Best place to buy vinyl flooring?

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thill

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I am restoring a Crestliner Mariner-V 16, and I have the floor down, and I'm very happy with the results. Now, it's time to either paint, carpet or install vinyl over it.

Right now, I'm leaning toward going with paint and sand. I have done this with several boats, and the results are excellent if you want the kind of floors you can just wash clean.

I use either porch paint or 1-part marine topsides paint, which I actually think is the same product. To do it, you apply the first coat thinned a little so that it saturates deeply and bonds well. The 2nd coat you apply full thickness and lay it on heavy, and while it's still wet, you use a coffee can with holes punched in it like a salt-shaker and coat it evenly with sand as you go. I usually start from the front and work my way to the back, and then get out as I finish. After that dries fully, you give it a gentle sweep to remove any loose sand and then roll on your final top coat, to give a smooth, yet grippy surface.

Always let it dry for couple of days in the sun, and it becomes a very tough, very comfortable floor. The nice thing about it is that you can always touch it up. If you use your boat a lot, after maybe 5 years or so some areas will show some wear. Roll, shake a little sand and roll again, and the floor looks and feels new again.


THAT BEING SAID.... I know a lot of people here have had good success with vinyl flooring, and I want to check it out before making a decision. Where is the best place to buy vinyl flooring for the best price? I'm probably going to sell this boat, so I don't need anything expensive, just something that looks and wears decently.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!
 

cyclops2

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Always wet paint & sand. Best non slip around. Any wet bare feet never slip. Water sports or swimmers coming back into the boat. I go bare feet some times with wet feet.
 

thill

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Thanks, Dale, and I agree with you, Cyclops.

I just checked, and Walmart is $14/ft, so I'm looking at about $225 plus glue to install. That is affordable enough to consider. Does the vinyl get slippery when wet and in bare feet?

I really like the sanded floor for myself, but I also like the textured look of the vinyl, and it may increase the value of the boat for resale.

What is the best choice of adhesive for this product? Contact cement? Exterior carpet glue? Linoleum adhesive?
 

thill

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I just googled the installation manual for the flooring. One big thing I don't like:

1. The floor shrinks, so they suggest stapling the outside edges every 1" The way this boat is made, the outside inch is metal. Can't staple that, plus, staples every inch sounds pretty ugly, especially over time.

They say if you can't staple, to glue the edges heavily and hope it doesn't shrink too much. That doesn't inspire confidence, especially if you aren't using their brand of glue.

I dunno... I like the look, but not so thrilled with the particulars.
 

DaleH

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... the vinyl is wrapped around the edges of the ply floor and stapled from the underside.
That's the way to do it. Also use Monel staples. Can be a pain to remove the floor and do it but it only needs to be done ONCE. Take my old 16' hull ... sold it at 25-years young and the original vinyl floor still looked great!

If carpet, that hull would have re-carpeted 3-4 TIMES already to still look good and if painted with sand, same RE-done ... if not MORE.

Do it once, do it right ...

Oh, and marine vinyl is not slippery when wet, very secure traction!
 

thill

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On my boat the vinyl is wrapped around the edges of the ply floor and stapled from the underside.

I understand, that sounds good.

That's the way to do it. Also use Monel staples. Can be a pain to remove the floor and do it but it only needs to be done ONCE. Take my old 16' hull ... sold it at 25-years young and the original vinyl floor still looked great!

If carpet, that hull would have re-carpeted 3-4 TIMES already to still look good and if painted with sand, same RE-done ... if not MORE.

Do it once, do it right ...

Oh, and marine vinyl is not slippery when wet, very secure traction!

It seems like a good product. I may use it in one of the 2 other project boats I have. I need to think about that.

In this boat, the floor is integrated into the structure of the hull. There is a step/lip where the plywood ends, and the metal continues out to the hull. It took 4 pieces of plywood to make the main floor, and it required a lot of fasteners. I used PL Pro between the pieces, and they are very well bonded together to make a solid, continuous floor.

