Friday, January 23, 2009

30: Porch Floor

Porch floors can become a lifetime maintenance issue needing a fresh coat of paint every few years to keep them in shape. Composite wood, on the other hand, doesn't wear, and I discovered that the painted look of some product isn't so bad. In the beginning it does loot a little on the shiny side, but it softens a bit in the first few months of sun exposure, and the faux effect should remain pretty much the same without any significant additional change.

The only catch with what I've seen is that there is only one color, this dark green, that I think looks anywhere near like the real McCoy. I just attended the National Homebuilders' Show in Las Vegas where I saw similar products that I wouldn't recommend. If you're looking for composite wood as an alternative to real wood, pay attention to the texture of the molded wood grain and the overall look of the product. My problem with a lot of composite woods is that you can see the particles in the composite, which completely ruins the effect of painted wood.

You also want to plan careful how it will be installed. You don't want an installation where you can see the ends of the planks. It's where the composite material shows. We handled that issue by designing the porch floor with a perpendicular plank that outlines the exposed edges of the porch, which also gives the floor a more finished look.

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