How To Install Boat Carpet
Installing boat carpet is an easy job for experienced do-it-yourselfers. In most cases the area to be installed is small and won’t be much of a hassle. The only tools you really need besides some elbow grease is a pair of large sharp scissors to cut the carpet with, a putty knife to spread the glue, and possibly a chalk line so that you can snap down cuts on the back of the carpet.
When selecting marine carpet, be sure to make certain that it is recommended by the manufacturer for installation in boats. Marine carpet is specially treated to be resistant to moisture and UV light. If you installed regular carpet within a boat you’d soon end up with a smelly, moldy mess.
When deciding how to install the boat carpet, it’s best not to have seams. If at all possible try to install the carpet in such a way that seams won’t be needed. If seams are absolutely necessary, then make sure the pieces are arranged so that the carpet’s pile points in the same direction. This will make the seams appear less obvious.
To install the marine carpet, simply measure the area and transfer the dimensions to the back of the carpet. Use a chalk line to snap down cuts if necessary. Use a pair of very sharp, large scissors to make the cuts.
After tearing up the old carpet you’ll now be confronted with old gross looking marine glue. Most people simply leave the glue there, applying new carpet directly on top. If there are lumpy areas of glue that are disproportionately large as compared to the rest of the floor, you'll need to sand them down so that they’re level with the rest of the area. Use a medium grade sand paper and be sure not to sand too far.
Before installation it’s a good idea to lay the new carpet out in the sun for awhile to allow it to become more pliable. This will also let some of the wrinkles smooth out. After 15-20 minutes of sun exposure, you’re now ready to install the marine carpet.
Before you do anything, be absolutely certain that the glue you’ve chosen is waterproof and recommended for marine applications. Now spread out some glue with your putty knife and begin laying the carpet down. Be thorough and spread the glue over only a small area at a time as the marine glue will dry quickly. Smooth out the carpet as you go. It can vary somewhat depending on which boat glue you’ve chosen, but generally one gallon will cover roughly 90 square feet, or 10 square yards (9SQ/FT = 1 SQ/YRD).
How To Clean Boat Carpet
Clean boat carpet the same way you’d clean regular carpet. You first want to scoop up as much of the material as possible with a spoon or old credit card. Then blot (not rub) the area with a cloth, removing as much of the substance as possible.
As I’ve repeated many times, always use the gentlest approach to cleaning a spill first. Don’t use a spot cleaner when a cloth and water will do just fine. Only escalate your approach as necessary. Sometimes the harsh chemicals in some of the stronger spot cleaners can do more harm than good. For more information on cleaning carpet stains please read our basic guide to cleaning carpet. You can find the exact substance you’ve spilled on the menu to your left and continue from there.