When it comes to designing and building your coastal home, there are some extra precautions to keep in mind. Because of the sand and the salt, you want to be sure your home can withstand the elements. Today on the Build Blog, we’re diving into the best building materials for your beach house. Read on:
The Best Flooring For Beach Houses
From reclaimed wood and imitation wood, to concrete and tile, there are a lot of options when it comes to flooring in your beach house. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each:
- Engineered Hardwood Veneer: Engineered floors look and perform great… until they don’t. Go for solid where you can refinish when they need it. But with that said, the way it is manufactured now is almost indistinguishable from the real thing, design wise, and may hold up better in spaces that get a lot of moisture like kitchens and bathrooms or at the beach. Another benefit to imitation wood is the cost. It is far less expensive to install than the real deal. You can also install radiant heating underneath (which you may not need at the beach, but who knows!)
- Concrete: When it comes to durability, concrete can’t be beat. It’s also incredibly easy to maintain. Just one sweet and you’re good to go. A couple of downsides are that it is on the more expensive side and how cold and hard it can feel underfoot. Nothing a couple cute coastal indoor-outdoor rugs can’t fix!
- Reclaimed Hardwood: We love the look and feel of reclaimed wood flooring, especially because it’s so sustainable. But it can be costly to install and to maintain, especially in wet areas where warping may be a concern over time.
- Tile: Tile is highly dense so it’ll take a bit longer to install and need some more reinforcement underneath. You do run into the potential of cracks overtime – but this really shouldn’t be a problem with the proper installer. Tile looks and feels great in coastal environments and one of our favorite things about tile is how creative you can get with colors and sizes and patterns. Ceramic and porcelain tile can really give a home character!
Outdoor Painting Tips for Your Beach House
From the sun, the sand, and the salt, paint at the beach can wear and fade quickly. Painting at the beach requires a little more preparation than in other climates, so do the work. Buy the best paint and keep in mind it still will not last forever.
- Acrylic Vs. Oil-Based Paints: Oil-based formulas used to be perfectly reliable in coastal climates, but in the past couple decades, formulas have changed and we’ve shifted our focus to acrylic, from which any imperfections overtime can be easily taken care of.
- The Prep Work: Your beach house is covered in a layer of salty film and you’ll want to get rid of that before painting which prevents exterior paint from sticking to the house. It’s not too difficult to take care of though – simply mix warm water with bleach, and a cup of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) and power hose that baby down! The follow with a primer to smooth the grain of natural wood and seal any imperfections in already painted wood.
- Paint Durability and the Surface It’s Placed On: Something that’s not talked about enough is that the surface paint is being applied to has as much to do with the paint’s longevity as the paint itself. If you’re applying to a wood outdoors, know that cedar wood withstands weather and holds paint better than pine because it less porous in changes in humidity.
The Best Roofing Materials for Coastal Homes
- Metal: Steel roofing will last forever, is energy-efficient because they’ll reflect heat from the sun, but they can be costly and can sometimes detract from the aesthetic of a beach house if you’re not going for something implicitly modern.
- Western red cedar: Western red cedar is popular along the eastern seaboard and less so here in California, but it is beautiful and durable. That said, it is susceptible to mildew and growths so you’ll want to be sure your installer treats it ahead of time.
- Clay tile: One of our favorites! The clay barrel tiles popular for Mediterranean, Italian, and Spanish-style homes in Florida and here in SoCal. They’re durable and cost and energy-efficient. The one major downside is their tendency to crack overtime, but it’s not too difficult to get individual tile replacements.
- Slate: Slate is gorgeous! But it is heavy and pricey – both things to keep in mind during the design process.