Flooring Options & Glass Spaces

by | Feb 6, 2017 | Design

The Importance of Your Flooring Selection


One of the most important (but sometimes neglected) aspects of planning a new glass space is the customer’s flooring selection. After all, when you’re focusing on elegant windows, French doors, and impressive double-hip skylights, it’s easy to forget that what’s under your feet is important as well!

At Sunspace Design, floor selection is an important part of the process. We not only want the material choice to be suitable for the intended function of your new space, but we also want to help you ensure that your selection pairs beautifully with what’s underfoot throughout the rest of your home.

Custom glass spaces can present unique challenges ranging from the amount of solar heat a well-placed conservatory, orangery, or sunroom allows into your home, to the increased humidity and moisture levels one can expect within a greenhouse or indoor pool enclosure. To address these challenges, Sunspace Design only uses the very best flooring materials provided by America’s top providers. We help our customers select high quality flooring that’s manufactured to last.


An interior view of a Rye, New Hampshire glass conservatory's dining area with gorgeous mahogany wood flooring


We’re proud of the glass structure products we offer the New England region, and this pride depends on our structures holding up over time. Every project we complete is the best form of advertising for our company, and that’s why we accept nothing less than total customer satisfaction. Our success as Massachusetts’ top sunroom and skylight design-build company is owed in no small part to word of mouth discussions about our products, and we like to think our standards have something to do with that. And don’t worry: if you live in Maine and New Hampshire, we’re very active in your state as well!

Not only is the right flooring selection essential for proper build quality, but it’s also important for aesthetics and performance. In this article we’ll be discussing some of the flooring considerations and styles available to the Sunspace customer.


Making the Right Selection: Living vs. Working Spaces


The flooring materials utilized in conservatories, sunrooms, orangeries, and greenhouses are varied, and selection largely depends on the intended use and look of your new space. We can classify flooring options into two broad categories: materials which are intended to be used in a “living space” and materials which are intended to be used in a “working space”. Living spaces emphasize aesthetic considerations and creature comforts, whereas working spaces emphasize the functional use of the space. Hybrid flooring would be any option which seeks a balance between these two priorities.


An interior view of a Carlisle, Massachusetts indoor swimming pool enclosure featuring bluestone flooring


Working Spaces Require Durability and Performance


Flooring selections intended for working spaces emphasize durability and performance. For example, we’d advise that a typical greenhouse feature stone, brick, or tile applications in the floor. Some examples include slate and bluestone, or a porcelain or ceramic tile with a class 4 PEI rating (or higher). In some cases we may suggest a quarry tile. Tiles are very durable and easy to clean, especially if you have pets or plan on exercising your green thumb in your new space. The other advantage of tile floors is their great aesthetic versatility, as they come in many different styles and designs.

Concrete flooring is also an option, and has become more popular in recent years. The clean look of concrete is great for modern conservatory or sunroom spaces, and the material’s water resistance offers desirable performance in greenhouses.


Intricate ceramic tile flooring in a Sunspace Design conservatory located in Brookline, Massachusetts
A custom designed orangery in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts featuring slate flooring


Living Spaces Benefit from Attractive and Convenient Flooring


You can still get work done in a living space, but if your new sunroom, conservatory, or orangery is primarily going to be used for relaxation, dining, or entertainment, we recommend that you place special emphasis on the floor’s visual appearance. Wood is often selected for these spaces due to its warmth and elegance. Some of our favorite woods are cherry or mahogany. We also frequently use oak, maple, and even birch. A beautiful wood floor can easily match the existing flooring in your home, and it’s difficult to imagine a more classic or sophisticated option than hardwood.


The seating area of a gable-style sunroom featuring oak hardwood flooring and a beautiful lakeside view in Stoneham, Massachusetts


Wood also achieves a perfect balance between durability and appearance. If you care for your wood floor properly, it can last a lifetime. However, it also comes with special considerations: wood can expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate, and this can lead to warping if the room temperature and humidity isn’t properly regulated. Sunspace Design has a team of experts who perform glass space installations with top-notch thermal regulation, but we’ve heard a number of horror stories from clients who’ve come to us in hopes of repairing or replacing an inadequately constructed glass space provided by one of our competitors. We won’t let that happen to you.


A contemporary conservatory with rustic wide hardwood flooring located in Cambridge, Massachusetts


Recent Trends: Underfloor Heating & Composite Materials


Underfloor heating is one way to combat this. Sunspace Design glass spaces are often equipped with heat mats located below the finished flooring. They can be utilized with any flooring type, and offer a gentle warmth similar to that provided by radiant heat. Heat mats are also compatible with any stone or tile floor. The resulting effect is incredibly pleasant. Our readers from New England know that it’s difficult to overestimate the value of a nice, warm floor on a frosty morning. With one of our heated flooring systems, a Sunspace Design glass space is sure to be one of your family’s favorite rooms, even during the coldest winters.

Recent years have also seen composite flooring rise in popularity. Composite floors are made of artificial materials which closely resemble natural materials like wood. They’re available in many styles and shades. This is a versatile, durable, and inexpensive option. However, because they’re susceptible to water damage, we do not recommend their use in working spaces or any area that’ll experience a great deal of water or humidity.


An interior view of a glass conservatory office space with composite flooring in North Hampton, New Hampshire


Our Team Can Help You Make the Best Flooring Choice


In the end, your choice of flooring material will be determined by your personal preferences. Our expert team is here to guide you through the process, and to address your concerns as they arise. We’re also able to identify problems before they become issues, and we’ll guide you in the right direction as your needs dictate. Whether you choose bluestone tile, cherry hardwood, a composite material, brick, or ceramic tiles, you can be certain that your gorgeous custom sunroom, conservatory, or greenhouse will have a beautiful and functional floor.

If you’d like to learn more about how Sunspace Design can help you achieve your home renovation goals, please contact us via our web form. You can also reach us through email at info@sunspacedesign.com. If you’d like to speak to us more quickly, please give us a call at 1-800-530-2505.

YORK, ME 03909

Sunspace Design has been the top choice in New England's glass structure industry since 1981. We specialize in the design and installation of custom-engineered glass roof systems, skylights, conservatories, orangeries, pool enclosures, greenhouses, and custom spaces of all types.
We welcome you to contact us for more information about our services.


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