Screened in porches are a great addition to many homes. They provide a nice compromise by providing what is still very much an outdoor space, while still offering some protection from the elements that can save you a lot of effort in maintenance and cleaning.
Since porches with screens are such a unique blend of inside and outside, it's important that you choose the proper flooring material when building your porch. You'll need a floor that, much like the porch itself, can stand up to the elements while still being cozy and visually attractive enough to make for a pleasing space.
You'll also need to factor in whether your porch is elevated off the ground, and if so what the elevated platform is made of. A wooden platform with wood joists won't handle the weight of some flooring materials.
Once you've figured out what your porch can handle, here are a few different flooring options to consider.
1. Indoor/Outdoor Carpet
One of the most popular types of flooring for a screened porch is indoor/outdoor carpeting. Indoor/outdoor carpets are soft and absorb noise. They are short and compact, and they come in a variety of styles and patterns.
When you select a carpet for your porch, you should make sure that it is meant for both indoor and outdoor use. Carpets that are good for outdoor use are made to resist UV rays and are better able to handle moisture. If you put a regular piece of carpet out there, it will fade quickly and possibly develop mold and mildew.
Indoor/outdoor carpets are constructed with that versatility in mind and are easier to clean than regular carpets are.
2. Porcelain Tile
Using porcelain tile is another popular option for a screened porch. With porcelain tile, you can create a beautiful, customized look for the floor. It comes in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes.
Porcelain tile is more dense than normal ceramic tile and therefore will not absorb as much moisture, making it the perfect candidate for outdoor use.If you were to select ceramic tile, it could absorb water and become susceptible to breaking into pieces when it freezes. With porcelain tile, you can avoid this problem and keep your floor looking good.
If you are installing porcelain tile on top of a pre-existing wood porch, you want to make sure to use concrete board beneath the tile rather than install the tile directly onto the wood sub floor, which is not strong enough to fully support the tile and will crack.
3. Wooden Deck Tiles
Another product that has rapidly grown in popularity is wooden deck tiles. Wooden deck tiles are little slats of wood that are held together by a plastic track. The track helps hold the wood up off of the ground and allows moisture to drain through. This is a small but key feature, as encouraging good drainage helps prevent mold and rot from occurring, both of which are common concerns with regular wood decks.
Wooden deck tiles are specially treated to be durable and resistant to moisture and UV rays. They do not scratch or dent easily and can provide you with a beautiful natural wood look for your screened porch floor.
Installing wooden deck tiles is easy too. The track below the wood has a locking mechanism that allows you to hook it into the next tile. Therefore, the only tool that you will need is a saw to cut the tile to fit the dimensions of the porch.
Flooring Options for Screened Porches FAQ
What is the best material to cover a front porch?
Screened porches do have some protection from the elements but they are still essentially part of the great outdoors. That means you need to choose a floor that can stand up to weather and wear.
When it comes to durable outside flooring, it doesn't get much stronger or simpler than concrete. You can pour it yourself, it's affordable, and concrete is extremely durable.
Concrete floors are optimal for outdoor use, though there are other options you might consider if you don't want to use concrete. You can also cover concrete with other types of flooring for a more finished look, if desired.
What is the cheapest flooring for a front porch?
If you're looking for more budget-friendly flooring options, concrete is a strong contender. Vinyl is also very affordable, and ceramic tiles can be purchased and placed quite inexpensively as well.
These flooring options can be rather labor-intensive to place but you have a wide variety of options when it comes to how they look and they are all highly affordable choices.
What is the easiest outdoor flooring to install?
When you want a DIY flooring task that's not so difficult, try vinyl. Placing tiles can be frustrating and it takes a whole lot of measuring and pouring concrete is labor-intensive.
Vinyl, however, is easy to place. It's also durable enough to be used outside on a porch, so it's a great solution.
Which flooring type is the most water resistant?
It's smart to think about waterproof flooring when you're thinking about your screened porch. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are both waterproof materials, which is why they're used so often in bathrooms.
Vinyl flooring, laminate, and some natural wood floors are also available in waterproof or water-resistant designs that make them suitable for outdoor use.
Concrete and stone are not necessarily waterproof, but it's okay if they get wet. These materials are tough enough to handle weather conditions and ordinary moisture for many years to come.
What is the best floor covering for a concrete porch?
When you want to place flooring over concrete to create a more finished look, the easiest options are going to be vinyl, laminate, and composite hardwood. These floors are durable and they are relatively simple to place over concrete, compared to some other options out there.