When you rebuild the interior of your boat the good news is that you can build it out almost exactly as you want it to be, arranging it in a way that will work best for your lifestyle (however, for some reason we still can’t figure out how to add a few feet to her beam). What it also means is that you have to make every decision. No matter how many episodes of House Hunters I watch, it doesn’t change the fact that I have lived in an apartment for all of my adult life and have never had to make important decisions such as what my countertops should be. As with every decision made involving this boat, we spent way too much time in figuring out what we should do. Also, installing the countertops on a boat adds in a whole new set of challenges – everything has to be sealed properly, etc.
I know a lot of my friends own their own places and have experience selecting a countertop material, but I had no idea how much this stuff costs! We considered Corian, Formica, starboard, and finally landed on cork. Yes, cork. The same cork you use as coasters and pin your cute puppies calendar to. Technically the cork we bought is used for underlayment in flooring, but you get the idea.
While cork has gained popularity as a flooring choice, it may seam a crazy choice for counters in a boat. But, hear me out. This stuff is heat resistant, antimicrobial, a great insulator, resists moisture (and once we properly seal it up nothing is getting through it!) and its a renewable resource which fits in with our whole eco theme we have going on with the boat.
The best part of all is that the whole countertop cost us about $20 – with plenty of extra. Yes, $20! We may have lucked out by showing up at Home Depot 14 minutes before closing time and kindly pointing out a tear in the first length they cut for us so that they gave us the first 10 feet for free, but $20 is $20.
We did consider using cork flooring but everything we found had a thin layer of ply between thin layers of cork and we weren’t confident it was sealed well enough to live in a marine environment.
I’m loving how the cork looks against the wood in the boat – creates a nice contrast. Goodness this place is going to look amazing. Note, that the sapele will be stained to match teak already on board so everything will match and look amazing.