Porch floor questions. HELP!

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Forum topic by Seamus0559 posted 06-23-2015 12:16 AM 708 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 1862 days

06-23-2015 12:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: porch floor tongue and groove finish quarter sawn oak maple cherry outdoor biscuit caulk question tip trick oak biscuit joiner router joining refurbishing finishing arts and crafts

i have a 1909 American Foursquare on the west side of Cleveland. My front porch is 3&½W ¾” maple tongue and groove. It is buckling, and rotting, so I’m going to replace. I have an abundance of qurtersawn white oak and Quartered Cherry that i was hoping to use as replacement. Do i need to T&G the boards? Can i face nail them? Could i biscuit joint the floor boards together? Im planning on a natural wood porch, but i don’t know what finish to use. Im guessing a standard oil based poly would become very slick when wet. I believe the original floor deteriorated due to the previous owner caulking the floor around all edges, so it could not breathe. Do i need to caulk the porch floor anywhere? Any information is greatly appreciated. Thanks

3 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile


916 posts in 1407 days

#1 posted 06-23-2015 01:15 AM

You really should T&G—-or groove and spline—- the boards.

Could i biscuit joint the floor boards together?

If you mean gluing them up tight—-NO. Don’t. They need to be able to expand/contract as individual boards, not as a single unit. Otherwise you will get buckling and/or splitting.

Can i face nail them?

You CAN face-nail, but screws will hold better. Nails are likely to lift over time. Tried and true method is blind-nailing T&G—-but you already knew that.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View barada83's profile


86 posts in 1152 days

#2 posted 06-23-2015 01:23 AM

If you are replacing the whole thing, tongue and groove will give you a lot of stability to eliminate the “spring in your step” while allowing expansion and contraction. If replacing single boards, you don’t need to worry about tongue and groove. You can face nail but at the very least consider ring shanked. You will need to water seal it with a penetrating type sealer like thompsons I would think versus a poly. Caulking really should not be necessary anywhere I can think.

-- Mike

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2937 days

#3 posted 06-23-2015 02:38 AM

Marine Varnish, applied to T&G or Lap Jointed White Oak should be good.
Cut nails, set in. Caution, do not turn the tapered nail perpendicular to the grain or it will split the board.
Count on refinishing every few years as UV in sunlight will break down any finnish other than paint.
Or, just use some of that Ipe or heat treated deck lumber and leave it natural.

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