how do you get a floating mat to lay flat
how do you get a floating mat to lay flat

Have you ever wondered how to get a floating mat to lay flat? We all love the idea of lounging on the water, but sometimes those pesky floating mats can be stubborn, refusing to cooperate and staying curled up at the edges. Well, fear not, because we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve that will have your floating mat flawlessly flat in no time. Whether you’re a seasoned water enthusiast or a novice looking to maximize your water fun, read on to discover our secrets for achieving the perfect floatation relaxation.

Preparation for laying the floating mat flat

Choosing the right surface

Before laying a floating mat flat, it is essential to choose the right surface. Look for a smooth and even surface that can provide stability to the mat. Avoid rocky or uneven surfaces that can cause the mat to be unevenly supported, leading to potential discomfort or instability while using it.

Clearing the area

To ensure a flat and safe floating mat, it is crucial to clear the area of any debris, rocks, or other objects that may hinder its placement. Take the time to remove any sharp objects, as they can puncture or damage the mat. By clearing the area, you create a level and obstacle-free space for the mat that will contribute to its stability and longevity.

Checking for any sharp objects

Before laying the floating mat, it is important to thoroughly inspect the area for any sharp objects that could cause damage. Carefully run your hands over the surface to feel for any hidden objects such as small pebbles, twigs, or debris that can puncture or tear the mat. Removing any potential hazards will help maintain the mat’s integrity and prevent accidents or injuries.

Preparing the floating mat

Preparing the floating mat properly can significantly impact its ability to lay flat. Start by unrolling the mat and allowing it to naturally flatten out. For most mats, it is recommended to leave them unrolled for a period of time, as this can help reduce any creases or wrinkles.

Laying techniques for a flat floating mat

Unrolling the mat

To start laying the floating mat flat, unroll it completely on the chosen surface. Begin at one end and carefully release the mat, allowing it to unfold smoothly. Avoid rushing this step, as rushing may cause the mat to become tangled or twisted, making it harder to achieve a flat and even surface.

Spreading the mat evenly

Once the mat is unrolled, take the time to spread it evenly over the designated area. Smooth out any wrinkles or folds by gently pulling or pushing the mat to ensure it lies flat. Pay attention to the edges, making sure they are not curled upwards, as this can lead to instability while on the water.

Using weights or anchors

If needed, using weights or anchors can assist in keeping the floating mat flat and secure. Place objects such as sandbags, water jugs, or heavy rocks on the corners or edges of the mat. This will help prevent it from shifting or moving, especially in windy conditions or when used in currents.

Applying manual pressure

Applying manual pressure to the mat can also aid in flattening it. Use your hands to press down on any raised or uneven areas, gradually distributing your weight evenly across the surface. This simple technique can help eliminate any remaining wrinkles or folds and ensure a smooth, flat mat.

Using heat to flatten a floating mat

Using direct sunlight

One effective way to flatten a floating mat is by utilizing direct sunlight. Lay the mat out in a sunny area, ensuring that it receives ample sunlight throughout the day. The heat from the sun will help soften the material and allow it to naturally flatten out over time. Remember to periodically rotate the mat to ensure even exposure to the sunlight.

Using a heat gun or hairdryer

In cases where sunlight is not readily available or the mat requires immediate flattening, using a heat gun or hairdryer can be effective. Set the heat gun or hairdryer to a low or medium setting and aim the warm air towards the wrinkled or uneven areas. Gently move the heat source back and forth, gradually moving along the entire surface of the mat. Take care not to use excessive heat, as this can damage or warp the material.

Other methods for getting a floating mat to lay flat

Using a weighted roller

Using a weighted roller can be an effective method to flatten a floating mat. Start by rolling the mat from one end to the other, applying moderate pressure to remove any wrinkles or folds. Once rolled, place a weighted roller over the mat and leave it in place for a period of time. The roller’s weight will help flatten the mat by applying constant pressure and allowing it to conform to a flat state.

Utilizing a water-filled roller

Similar to a weighted roller, a water-filled roller can be used to aid in the flattening process. Fill a cylindrical roller with water, ensuring it is not overfilled. Properly secure the roller’s cap and gently roll it over the floating mat, focusing on any raised or uneven areas. The water-filled roller will provide consistent pressure, promoting the mat’s flattening while conforming to the water’s surface.

Applying weight and warmth simultaneously

For stubborn wrinkles or folds, combine the use of weight and warmth to flatten the floating mat. Place a weighted object such as a sandbag or heavy box over the affected area of the mat. Then, using a hairdryer or heat gun on a low setting, apply warm air directly to the wrinkled section. The weight will provide pressure, while the warmth will soften the material, allowing the mat to gradually flatten out.

