Traditionally, outdoor porch floors have been built with woods such as pressure-treated pine. This includes front and back porches as well as open and screened porches. Wood flooring is attractive, can be long lasting, and gets the job done. Pressure-treated woods such as pine, cedar, or fir can last 15-20 years or more when protected with paint or stain.
In the last 15 – 20 years, a new category of outdoor flooring has emerged, grown and improved over time. There are now many options in man made flooring and decking materials. These provide a number of benefits which include protection from rotting, splitting, cupping, checking, splintering and protection from structural damage from termites or fungal decay. The new man made decking boards that provide this protection are called composite. There is another man made material that provides that same protection but also provides protection from fading and staining. This material is made of PVC and includes brands such as AZEK. These new man-made woods eliminate painting, staining, and upkeep.
There are a few companies, including AZEK, that make specific tongue & groove PVC flooring designed for porches only. This porch flooring has no gaps. Decking has gaps for draining. This tongue & groove PVC floor provides a traditional porch floor that looks like a painted solid wood or hard wood.
Tile or stone floors are also an option for screen porch floors. You can get many different colors and materials. This is also a low-maintenance option. Stone and tile floors don’t provide for drainage so you may need to mop up water on floor.
At the end of the day, the decision will come down to 4 factors. The first factor is the amount of maintenance you’re willing to do. Are you willing to do annual painting staining or sealing or willing to pay someone to do that? The second factor is performance. Man-made materials have superior performance which becomes even more important on unscreened porches such as open back or front porches. The third factor is price. AZEK, ipe, tile, and stone are on the higher end. Composite such as TimberTech less expensive. The most economical option is pressure-treated wood.The fourth factor is aesthetics. The looks that can be achieved through each of these materials are substantially different.
If you’re considering adding a screened porch, open porch, or front porch to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation.