The future of marine flooring is going to be filled with more synthetic, easy-to-maintain products offering cool new looks. “Bold colors and graphics in the mats to go along with the growing surf sports market boats will be making their way into the market,” says John Salvatore, general manager at MarineMat, an EVA foam matting supplier based in Oldsmar, Fla.
Mike Charpentier, fabricator at Paul’s Custom Canvas Inc. in Denver, Colo., also believes that manufacturers are going to push the edge in design, color combinations and durability. “They will come up with a way to personalize the flooring more to the customer and find ways to make it easier to put logos or graphics on the flooring—trying to make it more unique to the individual customer,” he says.
Technological advancements will also play a role in the look, feel and functionality of marine flooring. For instance, in the upcoming OEM model year, Infinity Woven Products LLC, based in Dalton, Ga., is debuting Ricochet Technology for its marine flooring. This technology keeps darker color yarns as cool as lighter color yarns by reflecting the sun’s rays instead of absorbing it.
Clint Halladay, product manager and lead fabricator at SewLong Custom Canvas, in Salt Lake City, Utah, believes advances in EVA foam will be on the forefront of marine flooring. “It is just so comfortable and can be customized easily,” Halladay says. “If they could get it to last at least seven years with normal to heavy usage and exposure, it would be a home run. I think teak and synthetic teak will always be the luxury option.”
Additionally, manufacturers are finding ways to continue to make installation easier, which will keep installers interested in those products.
“With the volume of competition in each type of new flooring, along with these technological advancements, pricing will become normalized,” says Warren McCrickard, director of strategy, corporate development and communications at Infinity Woven Products LLC. “This will help both the fabricator and consumer pay less for much more durable flooring.”