So at this point, I have a 52"x14' floor installed, foamed and perimeter glued. It's sealed up tight and is rock-solid and I'm very happy with it.

I didn't know about wrapping the vinyl, but if I'd gone that way, I would have ended up wrapping each piece of plywood and fastening through the vinyl. So I would have ended up with a lot of joints and seams and fasteners all over the place. I do NOT think I would like that result.
 

thill

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But maybe I'm not thinking outside the box. Maybe bond the floor sections together on the ground and then wrap and staple the vinyl on, and then enlist 3-5 people to lift and set the whole thing in the boat? (We do that in fiberglass boats and Coosa)

But you would still end up with a bunch of fasteners penetrating the vinyl and your flooring, right?

Would you seal the fasteners to prevent moisture from wicking down into your subfloor? Also, there would be a visible seam between the floor and the aluminum perimeter. Maybe just silicone it, since perimeter glue would only grab vinyl and not the structural wood? Add strips of vinyl, so it's not so obvious?

With this particular floor system, vinyl seems a bit problematic, but again, I'm not experienced with the product. I'm strongly leaning toward topside paint and sand, but let me know what you think before I pull the trigger. I appreciate all of the insight!

The Spectrum boat has more of a panelized floor and deck design, with no strange edges. That one will be a much better candidate for vinyl. And they even make a blue vinyl which would go perfectly with the colors of that boat.
 
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Tin Man

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As already suggested by DaleH, I agree on the use of Nautolex vinly. I would use their glue. I have this vinyl on my Alumacraft V16. My floor is plywood and one section is aluminum at bow area. Vinyl is glued and stapled underneath just like LDUBS. I have never removed the alum section to see how it is fastened underneath, but I would assume it was folded under and glued underneath. It is not coming undone anywhere after 5-6 years.

Vinyl is not slippery when wet and appears very durable. Easy to clean with scrub brush.

It may be more work to install in your situation, but IMO well worth the effort.

NOTE: I also had Nautolex vinyl on my Gregor 17 floors and never had any issues with it during my ownership of boat.

BTW....if you contact Omnova (maker) they will send you free samples.

NOTE: If I ever have to refloor a boat, it will be Nautolex, no question.
 

thill

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As already suggested by DaleH, I agree on the use of Nautolex vinly. I would use their glue. I have this vinyl on my Alumacraft V16. My floor is plywood and one section is aluminum at bow area. Vinyl is glued and stapled underneath just like LDUBS. I have never removed the alum section to see how it is fastened underneath, but I would assume it was folded under and glued underneath. It is not coming undone anywhere after 5-6 years.

Vinyl is not slippery when wet and appears very durable. Easy to clean with scrub brush.

It may be more work to install in your situation, but IMO well worth the effort.

NOTE: I also had Nautolex vinyl on my Gregor 17 floors and never had any issues with it during my ownership of boat.

BTW....if you contact Omnova (maker) they will send you free samples.

NOTE: If I ever have to refloor a boat, it will be Nautolex, no question.

Is your vinyl floor one piece, or is it in sections?

Are your fasteners that hold down the flooring going through the vinyl? How do you like that look?

No way I'm ripping out a brand new floor just to go with vinyl, but I have 2 other boats I'll be doing soon. Everyone who has owned them seem to really like the product. That's a good testimonial.
 

LDUBS

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Is your vinyl floor one piece, or is it in sections?

Are your fasteners that hold down the flooring going through the vinyl? How do you like that look?

No way I'm ripping out a brand new floor just to go with vinyl, but I have 2 other boats I'll be doing soon. Everyone who has owned them seem to really like the product. That's a good testimonial.

Just as general info on how the vinyl covered floors are in my current boat:

My floor is in sections. Vinyl is wrapped around the ply edges of each section. It is a very clean looking seam. I like having the floor in sections because if I every have to access underneath, I don't have to pull the entire floor. And if I ever do have to pull the entire floor, it will come up in easy sections. That is just my preference.