Tips for maintaining a flat floating mat

Proper storage

Properly storing the floating mat when not in use is essential for maintaining its flatness. Avoid folding the mat if possible, as creases can form and become difficult to remove. Instead, roll the mat and secure it with straps or bungee cords to prevent unrolling. Store the mat in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to minimize the risk of heat damage or prolonged exposure to the elements.

Regular cleaning and maintenance

Regularly cleaning and maintaining the floating mat can help prevent dirt, debris, and mold buildup, which can cause the mat to become uneven or discolored. Rinse the mat with fresh water after each use and use a mild detergent or cleaner to remove stubborn stains. Additionally, inspect the mat for any signs of damage and repair them promptly to ensure its longevity and flatness.

Avoiding excessive bending or folding

To maintain the flatness of the floating mat, it is important to avoid excessive bending or folding. Excessive bending can cause permanent creases or damage to the material, making it impossible to lay flat. When transporting or moving the mat, handle it with care and avoid any sharp or sudden bends that can compromise its integrity.

Common mistakes to avoid

Unrolling the mat unevenly

One common mistake when laying a floating mat is unrolling it unevenly. This can result in an unbalanced surface that is uncomfortable and potentially unsafe to use. Take your time and ensure that the mat is fully stretched out, allowing it to lay flat across the entire designated area.

Neglecting to apply proper pressure

Neglecting to apply proper pressure when spreading and flattening the mat can lead to persistent wrinkles and folds. Take the time to evenly distribute your weight or use aid such as weights or manual pressure to smooth out any uneven areas. Applying proper pressure will help the mat conform to the surface and lay flat.

Using excessive heat

Using excessive heat can be detrimental to the floating mat and can cause irreversible damage. It is important to use heat sources such as a heat gun or hairdryer on a low to medium setting and constantly move the heat source along the mat’s surface to prevent overheating. Applying excessive heat can melt or warp the material, rendering the mat unusable.

How to fix a floating mat that won’t lay flat

Identifying the issue

If your floating mat refuses to lay flat, the first step is to identify the underlying issue. Inspect the mat for any visible wrinkles, folds, or uneven areas. Check that the surface beneath the mat is clean and free from debris or sharp objects that may be obstructing its ability to lie flat.

Adding additional weight

If the floating mat persists in not laying flat, try adding additional weight to the areas that are not lying flat. Use sandbags, water jugs, or other heavy objects to apply pressure to the uneven sections. This can help gradually flatten the mat over time.

Retraining the mat with heavy objects

In more stubborn cases, retraining the floating mat can be a solution. Roll the mat tightly, ensuring that the edges are aligned and any creases are smoothed out. Place heavy objects, such as rocks or weights, on the mat while it is rolled for a period of time. This will encourage the mat to reshape and soften, ultimately promoting a flat and even placement.

Benefits of having a flat floating mat

Improved safety

A flat floating mat improves safety for users. Uneven surfaces can cause tripping hazards or unstable conditions, increasing the risk of accidents or injuries. By ensuring the mat lies flat, users can enjoy a safe and secure experience while floating on the water.

Enhanced comfort

A flat floating mat offers enhanced comfort. Wrinkles or folds can cause discomfort, especially when lying or walking on the mat. A smooth surface eliminates these discomforts, allowing users to fully relax and enjoy their time on the water.

Effortless usage

A flat floating mat provides effortless usage. With a level surface, users can easily transition from lounging to floating without needing to readjust themselves continually. By eliminating the need to constantly accommodate for unevenness, users can fully embrace their time on the water.


Getting a floating mat to lay flat requires proper preparation, laying techniques, and in some cases, the use of heat or additional weight. By choosing the right surface, clearing the area, and checking for sharp objects, you create an ideal environment for the floating mat. Using unrolling and spreading techniques, weights or anchors, and applying manual pressure, you can achieve a flat and even mat. Heat sources such as direct sunlight or a heat gun can aid in the flattening process, as well as utilizing weighted or water-filled rollers. Maintaining a flat floating mat involves proper storage, regular cleaning, and avoiding excessive bending or folding. By avoiding common mistakes and taking the necessary steps to fix a mat that won’t lay flat, you can ensure its longevity and optimal performance. The benefits of having a flat floating mat include improved safety, enhanced comfort, and effortless usage. So take the time to properly prepare and lay your floating mat flat, and enjoy a smooth and enjoyable experience on the water.

David Wright
Hi, I'm David Wright and I'm the author behind DockG, a web site dedicated to inflatable dock floating platforms. I'm passionate about providing the best possible information on these revolutionary floating docks, and I'm constantly striving to provide up-to-date, accurate and helpful tips and advice on the subject to anyone who visits the site. As an avid outdoorsman and water enthusiast, I'm constantly in search of the best ways to enjoy time spent on the water, and I'm confident that the content I provide on DockG will help anyone looking to get the most out of their inflatable dock floating platform.