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ptarmigan61 01-17-2010 06:17 PM

Flooring for Unheated Seasonal Cottage
Does anyone have any experience or recommendations for flooring for kitchen and bath spaces in a cottage that will be unheated for most of the winter? We are building on a remote site, and while we will use it for short periods during the winter during which it will be heated, for most of the winter it will be unheated. The floor is open below, but will be spray foamed. Temperatures will range from -40F in cold snaps to +95 in the summer.
We have thought about vinyl and linoleum but wonder how it will do over time.

rusty baker 01-17-2010 06:43 PM

Painted plywood. I know of no flooring product that will stand those temperature extremes.

just tile 01-17-2010 10:01 PM

nothing will hold in those are going to have tons of problems not controling the temp. in that kind of climate.not just with your floors.

Dean Heath 01-18-2010 06:43 AM

You will need to regulate the temperature to some degree if you want to put any type of laminate or hard surface in. Laminate floors have less movement with expansion and contraction problems. It could be worth contacting Quickstep who are the market leaders to ask their opinion

tpolk 01-18-2010 06:45 AM

roll out carpets

rusty baker 01-18-2010 10:08 AM

Loose-lay rugs might work, Stretch-in carpet won't.

drtbk4ever 01-18-2010 11:45 AM

I'll share my experience. We have a 25 year old cottage. Used only occasionally in the winter. So our cabin may not have the same heat / freeze cycles yours may have. We had vinyl flooring in the cabin from day one. The only issue we had was a poorly completed seam started to lift. A few years ago we installed a laminate floor and some tile. No issues whatsoever.

In my opinion, I would say vinyl will hold up just fine. It's a cabin after all.

How do you plan to heat the cabin? Personally, I would be more concerned about water in the plumbing.

Scuba_Dave 01-18-2010 11:55 AM

I have a friend whose family owns a beach cottage
Its empty from maybe early Dec until March, sometimes longer period
It's been in their family for decades
They have just linoleum down, no insulation under the floor
Its been that way as long as I have known him - over 15 years

Temps do not get down to -40, maybe -10 or so at the Max every few years

DangerMouse 01-18-2010 12:04 PM

float a cork floor on it for beauty and warmth.


ptarmigan61 01-19-2010 01:34 PM

Thanks for all the tips. My grandparents place had battleship linoleum in it, and it seemed to fare OK. That was a long time ago, though, and I was pretty young - don't remember much.

just tile 01-19-2010 10:34 PM

Seagate flooring wood probably be best for the conditions. But still need to regulate temp. Above 32 degrees. Good luck.

rusty baker 01-20-2010 06:39 AM

Whatever you do, it will probably have to be a DIY project. No flooring installer will want the liability.

free2run88 07-07-2011 08:39 PM

How is the flooring working out in your unheated cottage?
We are building a cottage in Alberta that will undergo similar extremes -- just wondering what kind of flooring you ended up using and how it is working out.

ptarmigan61 10-04-2011 01:21 PM

Used a Terraco laminate tile in the Master bedroom, painted floors so far in the others, Pine plank in the living room, and have posted a new question about Snapstone and related products recently because we were hoping to do that in the bathroom and kitchen area.

free2run88 10-04-2011 08:40 PM

Flooring in unheated cabin
We ended up using a floating laminate made by Dupont with the underpad attached the laminate. The snapstone tiles sound interesting. If we ever upgrade the current floor we will keep that option in mind. This will be the floors first winter so we will see how it fares. Since then our basement flooded so maybe we'll check out the snapstone for that area. Always another job :)

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