three season/patio room flooring

brenda1008April 22, 2007

We recently enclosed our raised deck to make a patio/sun/three season room and are now looking at flooring options. The original thought was to go with some kind of indoor/outdoor carpet but we'd really love the look of wood (though not the cost). Can a laminate floor work in this situation? The patio room will have insulation under the subfloor (OSB) but will be subject to both hot and cold temperatures. We live in Colorado so don't think humidity is an issue. The room has floor to ceiling windows but will have blinds to help control sun and heat. Many thanks for any help.

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Laminate can work in your situation, but you run the risk of moisture damage to the laminate from surface water and condensation between the laminate and the vapor barrier...the dew point will be reached at some point and 'solid' water is the usual result. You may also get condensation between the vapor barrier and the OSB. I don't think it's a good idea, but other professionals may disagree.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 9:30PM
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Laminate or wood would be a poor choice. Carpet, porcelain tile or stone are good choices. There is a new product out now called Konecto that would probably work well.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 5:03AM
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Do not use laminate wood in uncontrolled enviroments where temperature humidity will fluctuate alot (like pseudo-indoor/outdoor areas), especially if your walls are only windows with little to no insulation or set r factors for insulating purposes. If the area is as well insulated as the rest of your home then go for it, but since you stated temp is an issue, then I advise against it.

I would go with an indoor/outdoor carpeting, or a ceramic or stone tile system over a membrane allowing for uncoupling, load-distribution, water/moisture resistance, and vapor management properties like Schluter Ditra that is made for pseudo outdoor/indoor areas. Do not use standard cement or fiber backerboard units.

Konnecto needs to maintain temperature through its life like most other resilient products, so that would also be an impractical choice.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 5:22AM
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What about those sheets of vinyl made by Armstrong that look like wood planks? Has anyone seen those in person? I was considering that type of flooring for my own sunroom.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 12:14PM
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I'm not really interested in tile or stone. Just too hard a surface and I really hate grout. I hadn't heard before about vinyl plank flooring. I've been searching the archives in this forum as well as online and I like the look of the vinyl planks as well as the Konecto product that jerry_t mentioned (what exactly is Konecto though -- linoleum or ?). Has anyone tried either of these options in a similar setting? I suppose that vinyl sheet flooring in a wood pattern could work as well but suspect that sheet vinyl would look like sheet vinyl and not wood. Since the patio room was just completed, I don't know what to expect as far as temperature goes but do think heat could be an issue. The room is surrounded on three sides by the exterior house walls (located in a U of the house) with one side of the room being glass. Any comments much appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 5:12PM
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I installed a vinyl tile (these days called LVT...laminated vinyl tile) in a converted deck/three season room in New Hampshire. It's gone through two summers and two winters with nary a problem. The product was installed over 1/2" underlayment grade plywood and I used flooring epoxy to adhere the tile to the plywood. The product is a commercial LVT by Toli. You need a well-constructed product with some 'body' is my thought here. There are many candidates in the marketplace by names such as Amtico, Karndean, Toli, just to name a few. LVT is surprisingly 'not' cheap...and flooring epoxy isn't either.

Flooring epoxy is difficult to work with and really should only be attempted by a professional, but...if you're smart and can purchase the right tools, trowels, hand roller and rent a 100 lb. flooring roller...I guess you could DIY successfully. You do have to follow all label instructions to the letter.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 8:11PM
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If you do not know the temperatures in your area, you should wait to install flooring until you do know, then make the appropriate flooring choices for that specification so you get a suitable product that will last in its enviroment and maintain its warrenty.

If it can be controlled (temp as well as humidity), then almost anything you like can be installed, but if it can not, you are limited to your flooring choices.

If there is no heat in that area, then it needs to be considered an external or cold area, and while it may retain some heat from the house and solar heat from the windows, temp may still drastically fluctuate from season to season and from day to night even in the cold months. This causes expansion and contraction from thermal variaion, and while normal to some degree, haviong it happen every night/day cycle can have adverse effects on your average residential interior flooring products.

Flooring on average does not take well to that fluctuation. Resililient flooring especially, like sheet vinyl and luxury vinyl planks and tiles that require controlled climates.

If you do not mind the loss of a warrentee and do not mind periodically replacing your flooring as needed should the fluctuations cause a failure, then by all means, install anything you like in there, but as professionals, it is our job to notify you of the risks involved.

Just because something worked when installed improperly or in an improper area does not mean it will work every time or work for you.

Any deviation from the isntallation recommendations and standards can cause a failure. Standards and recommendations exist to prevent those failures and are time and industry proven methods that work everytime.

Installation and area prerequisites and standards handed down by manufacturers are there for a reason. To give you a beautiful floor that will last. As flooring professionals, it is our job to assist you with your specification and installation needs and that should be done to the letter of the standards. Should you decide to deviate from those standards, then you have made an educated decission, albiet a risky one.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 11:35PM
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That said there are many indoor/outdoor flooring options available.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 11:37PM
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