Whether you’re planning on having a new sunroom or an enclosed porch added to your home, or you simply want some improvements to your sunroom or porch, there can be several factors to think about. One of those factors is choosing the best flooring. This alone can make a dramatic change to the beauty of your space.
What to Consider When Choosing Flooring for Your Sunroom or Enclosed Porch
If you’re considering which flooring choice is best for you, here are some guiding questions:
- How much traffic goes in and out, especially from the outdoors?
- Do you or your children or pets track in a lot of moisture or debris?
- Do the windows protect the flooring from UV rays?
- How easy is the flooring to maintain?
- Are the aesthetics or beauty of the flooring the most important aspect?
- What function does your sunroom serve?
- Do you have pets?
- What is your budget?
- What will the general temperature be in the sunroom as cold and hot temperatures can affect the flooring?
Pros and Cons About Each Type of Flooring
Laminate comes in a variety of colors and styles and the quality has made big strides. What is it made of? It’s essentially a sandwiched layering of fibreboard, an image layer and a durable plastic wear layer. Laminate is a fair choice for all types of sunrooms and enclosed porches. Unlike wooden floors, laminate is less likely to expand or contract which makes it a pretty good choice for an unheated space. However, if your porch tends to be a moist, damp area, you might consider a different type of flooring because moisture can cause damage to laminate.
- Affordable and DIY possible
- Long lasting, up to 25 years before needing to be replaced
- Easy to clean – no waxing is ever needed
- Good for children and pets as it is resistant to staining, denting, and scratching
- Not waterproof as moisture between seams can cause swelling and damage
- If laminate becomes damaged it will have to be replaced
- Hard and noisy material
- Has some chemicals present in the material
Vinyl Plank Flooring
LVP (luxury vinyl plank) is a synthetic (plastic) flooring which can mimic hardwood or stone. Due to its resiliency and water resistance, it is ideal for 3 or 4 season sunrooms or enclosed porches.Luxury vinyl is almost five times thicker than traditional sheet vinyl, allowing it to be semi-rigid. Instead of being rolled out over the floor and glued, luxury vinyl planks snap together. Luxury plank flooring manufacturers offer dozens of different styles to match the unique appearance of different wood species. The textured surfaces mimic real wood grain.
- 100% moisture resistant
- Can be used on cement, granite, tile, laminate and other flat subfloors
- DIY installation is possible
- Variety of decor options – wood, stone, cement, etc.
- Low maintenance & easy to clean
- Less expensive than hardwood
- Good choice if you have pets
- Versatile for indoor and outdoor spaces
- Difficult to replace damaged planks
- Not biodegradable
- Can show fading and discoloration with excessive UV exposure
Solid hardwood flooring is made of boards of solid wood that are milled from rough lumber taken from felled hardwood trees. The edges are shaped with tongue-and-grooves that allow the boards to interlock as they are installed.
Hardwood flooring may not be a top choice for sunrooms that are unheated or enclosed porches with a humid environment. If you have an affinity for hardwood, you may want to protect it with energy efficient windows and area rugs.
- Long lasting as it can easily last 100 years or more
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Easy to care for and maintain
- Can be refinished if damaged
- Is not waterproof
- Not able to withstand humid or damp conditions
- Can be expensive compared to other types of flooring
- May not be suitable if you live in a very humid environment
- Will lighten with the sun
Another form of hardwood flooring is known as engineered hardwood flooring. These boards are created by adhering a thin surface layer of real hardwood to a thicker core layer of high-quality plywood. This makes the flooring more affordable, and also gives the boards stability against expansion and shrinkage due to changing humidity levels. Most engineered wood flooring have a tongue-and-groove construction and are installed in the same way as solid hardwood flooring. Although engineered hardwood is better at dealing with humidity, the same cautions apply as with solid hardwood.
- Lasts 20 to 40 years
- Good resistance to warping
- Easier to install than solid hardwood
- Relatively easy to care for – don’t use water when cleaning
- Less expensive than solid hardwood
- Unlike regular hardwood, engineered hardwood can be refinished once, or at most twice, before the surface hardwood layer is exhausted.
- Is not waterproof
Carpet is possibly a good choice for a heated or unheated sunroom or an enclosed porch because it is a natural insulator. The soft fibers in a carpet are warm and soft on your feet and they also help absorb sound. There is a vast array of carpeting types from which to choose but this is an option best suited to areas that aren’t exposed to moisture.
- Good for unheated sunrooms or enclosed porches
- Cozy and warm
- Absorbs sound
- Wide variety of colors and styles to match your decor
- Not suitable for moist areas
- Needs more maintenance – vacuuming and steam cleaning
- Carpet without UV protection will eventually be discolored and further damaged by sunlight
Another good option for heated and unheated sunrooms and enclosed porches is linoleum. This predecessor of vinyl flooring is a natural product made of linseed oil, wood, limestone, cork, and resins. Today, it comes in three forms: glue-down tiles, click-together planks, and large sheets. Although water resistant, standing water can get into the seams of tiles and planks. Sheet linoleum is more water resistant.
- Great for indoor and outdoor spaces
- Eco friendly
- Extra tough – good for heavy traffic
- Easy to clean
- Water and stain resistant, especially sheet linoleum
- Can fade easily with sunlight, so get the sun-resistant variety
- Not cushiony
- Can be somewhat cold underfoot
Sunshine Sunrooms has been helping homeowners design and build beautiful sunrooms since 1993. We offer individualized services based on each of our client’s specific budgets, vision and needs.
Call us at (972) 243-5390 for all your sunroom design, construction, and repair needs or click here to request a quote.