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What should I choose as the flooring material for my back porch?

Answered by Jeffrey ~ May 5, 2010 ~ No Comments

I am having the floor of my screened back porch re-floored. What should I choose as the flooring material? I have a large screened in porch where we do a lot of entertaining. The flooring is tongue and grooved wood that has last the ability to take paint. I would like to go with a low maintenance option. What choices would be good ones for this project?

Gary T. ~ Raleigh, North Carolina

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Gary, My first suggestion would be to sand down your tongue and grooved wood flooring and apply a high quality porch and floor paint, but that is because I am partial to wood porch floors. A high quality paint should last for a few years, even with heavy use. If your porch floor gets wet when it rains, you need to be careful as this type of paint can create a slippery surface, but you can also use a non-skid additive.

If you definitely want to get away from wood flooring, I would suggest composite flooring materials such as Trex. Trex is very low maintenance, all you have to do is wipe it down once in awhile. Trex and products like it used to fade over time when exposed to direct sunlight, but they have corrected a lot of that, plus there wouldn't be much direct sunlight on a screened porch. I have installed Trex on many screened in porches.

Another product I would suggest is ceramic tile, but I would be a little concerned about the climate in Raleigh, North Carolina. Raleigh is far enough north that you can get some hard freezes in the winter, and any moisture that happens to get through the grout could loosen tiles when it freezes.

There are also some very nice indoor/outdoor type carpets available, but they might require a little more maintenance than you probably want, and if you do a lot of entertaining I would be concerned about their durability.

So I guess my first choice would be to stay with the wood flooring and repaint it with a high quality paint, and my second choice would be composite flooring materials. The composite flooring is usually available in a range of colors.

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