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Old 09-19-2017, 05:15 PM   #1
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Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


Hi all!

I live in Ohio, and I will be replacing the porch flooring of my covered porch. The product must be tongue and groove, by 3.5(ish) by 10 (1 x 4 x 10).
But which type of wood should I use? Money is a real factor, but I suppose I am willing to stretch somewhat if I really think the product would be worth it.
With these points in mind, here are my options:

1. Southern yellow pine from my local lumber yard (not pressure treated) T&G: 900 dollars. My plan would be to use an oil based primer to prime all six sides (although one person told me to use a paint thinner-diluted porch enamel as the “prime”), then install, and then hit it with two coats of Sherman Williams porch enamel. To make the wood last, I can live with recoating the porch every season or two with more porch enamel (assuming that substantial scraping would not be involved given the regular pace of recoats).

2. Pressure-treated kiln-dried pine from Menards T & G: 900. If I went this route, I am bit confused as to whether I should wait several months after the installation and then hit with a stain, or if I should first stain it on all sides and then install. Also, I am confused as to whether there is a good and recommended way/product to use as a stain that will give it the look of a painted porch.

3. Vertical tight-grained old-growth Douglas fir T & G, not pressure treated, shipped from the Northwest: 2100 dollars. This is old-growth tight grained wood, but it is twice the cost of the first two options. I am also not sure how to paint/treat this stuff if I went this route. The rep from the company said to install first without doing anything to it, then hit it with a round belt sanders, and then consult my local paint supplier.

4. Aeratis composite T & G from Lowes: 3000. I do not know too much about this product or composites generally, and I guess I am bit reluctant about going the synthetic route. Then again, if (1)-(3) are not great options, and if folks were adamant about composites, I could be convinced to go in this direction. Here is a link to the Aeratis product: https://www.aeratis.com/porch-flooring/

My question/hope is that folks can say which choice is best, perhaps which if any is a non-starter, and if applicable make suggestions about priming/staining/painting/etc.

Many thanks in advance!!!

Last edited by CenturyHomer; 09-19-2017 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:32 PM   #2
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Re: Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


Oil based primer.
But if you prime the tongue and groove will that make them hard to fit together.

If the priming and painting s successful and it will be painted so now I think it is strength that is in question. likely old growth fir would be best but is it worth the extra money. I doubt it. How bad can the cheapest be.

So how do you deal with expansion, don't close it right up tight? I like the look of this on a deck but I have never seen how it is done or the pitfalls to watch out for.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:44 PM   #3
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Re: Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


Thanks Nealtw - so perhaps you would pluck for option (1), staring off with an oil-based primer on all 6 sides, but perhaps not going too heavy with either primer or porch enamel so as not to obstruct the inevitable flexing of the T & G boards....
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:38 PM   #4
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Re: Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


Curiosity as to why it must be tongue and groove? Lack of same opens up many more options. Ron
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:15 PM   #5
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Re: Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


Where I live in west Cleveland (Lakewood) its rows of century homes, where the homes are packed in like sardines. They almost all have the same front porch, and almost all with T & G -- so you really stick out if you have a deck-looking boards amid all these T & G porches. I(There may even be a town requirement for T & G -- there certainly used to be -- but where some people get variances to avoid it). Plus, I like both the look and the pitched drainage of the T & G.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:31 PM   #6
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Re: Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


Just an additional suggestion as to what wood to use. I have successfully used Ironwood (IPE) on many porches that see some weather. No finish required, and in fact, it won't take a finish. Wears like..........well iron. Cheap? Heck no. Will it outlast the home, probably.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:56 PM   #7
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Re: Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


That 's a good point -- I think that Ipe looks amazing - striking actually. Unfortunately that's going to be outside the budget. (But I am cautiously optimistic that my retirement porch will be Ipe
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:50 AM   #8
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On the same page as Ipe... If you like the idea of a hardwood deck, have you considered usimg Garapa? It's a Brazilian hardwood like Ipe, but with a honey color and it's about half the price.

I just sent an order in for 1750lft to use as siding for the house my wife and I are building.
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:38 PM   #9
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Re: Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


Have you checked into Cedar or Redwood? Here on the west coast these are the most common woods for decking due to their durability and prices.
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:26 PM   #10
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Re: Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


Redwood is almost not available in the east or south. Cedar, when you can get is it cheap cedar and does not hold up to weather like it does out west. May be a different cedar. We just removed a little over 600 sf of cedar 2x6 decking. Smelled good, but it was pithy and many joints across joists had failed.
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:46 PM   #11
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Re: Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


Yeah, that isn't the same cedar we get over here. Our Cedar holds up well, as does the mid-west cedar (I know people who build decks out of it over there).

Both could probably be gotten, but the shipping might cost a lot.
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:27 PM   #12
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Re: Porch wood: yellow pine, fir, composite, or PT pine?


I would be hesitant to use anything other than PT or a naturally rot-resistant wood like cedar outside.

Yes, if you use PT it must be dry before you paint or stain; usually six weeks to six months.
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