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Is Vinyl Flooring Suitable for a Narrow Boat?

By: Mary Williams BA (hons) - Updated: 1 Apr 2011 | comments*Discuss
Vinyl Vinyl Flooring Narrow Boat Boat


I am fitting out a narrowboat and want to use vinyl flooring on the bathroom walls as it is flexible and waterproof. Would this be OK?

(G.S, 14 July 2009)


I see no reason at all why you shouldn’t use vinyl flooring in your narrow boat unless the atmosphere inside is particularly damp or humid – if this is the case it could be difficult to get the vinyl to adhere properly. You are right when you say that vinyl is both flexible and waterproof – and it is also extremely tough – so if the environment is dry to begin with then it could be worth a try.

Before splashing out and buying a particular product, however, first check with both your supplier and the manufacturer that it is suitable. This should always be done with any flooring.

Vinyl Flooring comes in all sorts of designs these days, so you could also choose something that looks great as well as being highly practical. It can also be warm underfoot, which might be nice on those colder nights out on the boat. Certainly people have in the past used vinyl tiles on walls as well as on floors and I see no reason why you shouldn’t do this if it suits your purpose and gives you the look you are seeking.

The next step is to ensure you prepare your floor and walls properly. What kind of flooring or wall covering exists already? Old vinyl can be hard to remove but the beauty of the product is that it can be laid on top of existing vinyl – providing, of course, that it isn’t too damaged. Otherwise, you may need to prep your walls, ensuring you have smoothed out any lumps and bumps and that you have a surface that’s ready to work with.

It’s always a good idea to let the vinyl settle for a while in the space it is being laid it before you start work. This could well be particularly important in a boat, where temperatures might be more variable.

Measure, cut and carefully fit your vinyl on both the walls and floor. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions with the adhesive and do remember that with the walls especially it is important to take your time and not to rush the job.

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