Step 10: BUYING GUIDE: Solid Flooring

Solid flooring.
Photo: Todd Huffman
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For a plainer profile, install tongue-and-groove flooring on your porch ceiling, then paint or stain it. Or choose a flooring made from a wood that stands up to the weather, such as teak or cedar, and either get it prefinished or leave it unfinished for a more rustic look. Because the flooring won't be walked on, you can get away with boards as thin as 3/8 inch. Try to order long pieces to avoid seams.

Red oak flooring, about $77 a bundle (19 sq. ft.), from The Home Depot. Prefinished -inch Bellawood Santos mahogany, $5 per sq. ft., from Lumber Liquidators. Vertical grain cedar, $1.39 per lineal ft. (to find a distributor go to realcedar.org). Unfinished -inch Bellawood Brazilian teak, $2.45 per sq. ft., from Lumber Liquidators.
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    Tools List

    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      Pneumatic finish nailer,
      rents for $35 a day, with compressor
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic brad nailer,
      rents for $22 a day, without compressor

    Shopping List

    1. PREPRIMED BEADBOARD

    Beadboard comes in different-width tongue-and-groove strips that fit together to look like one continuous bead-and-board panel. It also comes in lengths anywhere from 8 to 16 feet. Pick the length that’s just longer than your porch is deep so one board can run the whole depth of the ceiling without seams.



    2. LATTICE

    For covering the 1/4-inch expansion gap around the perimeter of the beadboard. Lattice is flat 11/2-by-1/2-inch stock, usually made from treated pine. For the amount you'll needmeasure the perimeter of the ceiling, then add 10 percent.



    3. 2-INCH FINISH NAILS

    For nailing up the beadboard. Make sure you get nails made to fit the gun you rent. About 200 will suffice for 100 square feet of 1x6 beadboard, which means two strips is more than enough.



    4. 1-INCH BRADS

    For attaching the lattice. One strip of brads should be enough.