Ah, the sunroom. It’s possibly the most relaxing room in your home. This is where you can sit down, kick up your feet and simply enjoy your life. But the same features that make this space so refreshing also call for being extra careful about selecting sunroom flooring.
Thanks to expansive windows, the sun’s gorgeous rays fill your space with light. At the same time, though, they can fade your flooring.
The room’s proximity to the great outdoors means that your family may track in messes again and again. Windows with screens in them may get left open, allowing rain to blow in and soak the floor.
To top it all off, if your three-season room is short on insulation, your flooring might endure frequent exposure to temperature shifts or high humidity.
Fortunately, there are plenty of sunroom flooring options out there to fit the bill. If you have a particular look in mind, you can probably find a sunroom-worthy way to achieve it. Don’t shy away from your personal style in favor of bland, utilitarian floors. You can pick out a flooring option that looks great and also stands up to the rigors of sunroom life.
Whether you’re remodeling your current space or building a whole new room, here are eight sunroom flooring options to get your design wheels turning.
Laminate Sunroom Flooring
Many people love the look of hardwood floors. It can be especially appealing if you want a rustic, natural look for this space. Wood floors underfoot can create the feel of a cozy cabin that’s nestled in nature.
Unfortunately, hardwood isn’t always the best choice for sunrooms. Wood can be quite susceptible to fluctuations in temperature or humidity.
Never fear, though. There are synthetic substitutes that can mimic the look of real wood while also providing greater stability. One top option to consider is laminate.
Benefits of Sturdy Construction
This material is all about layers. To make laminate, manufacturers start with a back layer that helps provide support and moisture protection. Next is the super sturdy inner core layer. After that is the design layer. This printed photograph gives the laminate its pattern. Finally, the clear wear layer over the top protects the laminate against damage or premature aging.
Let’s dig into the pros of laminate. First of all, the photorealistic design layer can feature any sort of pattern. While many laminates resemble hardwood, others take on the look of tile or stone.
Some laminates have UV resistance built into their wear layer. For a floor that is going to be exposed to regular sunshine, this feature can be a great way to extend its longevity. Another tip: Opt for a lighter shade so that any fading that does occur is less noticeable.
Also, laminate is pretty durable. The dense inner core provides strength, and the wear layer keeps the photorealistic design from becoming scratched. Even if you repeatedly walk across the room or drag chairs from one side to the other, you can count on this flooring to stay looking nice.
Watch the Water
Now, this isn’t 100% waterproof flooring. If your sunroom is going to see a substantial amount of water, it might not be the material for you. But if you’re not expecting regular puddles, laminate could do just fine for your flooring needs.
In case of occasional spills or splashes, opt for one of the many water-resistant models on the market. Just don’t expect laminate flooring to endure standing water time and again.
Vinyl Plank Floors for Three-season Rooms
Some sunrooms are totally protected from the elements. When the windows are shut tight, you’re not going to feel the chill of a cool breeze or the heat of a summer’s day.
Other rooms may look similar, but they don’t offer quite the same shelter. For example, three-season rooms don’t typically guard against temperature extremes. They may not be equipped with heating or air conditioning, and the insulation may be minimal.
Screened-in porches, also known as enclosed porches, give you the same out-in-nature feel of a glassed-in sunroom, but there’s no good way to totally keep out the elements. You’re guarded against bugs and other critters, but the wind and rain can still make their way through the screened windows.
The more exposure your room has, the more your flooring needs to be compatible with both indoor and outdoor use. To that end, give luxury vinyl plank flooring a look. It’s also called luxury vinyl tile. Whether you know it as LVP or LVT, it’s a plastic flooring material that has what it takes to stand up to the elements.
Don’t Let Plastic Scare You Off
Sure, when you first realize that LVP is made of plastic, it may not sound too classy. Don’t rule it out right away, though. LVP can be absolutely gorgeous. This synthetic flooring does a great job of mimicking both hardwood and natural stone tiles. No one may ever know that you didn’t choose the real thing!
Besides, it’s totally worth buying a synthetic flooring material if it allows you to lay the flooring in a wide variety of settings. LVP is waterproof and easily cleaned, so you don’t have to worry about rain blowing in or kids tracking muddy footprints across the floor.
