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IPE Porch flooring 101 needed!

14 years ago

We are adding a 13 x 26 ft screened porch to our house and have a tough time deciding on the type of flooring to use. We have looked at numerous floors on this forum and like the look of the non-weathered IPE, T&G, i.e. no visible fasteners. We have also learned a lot from the many postings by experienced craftsmen in response to the DIY folks like ourselves but we still find it difficult to apply it wisely to our specific project described below.

The porch floor will be 2-4 inches higher than the surrounding flagstone and the porch will be screened and have an approx. 14 inch flat roof overhang which will limit exposure to direct rain on the floor. A trench drainage system with grates around the porch perimeter will catch and divert rainwater on the flagstone so there is no chance for water (other than condensation) to get under the porch floor. Floor height above ground will vary from ~ 16"on side C to ~24" on side A. Cross ventilation will be limited to an approx 24" x 6" opening on side C and 24" x 12" on side A since the stone wall is already in place on one side and a basement entrance obstructs the other side.

Is T&G IPE suitable for our situation? If so, how to accomplish a successful installation?

IPE 101 Questions:

Which board width - 4" or 6" Â will be least prone to cupping? Joists (2x12) 12" or 16" on center? Boards tight or deliberately spaced a bit? (likely install during typical East Coast high humidity Aug-Sept) Butt joints tight or spaced? (Or I could avoid them altogether by dividing floor framing into 2 sections and run joists parallel to house and floor boards out from house but I then need exact lengths (12 ft boards with picture framing) Â supplier on east coast?) Screw through T or G? Type/size of screws & pre-drill bit? Glue boards to joists? What pitch if any? Increase cross vent via a few floor vents around perimeter? (drawback: water will then for sure get in under floor) Recommended treatment to create that "wet" look and prevent (delay) weathering? Anything else I may have overlooked?

Any and all comments most welcome


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