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Watercraft Accessories Review

Dri-Dek, a multi-purpose flooring that protects you, your boat, and your gear

Date: 7/15/04
Tackle type: Non-skid Flooring
Manufacturer: Dri-Dek/Kendall Products
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.25

Introduction: Whether you're protecting your investment from damage or in need of a replacement non-skid decking, Dri-Dek is a quick and quality solution for both boaters and fishermen. The Dri-Dek non-skid flooring is durable, easy to install, offers great ventilation, and performs extremely well in just about all conditions.

Dri-Dek Specifications

Material oxy-B1 Vinyl
Sizes available 1'X1' tiles, 3'x4' sheets, 3'X12' rolls, 2"X12" edge, 2"X2" corner
Colors available 12
Features oxy-B1, quick connecting tabs-pins, supportive legs, non-skid surface
Price per tile $3.38


About Dri-Dek: Kendall Products, the makers of Dri-Dek, was founded in 1977. Today they are located in Naples, Florida where they are known as "A one product company since 1977."  That's because Dri-Dek Tiles are used worldwide and in an enormous amount of applications.  Dri-Dek is applied in the shower rooms, gyms, kennels, homes, as vehicle liners, shelf liners, and of course... for many marine applications for boaters and anglers.


The Dri-Dek comes in tiles, rolls, sheets, edges, and corners


Impressions: Upon quick initial inspection the Dri-Dek appeared to be square tiles that interlock to build up whatever size or shape is demanded by boaters and anglers. But with further analysis the Dri-Dek is more than just an oversized set of rubber "legos." The Dri-Dek is a rigid yet flexible vinyl tile with one side consisting of a non-skid surface created by many small buttons and a bottom side which features supportive legs made of the same material. Aside from the 12" X 12" Tiles, Dri-Dek also manufacturers edges and corners, and comes in many colors to match your boat. In addition, the Tiles are extremely lightweight compared to the heavy kitchen rubber mats that I've observed in the past.


oxy-B1: Dri-Dek Tiles are more unique than we previously contemplated. These Tiles are made of oxy-B1 vinyl, a bacteria fighting material that inhibits a microorganism's ability to absorb oxygen. The oxy-B1 is bonded to the Dri-Dek during the manufacturing process and will prevent mildew, mold, and bacteria as the Tiles are laid out.

Real World Tests:
The Dri-Dek flooring can be used in many applications, but since we are all avid anglers, we'll put these Tiles to test on our Boston Whaler 170 Montauk, where it'll not only protect the surface of the boat but also prevent slipping and guard fishing tackle from possible damage from impacts.


Laying the tiles out before connecting them is an important planning process during installation


Installation: Installing the Dri-Dek is extremely quick and easy, and we recommend that you proceed with the installation on a warm day rather than cold, or do so in a warm garage. That's because it is much easier to work with the Dri-Dek Tiles when they are flexible and snapping them together will not hurt your fingers like they would on a cold winter day.  Before you begin do read and follow the instructions provided with your purchased tiles. For the area you wish to cover, first lay out the Tiles without snapping them together just yet. Make sure you point the outer tabs of the Dri-Dek all in the same direction. After the area is covered without any open gaps, you can now begin the joining process. You don't have to remove all the Tiles, but start snapping them together from one corner and work your way out. For large installations, Dri-Dek recommends the use of a hammer, but I rather not when it's on the fiberglass boat deck. Just use your fingers and snap the pins into the tabs which is a fairly easy procedure. After they have been connected, you can start trimming the edges and around irregular shapes such as seats, posts, console, etc. Trimming can be done using scissors, a carpenter's knife, or even wire cutters. On large surfaces, it's recommended that you make installations in independent sections of approximately 10' X 10' which allow easy removal for cleaning and maintenance purposes.


The stern area is fully installed with Dri-Dek.  Be sure to keep the sections small for quick removal for cleaning


Application: Dri-Dek is a multi-purpose flooring and can be used in everything such as shower rooms, pool decking, shelf liner, and much more. Boat anglers especially saltwater folks will benefit from using these vinyl Tiles. The Dri-Dek can be easily installed on all boats and will protect you boat in an assortment of ways. For example if someone accidentally drops a 12 pound downrigger ball on the deck of your boat, the Dri-Deck will absorb the impact and protect your deck. Without it a lead ball that massive will easily crack your gel coat and even possibly cause the fiberglass to fracture. We tested its ability to protect the boat surface by dropping various fishing items onto the Dri-Dek such as cannon ball weights, knifes, grippers, and other items. Not only did it not damage the Montauk's deck but the Dri-Dek took the punishment without even a scratch to show for it.


Divers who head into the deep either spearfishing or diving after other sea creatures should install the entire boat deck with Dri-Dek. Without these flooring, the oxygen tanks and other gear can easily harm a boat deck. Toss the tanks onboard without the fear of cracking the boat is what Dri-Dek is all about, protecting your investment for years of enjoyment.


