Step 11: BUYING GUIDE: Engineered Flooring

Engineered flooring.
Photo: Todd Huffman
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For an exotic-wood ceiling without the cost or weight of solid boards, use engineered flooring, which combines a finished veneer of wood over a base of plywood. You may, however, be stuck with seams on your ceiling, as engineered flooring is often sold in bundles of varying lengths. Because some companies don't guarantee their products for outdoor use, they're best used on an enclosed porch.

Island Chestnut, $10 per sq. ft., Horizontal Bamboo in caramel, $8 per sq. ft.; and Heritage Hickory in topaz, $14 per sq. ft.; all from Mannington Mills.
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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.