Think of a conservatory – you’ll think first of glass and light. Each building will be individual and complimentary to your house, but it’s at the start of the build that you will need to think about flooring, which will have a large impact on the feel and look of the space. Your builder will need to know at the outset what you are going to choose.
Firstly, decide what your conservatory will be mainly used for – a second lounge, an eating area, a room mainly for children and dogs, an office? Every use demands a floor to suit.
Which way does it face? If it’s south facing it will heat up quickly so a cool floor is good, or you can choose the opposite with underfloor heating. Do you want it to match the adjoining room to give a feeling of space and consistency, or do you want to create a separate room by changing the flooring at the entrance?
What about cork? It is warm and comfortable and, when sealed, easy to clean. It’s also very water resistant and durable, ideal for children’s playroom. It acts as an insulator and is slightly springy. It also deadens sound and is environmentally friendly.
Carpet is ideal if the conservatory is to be used as a general room and spillages are not a problem. It is warm, comfortable and inviting, but not great if the conservatory door leads straight into the garden. Beware of marks made by plants on the carpet, and move furniture around regularly.
A stone floor will keep the room cool in summer, and there are many choices of natural stone to choose from. This would be a good covering to use along with some underfloor heating, which is probably advisable in Britain to be able to use your conservatory all year round.
Laminate flooring is comparatively cheap and is a common site in conservatories. It is perfectly adequate but it will expand and contract with a range of temperatures. It can also be noisy and will fade in sunlight. Wood flooring has the same sort of problem with temperature ranges.
Vinyl is cheap, easy to lay, easy to keep clean and water resistant. It can, however be damaged by sharp objects and children. Tiles have a cold feel – you will need to wear slippers if you are using the conservatory as a breakfast room! It can also be slippery when wet, although it is moisture resistant.
Whatever flooring you decide to put in, you can compliment it as you wish with mats, rugs and furniture to individualise your conservatory and get the most out of it – ideally to maximise it’s use all year round.