LVP and the Sun
Like many sunrooms, yours might get bathed in sunlight every day. That can be a prescription for a faded floor. Fortunately, LVP is available in UV-resistant varieties that can handle sunroom life.
In fact, the manufacturer should be able to let you know which of its vinyl planks are rated for sunroom flooring use. Stick with models that are specifically approved for sunrooms so that you can rest assured of the long-lasting quality of your new floor.
Engineered Hardwood in Your Sunroom
Sure, materials that look like wood do an awfully good job of mimicking the real thing. But what if you have your heart set on real, true wood flooring? Engineered hardwood could be a great way to satisfy that desire.
This material is made with real hardwood. Unlike traditional wood floors, though, it’s not just a solid plank. Rather, it’s composed of multiple layers, some plywood and some hardwood.
The various layers run in different directions to increase the material’s strength. Because engineered hardwood is less likely to warp or buckle, you can use this flooring material in spots with more humidity than traditional wood planks would be able to handle.
As another benefit, engineered wood is often cheaper than solid wood flooring.
Many Wood Looks
The top layer is always made of genuine hardwood, so that’s what you’re going to see. Unsuspecting visitors might never guess that your floors aren’t solid wood all the way through.
What’s your favorite wood flooring style? There’s a good chance you’ll find an engineered hardwood to match. The many varieties on the market include oak, teak and hickory.
Plus, you can get this type of flooring in a range of finishes. For example, there are distressed varieties to give your room the popular farmhouse chic look. If you’d prefer a glossy style, that’s an option too.
Tips for Long-lasting Installation
Even if you have no idea how to lay solid hardwood flooring, you might be able to handle engineered wood yourself. It’s often sold in click-lock varieties that come together in a snap.
If you have a humid sunroom, you’re going to want a moisture barrier. The main goal of the moisture layer is to keep water from creeping up to your flooring from underneath. Keep in mind that you still shouldn’t let this material get totally soaked from above. In other words, it’s probably not the best flooring choice for screened porches.
But with proper care, you can get several decades of use out of your engineered wood floor. If you really want the most durable flooring, choose a model that features a scratch-resistant top layer. Whether your sunroom adventures involve furry friends or playful kids, you won’t have to worry about a bit of good-natured fun spoiling your engineered wood floor.
Linoleum for Sunroom Flooring
If budget is a top concern for your sunroom remodeling project, then linoleum could be a contender. Linoleum is a flooring material that has been used in homes for many years, so you know that’s it’s proven itself. Plus, today’s varieties have come a long way in style from the linoleum that was in your grandma’s kitchen.
Good for the Earth
You might be surprised to learn that linoleum is an eco-friendly material. It’s made from renewable materials like linseed oil and wood flour. Plus, it won’t off-gas harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your room.
You can also feel good with the knowledge that, once you’re ready to replace the flooring, linoleum will break down in the landfill over time.
Best Sunrooms for Linoleum
Whatever your room’s look, you can find a linoleum to match. Colors and patterns abound.
Even still, this flooring material isn’t the best for every sunroom. Spills will wipe easily off the top, but repeated exposure to moisture won’t be good for it. That means that full sunrooms are a better spot for linoleum than enclosed porches.
Be careful with sun exposure, but you don’t have to stress about it too much. There are fade-resistant linoleum varieties that could work well in your sunny room.
Tile for Enclosed Porches
Ceramic or porcelain tile may have a place in your sunroom design. Both varieties are sometimes used in outdoor settings. Porcelain tiles are particularly well-suited for use in damp spaces because they’re fired at very high temperatures to make them durable and nonporous.
You can create nearly any look you choose with tiles. Sizes range from teeny tiny to more than a foot across. You can get squares, octagons, rectangles, tile flooring that looks like wood and more. As far as colors go, there’s a whole flooring rainbow out there to buy.
Tiles and Temperatures
Tiles do pretty well with temperature fluctuations, especially if they stay fairly dry. As long as they don’t soak up moisture — which doesn’t usually happen with non-porous varieties — they aren’t likely to crack when the temperature goes high or drops low. If you have an unheated three-seasons room, tile could be a great flooring choice.
Dark tiles will soak up the sun’s rays, though. On hot days, black varieties can get hot, hot, hot! Either choose a lighter shade or don’t walk barefoot through the sunroom on a summer afternoon.
