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Lumber & Composites

Covering and screening outside deck. Flooring question

We are screening in our back porch (we live in a northern suburb of Atlanta).  Originally our contractor suggested to put down linoleum over the deck, so he covered the entire deck with plywood. When we went to select linoleum at HD, the HD Associate strongly cautioned us not to use linoleum outside due to the temperature swings from 25F in the winter to high 90's in the summer. She showed us the mfr guidelines and sure enough the Resilient flooring was not recommended for outdoor use. Our next flooring choice would be the HD Veranda composite boards. 

QUESTION: do we need to take-off the plywood or can we attach the Veranda directly to the plywood. One concern of ours is if rain blows in through the screen. We do not want it to seep through to the PT plywood and cause moisture or rot issues. Our contractor said he could butt the Veranda composite boards tight so that nothing would seep through.  But, after reading the installation guidelines regarding spacing to accommodate expansion, I'm not sure that's a good idea. Appreciate any guidance or advice for this flooring for deck. Let me know if you need more information Thanks! 
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Posted 2017-02-07T18:10:55+0000  by leebenr leebenr
Your contractor is a an idiot, find a new one.  Take up the plywood "subfloor" of the porch and install the decking per manufacturer's directions.  If you're trying to keep bugs out of your out of your porch, put down screening between the joists and new deck boards.
Posted 2017-02-07T20:51:59+0000  by Adam444
Hello Leebenr,

I agree with Adam that you should pull up the plywood, it will only cause problems. If you do not want any gaps between the boards an alternative is a kiln dried after treatment (KDAT) tongue and grooved porch boards that can also be special order through your local Home Depot Contractor sales desk, from a company called Wholesale wood products.  These boards are attached directly to your deck joist.  Here is a link to some guides for installing KDAT porch boards.  Let me know if you need more information.  It would be good to have more details as to how far you are in the project at this time.

Or if the gaps are not a big concern you can do as Adam's suggest and install screening below your deck boards.

Thank you for your inquiry and I look forward to hearing from you.

Charlotte from the Home Depot Community.

Posted 2017-02-07T21:23:26+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
Thanks, Adam444 and Charlotte! 

I talked with my local HD associates (Christine, Lee and Brian)  last night and they also thought putting Veranda composite over the plywood was a BAD IDEA, especially the way my contractor was suggesting. BTW, is "your contractor's an idiot" a Southern expression? That's exactly what one of them said, : ) 

Where we are on this project: [I think we're pretty far along]
- plywood is down over the original deck boards
- the room frame is sitting on the plywood
- roof for screen porch is up

Given where we are on this project, my local HD associates suggested using porcelain tile, especially ones with wood grain and wood color. Their thinking was that since the original deck boards underneath are in good shape AND we've got the PT plywood down, we'd just need cement board, the tile and a few extra $.

Porcelain tile was one of the original options we considered, but due to the installation labor cost $7/sf x 300sf, we decided not to go that route. While the cost looks high, given where we are- the cost to rip off the plywood, take out the old deck boards, AND that the screen room frame is sitting on the plywood - porcelain tile looks like the way to go. [Of course I'd push back on my contractor for some of those costs for getting us into this pickle] I'd rather spend the $ doing it right and to last, rather than a kluge job that may not last very long. Plus, there should be no issues with the porcelain tile (humidity, rain, bugs, thermal expansion/contraction, maintenance (if installed correctly) that we might run into with the other coverings (linoleum and composite).

What do you think? Suggestions? Thanks again. I really appreciate it!  Ben

Posted 2017-02-08T13:54:25+0000  by leebenr
Hello again leebenr,

I totally agree with the tile approach, as long as the sub- structure is sound and capable of supporting the weight.  Please let us know how it turns out and send some photos if possible.

Thanks for shopping at the Home Depot.

Posted 2017-02-09T13:44:04+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
Charlotte, sorry for the delay in sending photos. I've got to compress them as most were too big and kept timing out. Here's an early picture where you can see the frame sitting on the plywood, sitting on the old deck boards.

I'm getting a bit uneasy about using porcelain tile, as I've read all sorts of articles on proper preparation to ensure water doesn't get trapped underneath. The cement board route seemed simple, but 

Sorry for the delay in sending photos...
Posted 2017-02-09T16:59:05+0000  by leebenr
But, I've read posts where you should use the Schlute-ditra system....which is def much more complicated!

Thanks for any suggestions!

Posted 2017-02-09T17:00:56+0000  by leebenr

Posted 2017-02-09T17:30:32+0000  by leebenr
So, is the plywood on the floor pressure treated plywood? If so, how do you know? I've had a tough time trying to find the APA "decoder" ring to tell me what type of plywood is being used. Thanks!
Posted 2017-02-09T17:32:45+0000  by leebenr
Hello again leebenr,

Schluter Ditra is a fine product and will suit your purpose.  Here is a link to how to apply per your exterior  installation requirements.  Your plywood is not pressure treated plywood.  It is a exterior grade sheeting that is meant to be covered up. 
Here is a link to your decoder ring-     APA link for plywood

Sorry, I did not respond sooner but I was also out of town also.


Posted 2017-02-23T15:52:35+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
Here's the flooring going in and finished product 
Posted 2017-03-11T01:23:11+0000  by leebenr
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