Conservatory Flooring – Make The Right Choice
Choosing the right conservatory flooring build is just as important as choosing the design of the extension itself. A lot of people choose to have the floor of the conservatory simply carry on from the rest of their home, but sometimes this isn’t the right choice.
There are a few issues to consider before choosing your conservatory flooring. Like every other room of your house, there is a right and a wrong floor to have, and you don’t want to build your dream sun room and have it ruined by a poor choice of flooring, do you? Here’s a few points to consider before you put down your flooring in your new home.
What Room Will Your Conservatory Be Joined To?
If your new sun room is an add on for your kitchen or a nifty new dining room, you’ll have to carefully consider the right conservatory flooring. If your floor is going to be next to a kitchen, you’ll need a floor that is spillage and water resistant. A vinyl floor or a quality laminate here would be ideal. If you go top of the range with either flooring category, you’ll have a gorgeous floor that looks like real deal wood, perfect for your elegant conservatory.
Even with a water resistant floor, ensure that all spillages and stains are cleaned up as soon as possible. Even the most durable and water resistant floor can’t take being saturated with water. When you mop, dry mop afterwards, ensuring no puddles or deposits of water are left.
Even if your conversatory isn’t an extension of your kitchen, it might be a good idea to opt for laminate or vinyl anyway. A conservatory is more likely to be exposed to the elements and extremes of low and high temperatures. More on that later.
Is your Conservatory A Sun Trap?
Naturally if you’ve built a gorgeous glass conservatory, you’ll want it to be in a part of your garden where you get plenty of sun exposure, so you can luxuriously lie in the sunshine streaming through the windows. Or alternatively, enjoy the relaxing sound of the rain hitting the window panes as you relax and read a good book. However, it might come as a surprise to you that the amount of sun your conservatory gets could affect your ideal flooring choice.
Floors can be bleached by the sunlight, the same way that essentially anything can. Like how an old red car turns pink, or an armchair can be bleached a little lighter from always being in a sunbeam, excessive UV exposure could effect the colour of your floor, too. With most floors, there isn’t a lot you can do about this. Excessive exposure to the sun will cause slight changes to the colour of the floor over time. It could take years, but it’ll still happen. If you get wide sun exposure, it won’t matter too much, as the floor will change colour uniformly.
However, be aware of leaving furniture in one space for too long, as the floor underneath a chair or table might stay darker than the rest, meaning it’ll look strange if you ever rearrange further down the line.
Solid wood flooring often comes with UV protection, depending on it’s finish. A UV lacquered floor will have strong resistance against sun damage and naturally, solid wood flooring is the best choice for real class and elegance. However, with conservatory flooring it’s a case of weighing up the pros and cons. A UV lacquered solid wood floor will be protected from the sunlight, but a conservatory is much more prone to the conditions that can cause lasting damage to a solid wood or engineered wood floor.
That brings us onto our next consideration…
Temperature and Moisture in Your Conservatory
No matter how well built your conservatory is, it’s only an extension to your home, and won’t be subject to the same protection against the elements that the rest of your home might be. Glass conservatories are especially prone to a number of issues that can cause issues with your flooring, especially engineered wood and solid wood floors. Glass panes can cause relatively extreme temperate fluctuations, which can cause engineered or solid wood floors to swell and shrink, causing a range of issues. Your floor could squeak and creak, or worse, it could buckle and break.
For more advice on squeaking or damaged floors and how to fix them, check out our blog post Your Floors Are Creaking, What Do You Do?
During the day, direct exposure to a great deal of sunlight could cause the conservatory and the floor to heat up very quickly – imagine putting your floor in a greenhouse. Then, as night falls and the temperate drops, the room and the floor will cool rapidly, causing changes to the size of the floorboards. This can also trap moisture in the room, as a conservatory with plants or people in it can become very humid on a hot day. To withstand these rapid changes in temperate, you’d ideally want a laminate floor, vinyl flooring, a tiled floor, or an engineered floor. A solid wood floor would be the worst choice for this room.
The same goes for moisture and dampness. A conservatory is a little more exposed to the elements, and could also leak much more easily. Glass is vulnerable, and a cracked or broken pane or a leaky joint could lead to a completely ruined floor, especially if you’re away for a few days or on holiday. Not a nice thing to come home to after a break in the sunshine!
There’s no simple, 100% correct answer. Isn’t that always the way? Adding flooring to your conservatory is entirely dependent on your own needs.We’ll give a quick run down on each time and whether it’s a yay or nay from us.
Vinyl Flooring – Yay!
