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Old 03-17-2009, 04:41 PM   #1
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Need help with unheated sunroom floor choice


Hi everyone....first post here.
I am getting conflicting advise on what type of floor to use.
I have a sunroom that I want to replace the flooring. Actually I dont want to replace but I want to put a new floor over. Here are some details.
This is an unheated sunroom with screen/windows. Located in central NJ so temps do get hot/humid in summer and could get very cold in winter.
Currently there is wood deck planks as the floor raised about 1.5 feet off
soil. The current floor seems to very solid and "built right" the first time There is a typlical space between planks you would see on a wood deck. They let in alot of cold air and little critters in. There is no insulation under the floor or on the ceiling. The room is about 12 feet by 20 feet. I want to refinish the room a put a new floor/ceiling to make a usable 3 season room. My first choice would be some sort of wood flooring.
What would be the proper material to use? I was planning on using something like a 3/4 inch thick tounge and groove mahogany but the manufacturer said :
"All wood flooring needs to be kept in a controlled relative humidity. Wood shrinks and expands according to the moisture that it is subjected to. Engineered is more stable than solid but should be maintained between 40-60% relative humidity."
This is opposite from what I heard from others.
I also was told to use a mud job tile floor then the next guy said that wont work either.
Am I forced to lay a subfloor then indoor/outdoor carpet?
This is very confusing! Any suggestions or ideas? I can post pictures if needed.
Also what about insulation/vapor barriers...is anything needed if the room willl not be heated? There is a chance I would put a wood stove in the future.

many thanks for your help in advance.

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Old 03-17-2009, 04:54 PM   #2
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Need help with unheated sunroom floor choice


You listen to the manufacturer. Nobody else's opinion matters.
An interior wood flooring choice is out. You can use synthetic decking butted together to keep the critters out. You can install plywood and put sheet vinyl over it unless it's subjected to moisture from rain or snow, then you're back to the decking.
Ron.
You can use ipe as an alternative to the synthetic decking but you would need to check about the allowable spacing.

Last edited by Ron6519; 03-17-2009 at 04:56 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:35 AM   #3
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Need help with unheated sunroom floor choice


It sounds like what you have is basically a covered outside deck. Now its construction (ie joists and hangers etc underneath the floorboards you are standing on) may preclude tiling of any kind without some major joist work to ensure the tiles don't crack...but this is the same reason outside decks aren't tiled and IMO not a good choice.

You may also want to look into closing off and insulating the floor boards from underneath, to keep it warmer and to keep the bugs out. But the vapour barrier would have to go on the warm side, the insulation over that - and that's a messy job.

So tiles are out, interior hardwood is out...a vinyl or linoleum could be put over a layer of plywood but that's a style choice. So what stays relatively warm unlike a solid floor, is easy to put down, replaceable, low cost and resistant to weather and bugs? sound like i/o carpet to me.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:00 AM   #4
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Need help with unheated sunroom floor choice


thanks for your help guys...I think am going to go for inoor/outdoor carpet for now.
Not much of an investment and I can replace later with and alternative if needed.
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