There are several types of porch materials available to create unique and visually pleasing porches, including tongue-and-groove lumber and brick and ceramic tile floor coverings. Porch materials, such as screen panels and columns, can be used to create an outer framework to add a distinctive appearance to any porch style. Basic building materials used to construct a porch consist of concrete, lumber framing and a subfloor with plywood, particle board or cement. Other porch materials, such as roofing materials, overhead fans and flower boxes, can be added or eliminated according to the owner's personal preference.
Many porch designs call for the porch to be a raised area adjacent to the front or back door of a home. Being a raised structure, the requirements of a foundation are often not needed. It is common to use several posts embedded in a concrete base to support the various porch materials used to create the structure. Floor joists are typically run from a header board placed along the length of the front of the porch to the home and are commonly used to support the porch floor. Other porch materials that can be used to create the foundation of a porch are the subflooring components, such as plywood, particle board or small dimensional lumber.
Once the basic porch structure has been built, the next of the porch materials to be used are those involved with the creation of the actual porch floor. In some cases, the porch sides and surrounding structure can also be built once the subflooring has been laid. In many porch builds, the flooring is installed prior to building the surrounding components since these parts, in many cases, sit on top of the finished floor surface. This is especially true in wooden porch floor designs where the wood for the floor extends from the edge of the home to the very outer edge of the porch.
In the case of a poured concrete or ceramic tile floor, however, the floor is often created by containing the concrete floor surface within the confines of the surrounding porch walls. In some designs, the screened panels used as the porch walls are installed on top of the cured cement or tile floor of the porch. In this type of porch design, added porch materials can often include concrete anchor bolts. These bolts are typically embedded into the wet concrete and provide a mounting provision for the panels being placed on top of the cement porch floor.