What wood is best for floors for outdoor porches?

Written by liza hollis
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What wood is best for floors for outdoor porches?
When building an outdoor porch, it is important to choose the right type of wood. (Jasmine drops on the floor image by Gett from Fotolia.com)

Hardwood flooring is a durable and stylish option for indoor and outdoor flooring. If you are choosing wood for an outdoor porch or deck, it is important to select a wood that meets your design standards, but is durable enough to withstand the elements. For outdoor flooring, it is best to avoid any fabricated wood products that will absorb water and crumble over time. When choosing the right wood floors for your needs, there are several factors to keep in mind.

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There are a variety of species of wood you can choose from for your outdoor porch. These include oak, Southern yellow pine, cherry, maple and bamboo. Southern yellow pine is perhaps the most common wood flooring for many outdoor decks and patios. It is a strong and versatile wood for many applications. Dense mahogany is another popular choice for outdoor construction because it is resistant to rot caused by exposure to moisture.


Perhaps more important than the species of wood you choose is the finish you apply to it. Untreated wood, while attractive for more rustic outdoor applications, is left exposed to the elements. Stain, paint and urethane finishes can protect the integrity of the wood for generations. For best results, choose a finish specifically designed for exterior use. This information will be indicated on the label. Some species of wood are more difficult to stain and treat than others. For example, maple is best left to a professional for sanding and treatment. This is because the uneven density of the maple means that stain will absorb unevenly, leading to a blotchy appearance.

Hardwood vs. Engineered Wood

When it comes to choosing wood flooring, the issue of choosing hardwood or engineered woods usually comes into play. Hardwood is typically stronger and longer lasting, but it is also more expensive. Engineered woods are available in different percentages of real wood to manufactured filler. Attractive and versatile, they stand up well to moisture and high temperatures in many outdoor situations.


Thicker woods are generally considered higher grade. This is because they are more substantial and can therefore better absorb weight and pressure associate with normal use. Engineered woods are made of several layers, making them the thickness of hardwood.


One of the most important factors to consider when choosing wood types for your outdoor space is strictly personal preference. If you prefer a more Asian-influenced, minimalist style, bamboo flooring is a favourite option. If you prefer a more traditional, country porch, Southern yellow pine with a light-coloured stain is an option.

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