The oxy-B1 vinyl tiles are easily cut using a sharp tool. This allows for customization and a perfect fit around fixed obstacles and corners


Dri-Dek provides a non-skid flooring for areas that get wet and cause some serious injuries due to slipping. Even when completely wet, the Dri-Dek material has the ability to grip tightly to the bottom of your feet through its buttoned surface. Not only will it prevent the angler from slipping, the flooring will also keep other items on top of the Dri-Dek from slipping and sliding as the boat rocks or while running.


Have you ever gotten water into the boat and get your stuff wet before it can be bilged out? We have experienced that in full fledged boats and small pontoons like the Bass Tracker 8 where water comes onboard, then gets our soft tackle bag, clothes laying on the floor, and other stuff wet before we can get rid of the water.  With the Dri-Dek it lifts all your gear off the boat's surface while the water can easily flow underneath the Tiles through its supportive legs to the bilge pump or wait for you to remove the water by hand. Many times on the 170 Montauk we would scoop up a bucket of saltwater to rinse off the bloody and slimy boat deck. Without the Dri-Dek in place, the gear, bags, and buckets would limit water flow into the bilge. Once we installed the Dri-Dek this was no longer an issue.


Dri-Dek flooring keeps all the gear onboard from slipping and sliding, and protects the deck from being damaged


Speaking of keeping your gear dry. The Dri-Dek Tiles are great to use in storage areas as well. For example on bass boats when you throw your wet gear into your locker and the tackle remains in contact with the marine carpet, it can cause nasty mildew and create a big mess.  If you use a few pieces of Dri-Dek, you can eliminate or prevent this from happening, especially on large surface items such as anchors, lifejackets, oars, etc. In addition, we found that the Dri-Dek is superb for the anchor locker on the Boston Whaler boat where it prevents the sharp edges from scratching the gel coat and at the same time allows the enclosed area to dry quicker through the well-vented Tiles.


When pounding waves or even standing on for an extended period of time the Dri-Dek provides only some shock absorption to one's aching joints. It is obviously better than the direct hard deck, but on long days the fatigue can still get to you.


Dri-Dek will protect your boat deck even if you drop a 12 pound downrigger ball


Durability & Maintenance: The Dri-Dek oxy-B1 Vinyl is extremely durable and is made to last. The Tiles will not damage easily and can take plenty of neglect from anglers. The flooring is flexible, but will not cut easily, even when you accidentally slice it with a fillet knife. But even when cut and scratched up, the Tiles will still perform well because of the many supportive legs underneath. Even though the Dri-Dek's flexibility changes due to temperature, it will not crack, warp, or split.  We have baked these Tiles in direct sunlight for many days without seeing any degradation in shape nor construction quality.


Cleaning the Dri-Dek Tiles is also exceptionally easy. You can either wash them on the boat or take them off, and because they are light in weight and you can install them in smaller section, removing the Dri-Dek for cleaning is fast and convenient. Simply blast it with freshwater after every trip and that should do it. If not, take a brush to it, wash, and then let it dry.


Warranty: A great product comes with an outstanding warranty. The manufacturer warrants that for 5 years from the date of purchase that the Dri-Dek flooring will be free from defects in material and workmanship.


Dri-Dek Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Great built quality out of durable material that comes with an excellent warranty period for flooring 8.5
Performance Outstanding performance in protecting the boat deck, preventing accidental slipping, keeping things dry, and much more.  Tiles could be made to provide more body shock absorption.  oxy-B1 vinyl fights bacteria and prevents mildew, mold, and bacteria growth 9
Price Some might choose to cover the entire boat deck or maybe just the back half.  To lay Dri-Dek for the entire deck on Montauk ran around $200.  Some might call it expensive, but protecting and keeping the boat in top shape comes with a price when using lightweight, high performing flooring.  Pennies more than similar products that aren't as great in performance 8
Features A small amount of features that make this non-skid flooring perform how it did in our tests.  The oxy-B1 is a very nice feature to have especially when anglers usually get things wet 8
Design (Ergonomics) Ok comfort level on bare feet, but is a good layer between your shoes and the hard boat deck.  Minimal body shock absorption when pounding waves.  Great design in terms of flexibility and easy to install 8
Application This flooring can be used on all boats, for tackle storage, and many other non-fishing applications.  Its ability to easily customize to shape make it a great all-around flooring 8

Total Score


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Non-slip surface L Not best at absorbing shock on the body while pounding waves
J Easy to install  
J Durable  
J Customizable  
J Bacteria fighting  
J 5 Year Warranty  

Conclusion:  Maybe flooring isn't on every angler's top priority of tackle to buy, but it should be high up on the list if you are a boat owner. The Dri-Dek Tiles offer many benefits to anglers and non-anglers alike. They help protect the boat's deck from damage if someone drops a heavy or sharp weight, tool, or other gear that can crack your floor.  Aside from protecting your boat, Dri-Dek are non-skid flooring that will also prevent anglers from slipping when the deck of the boat is drenched. The Tiles are made durable, designed with features that perform, and exploits oxy-B1 vinyl to fight bacteria. These 1'X1' Tiles are extremely easy to install and anglers will find them effective at shielding your boat from harm, while at the same time affording you a secure footing and peace of mind.









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