Beadboard has been a decorative wall, fascia, and ceiling finish material in use since 1880. This specific type of paneling has been known by many names, such as wainscoting, sheathing, and matched sheathing. It gets its most commonly known name from the “bead” that runs down the center of the matched planks that make it up.
Older beadboard was once made and installed one plank at a time, blind nailed into place. It was used to create porch ceilings, cover walls, and even used on some types of fascia. Commonly made of cedar, it can still be found on many homes today in a range of places from bathrooms to kitchen backsplashes to mud rooms to porches.
Like all wood-based products, however, beadboard – particularly the mass-produced and milled beadboard most commonly used today – doesn’t hold up well in wet or damp areas. So, for homeowners wanting to use its classic style on porch or sunroom ceilings, it often means a lot of maintenance. Thankfully, there is a more durable alternative, that can give you the same classic look, with more long-lasting results.
Issues with Traditional Cedar Beadboard
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Cedar is a well-known and loved material for finishing home exteriors. It resists insect activity, has a beautiful grain, and holds up fairly well to use. Unfortunately, it needs to be regularly treated and maintained to help protect it from moisture and moisture related issues, such as rot.
Most cedar beadboard is painted, particularly when it’s used on porch ceilings. Over time, however, paint has a tendency to peel, which detracts from the curb appeal of the porch. The peeling paint exposes the cedar to the elements, so rain, humidity, ice, and snow can now damage it.
Most homeowners who have cedar beadboard porch ceilings spend a lot of time scraping and repainting to keep it looking its best and to prevent moisture damage. This costs a lot of time and money, and even with frequent repainting, some planks may still need replacement every few years.
Fiber Cement as an Alternative to Cedar Beadboard Porch Ceilings
Many homeowners have been looking for ways to replace their cedar siding for years. Cedar siding and shingles have the same issues as cedar beadboard; it needs frequent care and maintenance to keep it looking its best.
Now, the same material that gives you the look and feel of cedar siding – fiber cement – can also be used to give you the traditional look of a cedar beadboard porch ceiling. Fiber cement has the same unique texture and appearance as cedar, but it isn’t subject to the same problems.
Unlike traditional beadboard, which is installed one plank at a time, fiber cement beadboard is also easier to install in 4 x 8 panels. The panels give you the same matched ends, bead, and millwork of traditional beadboard, but with an easier installation, lower maintenance, and enhanced durability.
Like all fiber cement, the beadboard panels are insect and fire resistant, as well as moisture resistant. Using them on your porch ceiling will give you the same classic style, but with better, longer lasting results.
Get a Better Porch Ceiling
Porches are one of the most popular additions to a home’s exterior. They increase your outdoor living space and enhance your curb appeal at the same time. Make sure that your porch keeps its good looks and function for the longest possible time and install fiber cement beadboard on the ceiling instead of cedar.