Anchor & DockingWater Sports

How to Choose EVA Flooring For Your Boat

EVA flooring has become extremely popular with boats over the last several years. EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) flooring has become a popular choice among boaters due to its blend of comfort, durability, and ease of maintenance. In this guide, we will explore the nuances of EVA flooring, its advantages and disadvantages, alternatives available, sizing considerations, and cost expectations to ensure you make an informed decision for your maritime vessel.

What is EVA Flooring?

EVA flooring is a type of synthetic material made from a blend of ethylene and vinyl acetate. The best comparable is to a children’s playmat, except much more durable and suitable for marine environments.

It typically comes in either sheets/rolls that can be custom-cut and applied to the deck of a boat or pre-cut to match the exact dimensions of your boat.

Pros and Cons to EVA Flooring

There’s several pros and cons to EVA flooring. Here’s a summary of the:

Pros:

  • Soft & Comfortable Material: EVA material is soft and cushioning, reducing fatigue for those standing for long periods.
  • Safety/Non-Slip: Its non-slip texture enhances safety by reducing the risk of slips and falls, even when wet.
  • Durability: Resistant to UV rays, saltwater, and stains, EVA flooring is designed to last while maintaining its appearance.
  • Ease of Installation: It can be easily cut to fit any space and applied with adhesive backing.
  • Maintenance: Cleaning is straightforward, typically requiring only a rinse with water or a mild soap solution.

Cons:

  • Heat Sensitivity: While EVA flooring is UV resistant, it can get hot under direct sunlight, which might be uncomfortable for bare feet.
  • More difficult to clean than fiberglass: EVA flooring is easy to clean but not quite as easy to clean as a fiberglass deck.
  • Color Fading: Over time, especially if the boat is consistently exposed to direct sunlight, the color may fade.
  • Initial Cost: The upfront cost can be higher than some traditional flooring options, though its durability can offset this over time.
  • Requires Gluing to Your Deck: EVA flooring requires being glued to your deck. This doesn’t permanently damage your deck in any way but it may be off-putting to some people.

Alternatives to EVA Flooring

While EVA flooring offers numerous benefits, several alternatives may be better suited to specific needs or preferences:

  • Nothing (Just Your Fiberglass Deck): The obvious alternative to EVA flooring is to have nothing but your bare deck.
  • Marine Carpeting: Offers a traditional look and feel but requires more maintenance to prevent mold and mildew.
  • Vinyl Flooring: Durable and easy to clean, vinyl can mimic various textures but may be slippery when wet.
  • Teak Wood Flooring: Provides a classic, luxurious appearance and excellent durability but at a higher cost and with more intensive maintenance requirements.
  • Rubber Flooring: Offers excellent slip-resistance and durability but with a less appealing aesthetic.

What Types of Boats Work Best for EVA Flooring?

EVA flooring is arguably most popular with sports and ski boats where people are coming into the boat often with wet feet. Especially on a swim grid, having EVA flooring is a game changer in terms of comfort and safety.

However, in addition to sports boats, EVA flooring is also popular with fishing boats, dinghies and even yachts. With that all of that being said, EVA floor is going to work best on flat surfaces, so boats like canoes and some dinghies aren’t very viable.

How to Determine What Size/Dimensions EVA Flooring You Need

So determining the exact dimensions you need for EVA flooring is the most complicated part of the entire equation.

Basically you have two options when it comes to sizing and dimensions: cutting it yourself or buying a pre-assembled kit.

Cutting EVA Marine Flooring Yourself

Cutting EVA flooring is very easy and can be done with an exacto-knife or a rotary cutter (which works better). But like anything of this nature, getting perfectly looking cuts can be challenging. Cutting it yourself also allows you to choose and sizes and shapes you want. If you want EVA flooring in just some select places, i.e. a swim grid, cutting it yourself isn’t a bad option. However, if you’re looking for a sleek professional look, you probably want to buy an entire kit.

You can buy rolls of EVA flooring that is easily cut to suit your boat’s dimensions

If you are DIYing then here’s a couple tips for measuring and cutting:

  1. Measure Your Space: Accurately measure the length and width of the area you wish to cover. Include any nooks and crannies to ensure full coverage.
  2. Account for Waste: Add 10-20% to your measurements to account for cuts and waste, ensuring you have enough material.

Custom Kit EVA Marine Flooring Kits

eva flooring dimensions
EVA flooring kits typically come in several pre-cut pieces like above.

Like mentioned, you can buy an entire kit for your exact boat. It will look far better than doing it yourself. However, there’s a couple of challenges. The first is finding a template to match your exact boat. Very few EVA providers have exhaustive databases covering most boat models so it may be challenging to find a kit matching your boat, especially if it’s a rarer model. AquaMarineDeck is one of the few who have exhaustive databases. In addition, you’re going to pay heavily for a custom kit compared to doing it yourself. For most, complete kits is going to cost many times more than doing it yourself.

How Does EVA Flooring Glue/Install

Once you have your EVA flooring cut (either as a kit or cut yourself) installing it is super simple.

EVA flooring sheets or tiles come with an adhesive backing that is protected by a peel-off layer. Once this layer is removed, the flooring can be carefully positioned and pressed onto the deck surface. Before installing you’ll need thoroughly clean the deck of the boat to remove any dirt, grease, or existing adhesive residues, ensuring a clean and smooth surface for optimal adhesion.

How Much to Expect to Pay for EVA Flooring

The cost of EVA flooring can vary widely based on quality, thickness, and custom designs. On average, you can expect to pay:

  • Standard Sheets: Prices range from $100 to $300 for standard-sized sheets that can cover significant portions of a boat deck.
  • Custom Kits: Custom-fitted kits can range from $400 to well over $1,000, depending on the complexity of the layout and the size of the boat.

Conclusion

EVA flooring is one of the most impressive looking improvements you can make to your boat whether as a DIY project or buying a pre-assembled kit. Do you have EVA flooring on your boat? If so, has it been a game changer for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button