A porch consists of any free-standing structure attached to but exists outside of the base frame of the building. Some porches consist of merely a deck or ramp fully exposed to the elements. Others can have a roof with fenced-in walls containing large windows or screens. The type of porch you have will determine the flooring materials you can use. Some porch flooring is very durable, like concrete, brick, or stone and others may need maintenance like wood.
Take a look at 10 of the more popular flooring ideas for your porch.
01 of 10
Pressure Treated Pine Porch Flooring
Pine accounts for 80% of all deck floor surface coverings. It comes in 2-inch planks and flat sheet board sizes. These materials are often used to construct the base of a porch, and when used as a surface covering, it creates a matched and completed wooden deck piece.
Pressure-treated pine is durable, weather-resistant, inexpensive, and long-lasting. When installing it, you need to consider that it can warp and shrink. Also, since this kind of wood is treated with an additive (usually copper), it corrodes metal fasteners not made out of galvanized or stainless steel. Also, it would be best if you didn't burn it because of its additives, and its sawdust is not healthy when it becomes particulate in the air.
After the initial installation, the new pine should be allowed to dry out for three to six months. Then a quality deck sealing agent needs to be applied to protect its surface from water and UV rays. You can also get the materials pre-treated with a sealant, a stain coat, or both.
On average, pressure-treated pine porch flooring will cost $10 to $16 per square foot, not including the porch frame. This material can add up to $15 per square foot in value to the home in the first year after it is installed. Use grade 1 (better quality) for railings and stairs and grade 2 (standard quality) for the floorboards to save money. Pressure-treated pine can last up to 15 to 40 years, depending on the climate. However, over time it will darken and crack from rain and wear.
02 of 10
Redwood Porch Flooring
Redwood is an exotic wood porch flooring choice that features a lovely red-tinted hue. Easier to cut than pine, redwood will slice down with clean straight cuts for sharp intersections. Rugged and durable, these porch floors do not degrade from normal weathering, and they are resistant to the ravages of rot, mold, and insects, allowing you to skip the application of a wood sealing agent. However, metals react negatively with this wood, staining it; and being a softer wood than pine, it gets dings and scratches easily. It is a pricier wood that requires some maintenance to keep its beautiful natural color.
Under typical applications, a redwood porch floor should be able to last one to two decades or longer, with no preventative maintenance. Unfortunately, they can be pretty expensive, at $18 to $22 per square foot, not including the understructure of the porch. Redwood is available in standard 5/4-inch x 6-inch boards and all standard 2-inch sizes. However, you usually have to special order these materials.
03 of 10
Cedarwood Porch Floors
Cedarwood is another attractive and natural but expensive porch flooring option. Inherently resistant to weather, mold, rot, and vermin, this wood surface covering also does not require sealant and can last for decades under normal usage—up to 40 years. However, you can prolong its life by using a sealant every few years. A drawback of cedar is it weathers to gray over time, and being a softwood; it can get scratched or dented easily.
It is more readily available than redwood, and it is just as expensive, averaging $17 to $23 per square foot for just the flooring materials and installation.
04 of 10
Resilient Vinyl Click Together Flooring
Vinyl is resistant to water, stains, vermin, and mold. It is low maintenance, easy to clean, and UV-treated by the factory. It represents a relatively inexpensive, hassle-free exterior surface solution. Vinyl porch flooring comes in many hues and is fashioned into planks and boards that assemble by clicking together to form an integrated overall structure.
These materials can be as inexpensive at $8 to $10 per square foot, though high-end options can go as high as $20. While installation is easy, the dust from vinyl is not biodegradable and can be toxic, so it has to be collected when these materials are cut to size and then disposed of properly. Another drawback is that exposure to constant sunlight can cause these floors to fade over time, and barefoot under direct sunlight, this flooring can get scorching hot. Outdoor vinyl flooring lasts only about 20 years, although some thicker plank floors may be guaranteed for 25 years.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Plastic Wood Composites
Plastic wood composite flooring is made with recycled plastic mixed with discarded wood fibers to create a composite with both properties. Although it's fabricated, it comes close to looking like natural wood. These materials are durable and resistant to damage, water, stains, mold, and UV fading; they don't splinter or crack. They can also last for decades with no maintenance, and many retailers will even offer a 10- to 20-year warranty on plastic wood composites. However, you have to read the terms and conditions of those contracts carefully.
Composites are great for interior and exterior porches, but they can be expensive, averaging $18 to $22 per square foot. They tend to last a long time; however, there can be some fading with age, and cheaper products will look more like plastic than wood. The sawdust is also not biodegradable, requiring you to collect it when shaping planks. In some limited cases, local zoning boards won't allow this material to be used for environmental reasons.
06 of 10
Brick Porch Flooring
Brick pavers look warm, friendly, natural, and can weather most environments with graceful charm. Made from clay fired hard into tiles, these materials are pretty heavy and are generally only used in porches made entirely from brick or other stone and concrete solid materials. When installed, the floor surface should be treated at least once with a UV shield chemical sealant—also, installation is tedious—laying brick after brick. After that, you can reapply periodically or let the bricks shape and wear with the winds and the rains.
The best thing about pavers is that they are designed to last a lifetime. If one or two develop a crack, you can easily replace each one. Paver manufacturers often offer a lifetime guarantee for their products. Of the various paver options, bricks are usually more affordable, averaging about $8 per square foot, but going up in cost if you choose unusual sizes, rare colors, or odd shapes.
07 of 10
Ceramic tile has been used in flooring for millennia, with existing artifacts dating back to ancient Egypt. Ceramic tiles are porous and susceptible to weathering by water. They can be glazed for increased sheen and protection or remain unglazed for a rougher, more natural feel. If they're unglazed, they can stain easily. Ceramic is inexpensive, starting at $1 per square foot. They're easy to cut and come in a variety of styles. However, they're crack prone and will wear down over time if heavily trafficked, and the tiles are not glazed. If appropriately maintained, ceramic tiles can last for centuries.
08 of 10
Porcelain tiles are a building material that dates back to Chinese construction from the 15th century A.D. Like ceramic, it's hard, made of clay, and dried in a kiln. The difference is that porcelain is finer, more refined clay, and versatile. It can be styled to look like wood or stone. Porcelain is pressed harder and fired at higher temperatures, leading to denser, heavier, harder, and more scratch-resistant tiles. It's more resistant to water and easy to clean, although it is more expensive, from $5 to $30 per square foot; it's also harder to cut and install than ceramic. It has a lifespan of up to 60 years.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Concrete porch flooring will be one of your more inexpensive options, and depending on the style of your house, it could be ideal. Contemporary, midcentury, modern, or industrial homes perfectly match raw concrete. It is very clean looking, but you can also stain it, stamp it, or even texture it for a unique look. You can make concrete look like natural stone, brick, or tile without shelling out the dough. Concrete can also weather the elements.
10 of 10
Natural stone flooring is durable and looks classic. You can expect it to outlive you—lasting up to 100 years or more. One of its most significant drawbacks is that it's slippery when wet, and it's a hard, unforgiving surface to fall on. Depending on the stone you pick, it's pricey, from granite (the cheapest, as low as $2 per square foot) to quartz (one of the costliest, up to $75 per square foot).