure Treated Plywood

When it comes to selecting plywood for pontoon boat flooring, the spotlight often falls on two contenders: Marine Grade Plywood and Pressure Treated Plywood. Each comes with its unique characteristics and applications, prompting the common query of whether one can substitute the other. This comprehensive guide is your roadmap to demystifying the choices.

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Pressure Treated Plywood typically incorporates softer wood varieties like pine and fir. It resembles exterior-grade plywood but undergoes chemical treatment to enhance resistance against rot and pests. While suitable for outdoor settings with limited moisture exposure, it may not be the ideal choice for continuous contact with water. In contrast, Marine Grade Plywood is purpose-built for applications subjected to water and high-moisture conditions. Crafted from robust woods such as mahogany and tropical varieties, it employs potent adhesives and advanced bonding techniques to withstand harsh, damp environments.

Water-Resistance Levels:

The endurance of Pressure Treated Plywood under sustained water exposure is limited, risking warping and disintegration with prolonged submersion. Marine Grade Plywood, fortified with robust adhesives and construction, is designed to withstand continuous exposure to water. For pontoon boat flooring, where a warp-free surface is essential, Marine Grade Plywood emerges as the superior choice.

Durability & Strength:

While Pressure Treated Plywood offers reasonable durability for indoor and outdoor applications, it falls short in structural integrity compared to the robust nature of Marine Grade Plywood. The latter proves to be a stalwart material, capable of withstanding years of exposure to water-intensive conditions, making it indispensable for marine construction.

Formaldehyde Emissions:

Pressure Treated Plywood may contain adhesives emitting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde, which can impact air quality in enclosed spaces like boat interiors. Marine Grade Plywood, however, utilizes phenolic formaldehyde adhesive, emitting lower VOC levels and ensuring a safer choice for indoor boat and RV flooring construction.

Recommended Uses:

Pressure Treated Plywood, with its versatility, finds application in outdoor decks and furniture where structural integrity takes precedence. Marine Grade Plywood, on the other hand, stands as the preferred material for boat and RV construction, especially in water-exposed and high-moisture areas.

Cost Considerations:

While Pressure Treated Plywood may present a more budget-friendly option, it's considered a false economy in marine construction. The initial higher cost of Marine Grade Plywood is justified by its unparalleled long-term benefits, particularly in moisture-prone environments. Professionals unanimously endorse Marine Grade Plywood as the optimal choice for boat and RV repairs.


In the realm of pontoon boat flooring and marine applications, Marine Grade Plywood emerges as the unequivocal choice. While the affordability of Pressure Treated Plywood may entice some, its unsuitability for prolonged water exposure and humidity renders it a less favorable option. Understanding these distinctions holds significant sway over the success of your marine project. Should you have further inquiries or need assistance, feel free to reach out. Until then, see you on the water!

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