How to Turn a Wooden Deck Into a Solid Surface

Enclosing an existing deck is one way to add another room to your home. The light metal roofing can be studded insulated and dry walled to add a ceiling. The pickets and handrail make a convenient starting point to erect proper walls. Then you are left with a floor that has cracks everywhere in it. The floor of your deck can become a solid surface with a quick installation of tongue-and-groove hardwood flooring. Make this the last step in your enclosure and you will have a floor that will last for years.

Your wooden deck can become a beautiful hardwood floor in just a few days.

Cut the tongue off of a piece flooring with your circular saw. Cut carefully along the edge of the top face of the board to obtain a smooth, even edge.

Place the board perpendicular to the existing boards on the edge of the deck. Drive a screw through the flooring board and into the deck boards below it every 18 inches with the Phillips bit on your drill.

Countersink each of the screws just below the surface of the flooring. Press wood putty into the depressions above the screw heads. Let the putty dry for one hour. Add more if necessary to bring it up to the face of the flooring.

Cover the deck with flooring boards. Remove the tongue from any piece on the starting edge. Slide the tongue of the following boards into the groove on the back side of the starter boards. Keep the breaks in the boards separated from one row to the next.

Use the paint brush and roller to cover the flooring with oil-based paint. Cover the entire top and all of the exposed edges of the flooring boards with three coats of paint.

Clean your equipment in an empty five-gallon bucket. Use a wire brush and paint thinner to clean your brush between each coat of paint. Clean your roller with thinner and the curved edge of your 5-in-1 putty knife.

Coat the entire deck with three coats of polyurethane. Clean your tools with paint thinner while you wait for each coat to dry. Let the final coat of polyurethane to dry for 24 hours before using your new floor.

Things You Will Need

  • Unfinished 1/2-inch tongue-and-groove flooring
  • Circular saw
  • 1 1/2 inch galvanized deck screws
  • Drill with Phillips bit
  • Wood putty
  • Oil-based paint
  • Paint brush
  • Roller with 1/4-inch roller nap
  • Paint thinner
  • 5-in-1 putty knife
  • Wire brush
  • Empty 5 gallon bucket
  • Polyurethane
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Dust mask


  • Fill the cracks between the deck boards with caulk before you lay the flooring. This will give you an airtight seal that keeps drafts from coming up through the floor and raising your heating and cooling bill.


  • Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand tools.
  • Hearing protection is required in addition to your gloves and glasses when using power tools.
  • A dust mask is required when applying oil-based paint and polyurethane.
  • Dispose of leftover chemicals, used roller naps and contaminated rags in a legal and environmentally friendly manner.

About the Author

After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.

Photo Credits

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