Our top recommendation would be a vinyl floor, available in wood, tile, or stone effects. A vinyl can still be damaged by UV rays, but it’s also got strong resistance against temperature change, moisture, and wear and tear. With the possibility of scorching heat, freezing nights, and moisture from rain, muddy footprints, or leaks, a vinyl seems like the safest bet. Plus, it’s cheap too, which is an extra bonus after the expense of building a conservatory empties your coffers. For a gorgeous, dark vinyl with an elegant tile effect, have a look at our Dolce Fairfax cushioned vinyl.
Laminate Flooring – Yay!
This depends on the quality of the laminate. If you get a water resistant floor, like our Hydro Guard range, then you’re good to go. They’ll hold up against spillages, water, and rainfall, and a laminate flooring is much less subceptible to swelling from changes in temperate and moisture. It’s another cheaper option too, though the water resistant ranges tend to be slightly higher up the price spectrum than your budget laminate ranges. For a gorgeous Hydro Guard laminate with a unique, reclaimed smoked oak appearance, check out our White Smoked Oak.
Engineered Flooring – Yay or Nay!
Engineered flooring gives you that authentic real wood feel, with less of the problems you’ll get with a solid wood floor. However, an engineered floor will still swell and shrink considerably with moisture changes and temperature drops. If you’re confident in the quality of your conservatory, and it’s not joined to a garden, a kitchen, or is a sun trap, then engineered flooring could be a good, albeit more expensive choice. It entirely depends on your own needs. For added benefits, go for a UV lacquer to stop sun bleaching on your new floor.
Our best selling engineered floor is our Gold Series Oak floor, which is UV Brushed & Lacquered, making it a perfect floor for a conservatory, if you must go engineered.
Solid Wood Flooring – Nay!
With a UV lacquer, you’ll have the resitance against the sun’s rays you need for your floor to hold it’s colour, but that’s not the main issue here. Solid wood flooring is the worst culprit for swelling and shrinking with moisture and temperate changes, as it’s made entirely of real wood. As flooring goes, conservatory flooring is likely to fast the most drastic ranges of temperates and moisture levels. If you’ve got a room that traps the sun enough for UV bleaching to be a geniune worry, then you should be more worried about your floor warping or cracking with the temperate extremes. We wouldn’t recommend solid wood flooring in a conservatory, especially with the cost of a solid wood installation.
If you just have to go solid, our best selling solid wood floor is the Platinum Series Hand Scraped UV Traditional Floor. The hand scraped finish gives it it’s own unique and authentic character, and the UV lacquer will protect against sun bleaching to boot.
Tiled or Stone Flooring – Yay!
Real tile or real stone is elegant and gorgeous, and generally a traditional choice for a conservatory. They’ve no issues with temperate changes or moisture, and are much more resistant to UV bleaching. The only issues would be the hardness of the floors and the potential slip factor caused by water brought in from the garden on rainy days. If your conservatory traps the sun and you’ve got dark tiles or stone, you might find them occassionally being a little too toasty to step on through the day. They’ll also be very cold in the Winter months underfoot, but practicality wise, they’re a perfect fit.
Carpet – Nay!
We recommend avoiding carpet altogether. Conservatory flooring is going to be naturally more moisture rich than a regular room, and you don’t want a damp carpet, it’s a breeding ground for germs and nasty microbes. A conservatory leading to a garden is likely to have mud and grass tracked into it, as well as a few creepy crawlies if you leave the door open in the good weather. These are easier to spot and clean on a wooden, tiled, stone, or vinyl floor. Plus, if you’ve hayfever or allergen sufferers in your home, the carpet can trap pollen and dust which can cause irritation.
Make sure you give your floor the appropriate amount of time to acclimatise. This means leaving it out of the box in the room it will be laid in, to allow it to swell or shrink to the correct size depending on the conditions in the room. For laminate flooring, 24 hours should do the trick. For engineered, 3 to 5 days is ideal, and for solid wood flooring, we recommend at least a week to acclimatise. It may seem like a pain, but trust us, waiting a little while longer for your floor is much better than having it swell, buckle, and be ruined.
Make sure you take care when cleaning your floor, and stick to the recommendations of the floor type. For solid and engineered floors, we recommend a damp mop followed by a dry mop. No heavy chemicals. A vinyl or hydro guard laminate can be steam cleaned, same with a tiled or stone floor. Take care with shoes and furniture on any floor as scratches and scrapes are not ideal on your shiny new floor. Take particular care on solid and engineered floors.
Do you have a friend looking to build a conservatory, or are looking to update their flooring in their existing build? Why not share this blog with them? Are you a conservatory export with tips or advice on picking the perfect conservatory flooring? Let us know in the comments below!