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For rehab of residential porch.Would appreciate thoughts on alternatives to porch wood flooring.
Would like to use a more traditional 3 inch width.man made-
Anjali Grant Design LLC www.agrantdesign.com 206-512-4209 firstname.lastname@example.org
Like all lumber now commercially grown on fertilizers, etc., the density and therefore the strength of lumber and longevity traditionally used for porch decking have severely declined, creating problems in insect resistance and deterioration from moisture, as well as loss of strength. Therefore, in restoring Victorian porches that I have done considerably in my practice, I now use only Ipe Rojo, sometimes called Pau Lope. This is a tropical lumber and my conservationist nature objects, but I have found no other alternative. Another product worth exploring may be acetylated wood, such as that manufactured by Accoya. A few years ago, when I last checked, this was much more expensive than the Ipe Rojo I have been using, and not sufficiently proven to warrant the additional cost. Thus, I have stayed with Ipe Rojo, whose life under exterior conditions is stated to be approximately 50 years or more. Mahogany is another option that performs not quite as well as Ipe Rojo, but impressively, also with considerable concerns related to conservation and sustainability. I keep hoping for an acceptable man-made alternative whose appearance would be suitable for a historic restoration, but I know of none, to date.
Lydia Straus-Edwards, AIA