Boat Carpet Replacement [Cost & Best Options]

Carpet doesn’t last forever and it may be time for you to replace it in your boat. Depending on the size of your boat and the materials needed, the price to re-carpet your boat will fluctuate.

Replacing the carpet in a boat will cost around $1,500 to $2,900. The materials themselves are usually about $500 or less. Depending on the size of the boat and the amount of carpet needed, it could cost a bit more than that for supplies.

There are a few options when it comes to re-carpeting your boat. The main two things to try include doing it yourself and taking the boat to a shop to get it re-carpeted. Of course, there are different kinds of boats and different options for carpet replacements, which will change the amount of time, money, and effort that is required.

Bass Boats

For most bass boats, new carpeting will cost around $1,500 to $3,000. The materials themselves, including the carpet and the glue to install it, are about $300 to $400. Of course, this price can vary and increase depending on the size of your boat and how much carpet you need.

Some options for replacing the carpet in a bass boat include taking it to a shop and having them do the work, or you can replace the carpet on your own. It usually takes less than a week to complete the project, but you can save the cost of labor and only pay for materials if you choose to take the DIY route.


With pontoon boats, there seems to be a popular debate about which type of flooring is best to have. It’s becoming more popular to use vinyl flooring in pontoons as opposed to marine carpet. That being said, it will cost a little bit more than just a carpet replacement to make the switch, but you shouldn’t need to replace the vinyl flooring.

It costs around $3,000 to replace the carpets in a pontoon boat. The materials cost about $500 and the labor from the shop adds about another $2,500 (give or take a couple hundred). There is also the option to complete the project yourself and it seems like more and more people are taking this route now.

If you decide to take on this project and to replace the carpets with vinyl flooring instead, it will cost anywhere from $300 for the materials and $1,200 or more to complete the project.

Ski or Wake Boats

Similar to the pricing found for the previous boats, the cost of replacing the carpet in a ski or wake boat will also be around $3,000. There seems to be a similar trend with owners of these boats as there was with the pontoon boats. Many people are choosing to tackle the project of replacing the carpet on their own. Some people have chosen to replace their carpets with vinyl flooring instead.

The materials for re-carpeting a ski or wake boat are also around $500.

Tips for Replacing Boat Carpet on Your Own

Choosing to replace your boat’s carpet on your own can actually save you quite a bit of money. You can get the same results for a fraction of the price and it can be done in a relatively short period of time; maybe even over the weekend. As soon as you get “professionals” involved in the process, the cost of the project can double or even triple. You’ll save a lot of money doing it yourself.

If you decide to take on the project yourself and replace your boat carpet on your own, you’ll need to know what supplies to get and a little bit about how to complete the task.

Supplies Needed

Here is a quick overview of the supplies you’ll need to replace the carpet on your boat:

  • Boat carpet
  • Carpet knife
  • Carpet scraper
  • Carpet adhesive glue remover (like acetone or mineral spirits)
  • Boat carpet glue (one that won’t break down in salty or wet conditions)
  • Paintbrushes and a plastic bucket for spreading the glue (that can be thrown away afterward)
  • Heat gun
  • Floor sander tool
  • Coarse sandpaper
  • Marine sealant
  • Masking tape
  • Screwdrivers
  • Rubber mallet
  • Power drill

Quick Step by Step Guide

This is just intended to be a quick overview of the re-carpeting process and not a detailed list of instructions:

  1. Clear the boat deck and your work area. You’ll want to remove any seats or other objects that were installed over the carpet. This can be anything from seats to tables to threshold molding. By removing these objects, it allows you to remove the carpet completely.
  2. Remove the old carpet. To do this, you’ll just start at one corner and start pulling the carpet up. This may be difficult if the carpet is glued down really well. In this case, you should use acetone or mineral spirits to soften the glue. You should be able to scrape away the glue as you continue to remove the carpet.
  3. Save the old carpet. It can be helpful to hang onto the old carpet to use it as a pattern for the new carpet.
  4. Scrape the remaining glue. The floor and surface of the boat should be a clean and smooth as possible.
  5. Sand the floor. You should sand the floor as needed to create a good surface for installing the new carpet.
  6. Lay down the carpet to get a pattern for the boat. This way, you should be able to get a general idea of the size and fit of the carpet in your boat. You should also check for defects in the carpet before you glue it down for good.
  7. Use the old carpet as a pattern. In this step, you’ll want to use chalk to trace out a pattern for your carpet. This will just be a rough cut for now.
  8. Lay the carpet down inside the boat. You’ll want to check that the pattern you’ve created matches the layout of your boat. If it looks good, you’ll want to glue down part of the carpet using the “hinge method.”
  9. Apply the glue or adhesive to the section of the floor and carpet that you’ll be gluing down first. You’ll want to give it time to get “tacky.”
  10. Place something heavy on the dry half of the carpet. This will help to keep everything in place and prevent shifting as you’re gluing down half of the carpet.
  11. Begin laying the carpet in the middle section and working toward the edges. As you do this, you should smooth out the carpet as you go.
  12. Repeat steps 9, 10, and 11 with the other half of the carpet.
  13. Cut the excess carpet off the edges. You should go around the edges of the boat and use the carpet knife to cut away the excess carpet around the edges. You should cut it precisely to fit the edges of the boat.
  14. Apply marine carpet sealant to the edges of the carpet. This will help to seal the carpet and keep water out, which will prevent water damage.

Aaron Warner

Aaron Warner is an avid angler with over 15 years of experience. He has participated and won fishing tournaments all over the country and enjoys fishing for bass, trout, walleye and other species.

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