Jon boats offer versatile, durable watercraft perfect for fishing, hunting, and exploring shallow waters. While jon boats are designed to be low maintenance, adding custom flooring creates a more comfortable, slip-resistant deck while protecting the hull.
This guide covers flooring options to upgrade your jon boat along with material comparisons, cost considerations, anti-slip treatments, repairability, installation tips, and maintenance best practices. Give your jon boat a fresh new look and enhanced functionality with innovative flooring ideas tailored to how you use your vessel.
Benefits of Installing Custom Flooring in a Jon Boat
Factory jon boats often feature simple aluminum benches and decks or basic marine carpet. Adding customized flooring provides:
Traction – Non-slip flooring prevents falls on wet, slippery aluminum. Essential for safety.
Cushioning – Comfortable underfoot for standing, walking, and casting all day. Reduces fatigue.
Insulation – Buffers hot, cold and noise. Makes rides more pleasurable.
Protection – Safeguards hull from dings, abrasion, and corrosion.
Storage – Floor hatch access to gear, batteries, and equipment.
Customization – Personalized styles suiting your taste and fishing needs.
While vinyl and carpet flooring kits are available, creating custom jon boat flooring allows matching performance to your usage.
Jon Boat Flooring Material Options
Match your flooring to how you utilize your jon boat:
Marine Carpet – Soft, slip-resistant, and insulated. Excellent for standard fishing. Available in camo patterns. Requires meticulous cleaning.
Marine Vinyl – Tough, mostly waterproof material resists moisture and UV. Cold underfoot. Easy to clean.
Rubber – Ultimate traction and impact protection. Withstands heavy use and shedding dog claws. Expensive.
Wood – Classic warm look. Softer and grippier when wet than aluminum. Requires sealing and maintenance.
Composite – Blends synthetic and reclaimed wood. Limit swelling and rotting. Stainproof. Costly.
Aluminum Diamond Plate – Default factory option. Durable but loud, hot and little grip when wet.
Factors Impacting Jon Boat Flooring Cost
Material choice is the largest variable affecting total flooring cost:
Marine Carpet – $2-$6 per square foot
Marine Vinyl – $3-$12 per square foot
Rubber – $6-$18 per square foot
Wood – $3-$15 per square foot
Composites – $6-$20 per square foot
Aluminum Diamond Plate – $15-$30 per square foot
Adhesives, accessories like hatches, and professional installation add cost. However, enhanced utility and resale value offset the investment.
Adding Anti-Slip Treatments to Surfaces
Most flooring types benefit from added texture for traction when wet:
Coatings – Roll on gritty paints like Interlux Intergrip with sand additives for grip.
Mats – Interlocking rubber mats provide grip while protecting flooring underneath.
Carpet Runners – Utilize outdoor-rated antimicrobial carpet with marine backing for sticky traction.
Sand – Lightly broadcast fine sand into the final coat of floor paint.
Corrugation – Embosse/stamp plastic flooring while curing to add surface channels for drainage and traction.
Any upgrades reducing slipping risks contribute to safer boating for you, family and pets.
Ease of Flooring Repair by Material
An advantage of custom flooring is the ability to repair localized damage versus factory welded-in decks:
Marine Vinyl – Welds seams back together for invisible repairs. Patches holes.
Carpet – Cuts out and patches small sections as needed.
Wood – Sand and seal affected areas to blend. Limited by swelling.
Rubber – Vulcanizing kits bond tears. Replace tiles/sheets as required.
Composites – Depends on core material. Epoxy fill gouges and recoat.
Choose resilient yet repairable flooring to maintain your jon boat investment for the long run.
Step-by-Step Jon Boat Flooring Installation Guide
Thorough planning prevents problems down the road:
- Clean and degrease hull thoroughly where flooring will contact. Etch aluminum with 220-grit sandpaper for better adhesion.
- Cut flooring to size, allowing a 1⁄4” gap along the edges to let water drain beneath. Use a table saw with fine finish blade for straight cuts.
- Test fit all flooring pieces prior to final glue down and make any trivial cuts needed.
- Apply adhesive and fasten flooring systematically section-by-section following manufacturer’s directions. Rubber rollers help bond flooring.
- Mask/tape off edges and install any trim pieces like rubber bump-guard strips along chines using silicone caulk.
- Allow adhesive to fully cure before exposing to water. Temporarily place weight on flooring to ensure intimate hull contact while drying.
Caring for Your Jon Boat Flooring
Follow material-specific maintenance to maximize durability:
Marine Carpet – Allow to fully dry after each use and clean frequently with special cleaners. Avoid bleach.
Marine Vinyl – Rinse with soap and water after trips. Protect from UV when not in use.
Wood Flooring – Yearly light sanding and sealing to refresh water protection.
Rubber – Thorough rinsing and periodic pressure washing to remove debris in textures. Avoid harsh chemicals.
Composites – Minimal maintenance. Soap and water cleaning along with UV protection.
Aluminum – Repaint tread plate periodically as it oxidizes to keep bright appearance.
Aesthetic and safety benefits make adding custom flooring a worthwhile investment in your jon boat. With deliberate material selection and careful installation, you can create hassle-free, slip-resistant decking that outperforms factory floors. Soon family and friends may think you splurged on a premium boat with your transformed multifunctional vessel!
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