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If you’re one of those lucky people who has an unheated sunroom in their house, or is planning to build one, I’m so glad you’re here. Sunrooms are a luxurious feature to have in your home. A place where you can feel connected with the outdoors, without actually being out-of-doors.
Protection from pesky mosquitos, rain, snow, and cold gusts of wind aren’t the only benefits. Having a space that fills with natural sunlight can do wonders for your mental health.
This light airy space can be a wonderful retreat for you, and while of course you should focus on the windows, have you thought to focus on the flooring?
Factors to Consider before Choosing Flooring for your unheated Sunroom
Before we dive in to choosing best type of flooring for our sunroom and it’s characteristics, we should mention some factors to be considered.
- Natural light, which is undoubtedly a great benefit, but the constant UV exposure can cause problems with fading on your floors.
- Cold temperatures – lack of heating and geographical locations of extreme cold can affect your floors and your comfort level. (Think about your feet!)
- Hot temperatures – The lack of air conditioning in hot and humid climates can foster moisture in the air that may be problematic for some floor types.
- Easy maintenance – Consider how big of a factor cleaning and maintenance is for you. Some floors are easy to care, while others may require specific products.
- Durability – Some floors are more resistant to stains, and scratches than others. Will your pets have access to the sunroom? Will your family members trample through with their shoes on from outdoors?
The Best Floor for Your Unheated Sunroom
Choosing the flooring for your unheated sunroom will depend a lot on the conclusions you draw from the above-mentioned factors. Not every family has pets, and not every sunroom owner has family members running through with muddy shoes. Moreover, not every sunroom is in a geographical location of extreme cold, or high humidity.
I’ll take you through the pros and cons of common floor types as it relates to the special environment of an unheated sunroom.
This one might surprise you, but yes, carpet is on the list of floor types for unheated sunrooms. Carpet technology has come a long way and can be great option for you. We need to be familiar with type of carpets, we are looking for such as polypropylene or sisal.
Polypropylene or olefin, is a thermoplastic polymer (plastic) but fiber does not really feel like it is made of such. It has a durable feel instead of a plush or fluffy feel, but otherwise you would not know that it is a plastic.
Characteristics of polypropylene:
- Affordable – Because it’s a synthetic fiber, it can be machine woven which lowers production costs.
- Water resistant – Harking back to its plastic polymer nature, these fibers are moisture repellant.
- Low maintenance – Its tight weave doesn’t allow dust and debris to settle in. Routine vacuuming is all that is needed.
- Stain resistant – Again it’s plastic nature comes into play here. It repels liquids, and plastic does not stain easily.
- UV resistant – You don’t have to worry about the colors fading from sun exposure. The synthetic fibers of this type of carpet can’t fade because they aren’t dyed. The color is chosen during the creation of the fiber itself, and therefore there is no other color the fiber can be other than what it already is.
- Bright colors available – Polypropylene can come in a variety of colors and designs, it doesn’t have the color pallet limitations that natural fiber carpets have.
- Not environmentally friendly.
- It depend on the type of polypropylene carpet you by and how it passes durability test but it can be Vulnerable to snagging from furniture, shoes, and pet nails.
Sisal is an all-natural fiber. It’s very durable, and non-toxic. In addition to area rugs and carpets; it is used in paper, twine, rope, cloth, and more.
Characteristics of Sisal:
- Natural fiber – Harvested from agave plant leaves, this rug is VOC-free
- Environmentally sustainable – Each leave produces approximately 1,000 fibers
- Biodegradable – This carpet won’t sit for decades in a landfill when you’re done with it.
- Water Absorbent – Opposite to the other carpet option, this one will absorb water which may not be great if your weather conditions foster lots of humidity.
- No fading
- Also Vulnerable to snagging from furniture, shoes, and pet nails.
Related post: wool carpet care and techniques
Hardwood floor in a sunroom really creates a warm, lovely atmosphere, with the sun gleaming on the warm wooden floors. This type of flooring typically adds a monetary value to your home as well, but in a sunroom without temperature or humidity controls it may not be very practical.
Characteristics of Hardwood:
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Adds value to your home
- Routine dust mopping keeps it looking sharp
- Can be expensive
- Require a special treatment to prevent sun damage
- Vulnerable to scratches
- Will warp or buckle with excessive moisture/humidity
Laminate flooring can provide almost the same aesthetic of a hardwood floor, but as a more affordable option. Stay away from the cheaper laminate however, be sure you buy quality. Laminate can be less susceptible to fading than hardwood but it is still advisable to choose a lighter color so fading is less noticeable.
Characteristics of Laminate:
- Easier cleaning than hardwood
- Less prone to scratches than hardwood
- Sometimes will warp or buckle from excessive moisture
- Aluminum oxide coating provides some resistance to fading from UV exposure
Read more about: how to clean your laminate floors?
Ceramic tile is generally more expensive than laminate, closer to the range of hardwood flooring. Additionally, it is a very hard surface under your feet, but that can be softened easily by stylish area rugs. It also will resist scratches from furniture, shoes, or pet nails.
When compared to every other flooring option, the cleaning of ceramic tile is the easiest. You won’t have to worry about moisture or humidity causing buckling or warping. I find that it’s benefits far outweigh the detractions and make it the best flooring option in most situations.
Characteristics of Ceramic Tile:
- Water resistant
- Scratch resistant
- Fade resistant
- Large variety in style, design, and color
- Energy efficient – retain heat and cold
- Hard surface
As you can see there’s pros and cons with each floor type. When you make your decision, focus on what’s the characteristics that are most important to you and that fit with your family situation and your climate. Enjoy that beautiful sun, right in your home. When night comes install this beautiful curtain lights and make your sunroom shine!
Yoi might consider very durable option and low cost flooring option called WPC. More about in my blog post: What is WPC Flooring?
My closely related blog post How to Winterize a sunroom might be interesting for you. You should Check it out.