How to Replace Tongue and Groove Porch Flooring

Replacing tongue and groove porch flooring is a fairly easy job though it can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. Removing the old flooring is the easier part through installing the new flooring needs to be done with more care and time. Installing tongue and groove flooring for a porch is much the same as installing it in the interior of a home and is well within reach of someone comfortable and familiar with basic DIY skills. Porch decking also needs to be allowed to acclimatize to your local environment before it is actually installed as this will prevent sagging after installation.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Wood decking
  • Primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Claw hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Nails
  • Nail gun
  • Miter saw
  • Exterior flooring paint
  • Measuring tape

Step 1 – Remove Old Decking

While removing the old decking can be done with an element of brute force if you are not planning t savage any of it, care must be taken not to damage any of the frame beneath. To remove the old boards from the joists, claw up the nails holding them in place using the claw hammer and use a pry bar for extras leverage. Be sure to remove any nails that remain stuck in the joists.

Step 2 – Prepare the New Decking Boards

Spreading out all of the new boards face down on a flat, dry surface, treat them with a coat of primer. The primer should be moisture resistance and needs to be thoroughly applied to the bottom and sides of the boards. Allow this a full day to dry thoroughly.

Step 3 – Cutting the Boards

Accurately measure the length of your porch, following the direction of the joists so that the decking intersects all of them. Use the miter saw to cut the first plank to the right length. Make sure that your measurements and markings are correct as otherwise you can end up wasting a lot of costly material.

Step 4 – Set the First Board in Place

Lay the first of the boards in place, starting from the edge of the house. With the first board, make sure that the grooved side is facing towards the house and leave a half inch gap between it and the wall. When you are satisfied with its position, fix the new board in place using exterior nails to attach it to each of the joists.

Step 5 – Lay the Remaining Boards

Continue laying the boards. Cut the second plank to size and simply slide it into place in the first plank. Tongue and groove type installation is relatively easy and quick. To get it to fight tightly, you should gently hammer the board into the previous one before nailing it place. Continue cutting and laying the boards in the same manner.

Step 6 – Paint and Prime the Surface

Now that all of the boards are installed, apply a coat of primer to the entire surface. When this has been left an adequate time to dry, paint the surface using an appropriate exterior floor paint.