The Best Type of Cellular PVC for Porch Ceilings and Soffits

This advice is geared for those who have already decided to use Cellular PVC over Wood, Fiber Cement, Aluminum or Vinyl products under Porch Ceilings or Soffits.  Cellular PVC is water-proof, long-lasting, does not rot, decay or warp.  Additionally, Cellular PVC does not require painting but readily accepts exterior paint applied after installation on the job site.  

Let's take a closer look at some things to consider as to what “type” of PVC to install.  You may choose between Tounge and Groove Planks, Panels, or Sheets. Secondly, there are many available options as far as Bead or Profile Type, Bead or Groove Spacing, and finally the thickness of the PVC.

PVC Tongue & Groove Planks are probably the easiest to install, PVC Planks can be cut, nailed, pinned, screwed, just like wood. The manufacturers of Cellular PVC specifically produce this material so that the same tooling and installations methods that are used to install wood planks, are the same as Cellular PVC.

There are many types of Planks or Strip Products on the market. Our most popular Planks are called Blind Nail Planks, they feature an extended 1/2" tongue to allow for a large surface for Blind Nailing thus speeding up the installation. You do not require Nails or Pins on the face of the profile. PVC Planks can be ordered with either a Nickel Gap, V-Groove or Beaded Profile.The wider the Planks, the greater the profile (groove) spacing is. We recommend wider spacing for bigger ceilings and narrow spacing for smaller areas. Reversible Planks come two usable faces, beaded on one side, and V-Groove on the other. If you are looking to cover a curved or barrel ceiling, the Narrower Planks give your curve a smoother finish. Thicker Planks are the best choice for Deep Beads or Grooves.

PVC Panels or Soffit Panels, as the name implies are more suitable for soffit as opposed to porch ceilings. Soffit Panels typically come either 18" to 20” wide, the ideal width for most soffit applications. Installing twelve-foot-long Panels have the advantage of being less labour intensive compared to installing six-inch wide Planks.  
To summarize, Soffit Panels require less labour to cut to size than four-foot-wide sheets, and less time to install than Planks.  For those to prefer a more rustic or traditional look, Planks although they may take longer to install, may be your best bet.

PVC Sheets come with several types of Beads or Groove Profiles and with various spacing between them.  Beaded Sheets are now popular with three-inch spacing, and both the Nickel Gap and V-Groove are the most chosen with six-inch spacing.  

PVC Sheets that range in size from 4’x8’ to 4’x12’.  Larger sheets result in fewer seams on your ceiling project but may require more people to install and are more costly to ship.