Installation Tips

In our 65 plus years in business, we have heard many questions about boat carpet products and their installation. Below are the boat carpet installation tips we most frequently share with our customers. Call us at 888-283-0704 if you would like some additional information or would like to ask a question. Also be sure to check out our FAQ page for additional information.

boat carpet samples

Choosing a Boat Carpet

There are several types of boats and marine carpets to go with them. There is certainly one that is right for you. Check our Shop By Boat Carpet Type section for in depth information on how to best choose a marine grade carpet for your style of boat.

Measuring New Boat Carpet

Pontoons and pleasure boats are easy to measure – you can measure the widest part of your boat and the longest carpeted length for your marine carpet measurement.

Measuring New Bass Boat Carpet

First measure the widest carpeted area. Then you can measure out the lengths of each piece, add some extra for wrapping, and chart out your new marine carpet for a final number. Or some of our boat carpet customers will measure the length of the carpeted area, and add 20 percent for an estimate of the bass boat carpet that they need. Be certain to lay all your carpet in one direction – there is a definite grain and if you turn a piece sideways it will appear a different color that the rest. If you run out of carpet, give us a call and we can quote and ship a custom length piece to you as soon as possible.

Cutting Boat Carpet

You can choose to use a sturdy utility knife or heavy scissors to cut your boat carpet. Make sure that your cutting tools are nice and sharp. With a box cutter you can frequently change blades and keep a nice clean edge on your new marine carpet.

Getting Your Tools Ready

You may need a heavy duty utility knife (and extra blades) or sharp strong scissors, sandpaper for the deck, screwdrivers to remove screws and a 1/4″ notched trowel to spread the carpet glue. Also rags and water for marine carpet adhesive spills and a carpet roller or heavy object you can safely slide across the new boat carpet. A couple cans of spray adhesive are good to have on hand for hard to reach areas or vertical surfaces you forgot about in your boat carpet project.

Using Boat Carpet on Other DIY Projects

Customers have used our carpet for work boats, swim platforms, decks, front porches, outdoor walkways and other creative projects. Even a zoo and a taxidermy shop have found our boat carpet to be a good solution for their needs. Give us a call at 888-283-0704 or email us at We’d be glad to help you match a marine grade carpet and the right glue to your project.

Choosing the Right Glue

We offer three types of glue: Indoor/Outdoor Boat Carpet Adhesive, Professional Marine Grade Carpet Adhesive and Spray Contact Adhesive. Generally, Indoor/Outdoor Adhesive is a match for pontoon boats with marine plywood flooring, or rafts and docks that are similar. The Professional Adhesive works for those situations and more, including aluminum fishing boats, fiberglass flooring, and bass boat carpet. And Spray Contact Adhesive gives a permanent bond on lids and vertical surfaces. Our boat carpet adhesive pails are best for horizontal surfaces.  The glue dries by curing over time, so it is not suitable for vertical surfaces.  For vertical surfaces or wrapping bass boat lids, you will also need our spray contact adhesive.Check out our boat carpet adhesive pages for specifications and more detail.

Estimating Glue

Each one gallon pail of our carpet adhesives covers an 8′ by 10′ area of marine carpet. Add extra gallons as needed. Don’t try to make the glue cover extra area – your time and marine carpet investment are too valuable to risk by cutting corners on quantity. Check out our boat carpet adhesive coverage guide here.

Caring for and Using Glue

Glue needs to be stored and handled at optimal temperatures to work properly. DO NOT allow glue to freeze. Make sure it (and your boat carpet) is at least at room temperature before you begin. Carpet glue needs several days of warm, dry weather or a 65 plus degree heated shop to cure properly. Cold weather, especially, can inhibit or prevent bonding to your marine carpet and deck. Exposure to rain will double dry time or prevent bonding. If you have any questions about boat carpet adhesive, give us a call at 888-283-0704 before you begin.

Work in Sections

Work in sections. Spread the glue with a 1/4 or 1/8 notched trowel in one section. Allow a few minutes for it to get tacky, then roll the carpet onto that section. Then repeat in sections until you have covered the floor of the boat. Next, apply pressure to force the glue up between the rows of knots on the back side of the carpet. You can use a carpet roller, the back of a shop broom or kneel and press on and slide a sanded or wrapped 2×6.

Checking the Carpet and Glue Bond

After installing your marine carpet, take a heavy object like a carpet roller, sanded and wrapped 2×6, or back of a shop broom and apply some pressure to your new marine carpet. Slide the object, with some force, from the center of the project to the edge. Give it a minute and then check a corner to see if the glue is attached to both deck and carpet, and if it is up in between the rows of knots on the carpet. If not, give it a few more minutes to get tackier then roll again.

Wrapping Bass Boat Carpet Lids

A simple and fast way to wrap boat carpet on bass boat lids uses our Marine Grade adhesive on the lids and our Spray Contact Adhesive on the edges. Simply trim the carpet large enough to wrap over the top of the lid onto the sides. (You can use your old carpet as a template.). Check that the carpet nap runs the same way as the rest of the boat so the color appears the same. Usually this is front to back; it is most important to be consistent throughout the project. Apply adhesive to the top of the lid, the place it face down on the carpet (or apply glue on the carpet, then place the lid). Use pressure to force the glue to contact in the valleys between the knots on the back of the carpet. Next use spray adhesive to glue the boat carpet to the sides of the lid. Go slowly and carefully as the spray adhesive makes an instant bond. Weight the inside of the lid and let it cure for a few days.

If you want to use only marine grade adhesive and not use spray contact glue on the sides you will need to use splints to even out the pressure and clamp the carpet to the sides of the lids. This ensures that the carpet and the lid stay in contact throughout the drying cycle. Pressure is necessary for a good bond, so this method is a little more “fiddly.” Remember to allow a few days to cure.

Glueing Vertical Boat Carpet Surfaces

Boat carpet glues are thick and take several days and some pressure to dry. Spray Contact Adhesive is the right choice for vertical surfaces as you gain an instant bond. Work slowly with the sprays as they provide an instant bond.