Best Marine Carpet Replacement DIY Guide

Best Marine Carpet Replacement DIY Guide

Are you planning to replace the Marine Carpet on your boat doing it all by yourself? Keep reading for the The Ultimate DIY Guide to Marine Carpet Replacement online.

If you are arrived to this page chances are that you planning to replace the flooring on your boat, whether this is a pontoon, deck, bayliner or bass boat. Or maybe you are just in the process of putting some new carpet on your patio or terrace. In any case we have got you covered with this article with all the “Do-It-Yourself” DIY tips plus some recommendations of some great products created just for these purposes (click here for the reviews at the bottom of this article if you are just looking for that).

I’m a boat owner just as you and I know how important is to keep my boat clean and tidy. My boat is like my second home and as my home it need to be perfectly tidy and comfortable for me and my guest. I always liked keeping care of my boat personally and today I want to talk you about the marine carpet replacement process because I know that many out there are looking for this information but often struggling to find some good tips and tricks.

Note that I’ve written the guide below to be helpful to other boat owners like you who could be interested in doing the carpet replacement by themselves. However the same guide could be followed if you want to change the carpet in your house. I would recommend also asking a hand to a friend (maybe someone with more DIY experience than you) for this task although you should be able to do it all by yourself.

So let’s start with it.

Step 1 – Removing the old Marine Carpet

marine carpet removing The first thing to do is removing the old carpet but this in some cases is something easier to say than actually do. Removing and old marine boat carpet can be in fact an involved task which normally depends on the glue adhesion of the carpet to your boat.

Try by first to removing all the existing deck/pontoon furniture just to have the most possible free available area to move around the boat deck.

Now inspect the carpet by walking around the boat deck and pay attention to deteriorated spots or warped areas in the deck.  Additionally, you may tap different portions with the handle of a broom, testing for dry rot areas.  During this process also look for any carpet corners marking them with some colored tape to be found easily later.

At this point you might have found some rot areas under the carpet but let’s hope not since this will probably mean that you have to do some extra maintenance before continuing with the carpet replacement process.

However if after your inspection you have not found any signs of rotten areas you can simply start the removing process by pulling the carpet from one of its corners.

You might find this not to be an easy process, especially if the old glue adhesion is still good. If this is the case then I suggest you cutting the marine carpet into smaller strips using a razor knife. At this point should be easier to remove the carpet by pulling up these strips on portion at a time.

Once the old carpet is removed you still have to make sure that any trace of the previous adhesive and carpet backing are removed from the deck. Apply a small amount of acetone solvent to a clean cloth. The cloth should be damp, but not soaked. Wipe away the old glue using the cloth.

You can also use a glue scrapper for that but pay attention to not use too much force with it to not damage the deck unnecessarily. Having the deck clear from any residual of the previous carpet is very important because will improve the adhesion of the new marine carpet when this is installed.

Once you finished removing the old carpet, including any residual, have a good look on the quality of the deck below to really understand if there is any extra maintenance that need to be done before going any further.

Step 2 – Marine Carpet Installation

marine carpet installationBefore you start with this phase make sure you have the following tools handy:

  • a roll of new marine carpet – Check the recommended product below
  • some tape
  • a meter
  • a roll of paper of the type normally used for packaging
  • a new razor knife
  • a pencil
  • a pair of scissors

Start by measuring the total square foot available on the deck using the meter. This will give you some good idea of the amount of new carpet you need to cover your deck.

Now take the paper roll and extend it to entire length of the marine flooring ensuring to add some additional feet, just in case. What you should do next is simply to taping the paper to your deck. The objective here is to create a template of the area that you wish to cover. I like to be very precise when I’m doing this but in reality you don’t need to be very precise. In fact the marine flooring is very forgiving and approximation can vary from a quarter to a half inch and chances are that no one will ever notice it.

Now a little trick while laying down the paper and you need to go around curved corners. Make several vertical incisions in the paper. In this way the paper will be compliable around those areas. Make also sure to add some tape where needed for strength.

