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inexpensive porch flooring

damunk's picture

I'm building a 16 x 12 screened porch with very large (2'+) overhangs with gutters.  Water will virtually never hit the floor although humid summers.  Wondering what you real carpenters think about a southern yellow pine floor in this application.  I have 3' clear air off grade and could do 6ml. poly.moisture barrier/ gravel if you think necessary. Vert. grain Doug. fir and Mahogany too expensive. Oak flooring reasonable $ too.  Ever do an oak floor on a porch? Project is here in western CT. thx.

da (post #207263, reply #1 of 8)

What are your plans for a finish?

Whatever you choose for that finish-remember to seal ALL sides, edges, cuts!!


With that much "clear air" I don't know if it would be necessary to cover the ground to keep moisture from rising up and collecting on/in the bottom of the flooring.  But, grade should be sloped away as well as the downspouts dumped away from that area.

Red oak no.

White oak, maybe.

Stainless fasteners if joists are treated.  You can find SS cleat nails if you plan on using either a hammer activated or air powered nailer-using the fasteners in the tongue.

Even with protection that you plan, there's got to be some wind there, no?

Yellow pine can be tough to work with-splits easily, warps are hard to straighten, takes stain a bit weird.  Can't say I've ever used it for flooring except for the treated yellow pine which I used for some repairs to existing decking (yes, it was t&g flooring-1x4).  What I got for that was delivered and was really some nice stuff.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


I figure some blow in rain (post #207263, reply #2 of 8)

I figure some blow in rain but minimal because of gutters/large overhang/and i think sceening will do a lot to and knock rain down with perimeter only affected.  I was going to prime all first, then paint once installed.  Yousay you have seen treated syp t&g??? That would be the ticket.  If that was the case I'd just put a semi trans. stain and watch it last forever

I don't know if you can get (post #207263, reply #3 of 8)

I don't know if you can get the syp t&g pressure treated, call the lumber store.  If you do get it, get the kiln dried after treatment (kdat) to ensure it does not shrink after you install it.  However, this option almost doubles the price and your post said you were looking for inexpensive.  Would you consider the standard pressure treated 5/4 x 6 decking boards?  You can get those kdat as well and if you wanted to put a little effort in, you could dress them up by ripping off the beveled sides and put them on a tight spacing. 

The nice aspect of t&g is if you want to play cards on the porch and not have to worry about dropping one through to the crawspace :)

da (post #207263, reply #4 of 8)

Google "pressure treated porch flooring" and find a boatload of links.  Read many and when/if you choose to use this product-don't just order off a small sample-LOOK at the quality-I've seen bogus and I've seen pretty good.

And don't forget the stainless fasteners (not cheap)

Of course, there's your statement that you won't have to worry forever...............

not true.

In the wrong condition/situation-treated wood rots.  The treatment is for insects, not the effects of poor installation.  There are ratings on pressure treatment-and this flooring does not have the "heavy" one.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Holy cow, I went on the site (post #207263, reply #5 of 8)

Holy cow, I went on the site with the treated porch flooring.  With all those disclaimers I think it's safe to assume they've had a million complaints regarding "movement".  I went back into "breaktime" archives and seems that syp flooring "Is used" on porches.  I'm confident water will almost never see this floor so I think I'll go this route.  Just thinking the oak flooring would be more stable.  I'll try to feel out the different "wood Associations". I especially liked one thing I read in archives regarding letting the treated deck frame dry/shrink as long as possible.  We all know how much dimension treated wood looses over time.  Thinking about running 1x6 mahogany on the flat around the perimeter of the floor that the syp flooring will die into.  Certainly this area outside of the screen/rail will see a little weather. 

Dried SYP has been used for (post #207263, reply #6 of 8)

Dried SYP has been used for flooring in the south for centuries but it still has quite a bit of expansion and contraction across the grain. Outside this will be worse. The problem is if it is dry when you set it tight it will buckle and if it is wet, you will get gaps when it dries.

If you use garden variety PT (not KD) you can set it as tight as you can nail it and you will have gaps when it dries out. I used SYP .40 CCA PT on my deck under a roof and after 26 years, the parts that did get wet, rotted. The stringers were marine grade 2.65 CCA and they were OK tho.

Trex will last forever.



I hear everything you're (post #207263, reply #7 of 8)

I hear everything you're saying but it's a porch floor, not a deck.  Not interested in having a porch floor look like a deck.  I figure if I install the syp dry and keep it dry I'll be in good shape.  Really wondering if the oak (which I consider inexpensive) would be appropriate/ more stable than the syp, which I haven't found yet, but would assume would even less $.

da (post #207263, reply #8 of 8)

From my experience, no to red oak-ok to white oak (old growth would be best).

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.