Materials to Use for a Porch Ceiling

valley view porch image by John Keith from

The porch ceiling is a part of the porch roof system, with the material tied into the bottom of the lowest truss of the porch roof. The porch ceiling material is typically a part of the background of the home's exterior. However, using the right material to finish the porch ceiling helps create an inviting space that blends beautifully with the style of the home.


Plywood is the most common material used in covering the ceiling of a porch. Exterior grade plywood should be used. Plywood is a quick installation because of the large 4-foot by 8-foot sheets used. Plywood is often used as base under other materials.

Wood Bead Board

Wood bead board has been used for many years to cover the porch ceiling. It can be applied over plywood or exposed joists. Bead board can be painted or stained to match the home's exterior. A drawback to wood bead board is the maintenance needed to keep the board from rotting, insects and splitting.

Vinyl Bead Board

Vinyl bead board never needs painting or scraping. It can be cleaned with soap and water or a pressure washer. Vinyl bead board is easy to maintain and install with limited tools. It won't decay, crack or be susceptible to insects. It is a sustainable product, often made from recycled materials. Vinyl material comes in a wide variety of colours.

Tongue and Groove

Tongue and groove porch ceiling material comes in a variety of woods and width sizes. The boards can be custom made to your porch size. It can be stained or painted. Tongue and groove boards should be installed with stainless steel ring nails, and set to allow for expansion and contraction.


PVC, or polyvinyl chloride plastics, are made by combining polyvinyl chloride with dyes, fillers, plasticisers and stabilisers. This solid core PVC material lasts in the most severe weather. PVC is perfect for properties located on beach or coastal areas. PVC ceilings have minimal expansion issues and come in a wide selection of colours. It can be installed with the v-groove or the bead design showing.

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