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AZEK® Porch Flooring Installation
AZEK® Porch Flooring should be installed using the same good building principles used to install wood porch products. Installers should follow local building codes.
The installation guidelines below assume installation above wood floor joists. If you wish to install AZEK&® Porch Boards over an existing concrete floor AZEK® advises first installing pressure treated wood "sleepers" (installed flat on the concrete surface). Since AZEK® is impervious to moisture, degradation of the Porch Flooring is not the issue, but rather the potential for mold growth if Porch Boards are installed directly against the concrete.
Most porch flooring is laid perpendicular to the wall of the house, (or to the longest wall if it is enclosed on one or both ends) and with the ends of the Porch Boards facing out. Some porches are laid parallel to the house and some are laid at an angle. Which ever pattern you choose, the Porch Boards will have to lay across the joists.
Joist Spacing and Slope
If Porch Planks will be installed across joists at a 90° angle, joists should be spaced at a maximum of 16" center to center. If installing Planks at a 45° angle to the joists, they should be spaced on 12” centers. Joists should provide a proper slope away from the house to facilitate drainage. A 1/4” drop per foot is recommended. Adequate structural support must be used under Porch Boards wherever load bearing Posts and Columns are being used.
If using AZEK® Porch Flooring on an existing porch, remove existing flooring and make sure joists are structurally sound, free of nails and with proper spacing and slope. Items related to stair construction, structural framing or any other general construction questions should be reviewed with the local code authority, engineer, or architect.
PERIMETER DETAILS AND LAYOUT PLANNING
Before you start, you need to think about how you will finish your AZEK® Porch edges. There are a number of options and some require preplanning:
Overhanging ends and edges with exposed end cuts is the traditional way to install wood porch flooring. At a distance of just a few feet cut ends will have the appearance of wood flooring. At least one Board will have to be ripped lengthwise to remove the tongue or trimmed to size when you reach the far end of the porch. An overhang beyond the face of the finished perimeter joists (at the front edge and at the ends of the porch) of 1/2" to 3/4" is typical.
You may wish to cover exposed ends and edges with AZEK® Deck Fascia/Rim Joist or AZEK® Trim. See Fitting Rim Joist Cover for more information.
Although less traditional, you can create a Picture Frame design around the edge of the porch flooring using AZEK® Deck Boards as a border. If this option is desired, additional planning will be necessary to layout and frame the substructure. See Picture Framing instructions for AZEK® Deck Boards for details on how to prepare your joists for a picture frame layout. Another decorative treatment is to attach AZEK® Moulding to the exposed edges.
AZEK® Porch can be installed using the same tools you would use to install wood porch products.
Use minimum of #7 x 2” Grade 305 Stainless Steel Trim Head Screw with #17 drill point. When using a manual or pneumatic flooring nailer, we suggest using barbed/serrated 2” stainless steel cleat “T” nails. For salt water coastal applications, we suggest using Grade 316 stainless steel fasteners.
EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION
When fastened properly, AZEK® Porch Flooring will demonstrate minimal changes due to expansion and contraction. Best practice is to cut and fasten AZEK® Porch boards as soon after cutting as possible before temperatures change significantly. As a general rule, when temperature is above 32° F, keep end butts and miters tight. When temperature is below 32° F, leave a gap of approximately 1/16” to allow for expansion during warmer weather.
The walking surface of AZEK® Porch Flooring must be the embossed grain side. If possible, install the starting board with the grooved edge against a wall. If the porch is open ended and the Boards are to be installed perpendicular to the house, the starting board will have to be ripped with a table saw or circular saw to remove the groove unless you have decided to cover the edges of your porch with Fascia/Rim Joists, Trim, or Moulding. Attach the starting board by first installing fasteners down through the face of the board near the outside edge. If you want your porch boards to overhang, remember to allow for any finish boards you may later wish to install over the perimeter framing joists. Use one fastener every 16".
Next, attach this starting board at each joist by driving a fastener through the tongue at the approximate angle shown in Diagram 1. Fasteners should seat approximately 1/16” into the surface of the board above the tongue, as shown, to allow the complete insertion of the next board.
AZEK® Porch decking must be fastened tightly to each joist. If there are variations in the framing surface, which result in gaps between the joist and Porch Board, shims may be required. Install the next board by inserting the grooved edge over the exposed tongue on the starting board. It may be necessary to apply light pressure to ensure the tongue and groove is completely seated to minimize irregularity in top seam. Once the second board is fully seated onto the starting board, drive fasteners through the tongue into each joist at an angle as shown in Diagram 2.
Remember to countersink the fasteners slightly so the head will not impede the installation of the next board. Add boards until reaching the outer edge of porch. Final board will need to be ripped to the necessary width (allow for overhang, if any) and to remove the tongue. Attach the last board by face fastening every 16" through the top near the outer edge.
AZEK® Porch or Azek Deck® may be used for stair treads but should not span over 16" unsupported. AZEK® Deck Fascia/Rim Joist or AZEK® Trim can be used to trim out the risers. See Stair Code Compliance for AZEK® Installation. Some codes may require specific framing or structural requirements. Check with your local code authorities pertaining to specific stair requirements.
Painting is not recommended.
CARE & MAINTENANCE
Also see Care & Maintenance for important considerations.
SEE THE VIDEOS
View a 5-part video series showing how one of our owners installed AZEK® Porch Flooring on his own porch! Series starts with repairs to the porch foundation and ends with a beautiful, authentic-looking, lifetime porch floor.
AZEK® Building Products and Vintage Woodworks claim no liability or responsibility for the improper installation of AZEK® Porch. Since all installations are unique, it is the sole responsibility of the installer to determine specific requirements in regards to each porch application. Best practice is to have all porch designs reviewed by a licensed architect, engineer or local building official before installation.
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