DIY Guide: How to Easily Install Tongue and Groove Porch Flooring for a Stunning Look
One of the first things to consider is the type of porch flooring you will use. The term ‘tongue and groove’ refers to the way in which certain types of lumber are milled for building porch flooring. The resulting product is a board with interlocking boundaries, thus creating a very tight seal between each plank and a very narrow gap between each board that is put in place. This provides users with a durable surface that will last for years.
It is important that you use boards that are primed as opposed to those that are stained and/or varnished like interior flooring. This is because the porch will be subjected to varying weather conditions, and thus needs to be able to resist the elements. The boards should also be primed on the underside before laying them down in order to add an extra layer of protection against moisture.
Once you have the materials, begin by laying the planks face down across the porch and painting the backs and sides of each board with a primer and brush. Be sure to pay close attention to the tongue and groove milling, as the paint must not interfere with the connection of the planks. Once the paint is applied, let it dry for a few minutes before moving on to the installation process.
Begin the installation by measuring the first plank so that it is perpendicular across the joists on the porch. The plank should be cut to a size where it will end at the center of a joist if it is shorter than the porch. Use a miter saw for the cut, but make sure to always wear eye protection when using the saw.
To begin the installation of the boards, set the first plank in place, with the grooved side facing the house. Use a trim nailer to attach the board to the joists with two nails at each point where the plank crosses the joist. For additional protection and to ensure that the final coat of paint adheres to the plank, pre-prime the tops of the boards before installation.
Lay the next courses of planks by knocking the tongue and groove milling together with the planks of the previous course. Use a hammer to lightly tap the two adjacent planks together, and then secure each concrete with nails through the sides of the boards, just above the tongue, at a downward angle.
Continue track knocking planks together and attaching with nails until the whole porch is covered. To finish the project, finish up the planks with a coat of paint for additional protection and a touch of color. With the proper tools and preparation, you can have a beautiful, durable new floor in no time.