As you add the additional sheets of paper to cover all your deck try to tape them together as you would build a single template. You might also want to tear away all the extra paper on the borders not needed to cover the deck surface. Use the scissors for that but remember to lift the paper to protect the deck while you are doing the cut.

Once the paper template is complete just lift if from the boat and move to the area where the roll of new marine carpet is. Unroll the carpet with the PVC springs facing up. Make sure you are working on a large and flat surface area to accommodate all the length of the roll when you do this.

Next lay the paper template on top of the new marine carpet adjusting it to the best fit. If you have different templates for different parts of your boat try to organize these over the new carpet so that you are not wasting any part of it. Then the easy part!

Simply cut along the template now using a good razor knife (possibly one having a new sharp blade). Then lift the carpet from the cutting area and there you have it! Ready to be fitted on your boat and enjoyed for years to come!

Here is a video from YouTube that you can watch which pretty much includes all the info above

Step 3 – Glue the Marine Carpet down

This is the last step of this mini guide and probably the easiest one. Before starting make sure to have followed the step 1 above removing any part of the old carpet. If needed use some more acetone on a clean cloth and make sure the deck is clean before applying the new glue.

For this step you need the following tools

  • Plastic gloves
  • The right amount of good glue for these type of carpet (check here for a good one)
  • A notched trowel (ideally a 1/16 one)
  • A small mason trowel

I recommend using a good glue for this process. In the past I’ve used the Henry WW Carpet Adhesive. What you need to do here is to make sure you buy enough glue to cover your entire deck surface. The quantity of glue necessary depends on how many square foot you need to cover but also on the type of glue you use. To give you a rough estimation let me say that I’ve used two tub of the glue above to cover the 21 foots of my boat deck.

Follow the instructions for the glue of your choice. Use some plastic gloves to protect your hands and then use the 1/16 notched trowel to apply the glue evenly on the entire deck surface. Try to use the right amount of glue here. If you use too much you may notice that it will soaks the carpet and go thru or also that the glue might spill from around the corners. For smaller surfaces (like a seat for example) you might want to use the mason trowel instead of the 1/6 notched one. Just make sure that the glue is speeded evenly and no area has too much glue product on it.

Now you should put the carpet on the deck while the adhesive is still wet and then, after around half an hour, when the adhesive is starting to be set, make sure to apply some pressure evenly around the carpet surface to ensure that the carpet bonds well to the deck.

And that’s it for this guide. Enjoy your new marine flooring and leave a comments below if you think this guide was useful for you. Also have a look at the section below for a list of products I personally recommends for your Do-it-yourself marine carpet replacement!

I usually buy all my stuff on Amazon and you should to that too. Amazon is very reliable about delivering products to your house and also very accommodating whenever something goes wrong, for example when you are not satisfied about a product and look for a refund.

Following are the products I recommend if you want to replace your marine carpet.

A roll of new marine graded carpet – I recommend the following product available Amazon: Marine Outdoor Pontoon Boat Carpet/20oz/10colors

Following are some of the good features regarding this product:

  • rubber backed
  • fade resistant
  • travel resistant
  • non-flammable
  • extremely pliable
  • very easy to clean
  • very easy to install
  • available in multiple colors

Get it for Lowest Price on Amazon and read the customers reviews if you need some further information


Then you will need a good glue/adhesive for your carpet. I suggest you buying one or two tub of Henry WW Company 12185 Premium Outdoor Carpet Adhesive. The quantity here depends on how wide is your deck surface so keep this in mind.

Here are some of the good features about this glue:

  • spreads very well
  • good price for money
  • can be cleaned up easy if needed
  • it doesn’t smell too bad when applying (odorless once is cured)
  • it sticks very well to the carpet

Get it for the Lowest Price on Amazon

Optionally you can also buy these two products.

A 1/16 notched trowel – here is a good one from Amazon M-D Building Products 20044 1/16-Inch by 1/32-Inch by 5/64-Inch Premium U Notch

A mason trowel to use on small surfaces – here I link to a simple model available on Amazon QLT By MARSHALLTOWN 926 10-Inch by 4-3/4-Inch Brick Trowel London Pattern with Wood Handle

For more information click here.

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