How to Choose Flooring for an Unheated Sunroom

Sunrooms are ideal additions to a home because they give you a place for enjoying the sun all year round without dealing with the humidity or insects found outside. Since these window-filled enclosures capture so much sunlight, they're often warm enough for house plants year-round even without being connected to your home's heating system.
Choosing to leave your sunroom addition unheated means you need to take more care when choosing a flooring material for finishing it. Some flooring options just won't handle the temperature variations of an unheated space, while others keep the room cozy in winter as well as summer.

Consider Carpeting

For an unheated sunroom that is completely finished in, carpeting is one of the most versatile and adaptable flooring options. The carpeting can handle the coldest and hottest temperatures with minimal effects on the longevity of the floor. It's also warmer on your feet in the winter.
If you do a lot of indoor gardening or have pets enjoying your sunroom, choose a stain-resistant carpeting with high-wear resistance and a relatively short pile. These qualities reduce your maintenance to keep the sunroom looking good over the years of daily use.

Skip Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring often seems like one of the most durable options, but it's not a good fit for an unheated sunroom. The high heat and direct sun exposure in the summer will cause the boards to shrink and potentially change color. Cold and humid winter conditions lead to swelling instead, with those changes eventually cracking and warping the boards.

Splurge on Tile or Stone

Classic porcelain tile and durable natural stone can withstand temperature swings and daily sun exposure without fading. If you don't install an underfloor radiating heating system, you'll find these materials are quite cold in the winter even with subfloor insulation.
For the look of hardwood without the chance for damage, consider tiles designed to mimic the look of wood with the greater stability of ceramic materials. These tile floors are also easy to clean and dry if you spill while you're watering plants or enjoying a cold drink in the sun.

Finish the Concrete

Many sunrooms are built directly over freshly poured additions to the concrete foundation or an existing concrete patio that is being newly enclosed. When you’re working with a slab of smooth and level concrete, you have the option of staining, polishing, and sealing it for a beautiful and durable floor.
This type of flooring is another relatively cold option when compared to linoleum and carpeting, but polished concrete is very durable and moisture resistant. In addition, you have plenty of bright and natural color options that are easy to apply to cured concrete. You have even more options when you pour new concrete. During this process, you can stamp, sculpt, and dye the material.

Choose Linoleum

Linoleum is still available today, and modern versions are surprisingly eco-friendly due to the use of natural cork and resin materials that can be recycled at the end of the flooring's life span. For a green and beautiful sunroom floor, linoleum is a good choice.
It's also flexible and durable enough to handle temperature changes between winter and summer in an unheated sunroom. Aside from classic solid color options, some modern linoleum flooring features high quality patterns and designs to mimic the look of stone, wood, and other materials.
We are experts at sunroom additions here at Advantage, and we can install any of the above flooring in your new sunroom. Start planning your sunroom installation today by talking with one of our team members about the design of your dreams.