Each floor section is screwed to the framework with round-head screws. I've not counted but it does not take many screws to hold each each section of ply down. The screw spacing is pretty far apart. And of course, they are evenly spaced so as to not look amateurish. The screw heads are visible. I don't even notice them.

Using finish/cup washers would give a little more protection to the vinyl from the screw heads (2 cup washers per screw per DaleH's excellent advice). I haven't had any issues without them, but I think the cup washers would be a best practice.

The wrapped edge of my ply floor rests on top of a flat strip of aluminum along the inside perimeter of the hull.
 

Douglasdzaster

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I’m about to redo the front deck of my 16/52 and I’ll be using Nautolex and wrapping then staples. Never heard of Monel staples until now. I just finished the floor and had to use carpet do to circumstances beyond my control. But I used snaps and as soon as the carpet wears out there will be vinyl. And I found out if you’ve treated your wood with penetrating epoxy there is a way for the adhesive to stick.
Just my 2 cents and my vote for Nautolex.
Good luck.
 

Tin Man

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Is your vinyl floor one piece, or is it in sections?

Are your fasteners that hold down the flooring going through the vinyl? How do you like that look?

No way I'm ripping out a brand new floor just to go with vinyl, but I have 2 other boats I'll be doing soon. Everyone who has owned them seem to really like the product. That's a good testimonial.
It is in three sections....rear, middle, bow. Yes screws go through the vinyl. It is installed with wafer head internal square stainless screws (no washers). Screws are evenly spaced and not very many. It looks great. Sounds like my floors are installed in a very similar manner as LDUBS floors.
 

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thill

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You are right, that is a good-looking floor. Thanks for that details. Yes, that seems like it could be a good system, just not for my particular hull from the 60's which has an unusual design.

Do you have crossmembers under the joints in the floor?

One of the issues with mine is it only has a long center support in the floor. So it's only fastened around the perimeter and right down the center. It had thin aluminum strips to help the seams stay together, but that is part of the reason I glued the edges of the plywood together. I've seen where those strips loosen up and you get play @ the seam.
 

LDUBS

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You are right, that is a good-looking floor. Thanks for that details. Yes, that seems like it could be a good system, just not for my particular hull from the 60's which has an unusual design.

Do you have crossmembers under the joints in the floor?

One of the issues with mine is it only has a long center support in the floor. So it's only fastened around the perimeter and right down the center. It had thin aluminum strips to help the seams stay together, but that is part of the reason I glued the edges of the plywood together. I've seen where those strips loosen up and you get play @ the seam.

I can see the concern with uneven edges over a long span. That is the last thing anyone wants in a boat floor.

The approach you describe making the 14' long floor is pretty unique. I hope you circle back around with some pics of the Crestliner floor.
 

thill

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I will.

Here is a picture of the structure underneath:
Resized_20221229_164720.jpeg

As you can see, there isn't much floor support structure under there. You only fasten to the tips of the ribs going under the floor and the center brace.

It's hard to see, but about 2" in from the perimeter there is a step-down, right at the ends of the ribs. The plywood sits down in there and ends up flush with the surrounding metal.

It is an unusual layout, but once you foam, glue and fasten the floor, it becomes a structural part of the hull. This thing should pound through some chop and still feel solid. It's storming again, so the boat is covered up, but I'm looking forward to taking the final product out on the lake and running it. hard to see if it handles as well as I think it will.

I'll take more pics soon.
 

cyclops2

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When I made and installed a floor for my Lowe 16' boat. I used removable 1/2" plywood sections. It allows you to remove stinking bait & other junk blocking the center line drains. I painted , sealed & put sand on the wet top surface paint,
 

thill

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That's exactly what I plan to do once the rain is gone and I get a dry day, except that I'm not making it sectional.

In the end, it will be the most time and cost-effective. It's the same finish I put in my center console, and I'm very happy with the results. I initially did it in 2009 or so, and then refreshed it around 2015 or so. That took maybe an hour to do. I used the boat a LOT those first few years, every week, all year long. Now, I only use it a few times a year. Will probably be a very long time, before the next refresh.
 
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