Conservatory flooring has traditionally been in the form of tiling – usually natural stone, ceramic or porcelain tiles. But, with the advent of engineered wooden flooring, the beauty of a wooden floor is now a practical alternative to floor tiles in a conservatory.
Traditionally conservatories were occasional rooms used for growing plants and enjoying the sun’s warmth from indoors in cold climates when it was not warm enough to sit outside. They were typically too cold to use in winter and too hot to use comfortably in the summer. But times have changed and technological advances in glass technology now mean that there are types of glass available that reflect the sun’s heat away from the conservatory in the summer to maintain a reasonable temperature inside and equally to prevent the escape of the heat from inside the conservatory in the winter.
For these reasons conservatories are being used more and more as an extension to the everyday living space in our homes. They are being used for many different purposes such as a kitchen extension, children’s playroom, or a study/office.
The most common type of flooring installed in a conservatory is floor tiles. These might be natural stone, ceramic or porcelain tiles, which are all good options for a conservatory floor but what if your conservatory is north facing in a Northern European climate so for most of the year is the least warm room in the house, even with the modern advances in glass technology that are now available? Modern technology can certainly keep conservatories much warmer than they used to but tiled floors, even with underfloor heating, tend to give the room a cool feeling, which is not ideal in an already cool climate environment.
When you are considering your flooring options for your new conservatory don’t eliminate a wooden floor on the grounds that it is not suitable for a space subject to extremes of temperature variation and assume you will have to select natural stone floor tiles, ceramic tiles or porcelain floor tiles. There is always the option of engineered hardwood flooring; it is warm and cosy as well as being beautiful.
If you want to use your conservatory regularly as a living room, dining room, a playroom or a study and it does not have too much heavy traffic then a wooden floor can be a much cosier alternative to natural stone, ceramic or porcelain floor tiles. But because of the unique properties of wood, a solid wood floor is not the best recommendation for a conservatory. If it gets wet frequently from people walking in from the garden it is likely to warp or split and if the room is subjected to extremes of temperature then solid wood planks will tend to shrink and expand.
But there is a natural wooden flooring alternative that does not suffer from these problems. Engineered hardwood is made by fixing a real wood layer on top of a number of other layers such as plywood or high density fibreboard, which strengthens the whole plank and prevents the problems of warping, shrinking and splitting that can be experienced with solid wood but it still has the attractive appearance of real wood, indeed the top surface of it is real wood. Many such engineered wooden floorboards have a real wooden layer that is thick enough to be sanded if necessary over time as the surface of the wooden floor succumbs to wear.