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  #1  
Old 11-26-2007
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Alternative boat floor coverings

I have a custom boat with lots of pluses and a few minuses. Among the minuses are the decks/cabin floors. They are plywood on lumber frames held together with drywall screws covered in green broadloom, and none of the floor hatches to the bilge stowage are secured.

Yeah...I know.

Anyway, replacing all those screws will show me if the basic floor frame is bolted to the hull well enough to keep (the cabinetry and bunks are fine), but the carpet has got to go, as does the parquet tiles presumably glued to the pilothouse deck.

I am looking at PVC floor coverings of this range:

http://www.lonsealspecialty.com/product-marine.html

probably the "titanium" industrial no-skid for the pilothouse, and the faux teak and holly for the saloon and the aft cabin.

Anyone use this stuff and how has it stood up in real life?

Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2007
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Interesting.... the teak and holly look quite good in the ad... I wonder if they really pull it off in actuality.

It would have to be a huge step up from the carpet (no boat should have carpet, to my mind). If the "faux" (nobody says fake anymore) T & H doesn't look too "faux"ny it wouuld be interesting to see how it held up. I'd think it would be tough to keep together at all the liftouts unless you used a lot of trim moldings to keep the glue edge down.

Let us know if you try it!

btw - a friend used Bamboo t&g flooring on his Ericson last year... very dense, uniform colour throughout (good for scratches and scrapes), durable and heavy (doesn't float!).. but at least the weight is in the right place. Turned out quite nice.

Last edited by Faster; 11-27-2007 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 11-27-2007
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I got a sample of the fake teak & holly from a boatshow. Great for cleaning, durability, installation a breeze but its fake. Looks as real as anything from home depot. I think the teak & holly plywood 4x8s are still competitive to a quality home wood floor ($6-8/sqft). Buying a "basement" rated laminate wood floor isn't a bad way to go. I'm still saving $$$ and courage to do my cabin sole right. Did a small section with the really cheap laminate and it is still holding up after about a year. I always liked a nice plush carpet as long as it stayed dry Who doesn't say fake?

Last edited by sailboy21; 11-27-2007 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 11-27-2007
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You can get either Teak or Mahogany 3/8 X 2 plus solid "Bella Wood" for $3 to $4 a Lin. Ft. It is prefinished t&G and looks great. To also back up what faster said I also used Bamboo on another boat I owned, looked great and held up well. The light color may aid in making the cabin more cheery.
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Old 11-27-2007
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Val,
Nice choice. I've always liked the look and durability of rubber flooring in certain applications - been specifying it for years. You may remember the earlier variations of "studded" rubber flooring being marketed by Pirelli, it's been around for over 40 years.

I've used it in varied architectural projects like heath clubs, swimming pool decks, commercial lobbies, stairhalls and rest rooms, as well as contemporary residential bathrooms, utility rooms and stairtreads. The stuff holds up very well and comes in a variety of textures - "coin" being the modern classic, as well as diamond plate.

However, as with any glue-down material, the seams are only as good as the adhesive and substrate quality. They eventually open, collect dirt and delaminate. With a boat sole though, it's easier to install in one piece - minimizing seams.

Consider using angle stock around access panels and selected perimeters subjected to heavy use. One pragmatic choice would be the use of counterdrilled stainless angles, secured with flat head or panhead screws and mitered corners - perhaps even a pvc material in a matching color. Otherwise, the edges will not age very gracefully.

My design philosophy forbids the use of synthetic materials pretending to be natural. I suppose this view is not very popular, but I lothe the look of faux wood grained plastic, or even leather grained vinyl.

Therefore if it was my boat, the man-made T&H look is definitely out. If you want teak & holly soles, use the real deal. Otherwise the use of a machined texture for the synthetic flooring would be consistent with the steel boat's honest use of materials.
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Old 11-27-2007
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TB,

I have considered that as well. I have black cherry slats and battens and furniture and white masonite panels as "ceilings", so it doesn't look like Das Boot down there, and is plenty bright due to double deck hatches.

The pilot house is high traffic. I don't care if it looks like a loading dock with a rubber floor or a freight elevator. I want something impermable between the steel decking and the seawater drops.

The saloon itself? Maybe I should just forget teak and holly "look" and go for something not industrial, but definitely non skid. My wife is clumsy and my son is a kid: spills WILL happen, and "swab-ability" is necessary. There's nothing to prevent me putting a mat or two under the saloon table to make it "homey" in that spot, but maybe I should embrace the "steeliness" of the boat and not make an attempt to hide its true nature under a "wood" floor.

It would be considerably easier to cut and fit around hatch handles and lock-downs, as well. The widths and lengths involved mean I might, with planning, have only one or two seams per cabin.
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Old 11-27-2007
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My design philosophy forbids the use of synthetic materials pretending to be natural.

Nice thought...I like that. Synthetics can be beautiful as can real wood or leather but pretending to be something else always turns out badly!
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Old 11-27-2007
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V- Just a thought. my boat came original with a cork cabin sole. while it seems a bit unlikely, it is a great non-skid surface, natural material, and to a great degree it is flexible. The flexibility allows it to conform more easily to the bends sometime found on boats due to the hull shape. Cork requires periodic sealing to help maintain its natural color and resist stains, but its not a significant issue.

While my cabin sole is going to be replaced soon, it is the result of PO's not sealing it and 1 damaged area that wasn't repaired in a timely manner. And, I'm dealing with a 35 year old boat.
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Old 11-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
My design philosophy forbids the use of synthetic materials pretending to be natural.

Nice thought...I like that. Synthetics can be beautiful as can real wood or leather but pretending to be something else always turns out badly!
Of course cam, we all realize that this is a very hard discipline to maintain - even for an aesthetic purist (g).

Some product designers get it, while most see nothing wrong with installing wood grained plastic dashboards on expensive autos, various furniture items and in boat interiors. Aside from the finishes aging very badly, it's a dishonest practice. To my eyes, moral and design sensitivities, it's just not right.

The sad thing is, many people are fooled into thinking these finishes are real. My sister for instance, had a set of bedroom furniture for five years, thinking it was solid cherry - paid a lot for the stuff. She was very proud of it until her nit-picky brother burst her bubble, by showing her a drawer bottom which exposed a thin photographic plastic veneer over mdf, or compressed fiberboard.

I have to admit, it was very convincing. You have to wonder though, if the furniture saleman knew. Sorry Val, didn't mean to hijack your thread with this rant.
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Old 11-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesail99 View Post
You can get either Teak or Mahogany 3/8 X 2 plus solid "Bella Wood" for $3 to $4 a Lin. Ft. It is prefinished t&G and looks great. To also back up what faster said I also used Bamboo on another boat I owned, looked great and held up well. The light color may aid in making the cabin more cheery.
Do you have pics of the bamboo? It is supposed to be more dimensionally stable than oak, and with the "carmalized" variety wouldn't be too light in color. I really like that idea but am not quite brave enough to use it as a cabin sole. I think the material used has a huge effect on resale value. Imagine Catalina 30 with bare glass and/or carpet vs one with teak & holly.. all other things aside which will sell first?
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