Sunroom Tile Pricing
Ceramic tiles are generally affordable. Porcelain can be a bit more expensive but still not a budget-buster.
Installation can bump up the price, though. Intricate patterns, in particular, may require the help of a pro. If you’re set on DIY installation, you may want to stick with simpler designs.
Carpet Sunroom Flooring Options
When you think about the best type of flooring for your sunroom, carpet might not be the first material that comes to mind. Hang on, though, because it might actually be a good choice for your space. There are some carpet varieties that are up to the task of sunroom use.
Comfort and Style
Consider the pros of choosing carpet. This material has a naturally comfy-cozy feel. If you’re all about comfort and relaxation in your sunroom, then carpet could help you achieve the right sort of ambiance.
Carpet feels warm underfoot. If your sunroom has a slight chill during the winter months, walking on carpet might help you stay warmer.
In fact, it can improve your summer comfort, too. Some types of floors get hot when the sun beams down on them hour after hour. Carpet is more likely to keep an even temperature so you don’t scorch your feet.
Also, carpet comes in a million different styles. You’ll find a plethora of colors from which to choose, and there are carpet texture options as well. If your goal is a well-coordinated room, carpet could be a great addition.
As another bonus, carpet is often an affordable material. If you’re doing your flooring project on a budget, you’ll certainly appreciate that!
Smart Shopping for Longer Life
Sure, there are some drawbacks to carpet for sunroom flooring. It may become dirty or matted if the room gets a lot of traffic, especially traffic from outdoors. Sunshine may fade the material over time as well.
There are some steps you can take to protect your carpet, though. First of all, look for indoor-outdoor carpet. These varieties are designed to hold up through all sorts of weather, so they’re sturdier than your regular living room varieties.
Even if you don’t opt for indoor-outdoor carpet, at least choose carpet with a short pile. It will show less wear than fluffy carpet.
Your window style may influence how quickly the carpet fades. To preserve the color of your flooring, opt for windows with a UV coating, or install shades that you can draw during the sunniest times of the day.
Finally, be smart about where you put carpet. While it might work just fine in a fully enclosed sunroom, steer clear of it for a screened-in porch that will be exposed to more of the elements.
Carpet Tile for Sunroom Flooring
If you’re sold on the idea of carpet in your sunroom for its cozy comfort, there’s one additional option worth considering. Think about choosing carpet tiles instead of traditional roll-out carpet flooring.
Carpet tiles will give you all of the same carpet benefits that you’re used to. It stays warm underfoot even as the temperature drops, and it comes in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Unlike regular carpet, this type of flooring goes on piece by piece. You might appreciate how easy the DIY installation of peel-and-stick carpet tiles can be.
Plus, carpet tiles are quite easy to switch out. No matter how careful you are with your sunroom flooring, there’s always a chance that an area is going to end up caked with mud or soaked by a spill. If you can’t salvage the section, no worries. With carpet tiles, you can simply peel up the damaged piece and lay a new one in its spot.
Concrete Floors for Sun Porches
If you need a really sturdy flooring option for your sunroom, then concrete might be the answer. Think about it: Concrete is regularly used for outdoor patios. It can certainly handle life in your sunroom. It even works for screened porches, which may see lots of puddles throughout the year.
No Need for Boring Floors
Just because you choose this indoor-outdoor material doesn’t mean you have to settle for the look of a boring concrete playground slab. Today’s concrete options for homeowners are quite varied. You can have colored concrete laid, or the flooring can be treated with stains or stamps to create beautiful designs.
Another advantage of concrete flooring is that this material practically takes care of itself. If your goal is to enjoy your sunroom as much as possible without worrying about upkeep, concrete could be the type of floor for you.
Get Started with Your Sunroom Flooring Project
Have you settled on the right type of flooring for your sunroom project? That’s half the battle in redoing your sunroom floors.
After that, it’s time to install your material of choice. You may be up for doing the job on your own, or you could hire a flooring pro for the job. Either way, careful installation of the right type of flooring material will help keep your sunroom beautiful for many years to come.
Did you think that you couldn’t love your sunroom any more than you already do? Put in new flooring, and you may find a whole new depth of love for this sunny space!