Can You Install Hardwood On Your Porch?

Hardwood is often thought of as purely a type of flooring for your living room or even your kitchen. It’s thought of as a luxurious type of flooring that is high maintenance but looks great. However, hardwood flooring used to be one of the only ways to install a floor on a home. That means it was used in practically every room of a house. Is that still the case?

Choosing the Right Hardwood

Every hardwood is different. Some of them are more appropriate than others for installation on a porch. When installing wood on a porch, the concerns are going to be sun, precipitation, and pests. Pests such as termites enjoy damp wood that has vulnerabilities such as cracks or splinters. Precipitation such as snow and rain will slowly penetrate into the pores of the wood to cause it to swell and crack. This can also lead to mold and mildew that will eat at your porch. Finally, the sun will dry out the wood, causing it to contract. The sun will also bleach the surface of the wood over time.

If you’re installing wood on the porch, you need to choose a wood that is not as susceptible to these things. Many types of hardwood have natural oils that make them less vulnerable to mold and mildew. Some are even resistant to pests. Ipe and teak are examples of wood that is great for use outdoors. They’re also woods that are often used when constructing classic boats. They were used to create boats because of the same properties that make them great for a porch.

Ask an Expert

Installing hardwood on your porch is not terribly common anymore but it’s not unheard of. When you’re looking at hardwood for your porch, you should talk with a flooring expert about what to expect. They’ll tell you how to avoid cupping, warping, and swelling. The changing temperatures will affect the wood but a good plan of action can mitigate the changes.

They’ll also be able to help you choose between prefinished hardwood and unfinished hardwood. Prefinished wood is often considered to have a stronger resistance to rot and damage. Furthermore, engineered hardwood is often thought to be more resistant to warping. These are all considerations that could affect the choice you make.